If you want to see a new side of Spain, one that isn’t packed with tourists or crowded streets, then a sailing holiday is an excellent option. You might not think of Spain as a sailing destination, however there are many beautiful islands to explore and some places not usually accessible by any other means.
Chartering a yacht is an excellent idea for the freedom and flexibility it provides. Whether you are travelling as a couple, family or a group, you can get to the best destinations for you and spend as little or as much time sailing as you wish. You don’t have to be an expert sailor, In fact, you don’t even need to know anything about sailing to book a sailing holiday, but you might know a thing or to at the end of your break.
Independent yacht charter or bareboat sailing is where you hire and sail the yacht yourself or with the help and guidance of an on-board skipper or even an experienced crew depending on your ability. If you want to take out a boat yourself, you will need a minimum of a Day Skipper Practical Certificate or an International Certificate of Competency. However, you can take a skippered charter holiday without any need for qualifications.
The Balearic Islands are a wonderful base to start your sailing holiday in Spain and it is easy to get to the main port of Palma in Mallorca. Depending on how much time you have, will decide your itinerary but from here you can explore the nearby islands Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
This island has so many different sides to it. From the capital Palma, with its rich culture and excellent shopping and dining experience. To the western side with its rocky coastline and picture-postcard towns and coves perfect for anchoring your yacht. Sail the whole place and you’ll enjoy a rea sense of what this popular island has to offer.
Stops that should be on your Mallorca itinerary:
- Santi – Visit Mondrago Natural Park and the picturesque white sandy beach with clear blue waters in perfect for swimming. A beautiful spot to enjoy and relax amongst the lovely scenery.
- Cala D’Or – A large beach resort development with five small separate busy beaches. There are fashion boutiques and plenty of souvenir shopping here too.
- Colom – A small fishing port that still has a fishing village feel. A peaceful place filled with pastel coloured houses and a lovely natural harbour. There are plenty of pretty photo opportunities here.
- Porto Christo – A smaller more tranquil town, away from the busy noisy clubs of other nearby resorts. There’s sandy beaches and two fascinating natural cave complexes to explore.
- Cala Rajada - A busting water sports destination to try some extreme sports on the water. There’s also a protected bird sanctuary along the coast away from the busy resort if you want to get a break from the noise.
- Alcudia – A busy and popular resort area with plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained all night. There’s also plenty to do on the beach too so you won’t get bored here.
- Pollenca – A traditional town which hasn’t adapted for tourism like many of the towns on the island. Here you will find amazing local products, cafes and a real old town Spanish feel.
- Soller – A charming port with a promenade lined with cafes and boutiques set against a backdrop of the surrounding Tramuntana mountains. A lovely place to stop and have a drink.
- Andratx – A little known port with a very local feel. Plan to stop here on a Wednesday and you’ll be met with a busy produce market selling vegetables, cheeses and fish.
Such a lot for a small island. Mallorca certainly offers its visitors the opportunity for a fantastic holiday. The great thing about sailing means you can enjoy as many or as little of these places as you wish.
A beach laden island that is more peaceful than its neighbours offering more for sun seekers than party goers. It’s an especially attractive place for families and couples as the night life is tamer and the setting quite romantic.
Stops that should be on your Menorca itinerary:
- Mahon- The capital of Menorca and home to the second deepest natural harbour in the world. The water is extremely clear even though it is so deep which makes it more impressive. As well as being a great place for a late-night drink, you’ll want to make sure you catch the beautiful sunsets you can witness here.
- Fornells - A traditional fisherman's town on the north coast with a nice friendly atmosphere. Find the whitewashed buildings in the harbour and enjoy the scene at one of the many cafes which dot the area.
- Ciutadella – The stunning harbour in this town enables sailors to set up right in the quay. It’s easy to get off your yacht and into one of the waterfront restaurants that line the promenade. You should also visit the old town with its picturesque cobbled streets and old-world charm.
Popularly known as a party island there are certainly places to visit here where you can stay out all night. However, the whole of the island isn’t like this and you can find peace and tranquillity here too.
Stops that should be on your Ibiza itinerary:
- Porroig – Here on the South coast you’ll find stunning scenery and beaches with crystal clear water. It’s a rare place on the island that you can enjoy a relaxing break and some delicious local Spanish food.
- San Antonio – The Ibiza that you might expect. The party capital is here and home to the famous Sunset Strip where famous DJs help you to dance the night away. If it’s a party you want then you’ve come to the right place. There’s everything you could need here too, so pick up your supplies.
- Santa Eulalia del Rio – Although a quieter holiday resort than San Antonio, you’ll still find some lively night life here. The setting is more relaxed and there are towns, markets and beaches nearby to explore. You’ll be able to relax and be entertained in this area on the East coast.
Mix and Match your islands
Of course, you can pick and choose between all of these different destinations on these islands. Or if you have the time, try to see them all! You get to see these Spanish islands from a whole new perspective when you decide to take a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean.
Depending on your preference, you can choose the right itinerary for you. A relaxing break scouting the best sandy beaches and clear blue waters. Or perhaps exploring the ancient past, visiting historic sites and learning about Spanish culture on the islands. But maybe you are all about the nightlife and are looking for the best places to party by night and relax during the day.
Whatever type of sailing holiday destinations you are looking for, there is plenty to choose from here. You might even find some new secluded places to anchor where no one else is around.