Spain offers a whole variety to those in search of a charter holiday with a little bit of everything. The old image of Spain as merely a destination for package-holiday tourists (complete with straw donkey and sombrero hat) has mostly been swept away. These days, places such as Marbella, Valencia, and Barcelona will attract the kind of up-market tourism undreamt of two decades ago. In terms of charter destinations, there are three main cruising areas to consider ‚ the Atlantic coast, the Mediterranean coast, and the Balearic Islands.
The Atlantic coast is fascinating, and in parts very beautiful, but this bit of coastline forms the southern edge of the Bay of Biscay and not the most ideal for charter cruising. Here the weather can be unpredictable, and when the big rollers sweep in from the Atlantic things can get very uncomfortable in a yacht. Added to that, facilities for big yachts are limited, as are secure anchorages. If the weather is good, this is a fabulous place to be‚ but you can’t rely on it. So if you are a hard core yacht, then definitely this is something to try.
The Mediterranean coast, however, combines predictable weather and tides, plenty of facilities for visiting yachts, and some wonderfully interesting places to visit. From Marbella on the Costa Del Sol to Barcelona and the Costa Brava, full-service marinas, enchanting fishing villages, and beautiful sandy beaches are all at your disposal.
But by far the most popular Spanish destination for charter yachts are the Balearic Islands, 100 miles or so west of Valencia on the Spanish mainland. Mallorca is probably the most popular of the islands, but both Minorca and Ibiza both have a lot to offer, in very different ways. The islands lend themselves perfectly to a two-week charter holiday, taking in lively night-sports, picturesque calas, excellent beaches, and beautiful coastlines. Both very cosmopolitan and up beat, not quite the quiet escape holiday that you might get in other regions, but perfect if this is what you are looking for.
The Balearic islands are made up predominantly of Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca. Lying approximately 140 miles east of Valencia on the Spanish mainland, Mallorca is the biggest of the islands and is home to the capital, Palma. There are many marinas scattered around the islands meaning chartering in the area is very easy and convenient.
Situated on the edge of Ibiza old town, this marina has 80 berths for yachts 30m over, and has a full range of facilities that include fresh water, electricity, pump-out, and cable TV. All the “delights” of Ibiza town are within walking distance.
Marina Port De Mallorca
Virtually the whole of the port of Palma is now given over to moorings for yachts. The Marina Port de Mallorca is positioned about halfway along the Paseo Maritimo, and within easy walking distance of the town. The 45 berths for superyachts, and all the usual facilities are in place, including Wi-Fi and high levels of security.
Puerto Punta Portals, Mallorca
Still one of the best marinas in the western Mediterranean, Portals Is positioned about five miles west of Palma, and is blessed with numerous good restaurants, bars, and yachting facilities. The are berths for 60 yachts over 25m, and facilities include electricity, fresh water, pump-out, fuel, and Wi-Fi.
Club Maritimo De Mahon, Menorca
One of the biggest natural harbours in the world, Mahon manages to be historically interesting, picturesque, and blessed with excellent boating facilities. Moorings for big yachts are stern-to along the harbour front, with fresh water, electricity, and fuel. Restaurants, bars, and shops are all a short walk away.
Barcelona yacht charter
A cruise between Barcelona and Valencia is a chance to visit these fascinating cities from the comfort of your own yacht; both have marinas close to the city centres and although each city has its own unique flavour, both are wonderful combinations of the old and the new and definitely worth exploring.
With architecture dating back from pre-Roman times there is a wealth of history and a must to see and plenty of modern arts, from Picasso’s fine museum in Barcelona to Gaudi’s amazing modernist buildings. You can also sample dishes that haven’t changed in hundreds of years, or enjoy the latest fusion cuisine.
Also a shopaholics dream; with Barcelona’s best shops set in its most architecturally fascinating road. Valencia offers the real Spanish experience with covered markets laden with fresh meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables and a real treat to experience. Stock up your provisions from here.
The coastal strip also provides easy access to great hiking and even skiing, as well as some world class golf courses. But there is still plenty to do and see for the sea-lover – there are endless stretches of beach; even though some are extremely popular and busy, the advantage of a yacht and its tenders means you can seek out those deserted and inaccessible little coves…
A journey between these two great ports is a great chance to explore the cities on foot, enjoying pavement cafe-bars and discovering wonderful little shops as you marvel at the wonderful buildings. Then you can retreat away from the tourist hustle and bustle to the exclusive peace and tranquillity of your yacht, moving on when you’ve had your fill and want to explore the next port…