Yachting regions in Spain
Spain is a very diverse yachting destination. It boasts over five thousand kilometres of coastline and many islands and islets. The islands are more spaced out than in Croatia for example, so renting a boat for at least 14 days is ideal.
The Balearic Islands will enchant you with their pristine countryside, beautiful harbours and deserted beaches. Young people will appreciate the Ibiza nightlife. A whole other chapter of yachting in Spanish waters is the Canary Islands, where you will experience really demanding ocean yachting. The continental coast of Spain will be of interest particularly to those who like to combine a boating holiday with exploring Spanish culture.
The Balearics are a stunning yachtsman's paradise with exquisite scenery, beaches and beautiful harbours teeming with history. They consist of the Gymnesian Islands (the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and several smaller islands and islets such as Cabrera) and the Pityusic Islands (the islands of Ibiza, Formentera and several others).
Each of the three main islands, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, is a separate sailing area. The weather here is calm, so you can enjoy the longest yachting season in the whole of the Mediterranean (similar to Sicily or the southern coast of Turkey). The yachting season on the Balearic Islands lasts from April until the end of October. There is a relatively large distance between islands, so if you do sail here you will probably not be able to go from one island to another.
This is not a destination for complete beginners, because when the mistral blows in the Balearics, it really is a sight to behold. The weather can be extremely challenging and the choppy sea very unpleasant. It can also be an advantage - you can sail around all three islands when the wind is strong. In summer, however, the weather on the Balearic Islands is relatively stable.
The largest of the Balearic Islands is Mallorca, where you can also find the most charter companies and boats. Mallorca combines everything we love about yachting: beautiful scenery, plentiful history, coves, beaches, small ports and adjacent islands. Palma de Mallorca is a magnificent medieval town and harbour that has been of importance since the time of ancient Greece.
We definitely recommend a visit to Cabrera National Park and nature reserve. It is located in the south of Mallorca and you need a paid permit to enter, but it is well worth it. It is the perfect place for snorkelling and scuba diving.
View of the bay with the beach in Mallorca
Menorca is a rugged island with an infinite number of virgin bays and idyllic beaches, more than Mallorca and Ibiza combined. Most of these beaches are untouched and only accessible from the sea. For yachtsmen, it really is the ideal island for sailing and swimming. On the north of the island, the sand on the beaches ranges from gold to red, while the southern coastline is lined with white sandy beaches.
The island boasts great natural diversity and many endemic species. Besides the beaches and impressive scenery, Menorca has towns with fascinating tales to tell of their past. A visit to Ciutadella and Mahón is really worth your time.
The island of Ibiza is the centre of entertainment and nightlife, ideal for young people. Boat rental can be considered a relatively cheap form of accommodation when compared to Ibiza hotels.
Port of the island Ibiza
Neighboring Formentera is the polar opposite of Ibiza. It is beautiful, untouched and only accessible by boat. It is famous for its white sandy beaches, azure sea like the Caribbean and wonderful tranquility. It is rightly called the last Mediterranean paradise.
View from Formentera Island
The Canary Islands are a very demanding year-round yachting destination. They offer unique experiences and challenges, but should only be tackled by experienced yachtsmen or crews led by an experienced captain. Sailing around the islands of La Palma, El Hierro or La Gomera is truly challenging ocean yachting.
Each of the Islands of Eternal Spring are captivating with completely different scenery. Fuerteventura is lined with long sandy beaches, the island of red volcanic rock - Lanzarote - is green only in February and March, Tenerife is dominated by jagged and steep snow-capped peaks. Gran Canaria is literally a miniature continent. You can find everything from dry desert landscapes to rainforests. The other three smaller islands of La Palma, Gomera and Hierro with their lonely beaches and well-preserved countryside are almost swallowed up by the wild Atlantic.
You can sail out of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria or Tenerife. The most interesting cruise is the route from Gran Canaria or Tenerife to the islands of Gomera, Hierro and La Palma. Islands off the beaten track, islands with wild and beautiful ocean-whipped terrain. It's an irresistible yachting challenge.
The Beach Las Teresitas Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Spanish coast of the Mediterranean Sea
The Spanish coast of the Mediterranean also offers plenty of interesting places to visit, but it can't compete with the Balearic or Canary Islands.
The coast of Catalonia from Barcelona in the north to France, called the Costa Brava (Wild Coast), is full of beaches and hotel resorts, but it's not such an attractive yachting prospect. However, renting a boat in Barcelona will offer you a unique opportunity to discover a city full of modern architecture, monuments and bustling street life with street music and renowned tapas bars. You can sail along the Catalan coast, enjoy the sun and relax on board a sailboat with family or friends. Thanks to its location, Barcelona is also a good starting point for a boat trip to the Balearic Islands.
The most interesting place is definitely the Costa del Sol between Malaga and Cádiz. Here the sun shines three hundred days a year and the sea is emerald green. You can cross from the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic and into another sailing world. A world of strong tides, currents, big waves and strong winds and the wild beauty of the Atlantic coast of Spain.
Sailing south along the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast) and Costa Blanca (from Valencia to Alicante) is more interesting than the Costa Brava. You can enjoy sandy and pebble beaches and a diverse coastline. The straight and tranquil shoreline alternates with steep cliffs; you encounter large bays and tiny, well hidden coves. Watch towers are a reminder of the plundering pirates of long ago and you can delight in the picturesque fishing harbours.