Europe’s amazing yachting destinations? Sailing around Europe: It’s safe to say, with its hugely diverse cultures and highly varied geography, that sailing around Europe is on innumerable bucket lists. The Greek islands will strike a chord with many, as each set of islands offer charterers something wholly unique. The Ionian on Greece’s west coast is dotted with delightful villages including Kioni on Ithaca or Fiskardo on Kefalonia, while the Cyclades chain to the east boasts gorgeous islands such as Mykonos, Ios and the incredible Santorini. In nearby Turkey, Bodrum on the Gulf of Gokova sees keen sailors flock from all over the world, and for good reason. Here, they experience untouched coves on the water and invigorating nightlife and impressive restaurants on the coast. Those more interested in Croatia will find over 1,100 islands to explore, made all the easier with reliably gentle winds and a myriad of beautiful harbours. If Italy is more your style, the Aeolian Islands just off of Sicily provide considerable environmental variety, including the unforgettable black sands of Stromboli and the hot springs of the island of Vulcano.
Beyond the obvious natural scenery, Greece has an incredible history and culture. A sailing holiday here could involve visits to ancient ruins and world-famous landmarks. The country is also known for its delicious food and excellent produce – something that makes docking at a port a whole lot more enjoyable. Greece covers a massive 6000 islands! For anyone planning an extensive sailing holiday – this offers an enormous number of places to visit and cruise between. Whatever kind of destination you may be after, there should be an island in Greece that will suit you. As Greece covers a fairly extensive area to cruise, here are two top parts of the country for a yacht holiday.
This is a much more touristy option but the Balearics still make a beautiful European sailing destination, and you can avoid the crowds if you know-how. The cluster of Spanish islands include Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera; all major holiday spots known for their sun-drenched beaches and sparkling blue waters. Also include a few stops to the pretty, unspoilt towns of Deia in Mallorca and the secluded Ibizan bay of Cala Llentrisca.
Low season typically refers to any time outside of the high season periods. Groups of families and friends looking for a relaxing luxury vacation are advised to avoid high season weeks and opt for weeks outside of this time. The busiest periods are of course reflected in the charter costs and can be up to 15 to 30 percent more expensive than typical low season periods. Chartering a few weeks either side of these busy periods can be almost exactly the same, with the weather almost unchanged in some places, with far less crowds. Find extra details at intersailclub.com. Whatever the terms of your charter contract, you should understand the Advance Provisioning Allowance. This is an amount of about 20-25 per cent of the charter fee for a “plus all expenses” charter and about five per cent for an “all inclusive” charter. It is sent to the yacht before the charter to provision the yacht according to your preferences.
Yachting tip of the day: Every cruising yacht should carry one or two extra-long lines. Shock-absorbing, super-strong nylon is the favorite, but cost may dictate that you use whatever you can lay hands on. The lines may not see daylight for years until some unforeseen contingency turns up. But on that day, nothing else will do, as they can, for example, be bent to the end of an anchor cable that suddenly seems too short, or serve as a life-saver in a monster raftup. I once used mine on a simple dock under a mountain when a katabatic wind fell off a glacier at midnight and started to rip the pontoon off its moorings. I ran my super-long line ashore to a tree, brought the end back to the windlass and cranked it tight. The line saved my boat and the dock as well.