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destination for sailing

1. The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands brag that they have more yachts there than anyone else in the world, reminding everyone that this destination is the perfect place to charter a yacht. With luxury waterfront resorts, pristine white sand, chic boutiques and fine dining, the British Virgin Islands has it all as a true sailing fantasy land with over 40 islands and hundreds of anchorages, all within sight of each other. The ideal mix of easy deepwater island hops is perfect for the whole family. Combine all this with crystal clear turquoise waters with an average temperature of 26°C all year round, perfect beaches, breathtaking rock formations, an abundance of shore activities and a great selection of dining options, and you can see why so many people enjoy sailing here.

2. The Seychelles

The breathtaking Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa, has some of the most beautiful flora and fauna on earth, just 4 degrees south of the equator. The outer islands are low lying mostly coral atolls and sailing is mainly done within the inner islands, all close together making island hopping easy. The Seychelles Islands can best be described as paradise on earth with towering granite cliffs, swaying palm trees and turquoise coves framed by sparkling white sand beaches. Mahe is the largest island and as it is surrounded by other islands, the beaches are relatively quiet and safe. Mahe is a mountainous island with peaks approaching 1,000 meters and tropical forests laced with hiking trails. The beautiful tropical landscape, white beaches and shimmering aquamarine waters make the Seychelles a perfect sailing holiday destination.

3. The Greek Islands

Sailing is truly the best way to experience these breathtaking islands, create your own island-hopping itinerary, find secluded spots or dine on Greek cuisine. Greece has 6000 islands scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which only 227 are inhabited. The Greek islands are home to some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth and with over 300 days of sunshine a year, this is one of the best places on earth to charter a yacht. Each of these islands has its own unique character, making each port visit unique. The persistent sunshine, traditional whitewashed villages, ancient archaeology, beautiful natural landscapes and rich culture attract sailors from all over the world.

4. Croatia

Called the ‘New Greece’, the ‘New Riviera’ and the ‘New Tuscany’, Croatia has become an increasingly must-go destination for all types of travelers, but there really is no better way to experience it than over to sail the Adriatic, where the sun almost always shines. Over the past decade, Croatia has reformed its infrastructure to make it a popular destination for anyone looking for great cruises, historic sites and secluded beaches. Croatia is one of the hidden gems of the Mediterranean, with 1,185 islands and 1,778 km of coastline, it is truly a paradise for sailors. Wild, rugged and largely uninhabited, the Dalmatian Islands offer some of the best sailing in the area. The rolling coastline is dotted with pristine beaches, lush green slopes and ancient villages steeped in history.

5. French Polynesia

About halfway between Australia and California, French Polynesia’s 118 islands are spread across an expanse of the Pacific Ocean of more than 2,000 square miles. French Polynesia is made up of five main groups of islands, including Tahiti, a landscape of jagged volcanic peaks dotted with lush vegetation and spectacular waterfalls. The islands offer an enticing mix of beautiful lagoons, traditional culture and exotic marine life, with much to explore on land and at sea. The wide lagoons around Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora offer plenty of protected flat water sailing, and beyond the reefs, the long swell of the Pacific will give you a taste of ocean sailing at its best.

6. The French Riviera, France

It would be hard to find a more romantic place to sail than the French Riviera. The Mediterranean coastline in the southeastern corner of France offers more contrasts than anywhere else in the world and the sheer glitz and glamor of the French Riviera is beyond question. Monaco is the world’s second smallest country (after the Vatican) squeezed into 1.95 square kilometers. The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is the world’s most legendary place to charter a yacht full of breathtaking beaches and breathtaking scenery. Some of the largest, newest and most impressive superyachts from around the world converge here, with itineraries that can include St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Antibes. This is the heart of the world’s superyacht culture, with a vibrant nightlife and exceptional cuisine and special events, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. The French Riviera knows how to combine historic architecture, unspoilt islands, small marinas, rugged landscapes and white sandy beaches with the large cosmopolitan resorts of Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo.

