When you are looking for an ideal sailing destination, you have to set prioritized activities. Since SailingEurope is an expert in organizing sailing holidays, we have selected top 10 yacht charter destinations for you.
That being said – there are countries that have been blessed by having a coast, and there are countries that have been blessed by having an exceptionally beautiful, indented coast. The latter are particularly important for sailors and plans for their next sailing holidays.
Such countries invested in yacht charter sailing tourism and yacht racing that both turned to be effective and profitable. The Mediterranean leads the way with the number of sailing holidays destinations by being tranquil, warm, easily accessible, and culturally diverse, but not all sailing is done in the Med.
Continue reading to get to know top sailing destinations, and start planning your next sailing holiday.
Greece – 3,000 islands of pure sailing holidays sensation
The first country that comes to mind when chartering a yacht for a sailing holidays in the Mediterranean. Choose to sail in the five main regions: Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, the Sporades, and the Athens region.
Explore the centuries-old Acropolis and the Parthenon of Athens, walk through olives groves of green Corfu, and visit the birthplace of Aphrodite – Lefkas/Lefkada. Get an adrenaline rush from windsurfing or water skiing in Kos, see the city of Rhodes that is a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and party on Santorini or Mykonos. Find detailed information on all Greek sailing regions in our destination catalogue – yacht charter in Greece.
Because of its very indented coast, sailing in Greece is ideal for reaching clusters of beautiful islands and secluded bays and beaches.
Croatia – more than 1,200 mesmerising islands
A paradise for both recreational and professional sailors with more than a thousand islands so close together that you will be able to visit many unique locations in the four major regions: Istria and Kvarner, North Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia, and South Dalmatia.
Sail in Istria with a magnificent view of a well-preserved Roman amphitheater in Pula, be a part of a health tourism on the island of Lošinj, and listen to mellow sounds sitting on the sea organ in Zadar. Island-hop in the lush green Kornati National Park, enjoy the bustling life in the biggest Croatian coastal city – Split – and climb the Walls of the hottest film set – Dubrovnik .
Your sailing holidays in Croatia will be a perfect combination of hot sun, deep blue sea, and clean sand/pebbles.
Sicily, Italy – sailor’s playground
Italy offers many different areas to discover during your sailing holidays, but Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, offers the most diverse sailing environment.
The Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, Mount Etna, offers a breathtaking view from your yacht. Relax on numerous beaches in Palermo while eating true Italian gelato, visit the historic city of Syracuse, and indulge in the traditional Sicilian cuisine (make sure to try true Italian pizza!) in Capo d’Orlando and Milazzo.
Check out how you can perfect your sailing holiday in Sicily.
The Canary Islands, Spain – the mighty seven
The Canaries have been a popular tourist destination ever since Columbus arrived there before setting sail to discover the New World.
Aim to visit Tenerife to see Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the biggest carnivals in the world. Explore Fuerteventura with a kayak in the official tour. Connect with the nature of Gran Canaria that has been proclaimed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With its lunar landscape, volcanoes and lava tubes, Lanzarote will make you feel like you are on the Moon. Snorkel and sunbathe on the most famous black sand beach, Puerto Naos, on La Palma. La Gomera has an ancient whistled language called Silbo Gomero which is a part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. The most traditional of them all is El Hierro with limited construction to keep its traditional looks.
Choose from any of the seven main islands and each of them will amaze you with their unique ambience. Choose to discover sailing Canary Islands.
The French Riviera, France – pure luxury
The French Riviera manages to combine unspoilt islands, rugged inlets, and fine beaches with the large cosmopolitan resorts of Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo.
The Riviera has a completely another side to the coastline entirely down at the islands of Port Cros and Porquerolles where people go to escape and enjoy in relaxed atmosphere and palm trees. Be a part of a jet-set community in Saint-Tropez, Antibes, and Cannes that are synonymous with excellent beach clubs, beautiful architecture and nature, and different kinds of art (film!).
One can also visit two other amazing sailing areas in France – the island of Corsica and the Gulf of Lion – as well as Monaco and its upscale hotels and casinos.
Turkey – East vs. West
Turkey is a popular sailing holidays destination at the crossroads of the East and the West that can be divided into four sailing regions: Göcek, Fethiye, Bodrum, and Marmaris.
Explore clear blue waters that surround 12 islands that surround Göcek. Feast your eyes on Ölüdeniz, a blue lagoon in Fethiye. The ancient city, Bodrum, and its medieval castle will take you back into Turkish history. Luxuriate on sandy beaches and shop until you drop on the popular bazaars in Marmaris.
The best way to discover more than 8,000 kilometers of Turkish coastline, four seas, and a multitude of coves, inlets, bays, beaches and marinas is to sail on a traditional gulet.
Montenegro – superyachts!
Let yourself indulge in idyllic atmosphere of Montenegro that specialized in luxury yacht charter.
Sail along the magnificent coastal mountain range and swim in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Porto Montenegro, a premier superyacht destination, is a must-see for its amenities, and maritime heritage. The Bay of Kotor (colloquially: Boka) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a perfect sailing area due to being protected from all directions. The Budva Riviera is a match made in heaven for those looking for getting tan under the warm sun while relaxing on numerous beaches.
What makes Montenegro special and very yacht-friendly is that it offers tax- and duty-free fuel and wines. Explore in depth all yacht charter Montenegro possibilities.
Phuket, Thailand – heaven on Earth
Phuket is the best sailing holidays destination in Southeast Asia due to its extensive coastline, lush green islands, and beautiful rock formations.
Amongst thousands of islands that share pristine waters and tranquility, there is Phuket, the largest of them all. It is perfect for sailing enthusiasts who want to escape the busy life and enjoy tropical climate, exotic fauna and flora, and hidden coves and bays. Adventurous souls will find daredevil ventures, such as bungee or scuba diving. Those prone to relaxing sailing holidays have to try traditional Thai massage.
Mahé, Seychelles – another heaven on Earth
The gorgeous tropical scenery with calm waters make the culturally diverse Seychelles a fantastic yacht charter destination throughout the whole year.
Located in a group of more than a hundred islands, there is Mahé – a mountainous island with a central ridge featuring several peaks approaching almost one kilometer in height. Because it is surrounded by other islands, Mahé’s beaches are calm and safe, and sailing distances are short, which is very important for sailors-beginners.
Lounge on the long string of alluring beaches and swim in green-blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Tortola, the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean – dive in perfection
The BVI as a yacht charter destination comes as no surprise due to its white powdery sandy beaches, sheltered yacht-filled harbors, and lush green mountains.
The astonishing beauty of the largest Caribbean island, Tortola, is enhanced by coral reefs, flood caves, and stone formations. Tortola is also a perfect sailing destination on the British Virgin Islands due to the protecting effect the surrounding islands which in turn results in calm seas. Because all of this, It is a paradise for divers, snorkelers, and sailors during the sailing season that lasts from September/October to May/June.
Now that you know the crème de la crème of sailing, it is up to you to choose your next sailing holiday destination.