Three beautiful continents encompass the Mediterranean Sea including the other 15 marginal seas. Its northern shore has many beautiful Mediterranean countries with even more amazing seas for sailing. We can without a doubt say that any country you choose is a good choice. Most of the Mediterranean countries have very hot summers, differing by different vegetation, coasts and most importantly winds such as Scirocco, Mistral, Meltemi and more. Generally, the optimal time for sailing in the whole region is from April to November, with some exceptions. If you are interested in what each country has to offer and why sailing in the Mediterranean is outstanding, continue reading this blog on some of the top sailing countries in this region.
Spain covers a large area in Europe and has territories outside the European mainland. In total, entire Spain has more than 4000 kilometres of coastline and more than 200 yacht charter harbours. Spain makes an attractive yacht charter destination because of its excellent geographical position, ideal climate, rich cultural and historical heritage, and many other attractions. It boasts with many beaches, 450 of which are under the Blue Flag certificate. When it comes to Mediterranean Spain, it is geographically the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.
The main Balearic Islands are Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menorca. They are perfect for beginner sailors. The winds here are not strong. The Iberian Peninsula and the area around Barcelona have a bit more wind but are also great for beginners to explore. These two regions have many marinas, and both are excellent choices for yacht rentals in Spain. The usual best time for sailing, from April to November, can be extended even in the winter period for the Balearic Islands. If you love sailing and are not into extremely hot weather, sailing around Ibiza or Mallorca is a good choice, even in late November. Except for the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, sailing in Spain involves the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Due to their geographical position, they offer all-year-round sailing conditions. Bigger waves and stronger winds make it a perfect spot for experienced sailors.
Apart from its astonishing coast and islands, there is a lot more to see in Italy, from famous historical monuments to beautiful scenery. You can charter a yacht on the entire Italian coast. However, Sardinia, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, and the Naples area are yacht charter hotspots. The climate in Italy differs greatly when sailing or travelling from north to south of the country. Northern parts have a harsh climate, with very cold winters and hot humid summers. Central Italy has a milder climate, while in southern Italy, summers are like in other parts of the country, and winters are not so cold. Naturally, the best time to cruise in Italy starts in May and ends in late October, as in most parts of the Mediterranean. July and August are season peak months, quite windless and ideal for sailing beginners learning how to operate a sailing yacht.
Sardinia has a longer sailing season which extends to November because of its geographical position. This beautiful island in Italy has a few charter options and marinas, with most boats at Portisco. What’s more, Sardinia is a good recommendation for experienced sailors looking for a challenge. The usual wind encountered is the northwestern wind called Maestrale.
The area around the Amalfi coast has idyllic rugged landscapes and glorious nightlife which attracts luxury yachts. Thus the mooring spots here often top the Mediterranean average. An ideal way to start a journey there is Marina d’Arechi in Salerno. The whole area is very suitable for beginners due to low average wind speeds. Sicily in the south offers many possibilities for renting a sailboat. Two marinas with the most options are Marina Portorosa and Capo d’Orlando. Sailing around Sicily and the Aeolian Islands is for the more experienced sailors because of the wind conditions. If you decide to sail in Italy and go to Tuscany, you will experience the lovely Tuscan scenery and calm seas perfect for beginners.
Turkey with its position in the Mediterranean offers endless possibilities for spending a nice vacation. Turkish coastline has excellent sailing conditions and weather. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean and Mediterranean seas have a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry, and winters are mild to cool. The weather is perfect, and conditions are very favourable for long and relaxing sailing days. The sun shines for more than 300 days a year in the seas around Turkey. The best time for sailing in Turkey is from April till the end of November. Aegean and Mediterranean regions have a sailing season that lasts a bit longer than in other European destinations. Preseason and postseason months are also a good sailing choice if you prefer fewer boats, but still warm and beautiful weather. The coastal part of the Mediterranean Sea is the main sailing region.
