The UK has plenty of beautiful waterways and coastline just begging to be explored, but for anyone looking a little further afield, Europe also has plenty to offer.
Many locations are only a short plane journey away, while others are within driving distance; and with many top quality marinas to be found, the options for sailors are incredible.
Whether you are a relative novice that has only just started learning to sail, or if you are a seasoned veteran, there is something in Europe’s many idyllic locations that is perfect.
If you’ve visited some of the best British boating spots then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect, but there is a certain attraction to Europe that drags back sailors, year after year.
Here’s a few of Europe’s top boating locations, picked for a wide variety of different reasons:
The south of the country – wonderfully known as the French Riviera – is a mix of beautiful weather and wonderful sailing conditions.
Sandy white beaches and clear blue waters can be found, ideal for relaxing and the odd bit of celebrity spotting.
Destinations such as Saint Tropez, Monaco and Cannes are famed for their sailing and it is easy to see why the region keeps on attracting people to its shores.
By its very nature, Holland is a wonderful location for sailing, with stunning scenery and field upon field of beautifully coloured flowers and plants.
Since much of the country is reclaimed from the seas, many waterways allow for easy travel around the country, allowing sailors to experience all the sights and sounds of the region.
This is especially the case in Amsterdam, where canals crisscross the city, providing a unique opportunity to explore the capital city without ever touching dry land!
Alternatively, sailors could disembark in the city and immerse themselves in the local culture, experiencing any number of fine delicacies before browsing the many museums and galleries that are based there.
Hundreds of islands with miles and miles of beautiful coastline can be found around Greece, with plenty of harbours and marinas to stop in and explore.
Remarkable reminders from history can be found at virtually every turn and the Mediterranean sun and seas are great for lying back and relaxing on deck, or on one of the nearby beaches.
Having a boat is a fantastic way to explore while the clear waters are also great for swimming and diving, for those that want to leave the confines of their vessel.
Finding sailing courses abroad can mean those wishing to learn the basics of sailing can be based among the spectacular, whitewashed houses that are dotted along the Greek coast – an idyllic setting in which to learn.
While the temperatures are a long way from those found in the Med, the views and scenery on offer in Norway are equally as stunning.
The fjords provide plenty of opportunities to go exploring, while it’s possible to sail to some secluded spots – ideal for anyone who wants to mix sailing with a spot of skiing, hiking or animal observation.
This sort of experience is not for the faint-hearted, but it offers the sort of experience that can be found in few other locations around Europe.
For that reason alone, Norway is an exceptional destination for a sailing adventure while it’s also possible to learn to sail in Oslo.
The Algarve is not only a very popular holiday destination, as it is also a wonderful area to learn to sail in.
Beyond the beautiful landscapes and soft beaches is an ocean teeming with wildlife that makes sailing in the region very popular.
Courses to help sailors run on a constant basis and are incredibly popular while there is plenty more do to besides.
The coastal cities of Lisbon, Porto and Setubal – among many others – provide numerous opportunities to explore both the coastline and inland waterways.
Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment to let us know your favourite European sailing destination.