Despite being a closed sea, the Mediterranean is not to be under-estimated. What many deem to be a placid and calm stretch of the sea may harbour strong undercurrents. The change in temperature between land and sea can cause winds to change suddenly and without warning, catching amateur sailors by surprise. Considering all this, how should one go about planning their sailing holiday? While there are courses which can challenge even seasoned sailing experts, a number of destinations are renowned to be a beginner’s sailing playground. Here at Book2Sail, we have personally vetted the destinations below, compiling a small list of safe, to-visit spots for anyone sailing solo in the Med.
source: World Travel Guide
It should come to no surprise that Croatia is ranking higher in the most popular sailing destinations year on year. The eastern flank of the Adriatic is home to some 1200 islands, most of them still in their virgin states and uninhabited. Let’s take a look at some of our favourites.
Secluded beaches, secret coves, French Riviera vibes set against luscious and untouched green spaces. There’s something about the sweet scent of lavender that restores vigour in the visitor and sends him off with an extra dose of serenity.
Odysseus sent 7 years in the warm embrace of a goddess on this island, with no apparent rush to leave. You’ll see why as you enter its safe harbour, surrounded by natural beauty on every side. Do not fret if you feel like you’ve really walked in on an enchantress’ spell – this kind of beauty can do you no harm.
source: Discover Athens
Greece has always been a favourite sailing holiday for many and here at Book2Sail, we hold this as true: it is very rare to find such variety in a scattering of islands so closely packed together. And yet, there is something for everyone.
This island has it all; sheer cliffs and turquoise waters on one end, quaint villages reminiscent of the true essence of the Mediterranean on the other, while a windsurfer’s paradise graces the south.
Known as the Island of Colours, Milos offers visitors attractions of every shade; from the eye-catching geological formations due to volcanic activity in the area, to resplendent beaches the colours of sapphire. The island’s elements will be jostling for your attention.
Meganissi is yet another Greek gem every sailing beginner should call at. It is a place of immense scenic wealth, and yet it is the simplicity of the life of the inhabitants, the feeling that time has its own pace on the island, that makes it such a hotbed as a sailing destination.
source: Owners Direct
Wildly underrated, but with so much to offer, Turkey will surprise you for its characteristic beauty and relative safety.
- Bay of Manastir
Fancy a dip in the same waters Cleopatra was rumoured to swim in? There’s a legend at Manastir that Cleopatra and Mark Antony once visited the island and in fact, it does have a romantic appeal to it: white sandy beaches, the fresh smell of pine trees and a gorgeous sea to boot.
Slip into its broad harbour at sunrise and watch as the first sun illuminates the mountains and town. Make for the islands which dot the area and experience a different adventure every hour of the day.
source: Collette Vacations
Anything French is very hard to resist, including the many famous sailing spots along the French Riviera.
- Côte d’Azur
When the Mistral (winds blowing from the south of France) is not strong, this sailing destination is the perfect hub for novices who want nothing more than to stay close to the port. It’s very difficult to put into words the beauty offered by the French Riviera. Perhaps saying it feels like you slipped into a dream of white beaches, gold coasts and aquamarine seas are the closest we can get.
source: Conde Nast Traveler
Very few destinations can contend against the likes of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. The great news? They are also safe to cruise around! We’ll focus on the largest of the Balearic islands.
From palaces, you can admire from your sailing boat to beaches and water sports you can dive in (pun intended), Mallorca can be as fun and as entertaining as you wish it to be. Cruise close to beach resorts and dance to the music being pumped out by the resident DJ, or sink into the quiet of smaller beaches as the sun melts into the horizon.
The whole country can actually be considered a sailing destination, given its small size. The Grand Harbour, an impressive natural harbour has been the setting of many wars and battles in the past and the fortifications stand testimony to that. Today it is a stark reminder that the old can live harmoniously with the new. Cruise the Maltese coast and head over to the Blue Lagoon in the neighbouring island of Comino, for waters so clear you will believe you’re floating on air.
If you’re still at a loss for that perfect sailing destination, talk to us. Our experts at Book2Sail can help you determine which might be the best solo sailing course for you.