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RYA Theory Courses

You can’t escape RYA theory courses, they are mandatory if you wish to achieve RYA qualifications. There’s a lot more to boating than just parking a rib, or coming alongside, or stowing a line. There is also quite a lot of theory involved ranging from the Essential Navigation & Seamanship course all the way up to Yachtmaster Ocean, Celestial Navigation.

There are plenty of places online where you can do these courses; however many people prefer the classroom environment learning with others. There are also many publications; which will help you study for and pass the RYA theory parts of these courses such as: RYA Navigation Handbook, RYA Navigation Exercises, RYA Weather Handbook, RYA Sail Cruising Log Book, RYA Motor Cruising Log Book, RYA Manual of Seamanship by Tom Cunliffe, Seaman’s Guide to the Rule of the Road by JWW Ford and Yachtmaster for Sail and Power by Alison Noice.

Our recommended RYA Training Centres are Deep Blue Sea Training based in Santa CatalinaPalma and Solaris Sailing based in Port Andratx.

Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course

This two-day theory course offers a really good introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new or inexperienced skippers and crew, and is also for those simply wanting to refresh their skills for sailing, motor and powerboating. It can also be used to compliment the Powerboat (Level 2, Intermediate and Advanced), Start Yachting, Helmsman and Day Skipper courses.

Navigation for Day Skipper Course

This Day Skipper Theory course is a comprehensive introduction to sail or motor cruising for inexperienced skippers and equips you with sufficient knowledge to navigate within familiar waters by day. This can either be a stand-alone 5-day course or supplement the Day Skipper Sail and Motor practical week.

Yachtmaster / Coastal Skipper Course

This six-day Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Course is advanced training for more experienced skippers wanting to learn how to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages. The course starts with a revision of the basics in navigation theory and quickly moves on to advanced navigation, meteorology, collision avoidance, safety at sea and passage planning. This course provides theory knowledge to the standard required for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams.

Yachtmaster Ocean – Celestial Navigation Course

A course in astro navigation, worldwide meteorology and passage planning, which also unravels the mysteries of the sextant. This advanced course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage. This course involves astro-navigation, ocean passage making, worldwide meteorology and electronic navigation aids – it also includes time learning the practical application of a sextant. Note: If you are working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, completion of this shore-based course exempts you from the written exam.

For further information about RYA theory courses, please contact the RYA Training Centre.

RYA Motor Courses

RYA Motor Courses

If you want to learn to motorboat on a structured course, then RYA motor courses are perfect for this. There is no doubt about it, sailing is fun and it is difficult to beat the thrill of skimming across the water powered by the wind in your sails. However, it is not for everyone.

Sailing can be quite physical involving lots of rope work, it can also be quite tricky to master. Many people prefer motorboating, it is less physical, not reliant on wind conditions and usually a lot faster than sailing. Our recommended sea schools run a number of RYA motor courses for those who enjoy motorboating, ranging from an introduction to motor cruising for complete beginners to advanced pilotage to Yachtmaster. As a starter, we recommend the Powerboat Level 2 course. After just 2 days and if you pass the course, you are legal to drive a powerboat such as a Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) or any kind of sports boat up to 10m in length.

Our recommended RYA Training Centres are Deep Blue Sea Training based in Santa CatalinaPalma and Solaris Sailing based in Port Andratx.

Start Motor Cruising Course

This one-day Start Motor Cruising course is a great introduction to motor cruising for complete beginners. You will have lots of fun learning the basics of boat handling as a member of the crew, assist at the helm and learn safety on board. During your day on board one of our fabulous motor yachts there will also be plenty of time to relax in the sunshine, appreciate the stunning scenery of Mallorca and enjoy a light lunch whilst anchored in a beautiful bay. This course is ideal for introducing groups of friends or families to motor boating.

