One of the best yacht clubs in Ibiza is Es Nàutic, located at the heart of San Antonio, a town west of Ibiza Island, surrounded by a beautiful bay.
Es Nàutic, the yacht club in San Antonio, has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. They offer a wide range of moorings at reasonable prices. This makes the port home to a wide variety of ships. At the docks you can find small boat rental companies welcoming their guests, boat owners drinking their coffee and exchanging gossip, and children going to and from the sailing school. This port has preserved its friendly and casual ambiance.
They found a way to combine commercial interest without neglecting services to smaller vessels and companies. Not all docks have found this kind of balance. The marinas at the port of Ibiza town have made the decision to go after the big bucks. The harbour’s policy has changed favouring the super yachts and big ships by treating them as priority clients. The consequences are that small vessels (less than 15m long) are often put on never-ending waiting lists. During peak season, there are not enough docking points for these smaller vessels to dock. Sleeping outside of a port can be great if the weather conditions are good, but even then the captain needs to be alert, as the weather can change fast at sea.
We are glad that Es Nàutic doesn’t only go after big fish. The local staff at the harbour is very helpful and they encourage people to discover more about sailing. This creates a neighbourly atmosphere that we love.
Installations and facilities
Since Es Nàutic as founded in 1973, they have constantly improved their facilities. Their goal was to provide an infrastructure that would support the sailing community. The last renovation took place just when the financial crisis hit Spain. Finding funds and support to renovate the facilities was a challenge but the result is a modern port with great facilities.
At the entrance of the harbour, we find parking spaces that clients can use. It’s also possible to enter the port. This makes loading and unloading your car and boat easy. There is also an underground car park that can be used by clients at Plaza España, 5 minutes from the main gate, which provides more space to keep the entrance of the harbour free.
Near the entrance you will find a new restaurant. It was opened in 2013. The building is quite special as it rises from the water and it is suspended above the sea. This gives you the sensation that you are still on the water. They serve good food, but most captains like me miss the old bar. We can be a bit sentimental about this. Luckily we have another bar on the other side of the entrance to the dock, which is loved by most skippers for its good coffee and nice bartenders, commonly known as “El Chiringuito”.
When you enter the piers, you will find the sports installations to your left. Here they organise regattas, sailing courses for children and other sports activities like canoeing and stand up paddle surfing. There is a team of professional instructors that help students develop new skills in a safe and fun way. You can find up-to-date information about their lessons and the regattas they organise on their website.
Next to the office, we find the public toilets. They are clean, spacious, and equipped with hairdryers and music so you can start your day fresh and happy. There is also a laundry service that runs regularly, so you can shine on the docks.
Behind pontoon C, you will find the gas station that is open throughout the entire day from dawn to dusk. Boats that need to fill up their fuel tanks can easily dock next to the petrol or diesel pumps.
From 2015 onwards, the yacht club in San Antonio has offered buoys for rent, just off the main piers, so vessels can spend the night tied to these buoys, which are not free, but much cheaper than regular docking points at port. There is a special complimentary dinghy service that brings visitors and crew to their boats and vice versa.
Channel nine is probably the most valued attribute of this marina in San Antonio. If you call for assistance from the harbour, you always get a quick response. Even during the night or at the peak of the season.
The registration process is well-organised, and experienced staff manages the harbour smoothly. This results in fast and high-quality service. Docking availability is checked within moments. They also provide rapid, fitting solutions to technical or practical problems.
The land crew is well known for their friendly attitude and pro-active mindset. It is quite common that a crew member will offer to help you find a place to dock before you call them on channel nine. They are sometimes advised by the watchtower before you even give notice! They are very cooperative. It’s also possible to make an online booking to secure a spot at the port.
Close to the best beaches in Ibiza
One of the best things about its location is the short distance to some of the best beaches in Ibiza, such as gorgeous Cala Bassa Beach, Cala Conta Beach, Cala Salada, or even to the amazing Es Vedrà Islands.
Security is very important and all the installations are well-maintained, so this helps quite a lot. The port is highly secure due to surveillance cameras, and extra staff who are on duty during the night to make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
All these circumstances made us decide to make the yacht club in San Antonio our home port. We love the facilities, good service, and nice atmosphere of Es Nàutic. If only the WI-FI worked properly every day, I would never set foot on land again!
Two handicaps of the yacht club in San Antonio
Although the list of plusses is infinitely longer, the port also has two inconvenient aspects that we have to accept.
- First of all, the marina is far from the most requested tourist destinations. Most people want to go to Salinas or Formentera. The attraction towards Formentera Island is understandable as it is listed as one of those places you must visit. It lies 25 miles from our dock. This means that if you rent a sailing boat for only a day, you won’t have much time to enjoy swimming since the distance makes it difficult to sail to Formentera and back just in one day. Personally, I also prefer to stay out of this so called “hot spot” since this area is extremely crowded during the summer. It has the highest concentration of yachts in the Mediterranean. On the contrary, sailing conditions in the bay of San Antonio are ideal, with favourable thermal winds, uncongested seas, so we can set sail for calm crystal blue water around the bay in San Antonio.
- The second problem is an aesthetic one as San Antonio is not one of the prettiest towns on Ibiza. Previous decades of cheap mass-promoted tourism have left their mark on San Antonio. In recent years, local authorities have tried to stop this trend. There has been significant improvement with clubs like Café del Mar, Mambo Café, Ocean Beach Club that have a more laid back atmosphere. Despite the improvements, you can still run into shirtless and shit-faced English teenagers stumbling around.
Fortunately, Es Nautic is a safe harbour against the summer madness. When I cross the checkpoint of the main entrance of the port, I feel at home. I can already lower my guard since I won’t have to dodge more tourists that seem to have walked off the set of Night of Living Dead. Luckily, Ibiza is much more than a party island.