Sailing destinations in the Caribbean Sea? You’d be forgiven for mistaking Sardinia’s sugar sand and pellucid blue sea for a slice of Caribbean paradise. Set adrift from the Italian mainland, this island has it all; come for the luxury retail, stay for the swimming, snorkelling and beachside bliss. Visiting superyachts make a beeline for Hotel Cala di Volpe, a celebrity-approved hotel on the waterfront with private moorings available for the ultimate convenience. Enjoy a relaxed lunch on the terrace or an evening meal alfresco; the service is slick, the staff are friendly, and if you choose to spend a night on shore they’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Down the eastern coast of the island is where you’ll find most of the island’s famed beaches. Consistently voted among the best in Europe, they’re all simple and straightforward to access from your yacht, and promise a relaxing day of swimming and soaking up the sunshine. Among the best is Cala Goloritze. Find additional details at intersailclub.com.
When visiting Italy, especially the south, you can enjoy a multitude of islands and coastal destinations that are within easy reach of each other. Sailing around here is fairly easy and sheltered. Besides the beautiful scenery that you will get to pass, the historic Italian towns and ports found around the country make it one of the most desirable European places to visit. The warm weather, stunning views, outstanding Mediterranean cuisine, and warm hospitality make Italy an excellent yacht charter cruise destination, so you are going to love it, whether you prefer cabin charters or private cruises. Here a few ideas on sailing trips in Italy: Explore south Sardinia’s dreamy beaches and sail past the colorful villages of the rocky Amalfi Coast. Nestled at the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is Europe’s holiday hotspot.
As a year-round sailing destination, the Bahamas, or the Out Islands as they are frequently known, are renowned for great cruising grounds together with outstanding scenery. Benefitting from reliable trade winds between 5-20 knots, the climate is consistently warm, varying from 22 to 29 degrees Celsius. One of the most diverse geographic formations in the Caribbean, this coral-based archipelago consists of hundreds of unspoiled islands catering for yachting connoisseurs with world-class diving, pristine beaches, full-service marinas and fantastic fishing. The tidal range is up to 3.5 feet and, due to the shallow nature of the waters, a sailing yacht will provide best access to many locations. Miami is one of the most popular spots to make way to the Bahamas, and the southern winds when crossing the Gulfstream provide great sailing conditions. There is no bad time to visit the Bahamas, but peak season runs from mid-December to mid-April when island-hopping becomes popular.
Low season typically refers to any time outside of the high season periods. Groups of families and friends looking for a relaxing luxury vacation are advised to avoid high season weeks and opt for weeks outside of this time. The busiest periods are of course reflected in the charter costs and can be up to 15 to 30 percent more expensive than typical low season periods. Chartering a few weeks either side of these busy periods can be almost exactly the same, with the weather almost unchanged in some places, with far less crowds. The Caribbean Terms Inclusive (CTI), which is sometimes called Standard Caribbean Terms (SCT), is more inclusive. Three meals per day and fuel for four hours of cruising a day are included. Some yachts under CTI terms include basic beverages (not vintage wines or champagnes), but this is mainly in the Virgin Islands.
Sailing tip of the day: One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa sheet when Cousin Doofus has carelessly locked up the whole shooting match with an override. My crew recently used the stopper shown below. It took the load at the turning block while we sorted out the mess. Then we wound the sheet in a few inches to relieve the force on the stopper, removed it and sailed on. To create a stopper that works, clap on a half-hitch before the rolling hitch as shown. You can see it doing the work, and it guarantees success. If you can’t tie a rolling hitch, go on the internet and learn how. You may need it sooner than you think!
The Azores are a cluster of tiny Portuguese-owned islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. The volcanic islands are known for their lush green vegetation and dramatic lunar-esque landscapes and are perfect for exploring by boat (Horta is a good starting point). Their remote location means they are unspoilt by the tourist masses and if you’re lucky enough you’ll also get to see the odd whale or dolphin along the way.
Cala Saladeta is one of the many stretches of sand on Ibiza that proves size isn’t everything when it comes to beaches. Small and beautiful, this is one of the most popular beaches on the island amongst both tourists and locals – and after just a few minutes here, you’ll understand why. Saladeta’s perfectly transparent waters give a whole new sense to the word turquoise and are shallow and calm as well, making it a great beach for a family day out (arrive early to claim your space, though). Whether you have been to heavenly destinations such as Greek Islands, the French Riviera, and Amalfi Coast before or not, these beautiful sailing spots in the Mediterranean will call you to come back over and over again. So, why not indulge in the opportunity to discover hidden natural gems, new local dishes, traditions, and people each time you visit the Mediterranean? Here are a few useful sailing yacht cruise tips to help you plan your unforgettable summer holiday in Europe’s fanciest location.
When the day is over, a broad offer of hotels and accommodations will be waiting for you, from internationally prestigious establishments to good boutique hotels, from beach resorts offering all-inclusive services to cosy rural villas for those looking for a relaxing stay away from tourist spots.