RYA Day Skipper Course

The RYA Day Skipper Motor training course is for individuals with some motor boating experience and basic navigation and boat handling skills that want to be able to take charge as skipper over short passages. During the five-day practical course you will be given responsibility at the helm for the crew and navigation, with the instructor on hand at all times to provide advice and encouragement. This practical course can be supplemented with Day Skipper theory course either side of the practical week with 2 days classroom-based theory in navigation beforehand and afterwards. At the end of a successful course you may also be eligible for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). RYA Day Skipper for Motor is a practical course for anyone who wants to learn how to take charge of a motor cruiser between 25 and 80ft. By the end of the course, you will be a confident and capable skipper, able to assess situations and make qualified decisions for the benefit of the motor cruiser and its crew. This course can also help you get the best from your modern electronic aids such as GPS and radar, which are now virtually standard equipment on modern motor cruisers.

Advanced Pilotage Course

This 2-day Advanced Pilotage course is a higher-level course for people moving on from Day Skipper towards Coastal Skipper. It is therefore ideal for those who want to progress their night pilotage skills, but might not yet have the experience required for the Coastal Skipper course and is a good refresher course for candidates considering progressing towards Yachtmaster training or who are converting from sail to motor qualifications.

RYA Coastal Skipper Course

This five-day RYA Coastal Skipper motor course is for advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of motor cruising and navigation that want to undertake coastal passages by day and night. This intensive practical course covers skippering passages in more challenging conditions and provides thorough tuition for passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations. A coastal skipper is a yachtsman or woman who has the ability to skipper a yacht in coastal waters by day or night. There is a shore based course which provides the background knowledge required, a practical course which teaches the skills and techniques required, and a Certificate of Competence.

For further information about RYA motor courses, please contact the RYA Training Centre.

RYA Sailing Courses

RYA Sailing Courses

If you want to learn to sail on a structured course, then RYA sailing courses are perfect for this. For many people, sailing and spending time out on the water is the ultimate leisure pursuit, for others, it is part of their job.

Whether you are a complete beginner hoping to find your sea legs for the first time, or a salty sea dog keen to build new skills and experience, there are RYA Training Centres on the island who can help you to achieve your goals via fun & challenging training in the stunning surroundings of the beautiful Balearic Islands. Whether you want to learn to sail a dinghy or move onto something bigger like a cruising yacht, there is a RYA training course designed for you. These courses will equip you with the skills and learning to be confident out at sea, whether in your own boat or a charter yacht.

Our recommended RYA Training Centres are Deep Blue Sea Training based in Santa Catalina, Palma and Solaris Sailing based in Port Andratx.

Deep Blue Sea Training is an established and fully accredited RYA Training Centre providing RYA sailing courses for leisure and recreational sailors as well as professional seafarers.

Building on over 20 years’ experience as the RYA accredited sailing school at the Club de Vela in Port Andratx, Solaris Sailing has always enjoyed the best situation in Mallorca. Only minutes from beautiful calas, the West coast and Dragonara makes taking a course with them seem more like a holiday.

Start Yachting Course

On the Start Yachting course, you will have lots of fun learning the basics of boat handling, experience steering a yacht, sail handling, rope-work and be taught safety on board. During your two days on one of their excellent sailing yachts there will also be plenty of time to relax in the sunshine & appreciate the stunning scenery. To complete your first sailing experience you also have the option of one night sleeping onboard. The Start Yachting Certificate is awarded on completion of the course. This can be used to go on to complete the Competence Crew course in a reduced time of three days or two weekends.

Competent Crew Course

Get the best foundation to build your sailing experiences on & enjoy a great holiday exploring Mallorca as you learn the basics on a Competent Crew course. The five-day RYA sailing course is for beginners and those who would like to become an active crew member rather than just a passenger. You will spend a fun week gaining practical hands-on experience in general boat handling and safety on board which includes helming, mooring, man overboard drills, dropping anchor, handling sails and ropes and assisting in all the day-to-day routines.

Competent Crew is the entry-level course of the Royal Yachting Association for those who wish to be active crew members of a sailing yacht. It is a hands-on course and by the end of the course participants should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day-to-day duties on board. The Competent Crew course is one of a structured series of courses run by the RYA including Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 days.

