Europe's BEST Yachting Destinations
Chartering a private yacht is one of the best ways to ensure a vacation that is intimate, while at the same time catering to your travel group’s particular needs, and allowing the freedom to reach those out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path gems that other travelers miss. Daydreaming about your trip is part of the fun, but it might be difficult to decide just where to go – that’s where your travel planner comes in! Here you can read about some of the best yachting destinations in the Mediterranean and southern Europe and see what makes them so special… then just get in touch Here or Here and tell us where you’d like to go.
The Croatian Islands, lying alongside the coast of Dalmatia, are quickly and easily reached by yacht and provide wonderful historic towns and pristine nature to explore, away from the more crowded summer destinations of Split and Dubrovnik. Although this sailing paradise is no longer a secret, with over 1,000 islands to explore, you can still find many wild, uninhabited and isolated areas. If you come in spring, the water can still be warm enough to swim, and you are sure to find some private little inlets to call your own.
Some of the must-see places include: the island of Hvar, said to be the country’s sunniest spot, with gorgeous medieval architecture and a swanky party crowd; the Kornati archipelago with its untouched beaches; the olive groves, vineyards and charming old town of Korcula Island; the lush scenic oasis of Mljet; the unspoiled beaches and small town of Vis; and the hermitage monasteries and “Golden Cape” of Brac Island. You can also take your private charter to the mainland region of Istria for exceptional wine, cuisine and culture. The hilltop town of Rovinj offers narrow lanes with chic art galleries, bars and boutiques. You might also like to start or finish your itinerary in Montenegro’s beautiful Bay of Kotor – the medieval walled town of Kotor is a well-preserved gem you won’t want to miss. If you have more time, you could combine Croatia’s Adriatic Coast with the northern Adriatic, including Italy’s Venice and Trieste. With that being said, don’t underestimate the wealth of sights and activities the Croatian Islands have to offer!
Greece is one of the world’s best places to charter a yacht, and with about 6,000 islands and islets to explore, you can keep coming back year after year for new experiences. Discovering the Greek isles with a private yacht allows you to find more unspoiled Mediterranean landscapes and out-of-the-way archaeological sites on different islands – and with no plane or ferry schedules to worry about, it’ll be a breeze to travel from one to the other! Besides the popular Cycladic divas (Santorini and Mykonos), there are boundless island locales where you can savor the traditional Greek lifestyle, along with exceptional fresh cuisine, ancient history and stunning natural beauty.
If you are in the Cycladic islands, a good alternative to Santorini is the volcanic island of Milos – it offers a mix of otherworldly beaches, thermal springs and historical and architectural sights. You can also escape to Folegandros, an island with an authentic character and rugged natural appeal. The two islets collectively known as Koufonissia are another hidden gem. Ano Koufonissia is a quiet retreat with the characteristic whitewashed Cycladic houses and a lively fishing community. Amorgos, the picture of wild and mountainous Greece, is a great island for hikers. Perhaps the most different of all the Cyclades is Andros, with a rich landscape, largely undiscovered beaches, and an excellent contemporary art museum.
The Sporades island group has remained largely under the radar, although you may have seen Skiathos and Skopelos in the 2008 Hollywood production of Mamma Mia. If you’re looking for a bit of seclusion during your summer yacht charter, you might try the lovely, sleepy island of Skyros. Among the Ionian Islands, yachters will find lovely anchorages on Meganisi island and the beach of Voutoumi on Antipaxos. There are really too many great Greek islands to mention, but one thing we also love to remind people about is the amazingly rich yachting vacation you can create when you combine Greece with Turkey’s stunning and historical coastline. Just keep reading!
Turkish Turquoise Coasts
Turkish coasts boast some of the world’s best sailing opportunities. With over 5,000 miles of coastline, Turkey has no shortage of coves, inlets, bays, beaches and marinas, but what makes this a true yachting paradise are the azure blue waters and steady winds. Positioned as a meeting point between East and West, the culture reflects some of the typical Mediterranean hallmarks, but with a more exotic blend of cuisine and traditions. You can enjoy your own “Blue Voyage” along the Turquoise Coast of Turkey, which is divided into different areas that each have their own treasures.
The Dalyan Coast, situated on a river delta, is one good place to begin your adventure. You can glide along the river to see the ancient ruins of Kaunos, and maybe meet some Caretta caretta sea turtles at their nesting grounds at Iztuzu Beach. The coastline of Fethiye is a dream, with dense, peaceful pine forests caressing the impossible blue waters at the town of Fethiye, Gocek lagoon, the surreal beach a Oludeniz, and Hisaronu. Also in this area are Gemiler Island (where St. Nicholas once lived) and the ghost town of Kayakoy. In the southwest is the “Turkish Riviera”, with many resorts, the cliffside city of Antalya, and fine sandy beaches.
