Freedom. It’s just one of the many reasons people are so drawn to sailing. It gives you the feeling that anything is possible. You can just set off for the horizon and go wherever the wind takes you.
In reality, it’ll piss it down with rain, your crew will get seasick, you’ll get stopped by customs and you’ll end up back home feeling rather worse for wear.
But let’s not rain on your parade here. There are plenty of spectacularly beautiful places in the world you can go on a sailing holiday where it doesn’t always rain.
WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, tropical fish swimming around your feet. The Whitsunday Islands, Australia are one of the most beautiful places to sail in the world.
GREEK ISLANDS, GREECE
Greece is the ultimate destination on every sailor’s bucket list. Fresh winds, turquoise waters and lots of hummus make these islands pretty much perfect for a yachting holiday.
Sailing has been part of the culture in Greece for thousands of years, so it is the best way to discover parts of these ancient islands that you’ve never seen before.
G Adventures start in Athens and stop off at Mykonos and Santorini, among other places.
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR
If you love wildlife, you need to head to the Galapagos Islands. They are like nowhere else.
Teeming with the most diverse wildlife on the planet, these legendary islands gained a reputation as the breeding ground for Darwin’s theory of evolution.
While the volcanic land might look like the moon, the oceans are spectacularly beautiful. Join Row Adventure to sail around the islands this December.
Greenland might not be the most obvious choice when it comes to sailing holidays, but the landscape is one of the most beautiful and isolated in the world.
Board a schooner and explore the east coast of Greenland during the summer months. Gliding alongside icebergs and glaciers, you’ll have the opportunity to spot whales, orcas and snow hares. Classic Sailing runs tours to Greenland in August and September.
BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
Three hours from Auckland, you will find the spectacular subtropical Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Dolphins will be chasing alongside the bow of your boat as you cruise through these lush green islands.
It’s known for being unspoilt and seeped in historical Maori culture. Fairwind Charters run multi-day tours around this amazing coastline.
Read our feature on adventures in New Zealand here.
Zanzibar in Tanzania, East Africa is one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. The ancient Stone Town where you will arrive is a UNESCO heritage site, bringing together African, Asian and European culture for over 1000 years.
One of the best way to explore the archipelago is on a traditional dhow (ancient Arabic sailing boat). Make sure you stop off for world-class snorkelling and diving on the way. Original Dhow Safaris run day trips and excursions around the waters.
WEST SCOTLAND, UK
Right on our doorstep, the west coast of Scotland offers some of the best scenic sailing in Europe.
If you are looking to get away from the crowds during the summer, the Western Isles and the Inner Hebrides are a great place to book a yacht holiday. Think untouched coastline, and really good whisky. Moonshadow run sailing tours in the western isles of Scotland.
Croatia has become increasingly popular with Brits in the past five years. Just like Greece, it has thousands of islands dotted along the Dalmatian Coast between (1,185 to be precise).
Sail the azure seas, climb Medieval fortresses and party until dawn. Sunsail organise yachting holidays in Croatia starting in Dubrovnik and heading out into the open ocean.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CARIBBEAN
Sixty tropical islands make up the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, a mecca for sailors the world over. Calm waters and steady breeze make it perfect for the sport. Regattas are held here with the Spring Regatta being the biggest and most festival like, it’s usually held the first week of April every year.
Moorings organise chartered trips around the islands starting from Tortola. P.S. Just because it’s British overseas territory, it doesn’t mean you can move over there permanently. Sorry folks.
There’s not many places in the world where you can sail to a remote island, hike up and ski down - but you can in the Lofoten Islands, Norway. The Lyngen Alps form part of an isolated group in northern Norway. Ideal for adventurous sailors. Boreal Yachting run individual and group trips just like this.
Read our story about a splitboarding adventure in Lofoten here.