Day Skipper Course

This Day Skipper sail-training course is for individuals with a little yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills that want to be able to take charge as skipper over short passages. During the five-day practical course you will be given full responsibility at the helm for the crew and navigation with the instructor on hand at all times to provide advice and encouragement and to ensure your safety. This practical course can be supplemented with the Day Skipper theory course either side of the practical week with 2 days classroom-based theory in navigation beforehand and afterwards. At the end of a successful course you may also be eligible for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Coastal Skipper Course

This five-day RYA Coastal Skipper sailing course is for advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation that want to undertake coastal passages by day and night. This intensive practical course covers skippering passages in more challenging conditions and provides thorough tuition for passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations. Candidates will often work towards a Certificate of Competence.

The one week RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Skipper Course builds on your Day Skipper skills to give you the confidence and ability to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and out-of-sight-of-land passages.

A coastal skipper is a yachtsman or woman who has the ability to skipper a yacht in coastal waters by day or night. There is a shore-based course which provides the background knowledge required, a practical course which teaches the skills and techniques required, and a Certificate of Competence. While the qualification originated in the United Kingdom, the course is taught worldwide.

For further information about RYA sailing courses, please contact the RYA Training Centre.

Flight delay compensation

Did you know about Flight delay compensation?

Let’s admit it, at some time, you’ve probably missed a flight due to cancellation or you’ve had to wait at the airport for many hours due to delays. In addition to the major disruption this can cause to holiday and work schedules, it is also a stressful experience, particularly if you have children with you or tight deadlines to meet such as connecting flights or events.

Did you know that if you had a delayed or cancelled flight in the past 3 years, you could receive €600 per passenger, regardless of the ticket price? Additionally, you could be entitled to claim for luggage problems such as missing bags, delayed bags or damaged bags and also for out of pocket expenses such as hotels, meals & more.

Air passengers have rights. In the EU they are covered by EU REGULATION EC 261.

Even if your particular issue is not covered by law, it is often worthwhile claiming, you may still be entitled to a refund or vouchers for another flight.

Compensation is available for flight delays, flight cancellation, missed connections, overbooking, denied boarding, delayed baggage, and airline strikes.

The Mallorca Insider works with AirHelp, the world’s largest air passenger rights advocate. To date, they’ve helped over 16 million passengers understand their rights and secure compensation for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights.

They make claiming flight delay compensation straightforward for all passengers who are unsure of their rights, lack the time, or lack the expertise to embark on the claims process themselves. They’re continually investing in data and cutting-edge technology to power their easy-to-use website and make their customers’ claims even smoother.

They speak 16 languages, and their global staff of 750 includes the world’s largest team of lawyers specialised in air passenger rights. Combined with local knowledge from a network of law firms across 30 countries, they are uniquely placed to help air passengers all around the world.

Check now to see if you are entitled to compensation – Visit AirHelp

Port de Cala d’Or

Port de Cala d’Or is located in Cala Llonga due to space, access and winds. Cala Llonga provides sufficient room for nearly 600 moorings and with the exception of strong easterly winds, it is sheltered and well protected from the weather.

The beautiful marina is very well equipped and includes the Cala d’Or Yacht Club, most of which is open to non-members. On the quayside, you will find a good assortment of supermarkets, exclusive shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Port de Cala d’Or has a 30,000 m2 offshore berthing esplanade and provides all of the services you would expect to find in a modern marina including mechanical assistance, technical service, cleaning & hull treatment.

Cala d’Or, often referred to as the ‘Golden Bay’ is a very popular holiday resort particularly suited to families located in the southeast of the island.

The name ‘Golden Bay’ derives from the fact that it is located furthest away from the Serra de Tramuntana mountains; which have a disruptive effect on weather patterns and therefore it benefits from increased sunshine hours. It also happens to be close to some of the best beaches in Mallorca.

The marina is one of the largest in Mallorca behind the more popular marinas of Puerto PortalsPalmaPort Adriano and Andratx.

The resort is attractive due to its multitude of small scenic coves and sandy beaches, these being Cala Ferrera, Cala Esmeralda, Cala Serena, Cala Gran, and Cala Llonga with each of these having their own distinctive character & main street where you will find the typical assortment of souvenir shops, pubs & restaurants.

