Top 3 sailing destinations for newly qualified skippers.

So, you’ve just passed your skipper qualification and you’re looking for somewhere to test out your new skills. The only things is; where?! Seeing as 71% of the world is covered in water you have a lot of choices, but it’s making the right choice that will better your first experience as a skipper.

Number 1. The Ionian, Greece. (July and August).

Foki Bay, Ionian.

The Ionian is the perfect place to shake out the sails on your own! With protected anchorages and steady calm winds during the high season, it’s the perfect alternative to the Cyclades.

  • Most of the sailing is done by line of sight, so don’t worry too much if your chart reading isn’t slick yet.
  • Various anchorages offering great holding and even better protection from prevailing winds.
  • There are many town quays which means free moorings! If you cant get onto that, then you can always moor up to a restaurant for a free night. (You will have to eat in the restaurant).
  • Winds are very consistant F1/2 in the morning F2/3 in the afternoon and 90% of the time they will be north westerlies.
  • The Ionian is less saturated with yachts compared to the Cyclades meaning maneuvering/mooring is less stressful.

Number 2. French Riviera, France. (June and September).

Porquerolles, French Riviera

The French Riviera is not just for the rich and famous, its also for bareboaters too! You have the stunning Lerins islands or the picturesque Île de Porquerolles, located southwest of St Tropez.

  • Coastal sailing, always line of sight.
  • Protected anchorages between the Porquerolles islands. The water around there is similar to the Caribbean!
  • June and September is less crowded and less competition with the big superyachts
  • Enjoy beautiful french cuisine along the Cote d’Azur.

Number 3. Split, Croatia. (June and September).

Plakinski Islands 

Croatia is becoming one of the fastest-growing yachting areas in the world and it’s not hard to understand why. The island-hopping, line of sight sailing and picturesque anchorages creates a perfect place for you to test out your new skills.

  • Steady winds throughout the morning and afternoons
  • Warm weather, and ever warmer seas!
  • Easy anchoring, with mooring buoys at almost every anchorage.
  • Island hopping sailing, so you are able to do short stints and no exhaust your new crew.

If you are a newly qualified skipper, and need some advice on sailing locations do not hesitate to get in contact with us. We are all sailors, and travel experts, this means we are better to advise on your perfect charter holiday!

How about the Azores?

Capelinhos Volcan view from above

So you’re fed up with the crowds that flock to the Mediterranean (sailors and nonsailors alike) and you’re looking for something new to conquer. How about the AZORES? The Azores offer steady winds either side of July and August, with July and August providing comfortable calmer winds perfect for families. Looking for a challenge? Charter in March and April where the winds are strong and steady.

Why?

Are you into your nature, geography, and sailing? Would you like to see whales, dolphins, lagoons, extinct volcanos, fajas, and unique anchorages? Then this cluster of islands located in the Atlantic could be for you. Located roughly 1,400 miles west of mainland Portugal, the Azores boasts 9 exquisite, prehistoric islands ready for you to explore. The archipelago is comprised of 9 islands each with its own individual character.

São Miguel Island – Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Itinerary

Start from Horta and explore Sao Miguel, Pico and Terceira Island all within one week. If you are planning on doing a two-week charter (which would be advised as there is just SO much to see) then you can go further afield and explore the islands such as Graciosa Island and Sao Jorge island.

Azores landscape with waterfalls and cliffs in Flores island. Portugal.

Getting there

Direct flights are available from most major airports (within flying distance!) From the US you have the luxury of choosing between Azores Airlines and Delta Airlines. You can fly directly via Boston, Oakland, and New York City. Flight time from Boston is roughly around the 4.5-hour mark with the UK being the same. Tap Air Portugal and Ryanair fly most frequently to the Azores.

Panoramic view over the Sete Cidades lake on Sao Miguel Azores

Want to find out more? Contact us today to find out how you could sail in the Jurrasic world of the Azores!

West Coast of Corsica Part 2:

A short cruise around from Ajaccio you will arrive in Propriano, a beautiful fishing harbor in the narrowest part of the Valinco Golf in Corsica.

Propriano

The majority of the buildings date from the early 19th century, prior to this the area was occupied by Romans and Greeks, but having been frequently attacked by pirates in the late 18th century, little remains of early Propriano.

Propriano is mainly one long cobbled street with luxury shops, cafes and bars in the traditional old houses, it’s a lovely place to explore. Propriano has become quite a popular area in Corsica thanks to her numerous close by beaches including Plage du Lido, a stunning white sandy beach with views over the gulf of Propriano.

Roccapina?

Further south after a leisurely cruise you will find the beautiful Plage de Roccapina, a 2km stretch of white sand adorned with magnificent rock formations including the Roccapina Lion. 

A little inland from Roccapina beach is the stunning Domaine de Murtoli, a natural and peaceful resort with the stunning beach restaurant La Table de la Plage, inspired by an ancient fisherman’s hut, furniture made of driftwood and shaded by olive and mastik trees.

