This year try something different for your vacation. Don’t get tied down by just one destination, and instead set your course for unexpected waters and tropical destinations. Great for experienced seamen and novice sailors alike, these sun-drenched waters are the classic sailing adventures you need to travel to by boat to truly appreciate their stunning beauty.
1. Greek Islands
For centuries, the Greek Islands have attracted sailors from across the world. With more than 300 days of sunshine annually, the summers in the Aegean and Ionian can easily accommodate an Odyssey that incorporates almost all of the 1400-plus islands. At the top of your island-hopping adventure, you should visit Cyclades, the home of the picture-perfect islands of Mykonos and Santorini, or visit Crete and explore the dawn of western civilization. Still, sailors can attest to the changing winds, especially the north-eastern meltemi wind, so make sure to prep your boat for offshore cruising. As long as you do, it will be smooth sailing from Corfu via Lefkada to Lezbos.
2. British Virgin Islands
The wide-open waters of the Atlantic and clear blue skies over Her Royal Majesty’s British Virgin Islands are an ideal Caribbean tropical destination for any sea-fearing adventurer. Despite sitting in open waters, the steady winds and mild currents make it a sailing paradise. The archipelago contains over 40 islands, of different size, each one worth exploring, be it just for the white sandy beach experience, at places like Josiah’s Bay or Cane Garden Bay. Aside from the name and the odd fish and chips shop here and there, the self-governing overseas territory bears little resemblance to its former master. So much so, that the US dollar has even replaced the Pound as the most widely-used currency.
Far away in the Indian Ocean lies the multi-cultural island of Zanzibar. With its turquoise waters and pure white beaches, it is easy to imagine why this heavenly island was fought over throughout history. The island was a major stop on the Spice Route from Indochina, and has merged the influence of Persia, India and the West, to create an awesome spectacle of art, architecture, cuisine, and overall way of life. This can also be seen in Zanzibar’s sailing tradition, as most common vessel remains the dhow, a remnant from the One Thousand and One Night’s. However, Zanzibar’s most famous export is a more recent one – Freddie Mercury, whose songs seem to echo wherever you may go on the island.
4. Whitsunday Islands
Located just a few miles away from Queensland’s sunshine-drenched coast, the Whitsundays are the ultimate cruise destination in the Land Down Under. Comprised of no less than 74 immaculate islands, this small archipelago sits on top of the world’s largest coral garden – the Great Barrier Reef. It is no wonder then that there are adventures lying beneath the waves, as the delicate maze of coral harbors a stunning array of Technicolor tropical fish. However, when dropping anchor at the gateway town of Airlie Beach, be sure to check out the restricted zones and get to know the latest bird control technology in Australia, to protect yourself against fines, and preserve this glorious eco-system for future generations.
5. Croatian Coast
In recent years, Croatia is attracting tourists from all over the world. This amazing country has the best coastline in the entire Adriatic. From small islands, like Hvar or Pag, to scenic coastal towns, like Opatija, or ancient cities like Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia has it all. A single summer doesn’t cut it for this country, as there are 1185 islands in all to explore, as well as hidden beaches, secret coves and caves, which are easily accessible by boat. Croatia is also beginning to churn out some of the best Mediterranean cuisine. After a hearty meal, any sailor will enjoy a sensational night by visiting Pula, and enjoying the Film Festival or concert, or rave on at Croatia’s top party spots.
These five destinations may encompass the entire world, but, after all you are on a ship bound for adventure. All that’s left to do is set your course and sail into these amazing lands to explore and indulge in what the high seas of the world have to offer.