Head to the Med for sun, sea and yachting
And, just in case you think you’ve missed the boat and are too late to head to the Med and soak up the last of the summer sunshine, think again…
James Foot, on-the-water expert at Borrow A Boat – one of the world’s leading yacht charter marketplace’s – says: “There’s no better way to see the world than from the water which is one of the reasons why boating is so popular in the Mediterranean. Why stay in a hotel on land or pay extortionate prices for a room with a sea-view, when you can stay on the water itself?
“If you haven’t experienced a sailing holiday before, knowing where to start can seem a little overwhelming but all you really need is an understanding of some basic sailing terms, where you want to go and what sort of holiday you’re after.
“And far from being a holiday that’s only accessible to the super-rich, sailing yachts can be chartered from around £1,000 per week for six guests – the same, if not less than a stay at one of the Med’s many popular hotels and resorts.”
Here, James shares his top tips for enjoying the perfect Mediterranean sailing holiday this summer.
· It’s all in the timing
The best place to start when planning any holiday is to figure out what time of year you want to travel. When you choose to go on holiday also has a bearing on where best suits you.
Each sailing area boasts its own unique charms, from quaint coves and picturesque fishing villages to calm waters and vibrant nightlife.
Summer is the most popular time for a western Mediterranean yacht charter, thanks to the glorious sunshine and warm waters. This doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to sail during this period though - in fact, the charter season generally runs to the end of October.
September and October are ideal for sailing further south and in the eastern Mediterranean as the weather is still warm but there’s a fresh breeze and far greater choice of anchorages. The Dodecanese, Greek Islands and the Turquoise coast are all great options.
Sailing outside of the peak summer season also means less tourists, ideal if you want to enjoy a slower, more relaxing pace when you do decide to venture onto land.
· Finding the right charter for you
Next, you'll need to think about what type of trip you're after and subsequently what sort of charter would suit you and your party best. When it comes to private yacht charter, there are three options - bareboat, skippered, or crewed. However, a flotilla sailing holiday is popular amongst more experienced sailors.
Bareboat yacht charter
A bareboat charter is the least expensive charter option, and popular amongst those who hold a skipper license and who have more sailing experience. This boat rental option grants you the freedom to travel wherever you choose at your own, whilst giving you the chance to design and plan your own itinerary - a fun and exciting process, especially in more remote areas like the Dodecanese island chain.
Skippered yacht charter
A skippered yacht is ideal for those who are sailing novices, or simple just want to kick back and relax. An experienced skipper will take care of the sailing and boat for you; they can share local knowledge and sail you safely to your chosen coves and anchorages.
However, should you or any of your guests wish to roll up your sleeves and learn a new skill, they are a safe pair of hands and can teach you the basics of sailing.
Crewed yacht charter
A crewed yacht is a popular option for those who want to experience a taste of real luxury. Crewed yacht charter destinations are widely available across the whole of the eastern and western Mediterranean and include glamourous locations like Monaco, Sardinia and St Tropez.
Crewed charters are available across a range of yachts, from sailing catamarans to motor yachts and superyacht models. The crew will take care of shopping, cooking and cleaning, leaving you free to relax and soak up the sun.
A flotilla is a group of yachts sailing together, accompanied by a flotilla skipper and host on a lead yacht. It’s a great option for those seeking to sail the seas and soak up the camaraderie of sailing in a fleet, whilst safe in the knowledge that assistance is nearby if necessary.
The flotilla meets up after sailing most days, to enjoy afternoon activities as well as for group meals and BBQs on the beach. Flotilla holidays are a popular option in Greece and Croatia's Adriatic Sea.
· What sort of holiday are you after?
With so much choice, it can be tricky to work out which sailing holiday is right for you. So, if you’re still unsure it’s best to consider what sort of charter guest you are. Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing and visit interesting heritage sites? Or are you looking for some rest and relaxation, ready to leave the stresses of modern life behind? A group of friends seeking adventure are seeking a wildly different charter to a honeymooning couple looking for a private escape.
Mediterranean yacht charters truly have something for everyone, so it pays to work out exactly what you expect from your trip to ensure you have the perfect experience on board.
For more information or to charter your own boat, visit www.borrowaboat.com