Whether you’re in the midst of sailing training or you’ve been an expert for years, don’t feel as though you have to stay in the UK to improve your skills or take a well-earned break.
While Britain boasts some beautiful coastline which is perfect for sailing – the Scilly Isles and Loch Lomond, to name just two – there’s a whole world out there that’s just waiting to be explored.
Europe is just a short plane ride away from the UK and offers some of the world’s premier marinas which attract amateur and seasoned sailors alike year after year. Whether you want to put your skills to the test, sign up for sailing courses abroad or simply soak up the sun on deck, Europe is the place to be.
So, all aboard as we set off on an express voyage around Europe, stopping off at the best sailing destinations!
Brimming with history and stunning coastlines galore, Turkey is a famously popular holiday destination and many people choose to enjoy it from the ocean.
Sail up the Aegean Sea to witness some incredible sights and take your pick of towns and villages, from charming Izmir with its breathtakingly clear waters to bustling Istanbul which is home to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. From amphitheatres to forgotten villages, there are plenty of gems to be discovered, while the coastline itself has countless bays for some superb snorkelling.
Neighbouring Greece is a paradise for sailing fans, with a huge number of beautiful islands to explore along the gorgeous coastline.
From Mykonos to the likes of Santorini and Crete, the idyllic Greek islands are teeming with history, culture and must-see ancient wonders. Feast on the mouth-watering cuisine and soak up the Mediterranean sun either on one of the beaches or on deck, surrounded by blue skies, clear waters and dazzling whitewashed houses and tavernas. Some even argue that the best way to travel these isles is by boat.
If you want to holiday like a celebrity – and possibly spot some as well – the French Riviera is the place to be. The French Riviera stretches along the beautiful Cote d’Azur, which looks as dazzling as it sounds with its clear blue waters, lovely beaches and balmy climes.
With an all-star cast of sailing hubs like Saint Tropez, Monaco and Cannes, the French Riviera is arguably the most famous sailing destination in Europe. Sip champagne during the Cannes Film Festival or enjoy a leisurely voyage down this famously chic coastline – sailing has never been more sophisticated!
Nestled between Albania, Bosnia and Croatia, Montenegro may be small but it is a magnet for sailors across the globe. Boasting the Gulf of Kotor, the longest fjord in Southern Europe, the 295km of coastline is best described as dramatic and exciting.
Not only that, but it is also blessed with favourable winds, something every sailor dreams of – especially when you want to enjoy a relaxing holiday. Stop off at one of the friendly ports to see the treasures which the country offers, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor’s Old Town.
The Azores have long been featured in travel brochures as the perfect holiday destination and there are several good reasons for that. The striking greens and blues of the landscape are a true feast for the eyes and the cherry on top is the array of velvety soft white sand beaches.
Island hop between these nine small and tranquil isles in the Gulf Stream, where the ocean is teeming with life – look out for dolphins and whales on your way! Hot springs and extinct volcano cones mean you will not be short of things to see and do on your travels.
With so many incredible European sailing hot spots, what are you waiting for – go full steam ahead and book yourself a holiday for the New Year! Or if you can’t wait that long to get your boat out on the water, here are our top pick of winter sailing destinations. Happy holidaying!