7. The Amalfi Coast, Italy

From Naples to Positano and the legendary island of Capri, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a storied region full of picturesque harbors and historic sites. This is a more remote part of Italy, far from the tourists of Rome and the busy marinas along the Riviera, a place where charter guests can cruise in comfort and privacy. This region also offers some fantastic Southern Italian cuisine, with Michelin-rated restaurants a short distance from some beautiful anchorages. Dine on board or ashore, for both lunch and dinner, and you won’t be disappointed. Although the French have their Riviera, it is nothing compared to the endless beauty of the Italian coastline. Often overlooked for its proximity to Monaco, Italy’s coastline is no less beautiful and arguably less spoiled by the progress of building developments. But for the ultimate sailing trip in Italy, I recommend starting on the Amalfi Coast and making your way to Naples and on to the islands of Procida and Capri. The shimmering seas here and the beautiful Italian coastline are the perfect view to compliment a highly cultural region. You’ll see ancient ruins, clean sandy beaches, picturesque villages, and some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat.

8. Menorca, Spain

While it may be the smaller and lesser known of the Balearic Islands, Menorca is dotted with more spectacular beaches than Mallorca and Ibiza combined. Menorca’s rolling countryside offers charming villages with traditional colorful houses and cobbled streets, beaches with secluded coves and a climate ideal for sailing, making it a true sailing paradise. Recent changes to Spanish tax laws mean the charter scene has changed as owners of brand new superyachts can now list their yachts for charter without having to pay taxes that used to make the practice unaffordable.

9. Turkey’s South Coast

Turkey’s southwest coast has long been a popular yacht charter destination, with routes from Bodrum to Fethiye. Sailing in Turkey ranks among the best in the world due to the steady winds, crystal clear blue waters and abundance of beautiful beaches, secluded anchorages, bays, coves and marinas. Throughout history, Turkey has been a crossroads of religions, where East and West meet with a mix of cultures and cuisines. Turkey has more than 8,300 kilometers of mountainous coastline with small fishing villages and historic sites. The favorite charter yacht here is the Gulet, a local style motorsailer. The quality of Gulets has greatly improved and many are as luxurious as motor yachts. They use sailing and wind energy and offer the best of both worlds. It is one of the most fun charter holidays you can enjoy with family and friends.

10. Montenegro

Montenegro has become the Mediterranean’s new superyacht hotspot in recent years thanks to major investments from chic waterfront restaurants to luxury accommodations to entice yacht enthusiasts. The tax benefits outside the EU (0% VAT) and the rapidly growing infrastructure have made Porto Montenegro an economical yacht charter base to explore the thousands of islands from Greece to Croatia. The serene, deep blue waters of Kotor and Tivat Bay provide the perfect place for a great vacation. The mountains encompass some of the most rugged terrain in Europe with a scenic 295km coastline, 72km of beaches and many ancient towns. Swim in clean, sheltered water with beautiful backdrops or just enjoy the great feeling of gliding through the water under sail.

11. Saint Martin

St. Martin has to be one of the most popular sailing destinations in the world and it’s no wonder this island is brimming with beauty. The island is ruled by both the French and the Dutch and you can really experience two cultures in one place during your visit. If you charter a yacht here there are plenty of other islands to explore including St Barths, Anguilla and Saba. Expect beautiful deserted beaches full of silky white sand, exceptional waterfront restaurants and exceptional shopping. Explore the waters and discover why Saba is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. The enchanting tropical scenery combined with plenty of nightlife, world-famous beaches and other islands to explore make this the number one Caribbean escape.

12. The Grenadines

White sand beaches and tropical waters make this area a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. The ‘Spice Islands’, as the Grenadines are sometimes called, are a chain of 32 picturesque islands spanning 60 miles of the southern Caribbean in the West Indies, offering a perfect blend of dramatic scenery, culture, abundant marine life, friendly people and unspoilt white sand beaches. Known as some of the world’s greatest sailing waters, you’ll find ideal sailing conditions and the lack of crowds make it one of the best places for a vacation on the water.

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