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South Peloponnese

Between Navarino bay (the SW corner) and Cap Malea (opposite Kythera) the Peloponnese has some of the best sand beaches in Greece. Many are suitable settled weather anchorages. The towns (Pylos, Methoni, Koroni, Kalamata, Gythion) have lots of character and are favourite holiday resorts for Greeks, sometimes noisy on feast days. Free WiFi is common in cafés. "Must sees" include Navarino bay, ancient Mistras, and the Diros caves.

Free of charter yachts, this is cheap and uncrowded cruising in real Greece.Take this coast slowly and hire a car to explore inland. It's worth it.

Sailing Sardinia

The whole of Sardinia provides good cruising, with miles of pristine white beaches. North Sardinia is the most popular area, rich with anchorages, while South Sardinia is useful for cruisers travelling east or west through the Mediterranean. The western and eastern coasts have their attractions but are largely seen as a means of travel from N to S. They offer quiet cruising, especially on the east side, with few other yachts. Alghero and Cagliari are good destinations and good wintering spots.


Sailing around Corsica

French Corsica, including Elba and the Bonifacio straits, offers excellent cruising. The west coast includes some of the most dramatic scenery of the Mediterranean.  Add hundreds of coves with brilliant white beaches, many islets, little intrusive development, plenty of anchorages, good marinas, attractive old town centres, and you'll need much more than four weeks for a thorough exploration. Or allow two weeks to circumnavigate visiting just the highlights.

Sailing Mediterranean France

The whole of Mediterranean France is plentifully supplied with marinas, and offers excellent repair facilities for all sorts of boats of all sizes.  It's crowded cruising, especially in high season, and finding a berth may not be easy, particularly for vessels over 15m. Once past the Pyrenees the area divides naturally into three parts; the relatively low lying (and sometimes very windy) coasts of the Golfe de Lion, the more craggy and attractive coastlines just east of Marseilles to Toulon, then the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) where the super-rich display in summer. Marina prices vary from very high to very modest . This coastline offers historical towns, an outdoor café culture, good wines and a superb cuisine. Connections with northern Europe are good, by air or by rail. It is also a popular gateway to the Mediterranean via the French Waterways

Sailing the Balearics; Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera

The Balearics are well developed Spanish holiday islands with lots of (fairly light wind) summer cruising and many lovely anchorages. If you're on passage, two weeks will skim the area; four weeks allows a more thorough cruise. There is very good yacht support in Palma, and there are many wintering possibilites.

This is a good (if expensive) area to base a yacht. In high season it's dense with yachts, berths are in short supply, and sheltered anchorages crowded. For a summer pause, leaving the yacht ashore is often good value.

There's a big difference between summer and winter facilities in all except the principal towns. Winter cruising is feasible, though Minorca suffers strong northerlies. There are frequent cheap flights from all islands to most European destinations in summer, and year round from Mallorca


Sailing Mediterranean Spain - Mainland Coasts

Mainland Spain is a coast of passage, or a coast for wintering, rather than a cruising ground, with some interesting cities to visit, and superb seafood to enjoy.

From Gibraltar to Dénia (opposite the Balearics) is about 500 nm of sunny sailing along a coast faced with some of the most over-developed beach resorts of Europe. The coast is easily navigated with day hops from marina to marina. These include some of the sunniest and good value winter live-aboard marinas in the Mediterranean. But anchoring is exposed, and rarely free of swell.

The northern 500nm to the French border has lower lying coastlines, frequent marinas and a better choice of anchorages, especially in the Costa Brava. The magnificent cities of Cartagena, Valencia and Barcelona are "Must Sees".

Sailing in West Mediterranean

This page compares West Europe cruising regions between the Straits of Gibraltar and the Heel of Italy.  Developed coastlines, sophistication, seasonal crowds (and expense!) and a lively café culture summarise the area. And throughout there are excellent fresh food markets and good yacht support.

This contrasts markedly with the undeveloped North Africa coastline, and the lower cost, but less developed economies of Greece and Turkey - with the Adriatic a half way compromise.

Sailing in Greece

This page describes the more general aspects of sailboat cruising in Greece; weather, when to go, yacht support, and travel. The right hand menu leads to  pages describing each region in far more detail.

The law outlining what is required of leisure boats, written in Greek of course, is not published to visitors. You will get conflicting instructions from officials about what is required. Unexpected expenses are sometimes incurred if you don't read the small print. Keep smiling; sanctions for "breaking the rules" are very rare indeed.

See Greek Culture, Rules and Regulation for Yachts for more detail.

North Ionian

The North Ionian (Corfu to Preveza) offers easy sailing, so it's a popular area for inexperienced cruisers. Morning winds are light, and afternoon winds rarely exceed F5. There are several exceptionally pretty villages, and (with a few exceptions) the effect of mass tourism is light. Well sheltered harbours and anchorages are never too far away, but in peak season these become very crowded. A thorough exploration can take two or three weeks. The passages across to Parga, or south to Preveza, are exposed to occasional swell, especially in the afternoons.

Yacht services are very good - centered around Corfu town/Gouvia, and Preveza/Levkas town. There are good layup and live-aboard possibilities. Seasonal flights from Corfu and Preveza/Action are very convenient. Out of season air travel via Athens is a pain - best if you take an overnight break in Athens.

Athens & E Peloponnese

This area stretches from Cap Malea (SE corner of the Peloponnese) all the way to the coastline east of  Athens, with a host of islands between.These are sheltered waters with generally light winds, a lot of charter vessels, very good yacht support. Cruising is crowded in season NE of Spetsai and Hydra, favourite destinations for large Athens-based boats. Athens international airport has frequent daily flights year round to many countries. Athens/Piraeus is the transport hub of Greece, with a good rail, bus and tram services to ferry terminals and airport.


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