The most popular yacht charters in Turkey are in Marmaris. Several destinations alongside the coast are hot spots for numerous sailors, travellers, and explorers. Sailing in Turkey is a great way to explore the coast, as well as to get to know the history, and culture and experience the hospitality and friendliness of the locals. Compared to other countries on this list, the marinas in Turkey are not so modern. Average winds for sailing in Turkey are not so high, but northerly wind Meltemi could be very severe and usually arrives without a warning. In general, Turkey is suitable for middle-level to experienced sailors.
Greece is a country in Southeast Europe, on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Ancient Greece is the origin of arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports in western society and is one of the first urban civilizations in Europe. So it is not surprising that today it is one of the most diverse sailing destinations. If you would like to make the most of your visit to Greece, sailing is the way to go.
The best time to sail in Greece is from April to November. The pleasant Mediterranean climate and thousands of islands make Greece perfect for a sailing holiday. However, if you are looking for privacy, relaxation, and fewer crowds, you should choose the period between April and June. The high season is from mid-June to mid-September when popular Greek islands receive most visitors. The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country’s unique geography, Greece has a significant range of micro-climates and local variations.
Summer months can be very hot and dry, with a lot of sun and temperatures going up to 35 °C around the coast and islands. The weather on the Greek islands is generally beautiful, with cloudless blue skies, especially in summer. The further south you sail, the more sun you will have. Greek area is influenced by Meltemi winds, especially in the northern parts. Except for the Meltemi, winds are the typical Mediterranean ones, and average wind speeds are a little bit higher. The most popular sailing hotspots for starting your yachting journey are Athens, Corfu and Lefkada. From there, many options are available for planning a sailing trip. Due to wind characteristics, Greece is appropriate for all levels of sailing expertise, but with caution about strong winds that can suddenly appear.
Located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and renowned for its beautiful beaches, Malta and the nearby islands make an attractive yacht charter spot. Malta consists of seven islands, of which three are inhabited: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The Island of Comino is home to the famous Blue Lagoon, a spot to visit for a complete yachting experience in Malta.
The Mediterranean Sea surrounds the island of Malta on all sides, influencing both the weather and the climate. Malta has one of the highest numbers of sunshine hours in Europe. Therefore, summers are sunny, hot, and dry with occasional sea breezes. Most boats are in Marina Kalkara, which makes it a perfect yacht charter destination in Malta. It is a very nice starting point for exploring the beautiful coast and many interesting spots in Malta. The island does not provide many shelters from winds because of its location in the open sea. The prevailing winds in summer are northwestern winds that are not very strong. Southern winds blow occasionally and bring pleasant weather, but also sand. Due to these winds, Malta is appropriate for mid-level to experienced sailors.
France has been the top tourist destination in the world for many years. The country is renowned for its gastronomy, high fashion, heritage, culture, and beautiful scenery. The southern coast of France offers many possibilities for yachting, sailing, and renting a boat. In France, there are three main sailing regions, out of which the Mediterranean is the most popular. In the southern part, the most predominant climate is the Mediterranean. The best sailing time in France is from April to October. In general, sailing conditions are very friendly towards sailors: mild climate, favourable winds and small tides. Like all popular destinations, July and August are most popular with many tourists visiting. On the other hand, excellent weather is common in June and September as well and this period is more suitable for price-sensitive sailors.
A yacht charter on the French Riviera is the perfect place for a sailing holiday if you want to indulge in luxury. However, in case you want to avoid the over-priced destinations, or you are simply in the mood to explore less known and less crowded ports, we have a few recommendations. One of the hidden gems is the city Bormes-les-Mimosas, with many sailing boats to choose from. It is a great starting point for the exploration of the French coast. Another option is one of the many yacht charters in Corsica and cruise along the magnificent west coast, which welcomes you with white sand beaches and famous hiking trails. Most sailboats are in Ajaccio and Propriano. As in the rest of the French Mediterranean, Corsica offers calm seas during the sailing season with low average wind speeds. This makes it ideal for mid-level sailors to enjoy sailing.