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Review: Ocean waves with Smart Charter Ibiza

Natural beauty of the island


One of my first memories of coming to Ibiza was to take a boat out and see a portion of the coastline. I was sold instantly by the stunning coastline and saw how amazing it is to see the natural beauty of the island from the sea. Whilst that was a great trip, I couldn't help but wonder what it would like if I had more choice in where I was going. Chartering a boat is your way to get to do what you want, but for some a yacht might be out of their price range.

Smart Charter Ibiza offers yachts and speedboats that you see bombing around, and also does much more affordable boat trips – the difference is that you can tailor it to exactly what you want. Their boat trips take up to 10 people, so they are great for families and groups. We were five adults and five kids, so a nice even mix all looking for adventure on the sea around Ibiza.

Trips leave between 10.30 and 11.30am, so it gives you time to get everyone organised without that morning rush – not like getting the kids off to school – and let's face it, you don't want that when you're on a break. We arrived before the allotted hour so we could get off on time and choose our route. Then, we were politely and enthusiastically escorted to our boat where we met our skipper Ivan. We were given a big file of things to do and sat down as a group to consider our plan of action. Make sure at this point you choose from the available kit they have water toys if you want to have a play around on any stop you want to take. If in doubt, ask anyway, so you have the choice once out at sea.

Skipper challenge

There's a great Formentera trip, which is one of the most popular. Once you get up close to the white sands of Ses Islettes, you can order from a couple of the well-known restaurants there to bring you lunch via a dingy service. There are also tours that take in the mystical Es Vedrà or the skipper's secrets, which is a great pot luck tour if you don't fancy making decisions that day. We'd all been a fair amount of times to Formentera, so we thought we'd challenge the skipper and get him to head north.

The massive Sunseeker Portofino 46 boat impressed everyone, with the kids gasping with delight as we boarded. Designed with comfort in mind, there's a suite and a double cabin if you want to see the sea from inside, a large table and kitchen facilities with a microwave. There is the option of being catered for, though we opted to bring our own lunch. A nice surprise was the generous amount of cold beers and soft drinks as well as ice and water.

Pretty coves and fun in the water

We set off northwards passing the East coast of the island, past Santa Eulalia and its pretty marina, Roca Llisa, Aguas Blancas, Cala San Vicente and onwards to Portinatx passing lots of pretty coves. One of the best bits was getting to the supremely beautiful Cala Xarraca, our main stopping point of the day. Here the kids were jumping off to swim in the deep turquoise waters and generally having fun as kids do whilst using the snorkeling equipment provided on the boat. There was a stand up paddle which we all loved having a go with, especially the kids. This is the point when we realised that we should have brought more equipment with us, but still we made the most of what we had.

We had a great trip and everyone came back happy. Of the trips available, it really depends on what you want. If you want a quiet relaxing family day, then the Formentera trip is probably the one for you and friends of ours have recommended it. If you want more action and exploration, going to the North is the one you want. What this kind of trip is all about though is having your own private sea chauffeur and feel like you're living the high life a bit. The best part is that you get to choose if you want to go a bit closer to this or that or get off at any place to dine in a restaurant or just take a quick walk around. The skipper took good care with speed with our kids if they ran about the boat too, so we could sit back, relax and catch some rays without worry.

Light house Portinatx

My first impression of the island from the sea has been beautifully eclipsed and we all loved having our own little private boat for the day. The Smart Charter people have bags of experience and we felt properly spoiled. Go and spoil yourself too.

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOS | Peter Young

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