The restaurant offers gastronomic food including locally grown meat, freshly caught fish or seafood seasoned to enhance their flavour. Chef Renard Laurence has created a selection of their most popular ‘ecorces’ to enjoy in the lounges or on the sunbeds where relaxation is paramount.

Bonifacio

On the southernmost point of Corsica when you cruise the straights of Bonifacio, it is truly magnificent, with dramatic limestone cliffs on either side, you cruise for around an hour and a half before arriving at the pretty town consisting of brasseries, bars, and cafes, the perfect place to enjoy an evening ashore.

Porto Vecchio around to the east of Bonifacio is known as the ‘Pearl of the south’, with winding narrow streets inside the ramparts offering many restaurants, shops and cafes. Porto Vecchio has an Italian chic which gives a great energy to the town.

Porto Vecchio is home to the exquisite white sandy beach Santa Giulia and the stunning Palombaggia with perfect sand and a red rock backdrop. 

Contact Cordy at Boatbookings to plan your 2020 Corsica yacht charter.

West Coast of Corsica Part 1.

Broker Cordy gives an insight into her time working onboard Megayachts

One of my favorite places to cruise when I worked onboard mega yachts (Giga yachts weren’t around then!) was the stunning West coastline of Corsica. I was fortunate to work for a wonderful English family who adored this area, so it is where we spent the majority of the summer. On a displacement yacht cruising at around 12knots, the journey from Cannes to St Florent is around 10 hours which can normally be achieved overnight. So, if you are on the French Riviera and fancy something a little different, why not enjoy a wonderful dinner on board anchored at the Iles des Lerins, Cannes, and then start your journey after this. Be sure to ask the crew to wake you up at dawn to dolphin watch! One of the most amazing experiences at sea.

Arriving in St Florent is stunning, this pretty little fishing port has a host of local restaurants and bars huddled around the marina. Restaurant de l’Europe and Le Grill are perfect places to sit in the sun and watch the world go by!

Having relaxed in the sun, head one street back to the old town full of independent shops selling local charcuterie and souvenirs. Keep heading up and you will reach the citadel, steps from the citadel car park lead down to a small beach. The stunning cathedral de Nebbio is found on the other side of the town on the Chemin de la Cathedrale and is most definitely worth a visit.

For the more energetic persons amongst your group, Le Roya Beach can be found to the southeast of the town offering water sports including windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, jet skis and scuba diving! There really is something for everyone!

Heading west from St Florent is the beautiful town of Calvi. Coming into port you have an incredible view of the citadel, once docked, it is definitely worth climbing up the cobbled streets for breathtaking panoramic views of your surroundings. There are some great restaurants up here as well as the voguish Chez Tao bar!

Once you have soaked up the incredible views, wander around the shops through the old cobbled streets of the town. The marché de l’Orée des Pins is full of local charcuterie, grapes, cheeses, and amazing pastries!

Around the corner, further West from Calvi is possibly the most beautiful spot in the Med! Girolata is a fortified bay at the south of the Scandola Nature Reserve. The setting is spectacular, with the village perched on the peninsula and surrounded by the sea and the famous red rock mountains of this area.  This bay is a wonderful place to anchor and swim ashore to the beautiful beach.

Further south in the Scandola National Park is the bay of Porto where you can find a pretty little village and see more of the stunning Calanques de Piana rock formations.

Having enjoyed the National Park, further south again you will find Ajaccio, famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte! You can visit the Maison Bonaparte, now a national museum, the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family, to discover more about his life. Ajaccio’s charming old town is a great place to amble and enjoy the beautiful architectural features and stunning landmarks such as the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption.

The pretty port of Ajaccio is adorned with bars and restaurants serving seafood and pizzas. The perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and admire the view!

Contact Cordy at Boatbookings to plan your Corsican adventure and please keep reading the blog for part 2 of the West Coast of Corsica!

Harmonious Hanse

Hanse was founded in 1993, when it launched its first boat, the Hanse 291, which caused a stir because of its racing prowess. It is now one of the top 5 worldwide manufactures of sailing yachts and is based in Griefswold, Germany.

Hanse Yachts are built with quality materials and furnished beautifully. No expense is spared when creating a Hanse. Their epoxy hulls are built with vacuum-composite technology which produces significantly greater stiffness with 20% less weight. Making her a durable, but light performance cruising yacht.

Hanse Sailing Yachts are known for their quality, comfort, speed, easy sailing, and family-friendly design. They feature self-tacking jibs, fully battened mainsails, and a single-line reefing system that help make sailing a stress-free experience.

Once you have experienced the quality of a Hanse Yacht, you will not want to sail anything else! Why not do a Hanse Yacht Charter in some of the most popular sailing destinations in the world? Check out the range of Hanse’s in Croatia or Greece!

One of Boatbookings most favourite Hanse Yachts has just became available in Croatia! The Hanse 575 is an innovative yacht which is not only aesthetically beautiful to look at but also easy to handle. Hanse has designed the Easy Sailing Concept, a thoughtful design dedicated to the importance of stress-free sailing.