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SydneyNick 31-03-2012 20:21

Balearics September 2012
Hi Guys , my wife and I are sailing a mahe 36 through the balearics in September. Any recommendations would be great..

SydneyNick 01-04-2012 01:33

Re: Balearics September 2012
I should probably add some more detail. We are hiring out of Palma through A2A yachting.. we have the mahe 36 for 3 weeks. Its just the 2 of us. We plan to sail the west coast of Mallorca up to Menorca. Circumnavigate Menorca then hit the east coast of Mallorca. Do the passage to ibiza from Dragonera , then circumnaivigate ibiza , round formentera than shoot back up to palma. I've been searching the web and ths forum for suggested spots and have few. ie: cala coves in Menorca. and the mud baths in esplamador as must do suggestions.. Questions we have are really to do with markets for buying food along the way , suggested anchorages and other must see places along our suggested route.. I have the RCC pilot guide ninth edition for the islas Baleares as well as a nautical map for the islands.. Any suggestions would be great....

Chuteman 01-04-2012 18:14

Re: Balearics September 2012
One vote for Mahon, Menorca. What a pleasant relief from Ibiza. Interesting, fun to walk, plenty of access to provisions, fuel, chandlery, etc.

JimF 02-04-2012 14:22

Re: Balearics September 2012

Originally Posted by SydneyNick (Post 920902)
Hi Guys , my wife and I are sailing a mahe 36 through the balearics in September. Any recommendations would be great..

Our favorite Island was Mallorca. Best ports Pollensa, Soller (take the train over the mountain to Palma) and Andraitch in that order. Had trouble in Mahon- (Dinghy tether was cast off and later had a long wait at fuel dock.) Keep close watch on the weather. It's mild but occasionally it's not. Good sailing!

Kimmo 07-04-2012 04:05

Re: Balearics September 2012
We loved El Espalmador, near Formentera. A lovely anchorage, a nice sandy beach. Wasn't crowded either in September 2011. Not much in the island itself, but we could have stayed in that bay forever :)

SydneyNick 11-04-2012 19:31

Re: Balearics September 2012
Thanks for the comments so far.. Its going to be an amazing trip.. To save costs we plan on anchoring most of the way, cooking Paellas and drinking lots of local delights.

We have a flexible budget, although visits to the day spa's will be met with resistance :)

From most of the research on blogs and this forum , it would appear that the weather can change at short notice.. Can anyone give some experiences with weather changes on the passage from Mallorca to Ibiza ??

A few blogs mention it is quite common for the wind to "push" you away from ibiza, making the trip quite demanding.

As always , any suggestions for a proposed itinarary would be fantastic and appreciated..

We will be in the balearics from September 1st for three weeks.. Welcome to say gday whilst we are over there..

Kimmo 12-04-2012 00:58

Re: Balearics September 2012

Originally Posted by SydneyNick (Post 929298)
From most of the research on blogs and this forum , it would appear that the weather can change at short notice.. Can anyone give some experiences with weather changes on the passage from Mallorca to Ibiza ??

A few blogs mention it is quite common for the wind to "push" you away from ibiza, making the trip quite demanding.

Our experience in September and October (and actually most of the winter, as we stayed in Barcelona), was that the winds are really light. Of course there are days when it's blowing a lot, but if you watch the weather forecasts, you wont have any trouble. The distance from Mallorca to Ibiza is short (50 to 60 nautical miles), that if you check the weather before you leave, you wont get surprises.

Despite the forecasts, the coastal line can shift the wind direction, meaning that what you thought was a sheltered anchorage, wont necessarily be one. Still, there's so many marinas (and anchorages) on both islands, that good shelter is never far away.

Watch also the winds developing in Gulf of Lyon, as if the mistral will start blowing it will be really strong winds and those will blown down to Balearics too.

