The ocean covers more than 70% of the planet Earth’s surface. Thus, if you like travelling to distant locations, there are so many destinations around the globe that you can explore while sailing. Whichever the season is in your area, there is always a spot where the sun is shining, the climate is warm, and conditions are perfect for sailing. Sailing internationally and discovering spectacular destinations while travelling the world is a unique experience, starting from people to different seas offering many astonishing sights. We have made a list of some of the best places for you to travel to while sailing the Atlantic, Indian or the Pacific Ocean.
Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are Spanish islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the west coast of the African continent. Their nickname is appropriately “the Islands of eternal spring” as mild temperatures prevail throughout the year. We suggest you start your adventure sailing the main islands where each is different and beautiful in its own way. All of them stand out with their unique landscapes, volcanoes, and sandy beaches and are a perfect place to sail all year round.
Aim to visit Tenerife to see Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the biggest carnivals in the world. Explore Fuerteventura kayaking with the whole family. 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. Each of these islands will amaze you with their unique ambience. We highly recommend you to travel Canary Islands sailing.
The above are just some the reasons why the Canary Islands are famous as one of the best sailing locations in the world. Summers are warm, winters are mild, so you can sail in all seasons. There are also many ports in the Canary Islands, but most of them are in Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Due to stronger winds and tides, this is a perfect location for experienced sailors who love the wind in their hair.
Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island. If you consider travelling while sailing in Asia, you can find some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, many of which are backed by picturesque tropical rainforests. Phuket is part of Phuket Providence which also contains 32 smaller islands. These islands and the surrounding islands of the Andaman Sea attract travellers from all over the world.
Phuket and its surrounding area have a tropical monsoon climate. An annual high of 32 degrees Celsius and an annual low of 25 degrees Celsius. The dry season lasts from December to March, also referred to as the northwest monsoon season. The winds are generally between 10 and 20 knots. On the other hand, the southwest monsoon season or wet season is from May onwards. During this period, winds can reach up to 20+ knots.
Phuket area is suitable for novice sailors except during monsoon seasons when high winds occur. If you decide to go ashore, there are many beaches, restaurants and bars as a lot of tourists flock to Phuket throughout the year. This comes as no surprise given that many consider Phuket to be the best sailing destination in Southeast Asia. This is mainly due to its extensive coastline, lush islands and beautiful rock formations. Phuket is perfect for sailing enthusiasts who want to escape their busy lives and enjoy tropical climate, exotic flora and fauna, 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.
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 kilometre in height. Surrounded by other islands, beaches on Mahé are calm and safe. Sailing distances are short, which is very important for less experienced sailors. Lounge on the long string of alluring beaches and swim in green-blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Diverse and rare species of birds, lizards, and turtles populate this island. The plant life is varied as well, from the coco-de-mer palms with huge double coconuts to the pitcher plants, gardenias, and orchids that grow on the mountain slopes. There are some anchoring restrictions, but not all popular places are on the forbidden list. Climate is tropic, swells are moderate and the island is not within the cyclone belt. In the monsoon season, winds are strong from 15 to 20 knots. On the other hand, in April and November, there are many windless periods. All in all, due to weather conditions, it is more suitable for mid-level to experienced sailors.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are without question one of the best sailing destinations in the world. There is a very good reason that so many people choose sailing in the BVI over other destinations, year after year. Tortola is the main island of the BVI. It is blessed with a year-round warm climate, and the seas are temperate, allowing guests to enjoy hours of snorkelling, swimming and exploring in the calm currents. The astonishing beauty of this largest Caribbean island is enhanced by coral reefs, flood caves, and stone formations. Moreover, nice weather with steady trade winds makes BVI a favourite sailing location for experienced sailors and novices alike.
There are endless opportunities on the island of Tortola. You can enjoy rich island history, beautiful sights, and nice people. Here you can find many sheltered harbours and marinas. Nevertheless, if you consider dropping your anchor, check your charts first, as anchoring is not always possible because of fragile coral reefs. Apart from Tortola, there are many other islands worth visiting in the BVI which are part of the National Park. So, now that you know the crème de la crème of sailing, it is up to you to choose and travel to your next sailing holiday destination.
Afraid of heights or just not that keen on climbing? In that case you are looking into the most perfect destination as Maldives broke the world record as number one lowest destination of all! There are nearly 1200 islands organized within 22 geographical atolls. Out of all the islands, approximately 200 are inhabited. The average altitude is merely 1 to 3 meters above sea level. The capital city Malè on the island of the same name, is just 1km wide and 1.7km long. This fact makes it one of the most densely populated urban centres of the world.
Even though temperatures are fairly constant all year round, period of dry season, between November and April, is the most popular time to visit this paradise. This is also one of the reasons why sailing amongst this water wonderland is out of this world. Sailing here is not only a sport but a part of history, local lifestyle, and culture. Wide calm lagoons are good for both experienced sailors and beginners. There are not many sailing boats here, but it is a paradise for catamaran lovers. The main challenges with anchoring in Maldives are that it’s often very deep and coral reefs abound. All in all, the Maldives is truly unique international sailing experience due to its isolated location in the middle of the ocean.
Except for sailing, you should not miss out on exploring the magnificent underwater life while snorkelling. Breath-taking coral gardens and ocean life will surely remain a long-lasting memory you will cherish for life. What’s more, we can thank parrot fishes for the perfectly white sandy beaches. The fine coral sand on Maldives is mainly the result of undigested corals they eat. When the hot part of the day has passed, have a seat in a jolie, the omnipresent Maldivian “park bench”, and get a feel for the pace of life. These randomly scattered islands in the Indian Ocean are a must-see. However, make sure to plan your journey as soon as possible as due to global warming they won’t be there that long.