On Mallorca, it’s easy to enjoy almost everything, but if I could pick just one of the best experiences you could have here, it would be to enjoy Mallorca’s crystalline waters aboard a sailing boat.
And we’re not just talking about boat tours for tourists. On weekends, locals love to sail on a sailing boat or a traditional llaut (a motor boat typical of the Balearic Islands), with their friends and families. Even our own Mallorca Urban Adventures team (made up of me, Marialaura, and my partner, Damià) loves to sail and to race. As such, we have a lot of sailors and captain friends on Mallorca.
If you’re on the island just for holidays, you can rent a boat with a skipper and ask him to teach you how to sail. You’ll get to discover beautiful places around the island and learn a bit about life on the seas. Or, if you live on the island or plan to stay awhile (and are relatively fit), you can start with a full course on dinghy boats — going to sailing school is the best way to learn how to ‘feel’ and to understand the process of sailing.
Sailing is a special experience. On a sailing boat you are in contact with the water and the wind, and it’s these elements alone that move you. They are what enable you to explore and discover new corners, all without fuel or electricity. And every time you’re on the water, you’ll learn something new about sailing.
Recently, Damià and I went to visit our friend Andrea, a local sailor, and chatted with him about his life as a captain of a sail boat. (Of course we met on the boat, where he works during the day.) It was late afternoon and so, we enjoyed this last part of the day with a swim beside the boat, and then, with an appetizer in-hand, Andrea told us his daily life on the boat.
“I work and live on a sailing boat from May until the end of October,” he explained. “I like to go swimming in the morning for about one hour before my guests arrive. I go sailing with them at around 10 or 11 o’clock. We spend the morning in a bay and have lunch there. Then, we go to another bay for the afternoon. I spend the night anchored in a little cove or in this harbour.”
Andrea works for a charter company in Mallorca but he dreams, one day, to have his own boat, to host his friends on board and, of course, to work on it. He would love to sail Mallorca and all around the Mediterranean with just the power of the wind.
I asked him about his love for the sea, and before answering us, he looked at the horizon. There was a moment there, I could see it.
“I love the sea,” he said. “The way it changes and surprises me. It can be quiet and flat, and then becomes rough and choppy. I love especially the colours of the Mediterranean Sea – the turquoise of sandy beaches and the intense blue of open waters that turns to oily grey when the days are cloudy.”
He also offered up his advice for the best sailing spots around Mallorca.
“The entire island is amazing for sailing,” he said. “I would definitely suggest a tour around the island – a week is perfect to do it without stress and enjoying all the different sides of the island. If you have few days, I would suggest the east coast with its many coves to discover. And definitely Cabrera, which still has the appeal of an untouched island.”
Andrea is passionate about nature and local culture, and he genuinely loves Mallorca. He told us he would love for Mallorca to be more respected by the mass tourism industry. “I would like that the tourism on the island would be spread around the year, rather than being mostly concentrated in six months. And I would definitely like that the offer was focused more on the quality rather than the quantity. I also think that my ideal Mallorca would open up a little bit more from a cultural point of view — it is good to offer the Mallorca style, and I know it is what tourists look for.”
We couldn’t agree more. We dream of a Mallorca where people are treated as guests and locals are treated as hosts and friends, not like ‘tourists’ and ‘service workers’ not making a cultural connection. With our Mallorca tours, we’re working hard to give our own little contribution to this dream shared by many of the people on our island.
Picture it: amazing hidden patios along narrow streets, panoramic views out to the sea, gothic cathedrals and sailing traditions. Sound like paradise? Sounds like Palma de Mallorca! Come see the city with a local guide by your side.