Any sailor will tell you there’s simply nothing better than sitting back in a secluded cove, with the tunes on (yes, there are stereos, iPad docks and flushing toilets) and watching the sun melt into the horizon with a cold gin and tonic in hand.
Boat charters in the Mediterranean are becoming increasingly popular as savvy holidaymakers realise that chartering a luxury boat for a week is often much cheaper than renting a plush villa. Booking early will mean you’ll have your pick of boats and deals.
Chartering in the Med
While tourists are jam-packed on the tiny slithers of sand on the costas you can recline on a sunpad in absolute privacy, G&T in hand, and while away the afternoon in an idyllic bay only accessible by boat.
Never sailed? You can still charter
Don’t let the fact you’ve never sailed put you off. With a crewed yacht, your skipper takes all the hassle out of sailing, giving you more time to relax with your family and friends.
The skipper will crew the boat during the day, plot a course to the best sunbathing spots and secret beaches (skippers are a fountain of local knowledge so you’ll see the very best of the island you choose) and teach you how to sail.
Guests can do as much or as little sailing as they wish, but with the wind in your hair and spray licking your face, you’re bound to get the sailing bug.
The best places in the Mediterranean to charter
This is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with good reason. The stunning anchorages, crystal-clear sea and charming ancient towns are a perfect mix. Multi-generational holidaymakers will find lots to do around Hvar and Dubrovnik for both young and the more seasoned. With its jewel-like archipelagos it’s perfect sailing territory. Island hopping has never looked so good.
From the picturesque ports of the Cinque Terre to the dazzling coves of Sardinia, Italy is a sailing mecca. The combination of exquisite food, Italian hospitality, culture and clear, blue seas is intoxicating. Sicily and its surrounding islands are great charter territories and the coastlines are incredibly beautiful.
Charter a boat in the Balearics
The Balearic islands of Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza have long been a sailing hotspot. Pick up your yacht in Mallorca and discover the beauty of these isles.
The Balearics are blessed with long summer seasons, making shoulder season charters a perfect option. In May, June and September, the beautiful ports and turquoise anchorages are quieter. Mallorca boasts bustling ports, glamorous towns and incredible beaches and for those who want to explore more, the neighbouring isles of Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera are in striking distance.
The ideal island hopping destination, where the isles are stunning and the deep water perfect for novice sailors. The sailing conditions in Greece are as diverse as the locations themselves. If you’re looking for calm seas and generally light winds head to the Ionian Islands. If you’re after exciting sailing, venture to the Cyclades Islands, and for something in between, cast off toward the beautiful Saronic Gulf.
Charter holiday myths
- OK, first things first. It’s not like camping. There are proper bathrooms with flushing toilets and bedrooms with comfy double beds.
- If you’re renting a crewed boat you do not need any certificates or licenses.
- Chartering a boat is not just for the super-rich. Sailing holidays often work out cheaper than renting a villa for the same number of people. Plus, the view of endless blue sea from your bedroom porthole will be far better than most Med hotels.
- For people who want to do a bit more than simply lie on a beach, chartering can be a great option. You can learn to sail over a week, and there are fewer arguments as your family and friends are kept occupied during the day!