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The ultimate chillout zone
Camper & Nicholsons
16th June 2021

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The ultimate chillout zone

Vintage tourism posters called Ibiza ‘La Isla Blanca’. The White Island still pairs sugar cube houses with snow powder sands. The petite cove of Portinatx has beaches so white, and seas so turquoise, that it doubled for French Polynesia in the movie South Pacific.

Need to see more? Ibiza has 80 similar beaches to explore. Yet Ibiza is an island of two halves. By night it welcomes the ghosts of hedonism past: Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley. Hippy-chic beach bars serve watermelon mojitos and line-caught ceviche to a barefoot bling crowd.

In the 1980s a new wave of party goers was welcomed by yachtsman-hotelier Tony Pike. Pikes Hotel was the location of Freddie Mercury’s 41st birthday. “The most incredible example of excess the Mediterranean island had ever seen” featured a dissolute cast including Julio Iglesias, Grace Jones, Tony Curtis and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Modern Ibiza is a distillation of each decadent era. The island hosts vegan cafe's, yoga retreats and family-friendly daytime discos. Plus pulse-popping superclubs that serve bottles of Hendrick’s around VIP tables, which a telephone call from a Camper & Nicholsons’ captain can secure.

A new breed of superyacht marinas have made Ibiza and her three Balearic neighbours a sand-sun-sass go-to. Marina Botofoc pairs superyacht moorings with hip stores, with awesome views of Ibiza's UNESCO- protected Old Town. Porto Adriano in Mallorca was designed by Philippe Starck, more as a seaside escape than a concrete quay - a result achieved by hiding the parking lot under an alfresco wine bar. Legislative changes have allowed more yachts to obtain a Balearic charter license. Which opens the archipelago’s 375 officially recognised beaches, across 1,700km of coastline, to thrill-seeking charters.

Choose your charter yacht wisely. The 45m Blush was built by Perini Navi to speed through the Balearics in silence. She’s the perfect yacht for a family party. Her forward tender pit converts into a relaxing zone with oversized cushions, a speaker system and chilled beers on demand. At anchor, Blush’s mast pulls to one side, allowing guests to dive headlong into the Mediterranean. The swimming platform and rear transom offer further water access.

Elena Nueve is another Italian-built yacht with a flotilla of toys. The 37m Benetti is a tri-deck: imagine a tranquil lower deck, a rocking main deck with twin barbeques and outdoor bar, all topped by a Jacuzzi on the fly-bridge. Towables, inflatables and a pop-out rear swimming pool can be prepared with ease. Most importantly in this dynamic region, Elena Nueve’s captain has an intimate relationship with every Balearic restaurant, superclub, wellness studio and beach bar.

Those without a private yacht will struggle to score a coconut Colada Fresca cocktail at a Playa Illetes beach bar. That’s because it’s one of the ten best beaches in the world, with table reservations snagged far in advance. On the tip of tiny Formentera, this golden sand sliver points towards Ibiza across a limpid playground of cerulean sea. At dawn or dusk come for jogs, strolls or private swims. At these hours beach visitors are essentially limited to those with their own private yacht anchored offshore.

Menorca is the second largest Balearic island. The beach of Cala Mitjana sums up the island’s sandy spirit. Car parking is impossible. The coastal trail is impassible. Leaving a tranquil triangle of sand for the sailing elite. If this particular cala isn’t to a charter guest’s liking, another 99 beaches are a short sail away. And because the entire island is one big UNESCO biosphere reserve, all Menorcan sands are categorically pristine.

A handful of Balearic islands lie off the map. Tagomago claims to be the world’s most exclusive private island. Sa Dragonera is a boat-only escape carpeted by 361 species of plant. Es Vedra? is a 413m-high speck inhabited solely by falcons and wild goats. The latter island perfectly encapsulates the Balearics’ bohemian promise. Because Es Vedra? is so tricky to reach without a private yacht, some Ibizans claim it’s a secret sanctuary for UFOs.