Salty seas, sun on your face and wind in your hair – yachting, boating, sailing, whatever you choose to call it, is a fantastic holiday for those seeking adventure, relaxation and exploration on the open waters. By Tess de Klerk
Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time adventurer, chartering a boat provides unique travel that combines the freedom of sailing with the comforts and amenities of a luxury getaway.
Few other options allow for such an escape from the summer crowds, for such privacy. With a chartered boat, you have the opportunity to explore secluded coves, hidden beaches, and untouched islands, away from the bustling tourist hotspots. You can set your own itinerary, cruise at your own pace, and anchor at picturesque locations of your choice. The sense of solitude and tranquility on the water is truly unmatched.
Sport and adventure becomes so easily accessible. For example, just hop on a jet ski and off you go. Pop on your gear and scuba or snorkel whenever the urge takes you - what a comfortable way to fully immerse in nature! Or simply chill on deck, drink in hand, looking out for curious marine life that might come your way.
Of course, expense comes to mind when thinking of chartering a yacht and yes, fees can be stratospheric. In the yachting world, there really is no limit to what can be indulged. At present, the world’s costliest charter yacht will set you back £3m a week – plus expenses, naturally. But for the rest of us who still have a clue what a loaf of bread and a pint of milk costs, there are options.
Firstly, decide if you need a skippered or bareboat hire. Bareboat means that you’ll captain her yourself. Let’s take it as the majority of readers will need a hired captain along with the boat. With a quick cursory search I found a sleek 36ft motor catamaran, docked in Athens, with four berths and skipper included, costing £4,584.69 for a week’s hire in June. Not bad.
Off into the sunset
What I love most about boating is the flexibility. Your hotel stays in one place but yachting enables you to explore multiple destinations within a single trip. Whether you want to sail along the stunning coastlines of the French Riviera, hop between Greek islands, or embark on an island-hopping adventure in the Caribbean, a chartered boat gives you the flexibility to discover different places without the hassle of packing and unpacking. Each day brings a new view, a new port, and a new adventure. Lets look at some fantastic options close to home:
A good option is to start your trip in San Remo and sail your way up to Portofino, past brilliant bays, adorable old ports, and serene, tucked-away beaches. The picture-perfect villages that dot the rugged crescent-shaped coast of Liguria, dropping dramatically into a sparkling turquoise sea, makes the Italian Riviera a wonderful destination. Sailing conditions in the area are beautiful, with calm seas, clear blue skies, and mild southeasterly or westerly winds, mostly at night.
The South of France has it all – glorious sun, glittering blue waters, and a fabled blend of elegance and rustic charm that sets it apart. Add a stunning mountain background, postcard-perfect medieval harbours, and world-class shopping and dining, and you’ve got Europe’s most opulent sailing destination. Needless to say, the spectacular array of anchorages and first-rate marinas will further enhance your yachting experience.
Chartering opens up a world of possibilities. Swap the bricks and mortar for freedom in motion.