September 2018 – Balearic Islands

1 month in the Balearic Islands really isn’t enough

 

All the islands are worth exploring, although some more than others… Despite a few regrets, we’ve had an amazing time and discovered incredibles places!

 


 

August 28th – Formentera

We’d heard this island was like heaven on earth. Well… maybe it was because it was the last weekend of August, but for us it felt more like hell! Our first anchoring just outside Savina is absolutely crowded, we are surrounded by 400 yachts of all sizes, with music and everything. Plus, the ferries between Ibiza and Formentera all come through here – more than 40 times a day. Let’s just say that the anchoring is rolly, but it’s not because of the swell…

Formentera

 

The town appears to consist exclusively of scooter/paddleboard/diving rental shops, so we go over the essential groceries as fast as we can. and leave for what we hope will be a quieter anchoring. Cala Saona, on the western coast, surely is sheltered enough, but it also has about 200 yachts, and jet-skis, and music, and what we indentify as a fly-board :

Looks like fun? Not when it’s 20 feet away from your boat all day!!

 

That being said, the turquoise waters of Formentera truly are beautiful, and maybe some parts of the island are even worth visiting. But definitely not in August. And we miss the mountains, so we decide to end it here and leave for Ibiza on the next day.

 

August 30th – Ibiza

Ibiza

As we don’t have a fixed plan, we decide to try the anchoring of Porroig, on the south coast: very well sheltered, cute… Of course it is packed! We end up in Es Torrent Bay, a bit more rolly but still fine.

 

2nd try at integration: we land the dinghy in front of a nice beach restaurant we spotted earlier to have a beer at sunset. 5,10 euros for a half pint, it hurts when you know the usual prices in Spain… 18 euros for a plate of tomatoes with mozzarella, even more. And let’s not talk about the rest of the menu, which shamelessly offers a bottle of champagne rosé for 685 freakin’ euros. THANKS BUT NO THANKS.

 

It’s nightfall, we look around. In the bay, we spot at least 5 sailings yachts over 45 meters, and one that appears at least 50. Least to say, we feel a bit small…

 

August 31st – Tagomago Island

We still have 3 days before Celine and Alex’s arrival in Mallorca, so we decide to try another spot in Ibiza: Tagomago Island. It’s a beautiful place, although the whole island is private and cannot be visited except for the path leading to the lighthouse. Nice sunset though!

 

September 3rd – Mallorca

Mallorca offers the best anchorings we’ve had in a long time! We start by picking up Celine and Alex in Palma and head straight for Cala Portals, a very nice bay lined with grottos, although still a bit crowded.

 

September 5th – Cala Blanca

At last, a quiet anchoring! On the menu: snorkelling, hiking and a first diving experience for Alex – we even got to see an octopus.

 

September 6th – St Elm / Isla Dragonera

We really wanted to anchor on Dragonera Island, but the bay is in fact really tiny and the bottom appears to be only rocks, so we head back to St Elm. The town is not great but at least we got to enjoy a great –though rainy – hike in the surrounding mountains.

 

September 8th – Deia

We did not plan this stop, but oh my how we enjoyed it! The bay is precious, and the small town of Deia even more. New diving session and walk to the village, where we enjoy delicious food at S’Hortet.

 

September 10th – Soller

One day of sailing for one day of hiking or chilling, this is our rhythm with Celine and Alex. We discover the city of Soller, located in a wonderful, sheltered round bay, lined with impressive cliffs. The anchoring is really good, but we still had to keep watch for one night because of a bit of wind coming down from the moutains.

 

September 11th – Sa Calobra

Without any doubt in our top 3 of best anchorings so far. Aukena safely moored in the turquoise water, we gaze upon the 200-meters cliffs and follow the riverbed for more than 3 hours – sometimes it is more rock climbing than hiking, but so worth it! There are a few dozen tourists, of course, but they are grouped near the stony beach and we enjoy total loneliness during our hike. A few ferries come too, but they unload on the other side of the bay.

 

September 17th – Pollença

It is time for Celine and Alex to go back home, so we return to Soller where they catch a bus to Palma. We decide to spend another quiet night in the bay, and two more in Sa Calobra where we grant ourselves a very nice diving session. Next stop: Pollença, on the north-east end of the island. However, getting there is easier said than done: we race with an impressive storm, lightning stikes 100 meters away from the boat! All the electronic equipment is disconnected, we just pray that none hits us…

The bay is once again circular and well sheltered, between 2 and 5 meters deep, with a bottom of sand and stone. Small but important detail: there are buoys everywhere, apparently free of charge! Our neighbour explains that if a buoy is available, anyone is welcome to take it, as long as its owner doesn’t need it. Also true for blocks of concrete at the bottom.

One storm after the other, we have a few drinks with our French neighbours and discover a very very nice restaurant, Terrae, where they serve meat that has been cooked for hours and sides to die for. Antoine loves the place so much that he comes back the next day to learn how to brew Kombucha…

 

September 20th – Back to France!

Our trip in the islands has come to an end, we head for Marseille for a bit of family and friends time, and most of all to stuff our faces with cheese and croissants!

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