You’ve decided to treat yourself to shared yacht ownership, the best way to enjoy yachting without actually having to own and maintain an entire yacht yourself. You’ve pinpointed the Mediterranean Sea as your primary playground, not a million miles from the UK so an easy short-haul flight or voyage, and you’re ready to go. Here are six of the best Mediterranean island destinations to whet your appetite.
Sicily and the Aeolians
Sicily is famous for a lot more than the mafia. It features glorious far-from-the-crowds beaches and magical secluded anchorages, sweet little fishing villages and a wealth of nature to enjoy. The capital, Palmero, is to the north of the island, a place of historic squares, stunning architecture and art galleries backed by views of the dramatic coastline and the blue, blue sea. Head for lovely Cantania in the east for views of Mount Etna and over the seas to the beautiful volcanic Aeolian islands, 35 miles north of Sicily with their exotic landscapes, deep blue waters, vibrant ports and quiet, private anchorages. Island hopping is heavenly here, with populated islands like Lipari, Salina and Panarea to enjoy as well as quiet havens like Filicudi and Alicudi. Thanks to a couple of active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, there are even hot springs and volcanic mud baths to enjoy.
Top 5 things to do and see in Sicily
- Discover Mount Etna – magical hiking in summer and superb skiing in winter
- Visit Stromboli, an island with its own live volcano
- See the Valley of the Temples
- Enjoy the Aegadian Islands, home of top-class scuba diving and fishing
- Want nightlife with a difference? You’ll find it on the tiny island of Paneria
Montenegro and Croatia
Croatia is an entire nation of islands, and you could easily spend months, even years, exploring them. There are over 1200 islands in total, which makes Croatia one of the Med’s favourite cruising destinations. Just 50 or so of the islands are inhabited, and everywhere amongst the beautiful natural scenery, you can see the traces of the region’s dramatic history. Montenegro is equally interesting, known for its striking natural beauty and home to the legendary Bay of Kotor. If you fancy diving into city life for a while, Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar are all rich in shore-side attractions.
Top 5 things to do and see in Montenegro
- Fall in love with the views from the Castle of San Giovanni
- Visit a cat museum
- Stroll along the incredibly scenic Bay of Kotor
- See the floating church – Our Lady of the Rocks
- Make land at the gorgeous seaside town of Perast
Top 5 things to do and see in Croatia
- Explore the lovely Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Discover Korcula Island
- Visit the Istrian hilltop town of Motovun
- Marvel at the amazing Blue Cave of Bisevo, a magical ocean cave
- Enjoy the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb
Sardinia and Corsica
Sardinia is the second biggest island in the Western Med, long known as a destination for the international ‘jet-set’. The same goes for yachting thanks to Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda, both hugely popular with sailors. You’ll enjoy discovering around 1100 miles’ worth of dramatic Mediterranean coastline along with quaint harbours and ancient medieval fishing villages, influenced by multiple cultures over the millennia. Marina berthing can be hard to find in the high season, and expensive, but you’ll also find lots of gorgeous natural harbours to drop anchor in. Fun tip – the Maddalena Islands are close by, featuring absolutely spectacular beaches and crystal-clear waters.
The French island of Corsica is not far away from Sardinia, an island that boasts some of the most impressive mountains in the entire region. The scenery is wild and rugged and it all feels very French, offering plenty of marinas as well as offshore anchorages from where the coastline looks especially spectacular. Calvi and Bonifacio, both ports, have lots of old school charm, and Palombaggia and Lavezzi are your destinations for the finest beaches and most interesting natural attractions. If you’re sailing from France to Italy, or the other way around, it’s the perfect stopping point.
Top 5 things to do and see in Sardinia
- Take a guided tour of Neptune’s Grotto
- Visit secluded Cala Luna beach with its strange caves
- Walk the dramatic hiking trails at Capo Caccia
- Take a tour of a winery, or enjoy a wine tasting experience
- Enjoy a tour of Olbia via TukTuk
Top 5 things to do and see in Corsica
- While away your days on the brilliant beaches at Calvi, Loto, Palombaggia and Pinarello
- The diving and snorkelling here are superb, so test-drive them both!
- Visit a wine estate – there are lots, including Clos Landry, Domaine Orsini and Clos Columbu
- Explore the hilltop village of Pigna, famed for local arts and crafts
- Listen to the island’s remarkable polyphonic singing at La Balagne
The Balearic Islands
These days non-EU flagged commercial yachts can charter in the waters of the Balearics, which means these buzzing, vibrant party islands are getting a lot more popular with sailors. The four main islands are Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca, all popular holiday destinations, but there are also loads of smaller islands and islets to explore. And the sailing grounds are available year-round thanks to the glorious weather. You could easily spend weeks sailing the area, especially when you opt to explore the many lesser-sailed routes.
Top 5 things to do and see in The Balearics
- Visit Palma Cathedral on Majorca
- Explore the Cuevas del Drach caves, home to one of the world’s biggest underground lakes
- Hike through the dramatic canyons at Torrente de Pareis
- Spend an evening in Ibiza’s Old Town watching the world go by… or hit the island’s excellent clubs
- Sail to remote Formentera for untouched beaches and magical mud baths
The Amalfi coast
If you’ve never seen the Amalfi coast, you’re in for a treat. It’s spectacular enough from the landward side, with the immense sea views, dizzying bendy roads and villas clinging to the cliffs. At just 30 miles long, it’s tiny. But every single mile of it is absolutely remarkable, offering an incredibly dramatic coastline, sparkling blue seas and tumbling, colourful hillside villages. Positano, Cetara, Ravello, Sorrento and Amalfi itself are all on your agenda here, as is the mighty Vesuvius herself, exceptional historic ruins, some of the world’s best designer clothing, amazing cuisine, wonderful wines…
Top 5 things to do on the Amalfi Coast
- Visit Pompeii
- Experience Herculaneum
- Sail to the Island of Capri
- Climb Vesuvius herself for awe inspiring views
- Visit the gorgeous Villa Rufolo with its Arabian-style cascading gardens and sea views
Shared yacht ownership can be yours
If the Med sounds good… it is! To talk through the ins and outs of yacht share and experience all this magic for yourself, give us a call.