Imagine idyllic bays, enchanting spots, warm breezes, and diner and drinks under the stars. Let your cares get blown away on a sailing holiday. With the right qualifications, you can charter your very own sailboat. Or if you prefer, you can take off with a skipper and crew or join a fleet of like-minded travelers. However you choose to sail the high seas, here are a few of the world’s most beautiful places for a sailing holiday.
Located on the coast of the Northern Mediterranean’s Adriatic Sea, Croatia is five hours across the bay from Venice and home to picturesque harbors, historic towns, and upscale harbors. Croatia’s coastline stretches from the seafront town of Pula to medieval Dubrovnik where much of the Game of Thrones was filmed. A host of other fascinating coastal towns lie in between.
Let the reliable afternoon winds take you to a few of the 1,100 islands off-shore to explore. The stunning islands of Brac, Vis, Hvar, Korcula, explorer Marco Polo’s birthplace, dot the Dalmation coast south of Split. You’ll experience quaint towns, quiet coves, and the port town of Hvar with a hilltop fortress and a historic square with a Renaissance-era Cathedral.
Tonga, South Pacific
Tonga is a sailor’s jewel in the South Pacific, a Polynesian haven of over 170 lush, palm-laden islands. Less than half of the islands are inhabited, making this sailing adventure a get-away-from-it-all holiday. Take in world-class snorkeling, diving, and fishing. And if you watch closely, you are sure to spot a humpback whale or two.
Set sail from Vava’u’s gorgeous islets, lagoons, and coral reefs to deserted tropical beaches. Some heavenly spots to put on your itinerary include Hunga Lagoon, a volcanic crater, Port Maurelle Bay on Kapa, and Lape, filled with friendly locals anxious to invite you to a traditional Tongan feast.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Leave the Outback and the Sydney Opera House to the land-lovers and set sail for the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. These stunning islands are in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The chain of 74 islands serves as Australia’s paradise with spectacular beaches, unbelievably blue waters, and fascinating wildlife. The vistas are awe-inspiring and the snorkeling and diving are unsurpassed. Plenty of sailing ships set out from Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Choose from single-day trips to three-day open ocean adventures.
The Mediterranean has a plethora of sailing opportunities, and one of the best is island hopping off the coast of Greece. Find history, culture, and the spectacular beauty at exotic places like Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros.
Sailing opportunities are plentiful out of Athens and Mykonos with options for day trips to over a week. Explore the islands by sea kayaking and take day excursions to explore the island villages. Friendly locals and lush landscapes make this an unforgettable sailing holiday.
French Polynesia is a wide stretch of islands in a part of the sea in the South Pacific. There are lots of excellent sailing opportunities on this part of the planet. One of the best in Tahiti and the surrounding islands including Bora Bora, Huahine, and Moorea. The water is crystal-clear and bathwater warm 365 days of the year. Snorkeling and diving are world-class across the region. The waters are teeming with sea life at every turn, and the beaches are some of the most pristine on Earth, many of them only reachable by sea. Experienced sailors can charter a sailboat in Tahiti and sail around on their own. If you aren’t seasoned, other booking opportunities are available, one being the Offshore Sailing School.
Scott Cook runs a boat rental that has been with his family for generations. Aside from that, he runs a blog that is all about sailing. He also do it himself in different places at least once a year.