Once the Balearics were just places for bargain breaks, with Ibiza being the most famous party island in the world. Ibiza is still the place to go if you want to party like a Bohemian, but the larger Balearic island of Mallorca also offers respite and a wealth of attractions to experience on your luxury yacht charter vacation.
Indeed, the glamorous cruising hotspots are fantastic for a Mediterranean yacht charter, with fabulous restaurants, glorious beaches, and a choice of marinas for superyachts. However, only yachts with a Spanish charter licence are able to operate within these waters, so be sure to speak with your preferred charter broker to discover which options are available to you.
The largest of the four principal Balearic Islands, Mallorca is also, arguably, the most sophisticated and diverse.
From long lazy lunches on board or ashore and swimming in secret coves to ambling through vineyards and ancient cobbled streets, Mallorca provides the perfect cruising area to ensure a natural balance of decadent laziness and elegant socialising.
Cruising on board a superyacht will give you ample opportunity to enjoy the beaches of Mallorca. The island is best known for its secluded coves, many of which are only accessible by boat.
While away an hour or so snorkeling the clear waters that lap Cala Tuent. Sheltered by pine trees and the Puig Major peak on the northwest coast, the cove is a mix of sand and pebbles.
The beachside restaurant Es Vergeret is ideal for a long paella lunch on the terrace.
The tiny cove lapped by the clear waters of S’illot Beach is the place to head for a low-key vibe. Sheltered by pine trees on the Victoria headland, which separates the Bay of Pollença from the Bay of Alcúdia in the northeast corner of the island, the beach is known as the little island, referring to the ochre rock in the sea that protects the bay from the Tramuntana wind.
The S’illot restaurant is the perfect beachside spot with locally caught fish and salads on the menu.
If you are looking for a sandy beach that is fun then you can't beat Cala San Vicente for its location and views. If you are after something exclusive, head to Cala Deia. The beach itself is nothing to write home about, but the scenery is amazing and the fish restaurant is one of the best on the island.
Nikki Beach Mallorca has a place of residence and is the place to see and be seen as it hosts some of the island's most vibrant parties over the summer.
Mallorca’s beach clubs come in all shapes and sizes, some are all about the glamour, while others have a more relaxed, nautical chic vibe
Puro Beach is another international name, with two clubs on the island. The established Puro Beach Palma Bay is perched on the tip of a mini peninsula and offers lounge beds, poolside spa treatments and its own DJ music selection.
Meanwhile, Puro Beach Illetas, offers a relaxed, laid-back vibe. The day starts early with yoga, then a late breakfast or early lunch, followed by an afternoon of cocktails and chilled beats.
Mood Beach, located next to Puerto Portals, is all about the glamour. With views over the bay of Portals, you can watch your yacht and others coming in and out of the port, cocktail in hand.
With 40 years under its belt, the original Gran Folies is one of the most esteemed beach clubs on the island. The atmosphere is very private, making it a favourite amongst the well-heeled visitors to the island. Last summer saw the portfolio expand with a boho-nautical club in Calvia to the southwest.
Smaller beach clubs are dotted around the island. Those worth stepping ashore for include Zhero Beach in Cala Major and Mhares Sea Club to the east.
Lovers of gourmet cuisine will adore the island for its generous helping of both fine dining eateries and more traditional establishments. Seafood tavernas hold their own alongside Michelin-starred restaurants all over the island, and the famous Mercat de l’Olivar food market is a showcase of all the irresistible local produce that is available for the yacht’s chef to conjure up dinners on board.
Among establishments to reserve a table at is Marc Fosh. Set in a rustic 17th-century convent in the old town of Palma, chef Marc Fosh creates Mediterranean dishes using locally grown produce.
For a truly special occasion, Zaranda is the only restaurant in the Balearics with two Michelin stars. Set in the Hotel Castell Son Claret, dishes are made out of produce from the hotel’s gardens and fresh seafood plucked straight from the Balearic sea.
Combining traditional Mallorcan recipes with contemporary cooking techniques, Adrian Quetlas eponymous restaurant in Palma is another revered establishment with a Michelin star. Or try Es Raco d’es Teix in Deia, serving Michelin-star awarded cuisine best enjoyed on the terrace with stunning views over the mountains.
Out on the main streets of Palma, the squares and terraces are home to several tapas bars, including La Boveda and Tast Club. For the best seafood in Palma go to Caballito del Mar, or while cruising around the island step from yacht to table in Port de Soller and dine on locally caught fish at Lua.
For more seafood head to the beautifully located Ca’s Patro March in Cala Deia. Famed for the fantastic view over Cala Deia and the bay, book early to ensure you get the best table.
For classic Mallorcan cuisine venture inland to Sa Cuna de n’Aina, right at the heart of the island in the village of Sencalles. Also inland, in the hilltop village of Selva, is a superb restaurant called Miceli. Run by a husband and wife team, there are no menus but there is a simple choice of a long tasting or a short tasting. The views from the terrace are spectacular, as is the freshly prepared food.
Mallorca’s capital Palma is renowned for its nightlife. Restaurants, bars and live music are all part of the city’s vibrant scene.
With live bands every night, the Jazz Voyeur Club is a tiny venue in the Sa Llotja neighbourhood of Palma. For a pre-dinner aperitif or cocktails after dinner, head to the Opio Bar in the Puro hotel. The music gets louder as the night goes on.
for a slightly more laid back vibe, Café Ca S’Hereu has a courtyard and roof terrace, with a great wine tasting menu
El Garito has been attracting bohemian artist types since the 70s and retains its retro glamour for anyone who likes to while away a lazy afternoon or evening.
There is also a really fun place to go for a drink in Port d’Alcudia. (A Walk on) the Wine Side is a wine bar that specializes in Mallorcan and Spanish wines, and the best part is they also serve delicious tapas. A great atmosphere, it is all very simple and informal.
Palma is the main shopping hot spot in Mallorca. The best boutiques can be found along the Passeig des Born and the pedestrianized cobbled streets around Plaça Major and Plaça Cort.
Elsewhere on the island, and at the heart of the yachting scene, the marinas at Puerto Portals, Port Adriano and Port d’Andratx are the best locations for designer labels.
Mallorca has a number of markets, but two stand out for their lively atmosphere. The first, in Santa Catalina in Palma, is the place to head for a casual tapas lunch. Buy some fresh fish from one stall, take it to another stall and they will cook it for you while you enjoy a drink at the bar.
The other is the livestock market Sineu – the biggest open-air market on the island. Not somewhere you will pick up trinkets, but the atmosphere is fun and it’s a really good local experience.
Designed by Philippe Starck, Port Adriano has berths for yachts of up to 80m (262ft) and is located away from the hubbub of the city.
Alternatively, those looking to be at the centre of the action should berth in the Club de Mar marina in Palma. The 75 berths here can accommodate yachts up to a whopping 155m (506ft) LOA.