These Islands are the last part of Spain we visit before crossing to Sardinia and then to Sicily for the winter, so we start planning the route and searching info about the quarantine we need to do once we reach the Italian coast. But when I call to confirm Licata marina in Sicily they replies saying that now are fully booked already and there is no space for Eios!!! So, where are we going?
Ibiza is the first island on our route, the atmosphere is so nice and we are a bit tired of sailing almost every day … so why don’t we stop and spend the next three-four months here in the Balearic Islands? Small bays, transparent turquoise water and warm sunsets starts to tickling our decisions. We can go to Sardinia later in February and hop from one place to another in south of Italy, like the Pontine Islands, the Eolie and then Sicily… Ok, but we need a spot in a marina for the coolest part of the winter somewhere here in the Balearics. I start sending requests… and after around 20-30 emails to different marinas, it’s clear that these islands are luxury holiday choice for yachts so only few marinas are available at reasonable prices. Also because we are “large” the research is narrowed even more. Finally we find in Port Mahon in Menorca a good option from mid-November to January (it’s early October now).
Suddenly it’s like the summer is back for us!!! No more rushing, instead we now have time to enjoy the amazing water and suggestive bays and calette all around these islands!!!
Swimming, kayak, paddle board… and small restaurant everywhere for outdoor beers and occasionally meals. The busy season is now over so even the cutest anchorages like Cala Bassa in Ibiza are only for us and few other liveaboard cruisers.
The west part of Ibiza is rocky and spectacular, often there are hiking tracks that run along the cost, perfect to stretch our legs.
Then we visit Formentera with it’s long stretches of white beach backed by dunes and pine trees. Back to Ibiza on the south west coast reach of small calette that offer good protection from north – north west winds like Salt De S’Ase, Cala Llonga, Cala De Ses Ortigues. Often we anchor in 3-5 meters of water where the bottom of the sea seams so close and the water is still warm for swimming.
After Ibiza there is a short cross to Maiorca and we are aiming to visit Cabrera Island that is a National Park and very nice to visit by sea, but the wind was not the right one and last minute we decide to head toward the north coast on Maiorca and we stop in Port de Soller. We discover this beautiful protected bay in front of the old village of Soller. It’s not very busy but there are already few boats at the anchor so we decide to take a spot in the shallow waters close to the beach and enjoy a dinner on the beach at candle light atmosphere.
The north east coast of Majorca is made of very high cliffs and not many anchorages, but it’s a great coast for sailing. Last spot in Majorca is Cala De S’Anguila with a beautiful beach and transparent water.
After a rolling night we leave early to sail to Menorca with a wind forecast of 15kn gusting 25kn… Well, I cannot tell you why with short and crashing waves from the side I don’t suffer seasickness, but while staying at the helm (autopilot not working properly) I feel euphoric of the sailing conditions enjoy everything like the up and surf on the waves, the sun and the gashing of the water on the boat. Eidos is sailing at up to 10kn with true wind at 25-30kn from 120 degree…
We arrive in Port Mahon (or port of Maó) for a short visit to three marinas that are in this amazing long natural harbour. It is over six kilometres long, which explains why it has been used as a port since the 3rd century BC. It has two island with old military construction used to protect the city from invasions.
Few miles north of Mahon there is one of our favourite spot in Menorca (so far): Es Grau. It’s a small charming fisherman village with white houses on a large sandy bay protected by dunes and a small island in front. It belongs to the Natural Park of S’Albufera de Es Grau.
One morning we hear a small catamaran anchoring close to us in front of Es Grau and we hear them speaking Italian. On our way to the beach we pass to say hi and we arrange for a late afternoon beer on the deck. After few minutes passing introducing ourselves we recognise them as the couple with a little girl that inspired us in the 2001 when they left Italy to sail around the world!!! At that time a common friend introduced us to them just few days before their departure, we actually met only once but it was enough to sparkle in us the plan that made us sail from Italy only 6 months after. Patrizia e Giuseppe had no idea we followed the same dream and now we are sitting on their cat telling and laughing at how both their and our choices, changed our life. They will spend the winter in Mahon as well, so more evening to come!
Before going in the marina for two-three months we want to enjoy the sea as much as possible so we also sail to Fornells and Cala Arenal d’en Castell for more swimming, kayaking, paddle board and few beers!!!
Now we are settle in MoLlevante marina in Mahon, ready for routine maintenance… less ready for the cold winter that we hope to be mild!!!