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Review: Star Boats, Ibiza

Explore beautiful Ibiza beaches and hidden coves on your own motor boat, without a skipper!

It is august in Ibiza, the sun is blazing down from a clear blue sky and temperatures are rising over 30ºC. Perfect for a day out on the sea!

When we arrive at the jetty of Star Boats at Es Puet beach in the bay of San Antonio, Victor, the owner, is already waiting for us. Four of the small motor boats rock gently in the crystal clear waters, in vibrant white with a dark blue sun shade, on board there is space for up to five people. First of all Victor shows us, with the help of a satellite photo and map, his recommended tour of the coast around San Antonio. Caves, lots of different bays and beaches, the island of Conejera... we can't wait to get started!

Then a short briefing on how to drive the motor boat. It's really easy, like driving a car - turn the key, engage the gear and off you go - on your own, with no skipper, because these boats can be driven without a licence!

We have a wonderful feeling of freedom as we speed over the waters. Well, speeding is not quite the right word... the boat is limited to 15 PS; but we cruise along nicely, enjoying the cool breeze in our hair, each taking his turn at being the captain!

First we follow the coast westwards towards Cala Bassa, enjoying the rugged coastline of cliffs and mysterious-looking caves. We drop anchor right in front of the beautiful beach of Cala Bassa. Next to us we see another Star Boat, bobbing gently in the turquoise water; the couple greet us with a big smile and a wave.

You are only allowed to drop the anchor in sand - be careful not to destroy the protected fields of Posidonia sea grass - but in the crystal clear water it is no problem to find a bright, sandy spot. Quickly we don snorkels and masks and leap excitedly into the sea. The water is about 5 metres deep and wonderfully refreshing. We are surrounded by schools of fish - like swimming in an aquarium! Visibility is up to 20 metres, giving you an amazing opportunity to explore this strange new, underwater world.

The recommended tour follows the coast to Cala Conta and continues to the island Conejera, but as we are planning a longer stay in Cala Salada (just north of San Antonio), we decide to cross the bay from Cala Bassa directly. We need about 45 minutes and feel quite intrepid as we cross the deep, dark blue waters, waving at every boat we pass. Keeping course is easy - we aim at Cap Nonó which rises impressively in the distance, the tall rock which is a landmark of the bay of San Antonio.

Cala Salada, situated just south of Cap Nonó, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ibiza. There are actually two separate beaches, one of which can only be reached by climbing over some quite rocky terrain. Seeing these beaches from land is stunning, but as we now cruise towards them, the view from our boat simply takes our breath away – what a completely new and beautiful perspective.

On both sides of the red cliffs the sandy beaches shelve gently into shallow waters, in all shades of turquoise and blue. The bay is protected on both sides by extensive cliffs, so the water here is very safe and calm.

After another round of snorkelling and bathing we feel peckish and gather around the small table to enjoy the picnic we brought with us. There is an ice-box on board, but you must bring your own bag of ice, which can be bought in most supermarkets and petrol stations. The sun is blazing down and we are glad we have the sun shade.

After lunch we rest on the cushions at the front of the boat and let the tensions of everyday life just drift away.

On our way back we sail past Punta Galera where hippies and other locals sunbath on the flat and layered rocks, and visit the bays of Cala Gracio and Gracioneta. Then along past sunset strip, across San Antonio harbour and back to the jetty we started from. Victor welcomes us back with a smile – I bet it's not as big as ours! Most guests tell him after the tour that it was the best day of their holidays. We can only agree!

Quick Facts

What? Star Boats motor boats without a skipper, which can be driven without a licence, for up to 5 people.

Where? Beach Es Puet in the bay of San Antonio

When? All summer

Cost? Half day rental from 11am till ca. 4pm or from 4pm till sunset 150 Euros, full day rental from 11am till sunset 260 Euros (includes gasoline and insurance.

Top Tips? Take ice for the ice-box. The floor of the boat gets wet, so bring a waterproof bag if possible and be careful with the storing of mobile phones, cameras etc. Apply sun cream before you go and take some more with you - even if you stay under the shade, UV rays are reflected from the water. Take snorkelling gear or at least swimming goggles.

See more photos and details on the website of Star Boats Ibiza where you also can book online or by telephone.

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