Otherwise, enjoy and get a lot of sun cream with you :D

swagman 12-04-2012 06:11

Re: Balearics September 2012
I'd support the others recommendations of Soller, Andraix, Formentera, Alcudia.
I think you might also like some of the bigger cities. Palma is well worth a visit.
Mahon is also lovely city but when we went the only 'offical' anchorage in the huge bay at Mahon was Cala Tuelera and when we visited last in 07 it was packed solid.
One 'special' place for us was Cala Saona on Formenteras west coast. Open to the north and west but Bombay Sapphire type water colour, and ab fab if weathers settled and from elsewhere. I'd also suggest if you are in any kind of party mode, staying at least one night in San Antonio on Ibiza will allow you to experience early evening drinkies at Cafe de Mar - a surrealistic art deco setting with lots of bronze bodies.......
And of course, if you can anchor or get a berth nearby, Ibiza old town up inside the city walls is full of atmosphere. The lower town is full of pumpy bars.
Re weather, I'd also agree you'll likely see less rather than more wind. But do be very careful in any of the north facing calas on any of the islands (except Soller whis is 100% safe) if the wind gets up. Twice we anchored in dead calm in Mallorca to be awoken early hours with strong winds sending big seas into what we thought was shelter. Both times we had no option but to haul up the anchor and get out to round to the south side of the island and calm. You can handle that when cruising, but not ideal when on vacation.
We kept an old blog of our time around the islands at but you'll need to go back to 2005/6 and sadly whilst the text is still there, all the pictures have gone. Hope it helps, and enjoy! Its a super cruising area with something to suit everyone.

SydneyNick 13-04-2012 18:19

Re: Balearics September 2012
Great blog there swagman, still weeding through it.. cheers :)

Prairie Chicken 26-07-2012 05:16

Re: Balearics September 2012
Ok, where do I start? I've been cruising the Balearics for 19 years, with Mallorca as our home island but we've been to them all. Please feel free to pm me with any questions regarding Mallorca or Cabrera; the other's I'm less familiar with.

First, wx in Sep will generally be good but there is the possibility of rain, and as the month progresses, increasing possibility of storms. Storms tend to last three days on Mallorca and we've frequently seen charter boats setting out in awful wx just to get back to the charter company in time to return the boat. I suggest planning your trip to arrive on the south coast of Mallorca a couple of days ahead of your departure date to avoid such a possibility. As mentioned above, watch your wx source carefully & beware of wx coming down from the Gulf of Leon. Generally though, Sep should be good. We'll be there too at that time.

Secondly, three weeks just isn't very long to do everything you have in mind. I'd seriously consider scaling your aspirations back. Drop Menorca OR Ibiza, but do add Cabrera. The West Coast of Mallorca is extremely rugged and Soller is the only place to stop, or harbour in a storm--so check wx carefully before setting off up that coast. Isla Cabrera is a national park and you need a permit to stay overnight, but it is a gem not to be missed. With permit granted (you can do it on-line now), you take a mooring bouy in a large natural harbour on the NW corner of the small island. No anchoring is permitted around the island. The waters are pristine & the castle is lovely in the sunlight. I second what was said above about Espalmador--the only problem with that anchorage is that one day simply isn't enough! We spent about five days there the first time we went--it's way too nice to leave (which contributes to my point about dropping one of the islands). Also, when you arrive on Mallorca bear in mind it will take you a day or two to provision your boat before you set off. Take a taxi to Carrefour or a large Mercadona or Euroski & get all your heavy & non-perishable provisions on board (beer, wine, water, paper products, canned food, etc.) Load your boat as from now on you're likely going to be walking & carrying unless you need to do another major shop. Taxi's are reasonable in the islands.

Let me post this & I'll get back to you a little later with some further info about favorite anchorages & provisioning locations.

Prairie Chicken 27-07-2012 08:53

Re: Balearics September 2012
Iíll try to address your questions in order.

The calas (small bays or inlets) on Menorca & Mallorcaís East coast really are lovely. Beware of the wx on the north coast of Menorca; it comes down from the Gulf of Leon. The East Coast of Mallorca can be violent as well if they get a blow. Iím not very familiar with Menorca so wonít comment more, other than Iíve heard some nasty stories about the rip-off rates in Mahon. Cuitadella on the west coast is lovely, but I think also difficult to get moorage or set an anchor now. The nice part of Mallorcaís East coast is that there are several good, well protected natural harbours, plus quite a few well protected calas to seek shelter in, or spend a lovely day in the sun. Some are very developed; otherís not.