Italian and Sicilian Coasts
Your luxury Italian getaway is made easier with a private yacht charter. Mooring off the coast of some of Italy’s most sensational islands and towns, yachters can go ashore for dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife, then come back to the serenity of their floating oasis away from the crowds. Yachting highlights in Italy and Sicily include the Ligurian Coast with Portofino and Santa Margherita, the Amalfi Coast with the pastel-colored hillsides of Positano and Capri, the rugged coasts and quiet fishing villages of Sicily and the natural wonders of the Aeolian Islands. Traveling via yacht, you can also gain access to more secluded coves and exclusive beach clubs (such as Capri’s La Fontelina) that are only reachable by boat. Aboard the yacht, your family or group of friends will also have the chance, in between the prerequisite cultural outings, to enjoy the water with snorkeling, swimming, jet ski and other water toys that may be available to you on your charter.
The Côte d'Azur combines a rugged natural beauty with glittering beaches, relaxing hilltop towns and plenty of energetic, cosmopolitan centers such as Cannes, Saint Tropez, Nice and Monte Carlo. Visiting by boat in the summer will allow you to escape the infamous summer crowds gathered on the shores and roads of the South of France. Getting from place to place will be much more enjoyable with your private charter! With year-round sunshine, you can make the most of stunning surroundings such as the crimson coastal cliffs of the Esterel Mountains dropping into the Mediterranean, and the gorgeous Lérins Islands off the coast of Cannes, a natural paradise that also offers beach clubs and whale watching. The Riviera’s famous upscale cities will provide a lively nightlife scene, as well as excellent dining and shopping opportunities. For a more unique experience, yacht down to the Îles d’Hyères, known locally as the Îles d'Or (Islands of Gold). Port-Cros and Porquerolles are both less developed islands, with a relaxed atmosphere and gorgeous sandy beaches.
Spain's Balearic Islands
Spain’s Balearic Islands offer something for everyone – delightful weather, pleasant waters, an eco-rich aquatic environment and world-class resort towns. Mallorca is the largest of the four islands and a top destination for luxury travel. The capital city, Palma, offers a stunning Old Town dating back to the 13th century, and an endless array of historical treasures, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants to explore along its cobblestoned streets. The interior of the island harbors spectacular hiking trails and charming little villages. The island of Ibiza has become synonymous with all-night summer parties, but there’s more to see here with over 70 beaches, many adventure activities for children and families, amazing food and a rich history. With your private yacht charter, you can also easily hop over to Formentera, the smallest of the island group, and Menorca, the easternmost island with unspoilt natural scenery and a low-key vibe.
Yacht Types to Consider
Curious about the different boat types out there? Not all yachts are created equally, and the type you choose will say a lot about the kind of experience you hope to achieve during your private yacht charter. All of our charters come with an experienced crew, so you only need to worry about finding the option that best suits your perfect holiday at sea. This brief comparison of four common yacht categories lays out some pros and cons so you can make the right decision when choosing a boat for your next Mediterranean getaway!
These powerful yachts rely on fuel power instead of mother-nature's winds (although some hybrids are also equipped with a sail). This is a popular boat category, so there are a variety of options offering sleek style and performance. Of course one advantage is their ability to reach faster cruising speeds than other options, but the gas expenses can also make them significantly more costly. Whether your priorities are speed, style, size, or stability (for those prone to seasickness), we can find the right power yacht to match your needs.
M/S Gulet Yacht
Gulets have a special history – beautifully handcrafted wooden vessels from Turkey, they were originally used for transport by fishermen and sponge divers. Typically found near their home of origin in the eastern Mediterranean, modern hybrid versions have added a motor to the traditional double-masted hull. These graceful yachts are perfectly designed to function as traveling accommodation (not for adventure or sport) with spacious cabins and decks for lounging; they are ideal for leisurely cruises through turquoise waters.
Modern and classic sailing vessels harness the power of the wind. Today's sailing yachts offer everything from vintage construction to ultra-modern and sophisticated charters equipped with luxury amenities. Many also include a low-power engine for maneuvering in placid waters or difficult moorings. If you are looking for the quintessential adventure sailing experience, this category of boat will give you the genuine feeling of living an invigorating and romantic life at sea.
A specialized type of sailing vessel, catamarans feature two parallel hulls with sails and extra space in between, usually covered with netting where you can relax. In addition to being particularly spacious, catamarans offer privacy as a result of more separated cabins. These vessels can move closer to shore thanks to shallow hulls that give the skipper more freedom of movement near the coastline. Keep in mind that there can be slightly higher prices for catamarans, and they should be reserved well in advance due to limited supply in many places, especially Croatia and Greece.
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