The question of all questions - which is very difficult to answer or to which there is no answer at all. It is very difficult, in the world of tourism and travel, to single out certain countries, areas or specific destinations that deserve to have primacy over others, but in the world of sailing some still stand out over others. There is simply no best sailing destination in the world.
What we can offer you is a list of the world's most popular sailing destinations, so you can see and decide which of them will best meet your needs. Some of them are an oasis of peace for a dream vacation with your children and friends, some offer adrenaline and adventure options that will knock even the most adventurous off their feet, while some areas within destinations are created for young people looking for relaxation and fun. Either way, be well informed before booking and choose a destination that will satisfy all your desires.
Croatia - The Mediterranean Hidden Pearl
A country with more than a thousand islands and the largest charter base in the world definitely deserves to be at the top of the best sailing destinations list. Although it is a small Mediterranean country, Croatia is growing from year to year on the list of not only sailing destinations, but also tourist destinations visited by people from all over the world. Regardless of the fact that the number of visitors is constantly growing, due to the indented coastline and geographical specificity, Croatia is still a pearl among the destinations that offer peace, isolation and silence.
Weather conditions and winds allow sailing beginners, but also those more experienced to meet their needs and enjoy their dream vacation. Although the real sailing season starts in June, the preseason and postseason are most often used by the more experienced sailors as the winds are stronger and allow more extreme types of sailing. On the other hand, if you want to learn to sail and not worry about extreme weather conditions that are not suitable for beginners, Croatia is your choice during summer months as it is one of the best bareboat sailing destinations.
Croatia is full of national and nature parks, cultural heritage, UNESCO monuments that offer a great value for visitors. On the other hand, Croatia is also a country of young people - the festival scene of electronic music and festivals is one of the strongest in the world, especially in the summer months when we talk about the combination of music, sea and sun.
The Split sailing area is absolutely one of the most popular sailing areas in Croatia and the Mediterranean. Due to the indented islands that have preserved their authenticity to this day, anyone who wants to, can always find an isolated bay and an oasis of peace where they will spend the day or even the night. Split will allure you with its rich history, bustling life, mild Mediterranean climate, delicious seafood cuisine and beautiful mountain views. The Mediterranean climate makes it a pleasant oasis all year long with the biggest selection of yachts and bases to choose from in Croatia and almost in the world. In any case, Croatia is a hidden pearl of the Mediterranean that is definitely worth a visit!
Greece - An Ancient Country Full of Heritage
Although we mentioned that Croatia has an indented coast, it still cannot compete with Greece in this regard. Namely, this ancient civilization has the longest coast in the entire Mediterranean and the 11th largest in the world. For years, decades and even centuries, this beautiful country occupies one of the highest places on all tourist maps. Although the centre of tourism in Greece is Athens with all its historical sights, Greece, like Croatia, is one of the best places to sail in Europe.
Due to the indentation of their islands, there are different areas in the Aegean Sea that, due to the weather and wind, attract the most diverse possible groups of people. And in Greece you can choose between sailboats, catamarans, motor yachts and gulets, but also bareboat, skippered or crewed charter. People usually choose the most suitable boat for them based on the crew they go sailing with, knowledge of a certain area or sailing experience.
Lefkas, Corfu, Cyclades region - all these are famous sailing destinations that offer a handful of things for all those in love with this activity. Apart from being a fantastic destination for sailing with children, Greece is also one of the most famous party destinations with several islands that have literally become oases for young people looking for a party time. It is also full of ports, harbours, coves that are an oasis of peace and quiet for all those who are looking for just that. This proved to be extremely sought after, especially in pandemic times when social distance was the number one rule in the world.
Sailing made it possible to do just that - enjoy your vacation in one of the world's most popular sailing destinations in accordance with all the rules. The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country's unique geography, Greece has a significant range of micro-climates and local variations. You will certainly not go wrong with Greece. Just before booking, get well informed about the sailing regions and the weather conditions that will meet your needs.
Italy - A Land of History and Culture
Historical heritage, monuments, the Colosseum, the Roman Empire, Venice - Italy is a destination that needs no introduction. Although from year to year, it takes first place on the list of most popular tourist destinations, it is less known that it is also one of the most popular sailing destinations. Unlike Greece and Croatia, it does not have an indented coast, but the islands located in its territorial sea are simply breathtaking.