Both Pollensa & Alcudia are good. Pollensa did have free mooring balls--not sure if theyíre still there. Alcudia has a lovely marina & also a large sandy bay to anchor. I never found a good place to do a major provisioning in either. Further south, Porto Cristo has little room to anchor but a good marina, with self-serve laundromat. Provisioning is a taxi trip though, and reaching the town is a healthy hike. This is a good place to shop for tourist stuff though if you havenít taken the time in a bigger center.

The jumping off point from Mallorca to Menora is often Cala Ratjada. I hear their port is very nice now & prices reasonable. There is also a lovely anchorage called Cala Cat or Cala Molto (there are lots of different names and spellings for the same places) just north around the corner from Cala Ratjada to anchor in. Itís about a 25 mn crossing if I recall correctly.

Further south on Mallorca, spend a night in Cala Magraner--a lovely triple cala and no civilization around. Maybe the odd goat, or another boat, but no people!

Porto Colum is a great natural harbour. There are buoys, anchoring, and a marina. There is a very good Euroski supermercado up the hill (follow the SYP signs to the left & south from the marina), or a smaller and more expensive meat market on the main water street. Thereís also a good veggie place up a block & a bit east, a post office, good restaurants, etc. There is a good lavenderia but it's a short taxi ride to deliver the landry, and to pick it up again.

A little further south is Porto Petro--pretty & a good anchorage but we havenít found much more there. They had free buoys last year; not sure if they still do.

Around the corner on the south shore is Es Trench--a four mile beach. Totally open to the south, but nice sand to anchor in if the wx is excellent.

In the Bay of Palma, Arenal is a good marina, with a self-serve laundomat and a pool. Provisioning is a short taxi trip to the big Mercadona. There are 5 or 6 marinas in Palma, pretty much all within walking distance of all sorts of interesting sights & shopping--worth spending some time there--perhaps on a last or first day.

Porto Portals is a famous port for the big yachts but doesnít welcome visitors. There is a small anchorage right outside the port though, and larger ones in Palma Nova or Magaluf.

Outside the bay and further west, Santa Ponca is nice. The marina is expensive but the anchorage is large & comfortable. A lot of boats are anchoring there rather than Andraitx now that Andraitx is so closed to anchoring.

The jumping off point from Mallorca to Ibiza is usually Andraitx and it is a 50 nm crossing. Andraitx is a great port but theyíve really screwed up the anchoring possibilities there. You still can anchor, but further out toward the less protected mouth of the harbour. There can be some very nasty winds go thru that harbour though, both from the north & south. We hit 50 kts of wind tied to a floating quay there a couple of years ago, and have weathered more storms in that harbour than I care to recall. The Club de Vela is very good. There is also a good, big Caprabo (?) supermercado deep in the harbour on the town side which is easy to provision from with your dinghy. Great restaurants and shopping--all on the east/town side away from the Club de Vela.

Dragonera has nothing, other than a nasty rock in the pass between it and Mallorca just north of Sant Elm. Sant Elm has anchoring, and used to have some free buoys too but that can be a really rolly anchorage.

After the crossing to Ibiza, there's a good anchorage on the Isla de Tagomao when you arrive, and the marina at Santa Eulalia was good but we haven't been for years. Check wx before you go & there shouldnít be any significant wx surprises in that time frame. I heard that last year the only way to get a mooring in or near Ibiza Town was to offer 2 or 3 times the going rate at a marina--VERY expensive. Itís a neat town to visit, but taking a bus or taxi from elsewhere might be an idea. Someone earlier mentioned San Antonio on the west side of Ibiza--if you want loud, party, booze--thatís the place. Us more mature folks tend to refer to it as a Ďhorror of a placeí. We were only there once, which was once too many times, never left the boat, and didnít get any sleep.

Iíve only touched a few of the major spots here--there are many more but often tight or have other downfalls. As mentioned by someone else, Menorca is laid back, more traditional, old school; Ibiza is party central; Mallorca has some of both. One question you din't ask was about language. If you have Spanish, good; if not it's rarely an issue.