Each of the coves benefit from charming little beaches framed by cliffs and woodland; however being small, they do get very crowded during the summer months.

Local attractions include The 18th-century historic fort ‘Es Fortí ’ and the ‘Parc Natural de Mondragó’ nature reserve.

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Port de Cala d’Or from Booking.com – Search now

Manacor to Alcudia

The Manacor to Alcudia route begins in Manacor, Mallorca's second-largest city, best known as the birthplace of tennis great Rafael Nadal and as a centre of furniture manufacturing.

There’s not a lot to see here; however the Esglesia dels Delors de Nostra Senyora church is worth a visit, so is the Manacor History Museum.

When you leave Manacor, follow the signs for Porto Cristo where you have the opportunity to visit the Caves of Drach, one of the largest caves in Europe and considered by many to be the 8th Wonder of the World. Within the caves is Lake Martel, one of the largest underground lakes on the planet; which today plays host to a boat-borne classical music program; which attracts visitors from far and wide.

From Porto Cristo follow the signs for Son Servera and Cala Millor, a lovely road; which meanders through orchards until you arrive at Cala Millor; which is a good place to stop for a short beach break.

The route then takes you east into Son Servera and then to Capdepera, largely undiscovered by the majority of visitors to the island. The biggest attraction in Capdepera is the ‘Castell de Capdepera’, it is a quite demanding walk uphill but the views are outstanding.

From Capdepera, take the road to Artà, a quiet, attractive rural town with a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings and pretty cafes with an impressive hilltop fortress built in the 14th century.

From there, continue along the coastal road around the bay to Alcúdia, a beautiful medieval walled town of quiet charm and character.

Surrounded by mighty walls that contain historic mansions, scenic plazas, cafés with beautiful terraces & warm-stone houses, this vibrant town is a year-round destination, providing a rich taste of history and culture.

The Manacor to Alcudia drive is an excellent way to spend a day taking you through some great locations and with some incredible views.

Sa Calobra Serpentine

Just 13km long, the Sa Calobra Serpentine (MA-2141) is one of the most scenic drives in the world.

It is referred to as ‘The Snake’ by locals but ‘Spaghetti’ would be more apt and was built specifically to avoid tunnels resulting in a road that snakes through the landscape often with a gradient in excess of 7%; which is why it is very popular with cyclists and is mentioned in our ‘best cycling routes’ section.

With a 800m descent over 12km and the infamous 270 degree loop known as the ‘Knotted Tie’ and incredible mountain views of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major, the road to Sa Calobra is an adventure in its own right.

The Sa Calobra Serpentine was manually built in 1932 and was created by the engineer Antonio Paretti and is a masterpiece of twists and turns; however it is one of the most dangerous roads in Spain with no marked central line and no guardrails and much too much traffic especially during the summer.

At times, the road is very narrow and impassable for 2 cars at the same time and on rainy days, the asphalt becomes extremely slippy. It should not be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. 

The 25 minute route is an unforgettable and sensational experience but definitely not for anyone who is nervous of steep, winding descents. It has more than 50 curves with the majority of those being hairpins and the gradient can reach as high as 11.5%.

Sa Calobra is a small village on the coast that is widely regarded as having the best unspoilt cove on the island. It also has a hidden beach and an incredible gorge – Es Torrent de Pareis. Tourists flock to this location in their hundreds all year around to admire the jaw-dropping scenery and to enjoy the incredible journey there with its twisting roads and spectacular views.

Cala Llombards

Cala Llombards is a beautiful petite cove defined by rough rock walls and framed with pine trees. With its sandy beach, turquoise waters and red cliffs it truly is a picture-postcard setting.

The secluded cove beach is located in the southeast of the island close to the small village of Es Llombards and around 10km from the handsome inland town of Santyani.

Just 55m long but nearly 150m deep, Cala Llombards is not a big beach but it is truly beautiful. It is surrounded by steep cliffs and has rocky areas, pine trees and bushes plus soft white sand and really crystal clear water; which is ideal for snorkelling.

With the exception of those who live or rent in the surrounding area, the beach is not well-known and therefore it escapes the tourist crowds.

