There’s a reason why yachts are so often mentioned in lists of elite status symbols – however unenthusiastic you might be when it comes to bobbing about in a dinghy, there’s something about coursing through the ocean on a sleek, streamlined yacht with the wind in your hair that speaks to the adventurer in all of us. Whether you plan to embark on lengthy voyages or simply spend a few weeks each summer cruising in the sun, yachts provide both a relatively safe investment and a chance to explore the world from an entirely new angle. Discussions of the best sailing destinations in the world tend to get rather heated among yachting devotees, but here’s a list of the five that we feel are truly worthy of the title.
If you struggle to decide whether to spend your summer at the casinos of Monaco, on the beaches of San Tropez or strolling through the streets of Cannes, the simple solution is to embark on a sailing trip down the Côte d’Azur and enjoy all three in one holiday. Along with discovering plenty of lesser-known gems along the coast, you’ll sail past natural wonders like the huge red rocks of the Massif de l’Estérel, with secluded bays and clear sparkling waters accompanying you throughout your voyage.
The Great Barrier Reef is often described as one of the most fascinating sights in the world – and there’s no better way to see it than from the water. By setting off to sail around the Whitsunday Islands, you’ll be able to combine the thrill of the open water with days spent scuba-diving past shoals of colourful fish, mooring for the night in the sheltered harbours of the islands.
Greece’s western islands are sun soaked jewels, dotted throughout the azure Ionian Sea that gives them their name. As the setting for the iconic novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin the islands are not short of admirers, but this hasn’t detracted from their bucolic charm. Some remain uninhabited to this day, accessible only by sea – but this just means that for the fortunate few who can reach them, there’s a truly unspoilt Mediterranean paradise waiting to be explored.
San Juan Islands
Nestled between the USA and Canada, the San Juan Islands are an excellent spot for a sailing holiday, with over 172 islands to explore and an average of 250 days of sunshine each year. It’s also one of the best places in the world to go whale watching, with three pods of orcas calling the waters home and regular sightings of minke whales and porpoises.
British Virgin Islands
Frequently labelled the sailing capital of the world, the BVIs represent everything that’s so spectacular about sailing in the Caribbean. Bars and restaurants that can only be reached by boat provide a warm welcome to the international sailors that come dripping through their doorways each evening, with beach parties and endless diving opportunities ensuring entertainment for everyone on board.
Whether your yachting dreams feature billowing sails or powerful motors, Engel & Völkers Yachting can help you find your ideal vessel. With expert brokers and opportunities to purchase all over the world, from France to French Polynesia, you could be out on open water even sooner than you think.