Europe’s best yachting places? Many may think the glitzy South of France is a victim of its own popularity but it’s still one of the most beautiful sailing destinations in Europe, if not the world. Start at celebrity haunt Saint-Tropez and make your way along the celebrated coastline stopping off at Cannes, Nice and the millionaire playground, Monaco. If you want to fit in, pack your finest clothes, charter a huge yacht and pose artfully on the deck every time you moor up.
Sailing around Europe: It’s safe to say, with its hugely diverse cultures and highly varied geography, that sailing around Europe is on innumerable bucket lists. The Greek islands will strike a chord with many, as each set of islands offer charterers something wholly unique. The Ionian on Greece’s west coast is dotted with delightful villages including Kioni on Ithaca or Fiskardo on Kefalonia, while the Cyclades chain to the east boasts gorgeous islands such as Mykonos, Ios and the incredible Santorini. In nearby Turkey, Bodrum on the Gulf of Gokova sees keen sailors flock from all over the world, and for good reason. Here, they experience untouched coves on the water and invigorating nightlife and impressive restaurants on the coast. Those more interested in Croatia will find over 1,100 islands to explore, made all the easier with reliably gentle winds and a myriad of beautiful harbours. If Italy is more your style, the Aeolian Islands just off of Sicily provide considerable environmental variety, including the unforgettable black sands of Stromboli and the hot springs of the island of Vulcano. Find more info on Intersail Club.
Italy has an extensive Mediterranean coastline, speckled with unbelievable islands, beaches, and beautiful towns. Sailing around southern Italy is always a popular choice for European cruise holidays. What makes this area even better is its close proximity to Greece – allowing you to include both countries easily into your sailing itinerary. As Italy has a rather lengthy coastline, the different destinations each offer something completely unique. Some of the best places to visit in Italy for a sailing holiday include Sardinia, Amalfi, the Aeolian Islands, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Sicily. The Cinque Terre is another great coastal destination for those interested in sailing further north.
Sailing tip of the day: When I was looking to buy a used boat a few years back, I was horrified at the state of many of the yachts I came across. Do people try to sell their homes with a pile of rusty motor parts strewn around the front room or a heap of soaking bedding moldering in the master bedroom? Speaking with brokers about this, the better ones refuse to keep boats in slum condition on their books. Others, however, don’t seem to care. Presentation matters if you want to get anywhere near your asking price. Even if you can’t be fussed to have varnish looking like the hatch pictured above, at least spend a weekend tidying up. Buyers will think you seamanlike, and your boat will both have a flying start and shift every time in preference to that same model in the next berth offered by the Dumpsters’ Union.