Enough. As I mentioned earlier, feel free to pm me if you have specific questions.

SydneyNick 29-08-2012 00:34

Re: Balearics September 2012
thanks for the replies.. leave tonight so looking forward to it.. taken info on board p.c thanks a bunch..

i'm sure this trip will be amazing..

jckb 30-08-2012 00:25

Re: Balearics September 2012
Prairie Chicken, great post! I really ought to ask you to proof read my page on the Balearics and add "comments" to correct errors and omissions!

One thing to bear in mind nowadays cruising the area; the Posidonia Reserves. These are controlled anchorages. Espalmador is one. The charter company will tell you where they are. Either take a buoy (you should book beforehand) or if you anchor, make sure you anchor on clear sand, not on the weed, or you risk a fine from the patrol boats.

Also I had a note from one of my web site users that Colom no longer allows anchoring - and for that matter, some of the (more developed) Calas on Mallorca had rather large areas buoyed off for swimmers. If you subscribe to the site you can see the "comment" at the bottom of the page link I've given in the text above.

I certainly agree your view that all three islands would be too much to really enjoy in just three weeks (too much "hit and run"), also that the possiblity of a big northerly in Minorca in late September is fairly high. So, on that basis, I'd miss Minorca (much though I like the place) and spend more time around the southern islands. It also gaurantees your return on time at end of charter if there's a spell of unsettled weather during the trip - a strong possiblity in late September.


Prairie Chicken 30-08-2012 16:52

Re: Balearics September 2012
Thanks Jim. I did have a look at the link you sent & think you've got it right. I loved your description of Abaco! You could add some of the other marinas--Cala D'or, Cala Ratjada, Arenal, etc. but I thought you'd done a great job! I would question taking your chances at Cabrera though--especially during the summer months they fill up almost every night and it is far enough from another safe haven that you wouldn't want to be turned away late in the evening. I'd also suggest it isn't 10 nm south of Mallorca--although it may be that far to a suitable anchorage or marina.

As far as the Posidonia Project, that was a great deal but last summer it looked like it may have been discontinued. There were not a lot of buoys out, and those that were were untended--very different from the previous year. I think it is a victim of the Spanish economy but we'll have a look & see what has happened this season when we arrive next week.

Pto. Colom was permitting anchoring on the north side last summer but I'm not sure what the score is this year. The marina there doesn't accept visitors on their outer quay during the winter months due to the severity of the storms on that coast. Something to keep in mind.

SydneyNick 04-10-2012 23:31

Re: Balearics September 2012
We are back in Australia now, but wanted to recap an amazing three weeks cruising the balearies on a Mahe 36.

Picked up the boat from Cruesa, right next to club nautico Palma. Great people, good backup service, and very helpful for first timers to the med.

We Visited in order- Cala Pi, Cala Llonga, Cala Managra , Cabrera, Sa Rapida, Port Andraitx, crossed to Ibiza - Cala Portinax, San Antione, Cala Jondal, Esplamador, Cala Talamance, Port de Elucia, Cala San Vincent, Crossed to Mallorca, Port Soller, Port Polenca - crossed to Menorca - Cala Macaralle, Cala Portals, Cala Coves, Cala Galdana - crossed to Mallorca - Cala Guya, PortoColom, playa el Trenc, Cala Blava, then back to drop the boat off in Palma.

Highlights - Cala Pi, Cala Managara, Cala Jondal and the sunday night blue marlin party, Esplamador and the mud baths, and Cabrera.

Favorite Ports, Soller and Pollenca.

Amazing - Cala Coves and all the cool caves. Dinner in Cap Rocat, a castle of cala Blava, that we accessed via tender..

Lowlights - got caught in 2 storms, regardless of checking wx.. though it made for one hell of a ride hitting 11knots riding the waves coming down to portocolom from cala guya.

We found a dead body in the water between menorca and mallorca. A young german girl , still fresh. made a mayday call and palma rescue picked her up..

All in all a great honeymoon, and i thank the balearies for an unforgettable experience..

Thanks to all who posted on this thread, your information really helped.


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