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And remember, before or after staying in Ibiza, take the chance and spare some days for a visit to Spain’s mainland cities. Ibiza offers several daily flight connections with Madrid and Barcelona, just 40min away from the latest. Bachelors and singles will enjoy big city life, with good nightlife, shopping, restaurants and fun experiences. Couples and honeymooners may like to extend the trip and immerse in Spanish culture and heritage. Start with Barcelona and continue afterwards to the south, where charming Andalusian cities are waiting with incredible monuments and cosy old towns. Madrid can be the departure city, easily connected from Sevilla, Córdoba and Málaga by fast train. Families may prefer to extend the stay in the fantastic beach resorts and end with a short visit to main capitals before heading back home. If you like a little live music while you sunbathe and swim, head to Cala Benirras, one of the best party beaches on Ibiza. Every Sunday, local musicians set up on this cosy, friendly beach and play all day. A group of drummers are often found performing, which is worth bearing in mind if banging on tubs doesn’t quite fit your definition of music. Weather-beaten wooden shelters for fishing boats are scattered around the crescent-moon shaped beach and some cool chiringuitos can be found a little further inland. Whether you have been to heavenly destinations such as Greek Islands, the French Riviera, and Amalfi Coast before or not, these beautiful sailing spots in the Mediterranean will call you to come back over and over again. So, why not indulge in the opportunity to discover hidden natural gems, new local dishes, traditions, and people each time you visit the Mediterranean? Here are a few useful sailing yacht cruise tips to help you plan your unforgettable summer holiday in Europe’s fanciest location.
Providing fantastic sailing conditions and a comprehensive infrastructure, the Balearic Islands are an almost year-round yachting destination. With few strong currents and a minimal tidal influence of just 10cm, the changes in water level only occur with certain wind directions from the Scirocco and Levante. In the sea around the Balearics, the winds are mostly moderate, coming predominantly from the north in Mallorca and Menorca, while Ibiza and Formentera benefit from a lighter south-easterly breeze. In the spring and autumn, the Scirocco from the south or the Mistral are tempered by the Gulf of Lyon, which can bring heavier seas. Averaging around 300 sunny days a year, temperatures can rise to 40 degrees Celsius in peak season, yet in the winter the mild daily temperatures rarely drop below 15 degrees. Numerous sheltered bays, easy navigation and crystal-clear waters simply increase the draw of a sailing yacht charter in the Balearics. Adding to Mallorca’s sailing appeal are numerous regattas throughout the year.
The type of charter contract applicable to your charter will depend on where in the world you are cruising, as there are various terms within the industry which dictate how the payment structure is determined. For instance, a MYBA (Worldwide Yachting Association, formerly known as Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) contract operates under Western Mediterranean Terms (WMT) and is arguably the most commonly used, particularly with large yachts embarking on a Mediterranean yacht charter. This contract is often referred to as a “plus all expenses” contract and requires that the charterer pay for fuel, food, beverages and dockage fees as an additional expense outside of the base charter fee. Typically, guests can accumulate an additional 25% to 50% of the base charter fee though this is dependent on what is consumed. These expenses can be tracked through the use of an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) which we will cover in the next section. Fuel can be another cost and, again, it depends on how much the yacht cruises and how fast, too. Time spent at anchor will include the fuel for the generators, while shore-side electricity when at a dock is also an extra. Don’t forget that fuel is also charged for the tenders and water toys, so you’ll pay for the fuel used while zipping around on the jetskis.
Yachting tip of the day: If you like to cook on board, the propane tanks supplied as standard with many modern yachts won’t get you far. Whether we bake bread or not, the one thing we all do is boil the kettle. Years ago I realized that if I counted the number of strokes on my galley foot or hand pump that represented a mug-full, then tipped the right amount into the kettle, I’d use enough propane to boil it and no more. If you only have pressure water you’ve no chance, but old-fashioned manual pumps are simple enough to install. I keep a charcoal inline filter on mine and always use it for drinking water, so no matter where I filled my tanks, I’m guaranteed a decent mug of coffee.
This is a much more touristy option but the Balearics still make a beautiful European sailing destination, and you can avoid the crowds if you know-how. The cluster of Spanish islands include Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera; all major holiday spots known for their sun-drenched beaches and sparkling blue waters. Also include a few stops to the pretty, unspoilt towns of Deia in Mallorca and the secluded Ibizan bay of Cala Llentrisca.
Sailing around Europe: It’s safe to say, with its hugely diverse cultures and highly varied geography, that sailing around Europe is on innumerable bucket lists. The Greek islands will strike a chord with many, as each set of islands offer charterers something wholly unique. The Ionian on Greece’s west coast is dotted with delightful villages including Kioni on Ithaca or Fiskardo on Kefalonia, while the Cyclades chain to the east boasts gorgeous islands such as Mykonos, Ios and the incredible Santorini. In nearby Turkey, Bodrum on the Gulf of Gokova sees keen sailors flock from all over the world, and for good reason. Here, they experience untouched coves on the water and invigorating nightlife and impressive restaurants on the coast. Those more interested in Croatia will find over 1,100 islands to explore, made all the easier with reliably gentle winds and a myriad of beautiful harbours. If Italy is more your style, the Aeolian Islands just off of Sicily provide considerable environmental variety, including the unforgettable black sands of Stromboli and the hot springs of the island of Vulcano.
Italy has an extensive Mediterranean coastline, speckled with unbelievable islands, beaches, and beautiful towns. Sailing around southern Italy is always a popular choice for European cruise holidays. What makes this area even better is its close proximity to Greece – allowing you to include both countries easily into your sailing itinerary. As Italy has a rather lengthy coastline, the different destinations each offer something completely unique. Some of the best places to visit in Italy for a sailing holiday include Sardinia, Amalfi, the Aeolian Islands, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Sicily. The Cinque Terre is another great coastal destination for those interested in sailing further north. Although the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic is still palpable, you can book your Mediterranean yacht cruise in 2021 with confidence. This year, most of us feel that we need time to relax from day-to-day stress and recharge our batteries more than ever.