It is a safe beach for kids because there are very few waves and is popular with locals and tourists of all ages. There is a lifeguard present during the summer months.

Facilities include lounge chairs and parasols plus showers and toilets; however there are no water activities for hire.

You’ll find just one beach bar at Cala Llombards; which serves drinks and snacks.

When you’ve packed up from the beach, we recommend a trip to the local town of Santyani, its a handsome town in south east Mallorca. Both serene and historic, it is located between Parc Natural de Mondragó and Ses Salines and the honey-coloured architecture, fine choice of bars, boutique shops, art galleries & restaurants are a massive draw to tourists.

Particularly favoured by German tourists, this pretty, rural, authentically Mallorcan town is blessed with beautiful natural surroundings.

With a slow pace of life, quaint cobbled streets and majestic church, Santyani has a special quality. Sit down on one of the many terraces on the main square (Plaça Major) in front of the church and watch the world go by.

Top ways to experience Cala Llombards

Tour en barco desde Cala Figuera to Caló del Moro y S´Almonia

Boat Trip from Cala Figuera to Calo de Moro, S’almonia, Cala Màrmols. Mallorca

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Cala Llombards from Booking.com – Search now

Sa Calobra Beach

Sa Calobra beach is a well-known remote cove on the west coast of Mallorca situated a short walk away from the incredible rocky river gorge, Es Torrent de Pareis.

It is a small and undeniably attractive white-pebble cove with blue-green crystal clear water and is one of the most famous spots on the island.

There are two beaches in the cove, the first one is small and stony and is not the beach that everyone comes to see, that can be found by taking the paved path on the right-hand-side; which takes you through a short and narrow tunnel.

If you are planning to stay at the beach for a while, you’ll need to bring along some things to make you comfortable as there are no facilities there including a lifeguard. You will find bars and restaurants back at Sa Calobra where you will also find public toilets and first aid.

The spot is indeed lovely and has served as an inspiration to artists past and present; however it has become a victim of it’s own beauty. There are just too many tourists there and it's a coach & car-fest during the summer crush.

The beach has a history dating back to the 18th century and it is even rumoured that the infamous pirate Red Beard docked in Sa Calobra.

Tourists flock to this location in their hundreds all year around to admire the jaw-dropping scenery and to enjoy the incredible journey there with its twisting roads and spectacular views.

With a 800m descent over 12km and the infamous 270 degree loop known as the ‘Knotted Tie’ and incredible mountain views of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major, the road to Sa Calobra is an adventure in its own right.

Es Torrent de Pareis was elevated to the category of Natural Monument in 2003 by the Government of the Balearic Islands.

Cala Marçal

The Blue Flag spacious beach Cala Marcal is located on the eastern coast of the island 1km south of the marina and village of Portocolom.

The 500 m beach lies within a beautiful well-protected bay with rocks on both sides, fine white sand and clear waters. It is very popular, particularly during the summer months when it can get quite crowded.

Cala Marcal is ideal for families. The soft sand slopes into the sea; which is shallow and deepens gradually providing lots of space for the kids to swim and play.

On the beach, you will find all of the facilities you could need such as sun lounges, parasols, showers and toilets and during the summer peak season, the beach is also supervised by a lifeguard. There is also one large beach bar serving a good assortment of drinks and snacks.

Cala Marcal is popular with snorkelers because of the rocks but mostly, this is a beach for families, it is very safe and around the beach you will find everything you could need including shops, bars & restaurants.

Taking the car to Cala Marcal is easy, parking is available in the streets just south of the beach.

The local village of Portocolom is a sleepy, attractive traditional fishing village located on the east coast and is claimed rather dubiously as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, although there is little evidence to support this.

Resisting the usual tourist onslaught associated with picturesque coastal villages, Portocolom is a maritime town located on a beautiful deep natural harbour in a large horseshoe-shaped bay.

Lying 12km north of Cala d’Or and within the district of Felanitx, Portocolom has retained much of its traditional fishing village charm with fishing boats, sailing boats and the occasional luxury motor yacht anchored in the calm waters of the bay.

Restaurants in Cala Marcal

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Cala Marcal from Booking.com – Search now