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  • Writer's pictureDina Aletras

Set sail around the Mediterranean in 2023

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Growth in yacht charter and boating vacations has seen an upward rise since the pandemic.

Long gone are the days of sailing pro’s only having access to the boating world, now in the click of a few buttons booking a trip out on the water is a straightforward process.

The allure of boating is that there are various ways of doing it such as, but first you'll need to work out what sort of sailing experience you want. Do you want to enjoy the freedom and adventure of setting your own course and sailing by yourself with a bareboat charter? Would you rather hire a skipper and relax knowing the hard work is taken care of? Or perhaps you might prefer the ultimate experience of a crewed luxury yacht, with staff to look after your every need? Are you planning on sailing with a larger group of people? Finally - are you looking for a sailing yacht, a catamaran, a motor yacht, a luxury yacht or perhaps even a super yacht?

Bareboat Yacht Charter A bareboat charter is a great option for those who hold a skipper license. It gives you the freedom to travel wherever you choose at your own pace and is the least expensive option. It also gives 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 have no sailing experience, or who just want to kick back and relax. If you choose this option, an experienced skipper will take care of the sailing and boat for you; they can also share their local knowledge and sail you safely to your chosen destinations. Crewed Yacht Charter A crewed yacht charter is a popular option for those who want to experience real luxury. They’re available across the whole of the east and west Mediterranean which includes glamourous locations like Monaco, Sardinia, and St Tropez. You can also choose from a range of yachts, from catamarans to motor yachts and superyacht models. Your crew will take care of shopping, cooking, and cleaning meaning you're free to relax and soak up the sun. Flotilla If you're planning a break with a group of friends or family, a flotilla sailing holiday is a great option. A group of yachts sailing together, allows you to sail the seas with company. You'll be accompanied by a flotilla skipper and host on a lead yacht meaning assistance is always nearby,

Your group can choose to meet up after sailing most evenings and take part in afternoon activities together, you’ll also join up for group meals and relaxed BBQs on beaches.

Popular in Greece and Croatia's Adriatic Sea, flotilla holidays are a popular option and a great way to experience all that the Med has to offer.

The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean has long been a dream holiday destination. The home of ancient myth, it’s been muse to storytellers from Homer to de Bernières, it’s also been the glimmering setting for many iconic films. Nestled within the protective arms of twenty-one countries and home to 100s of islands, it offers everything, from a history that originates in the earliest civilisations to a multiplicity of modern cultures that thrive in its cities and exclusive resorts. When you consider that all of this comes with glorious sunshine, gleaming waters and access to a unique and deliciously wide range of cuisine, it's easy to see why it’s the perfect place to take a break.

Of course, the best way to really appreciate the Mediterranean region and all it can offer, is with the star of the show - the sea itself. Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean is the world's largest bareboat charter region, and one of the world's most popular sailing destinations. With a Mediterranean sailing break, the only problem you’ll have is that you might struggle to decide what kind of holiday to take. There are so many options that you're spoiled for choice.

The charter experts at Helm offer great advice on what you’ll need to consider creating your dream holiday. Read on for their tips and get inspired to create your very own Mediterranean odyssey.

Timing is everything

First, you’ll need to decide when you want to go. The Mediterranean sailing season runs from April to October and, perhaps unsurprisingly, summer is the most popular time for a western Mediterranean yacht charter, because the weather is hot, the water is warm and the coastal areas are in full swing: festivals, markets and bustling restaurants and bars. However, spring and autumn have plenty to offer too so it really is up to you when you head to your dream destination.

The Siren Call of Spring If you want to avoid the peak tourist season crowds setting sail during Spring could be the perfect time for you. Whilst it's not quite as balmy as during the summer months, the water is a comfortable swimming temperature and the weather is warming up, so you can still soak up that coastal sun. Spring is a fabulous time to charter a boat in the West Mediterranean. You could choose to explore the Italian Mediterranean, you could visit one or more Balearic Islands, or you could charter a luxury yacht from Porto Cervo, Sardinia and head across to visit Corsica.

A Summer Odyssey

July and August are the Mediterranean's busiest yacht charter months, partly because of the great weather, but also because this is when the European school summer holidays fall. As a result, it's a popular time for families with children to set sail. The weather is at its warmest across the region, there are plenty of hours of daylight, and the summertime festivities are in full swing. Perfect locations for summer include an Ionian Island in Greece; Croatia's diverse Dalmatian coast; or Sicily's volcanic Aeolian islands - all are truly beautiful at this time of year.

However, summer is also when the more luxury charter yachts are most likely to be fully booked up, so if you're looking at this time of year make sure you book well in advance.

Autumn Escape

You can catch the last of the summer sun from September to October and reduced tourist numbers mean that you'll also have a far greater choice of anchorages. It's still lovely and warm and there’s also an increased sea breeze which many people find makes the climate even more appealing. At this stage in the season, the best conditions can be found further south and in the East Mediterranean, towards the Dodecanese Greek Islands and the Turquoise Coast.

Discover your Destination

The next thing to do is figure out exactly where you want to go. There are literally hundreds of charter bases scattered along the Med’s coastlines and islands and the diverse range of countries that border the sea means that you can have any kind of holiday you want from exploring ancient cities and picturesque fishing villages, to enjoying a vibrant night life or relaxing on (or with a view of) a sandy beach.

You could choose to discover the enchanting, sheltered moorings and coastal towns on the southern coast of Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean, or island hop to your favourite Greek island and swim in pristine waters. Alternatively, you could explore the French Riviera, taking in the luxuries of Monaco, St Tropez, Cannes and Nice. Or you could soak up the sun on the magical Balearic Island beaches. Then there's Croatia's wonderful culture, or a cruise along the Italian Riviera and Amalfi Coast. Wherever you choose to explore, there is truly something for everyone.

It's all about you

In the end when you go, where you go and the sailing experience you have is as unique as you are. Have a think about what sort of charter guests you are. Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing and visit interesting heritage sites? Would you like to visit sandy beaches and soak up the sun and views from your superyacht? Are you’re a food enthusiast, hoping to seek out the delicious tastes of Italy, Greece, or Croatia. Maybe you'd prefer an action-packed adventure? Are you part of a couple or do you have a family with young children? Mediterranean yacht charters have something for everyone, so it pays to work out exactly what you expect from your trip. If you are sailing with a group of friends, discussing what you expect from your holiday will ensure that compromises are found and that everyone has the perfect experience.

Let the experts help you

The sheer amount of choice, means that planning a Mediterranean charter itinerary can be rather daunting, so it’s good to know that the experts at Helm, are able to assist you at every stage of your planning process. Just tell them where you'd like you'd like to go, how many people you plan to take with you and what you want to get out of your holiday, and they can design a bespoke package and itinerary that is tailored to you and your requirements. They'll ensure a stress-free experience that means you get the most out of your trip. Contact HELM and speak to one of our friendly team.

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