Its uniqueness and beauty prove the fact that Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, a total of 55. Peaceful and isolated oases can be found in Italy, but since a large number of tourists gravitate here, it is still a bit more crowded than in Greece and Croatia. Sicily, Sardinia, Naples and Amalfi Coast - all these are destinations that you will see on the profiles of the world's biggest influencers who simply do not miss going to this beautiful country.
The climate in Italy varies considerably from the north to the south - the Alps are located in the northernmost parts of the country, where winters can be very unpleasant and cold, and summers hot and dry. In southern Italy and the islands, spring and autumn temperatures are similar to those reached in the summer in other areas of Italy and winters are never particularly harsh. The peak of the sailing season, July and August, can be a bit windless, so be prepared for that if going sailing in Italy during that period.
While all these countries have amazing Mediterranean cuisine, Italian cuisine is one of the most famous and copied around the world. Needless to say, some of the world's most famous dishes such as pizza, ice cream or pasta originate from this beautiful country. Italy is the world's largest producer of wine with a broad span of both white and red varietals. Wine is an integral part of Italy’s culture gastronomically, economically and socially. A combination of culture, gastronomy and historical heritage - Italy offers a combination of everything and is one of the best bareboat or skippered sailing destinations.
Turkey - Where the East Meets the West
Two of the seven wonders of the ancient world are located in Turkey, 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful ancient buildings full of cultural heritage, the land of gulets - Turkey is simply a tourist and sailing destination worth visiting. This peninsula bordered by three seas - the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea is one of the most attractive destinations for sailors. Turkey has the largest fleet of gulets in the world - these wooden ships originate from this unusual country and represent a value that few destinations can offer.
Due to its specific geographical position, Turkey has different climatic conditions in certain areas - so the Mediterranean and Aegean seas have a classic Mediterranean climate, while the Black Sea has an oceanic climate with warm summers and cold winters. It is interesting that the islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas record up to 300 sunny days a year, which ranks them among the sunniest areas in the Mediterranean.
Although most travellers in Turkey visit the capital Ankara and the famous Istanbul, while sailing along the coast you will essentially have the opportunity to get acquainted with the history and culture that this Eurasian country has to offer. The Turks are known as good and cordial locals whose hospitality is very difficult to surpass. Although Italian cuisine is number one in the context of Mediterranean food, Turkey also has something to be proud of. Turks are great gastronomes and consumers of good and quality food, so if you decide to go to Turkey, you will surely have a special gastronomic experience.
Before choosing the best sailing area for your sailing trip, be well informed about the climatic conditions in the region you want to go to and the type of boat that is ideal for you. Although gulets are the most popular, they are not for everyone, and you can also have an unforgettable experience with a sailboat and catamaran.
The British Virgin Islands - A Sailor’s Paradise
This small Caribbean country is best described as follows - a paradise for sailors looking for the perfect sailing destination. Due to the specific climate, which is much drier compared to other Caribbean islands, the sea in this small archipelago is crystal clear. That is why it is not surprising that the BVI is the most popular and best sailing destination in this part of the world.
Although many consider it an elite destination accessible only to the rich, it is not. The fact is that due to the shallow sea it is an unwritten rule to rent catamarans with which almost all shoals can pass - this does not mean that the price is too different from the rest of the sailing destinations. Of course, there are also large oscillations in the offer - from boats that are available to the average person, to the most luxurious ones reserved for those who still have above-standard incomes.
Unlike previous prominent destinations, BVI is a year-round sailing destination due to its fantastic climate in which temperatures in the summer months range on average around 29 degrees Celsius to 25 in the winter months. This is the main reason why big sailing enthusiasts often come here to spend their winter holidays after a summer spent in Europe, they consider it a perfect sailing destination. Although hurricane season is characteristic for the Atlantic Ocean and often reaches the Caribbean Sea, the BVIs are almost always avoided. Not just by hurricanes, but tropical storms as well. Rain very rarely falls, and when it does, it is usually a short-term shower.
The BVI consists of four large and over fifty small islands, 16 of which are uninhabited. They represent the definition of an isolated vacation in the tropics.