easyboats.com founders Lorenzo and Xisco introduce us to their favourite island hotspots…
When it comes to yachting, wind in hair, champagne in hand, Spain has a clear favourite cruising ground – the Balearic Islands. Made up of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and a dozen or more islets, this archipelago offers what most of Spain can only dream of: long hot summers, golden-sand beaches, turquoise waters, intimate coves, dramatic rock formations, scented pines and swaying palms, not to mention more beach clubs than you can shake a mojito at.
It is here, in Port Andratx Mallorca, that easyboats set up business more than 25 years ago and proprietors, brothers Lorenzo and Xisco Vila, know this Balearic playground inside out.
“When we started back in 1989 we offered literally the first motoryacht charter service in Mallorca,” says Lorenzo.
“We had to persuade an insurance company to invent a policy.“
“We were barely into our twenties, and had a lot to learn, but we had plenty of fun doing so.”
“Before the company was set up, we had a boat that we mainly used for waterskiing. She was a deep red 18-foot Fletcher with a powerful white 140hp Johnson outboard and we named her ‘Nice & Easy’. We loved that boat so much that when it came to registering our business we decided to name it after her, hence Nice & Easy Boats SL. Some time later, we were putting together a website and realised a shorter name would work best so decided on easyboats.com. Incidentally, the red colour for the logo also comes from the Fletcher.”
“Over the last quarter of a century we’ve chartered and sold boats to actors, pop stars, royalty and billionaires, been hired to drive boats for TV commercials, music videos and blockbuster movies, and helped create dream holidays for hundreds of families and groups of friends. It’s been some journey – roll on the next 25 years.”
So which spots would the brothers suggest for a visit to the Balearics? easyboats’ ‘little black book of boating’ begins in Port Andratx, one of the Island’s best natural harbours. “We’re at the gateway to Mallorca’s sensational 70km-stretch of coastline, the ‘Costa Norte’ or ‘north coast’,” explains Lorenzo. “Leaving Andratx you’ll pass Cala d’Egos, a favourite deep calm anchorage for superyachts, before reaching the westernmost tip of Mallorca, St Elm, a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Directly opposite is the uninhabited island of Dragonera, which soars 360-metres high and was declared a Natural Park in 1995. The Costa Norte then unfolds before you.”
Famed neither for beaches nor beach clubs, Costa Norte offers pure natural beauty. Shaped by the mighty UNESCO-protected Tramuntana mountain range, highlights include the 600m promontory of Sa Foradada (locally known as ‘the rock with a hole’) where many superyachts choose to overnight, pebble-beach Cala Deia with a choice of on-the-rocks fish restaurants, Cala Tuent, which has rare millenary olive trees on the beach, and spectacular Cala Sa Calobra at the mouth of Torrent de Pareis which is little more than a slit between the cliffs.
Skip to the other side of the compass and Mallorca’s southeast-south coastline offers a rather different landscape.
“Tennis heartthrob, Rafa Nadal, has a family home on the seafront in Porto Cristo”
So this natural inlet is a great place to start if you want to catch a glimpse of the muscle man enjoying his second-favourite sport – fishing,” Lorenzo continues. “Other ports worth a call are the small harbour of Porto Colom and the purpose-built Cala d’Or with a smart restaurant-fringed marina at its heart.”
This eastern coastline is blessed with endless turquoise bays from the tourist-free triple-Cala of Magraner, Barquetas and Virgili to another triple-Cala, Mitjana, with two sandy beaches and room for at least 10 yachts. Cala Barcas also merits a visit, as does Cala Mondrago, an idyllic spot with dunes and wetlands set in a protected Natural Park of the same name.
“The pièce de résistance of the south is undoubtedly the 2 kilometre sweeping sands of Es Trenc,” says Lorenzo. “Take a selfie here and it wouldn’t be hard to convince the folks back home that you were in the Caribbean.”
Rounding off Mallorca is the refined southwest, home to the marina-fronted capital Palma; royal and celebrityfavourite Puerto Portals; triple-Cala Portals Vells, with great fish restaurants and an eye-popping nudist section; Philippe Starck-designed superyacht hangout Port Adriano and Nikki Beach, where one must ‘go big or go home’!
Party in Ibiza
Point your autopilot 100km southwest and it’s the party island of Ibiza. The ‘city’ marinas are an obvious start, with Port of Ibiza currently undergoing an 8 million euro facelift. But, beware, berths here, and indeed in any Ibiza marina high season, are very tricky to come by.
Ibiza’s ‘it’ beach, Playa d’en Bossa in the south, is home to Ushuaïa, Hard Rock Hotel and household-name beach clubs such as Bora Bora, Nassau and Sands. Neighbouring Ses Salines Natural Park at Ibiza’s southern tip offers a more high-end vibe for the wealthy and beautiful. Here you will find the likes of Jockey Club and Malibu Beach.
A couple of bays to the west and you’ll fall over Blue Marlin and Tropicana in Cala Jondal. Other famous Ibiza beach clubs include (another) Nikki Beach set in a relatively quiet spot on the Island’s east coast and, for the best sunsets, Sunset Ashram in Cala Conta on the west.
No guide to Ibiza would be complete without mentioning Es Vedra, a pointy rocky island in the far southwest which reaches 382 metres high and said to have a mystical magnetic force. Meanwhile Tagomago Island in the far northwest is privately owned but the waters aren’t, so drop your anchor and marvel at the
fact the entire island rents for an eye-watering 100,000 euros a week.
Fun in Formentera
To round off is an easyboats’ must-see, the baby of the Balearics – Formentera. With its World Heritage status and rustic simplicity, the Island is famous for Caribbean-copy beaches, mud baths and fish restaurants.
“When we first opened for business we regularly took clients to Formentera and dropped anchor at feet-in-sand restaurant Juan y Andrea for lunch,” says Lorenzo. “They were never too busy in the 1990s and would instantly recognize myself and Xisco, offering us free food or commission if we kept the punters coming in. Today, if you want a table for next summer, you’d better book now. It seems the Balearics no longer have any secrets.”