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As sailors, we know the recipe for a perfect sailing vacation, whether you’re itching to explore the turquoise tropics of Latin America or the Bondi blue marvels of the Mediterranean. So step aboard and let us show you the most enchanting and unspoiled places on the planet. Here are our top 12 best sailing destinations in the world.
Top 12 Best Sailing Destinations in the world.
1. Paraty, Brazil
Southwards still, Brazil harbors the sparkling sailing treasure of Paraty, a mountain-backed town home to vibrant Brazilian culture and natural beauty. Locals love it during the December and January holidays, but between February and May, a quiet, laid-back ambiance descends across this small colonial seaside town. Thanks to its diverse international community, Paraty hosts an impressive event roster. From August’s Festival de Pinga, a celebration of the famed cachaça, to the Bourbon Festival, when live jazz lights up cafes, bars, and streets for three joyful days in May, Paraty is never-ending fun. Despite the wide selection of land-based pleasures, sailing is Paraty’s main attraction. Weigh anchor and carve through its azure waters to the Blue Lagoon, a perfect snorkeling spot with abundant sea life. Cruise to Saco do Mamangua, Brazil’s only fjord, and kayak between towering mountains of dense green jungle.
2. South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean
South Georgia Island, situated in the Southern Ocean, is best known for its crucial contribution to Ernest Shackleton’s tragic Endurance expedition to the Antarctic. But the area is also a pristine habitat for thousands of penguins and a variety of uncommon albatross, including some only found there. While exploring the ruins of long-defunct whaling stations left over from a bygone era, visitors also have the opportunity to see elephants and fur seals in large numbers. Since those stations have been idle for many years, whale populations have recovered well. In addition to dolphins and a variety of other marine animals, it is not unusual to see humpback whales, sperm whales, southern right whales, and even blue whales just off the coast.
Travelers cross some of the world’s most choppy waters while sailing the Southern Ocean, which is an adventure all on its own. However, the crew at Classic Sailing is an experienced group that has traveled there frequently, and they provide one of the best chances to see South Georgie from a tall ship. This should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for a big sea voyage adventure.
Thailand offers hundreds, if not thousands, of breathtaking locations that seem to have been created especially for sailors, whether you’re looking for a fun destination to dance and party after a long day at sea or a serene location to unwind, chill out, and get a tan.
Thailand offers one of the best, if not the best, sailing in the world and is known as the “Land of Smiles” for its hospitable residents and abundance of some of the best cuisines in the world. Thailand offers everything you need for the perfect sailing vacation, from the enormous rock sculptures rising out of the water in Phang Nga Bay to some of the Technicolor coral reefs that dot the Andaman Sea and some of the world-famous beaches and honeypots like Maya Bay.
You can moor your boat among the hongs, get in a dinghy, and travel to some of the most mysterious caves on earth. We hope the bay will reveal mysteries from more than 10,000 years ago. A sailing trip to Thailand will be enchanting because of the warm water, the fact that snorkeling and diving are ingrained in the local culture, the friendliness of the people there, the fantastic food, and the amazing nightlife.
4. The Greek Isles
There are many sailing opportunities in the Mediterranean, but few are as enjoyable as island hopping off the Greek coast. People who want a little culture and history to go along with their adventure should visit Mykonos, Santorini, and Paros.
Sea kayaking and day trips to see the settlements and scenery are fantastic ways to explore these islands. As you might expect, the locals are welcoming, the food is delectable, and this is a sailing destination you’ll remember for a long time.
Depending on your schedule, there are many options for sailing from Athens or Mykonos, with trips lasting anywhere between a day and a week. Greek Islands vacations are inexpensive with G Adventures, while more luxurious options are available with National Geographic Expeditions.
Why is the Greek Isles a popular sailing destination?
The Greek Islands are among the most well-liked travel destinations in the world, and it’s not surprising given their gorgeous beaches, breathtaking coastlines, and Mediterranean climate. The islands are home to some of Europe’s earliest civilizations, as well as rare archaeological sites and fascinating regional customs.
5. Catalina Island, California
A boating paradise can be found on Catalina Island, only 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles. Divers, sailors, and other visitors of all kinds adore it because it is close to the mainland but feels miles away from the chaos of the city. There is abundant marine life, sunken ships, and even a plane wreck in the island’s clear waters. There are numerous methods for doing this, ranging from glass-bottom boats and charter yachts to open ocean rafting, sailboats, and more, for those who prefer to stay above the water or explore both options. Two Harbors, a small village with many coves that offer moorings and anchorages, is also home to a thriving boating community.
6. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands have long been a favorite among adventure travelers because they provide excellent chances to see wildlife unique to no other place on earth. Giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and the archipelago’s renowned aquatic iguanas can all be seen by visitors. The Galapagos Islands are an excellent place for those who like to stay active on vacation because snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding are all popular pastimes there.
Most visitors to the Galapagos Islands spend their time aboard a small cruise ship. However, the HMS Beagle, a sailing sloop part of the British Royal Navy, was how Charles Darwin arrived in 1835. Sail the Galapagos to get a similar experience if you’re an adventurous traveler. With catamaran and tall ship itineraries available, Andando Tours provides fantastic opportunities to explore this magnificent location.
7. Bay of Islands, New Zealand
The marine reserves in the Bay of Islands, in the country’s winterless north, are rated among the most beautiful sailing locations in the world. New Zealand is a country that has produced some of the best sailors in the world and has one of the highest per-capita rates of boat ownership on the planet. These approximately 150 undeveloped islands, dotted with countless coves and crystal clear waters ranging from deep blue to turquoise, are frequently the first stop for hundreds of yachts that descend from the tropics during cyclone season. There are secluded white sand beaches and an abundance of seafood, such as mussels, kina, John Dory, and snapper, almost everywhere you look. These waters, once referred to as “the angler’s El Dorado” by author Zane Grey, are renowned for big game fishing.
When we talk about the best places to sail, how can we forget Croatia?
Croatia has grown in popularity as a tourist destination in recent years. The popularity may be attributed mainly to the location’s use in the Game of Thrones series.
In Croatia, there is a lot to see and do on land. There are numerous activities to do on the sea, which is more critical for sailors given the over 1,100 miles of coastline to explore. There are plenty of them—over 1,200 of them, to be precise. On each of those islands, picture a lovely beach just itching for you to unwind and enjoy the sunshine.
Croats enjoy fishing as a pastime. If you’re an experienced angler, check out well-known fishing locations like Kornati and Elfati. If you’re looking for other boaters to share a dock with, Hvar is known as the yachting harbor.
Although we wouldn’t blame you if you preferred to stay on the ocean, you will see medieval structures and enormous museums if you drive inland.
Why Croatia’s destination is important for sailing?
The winds are typically much calmer compared to other destinations, the islands and coast are full of ancient historic ruins, and the islands are close together to prevent crossing great distances (making it safer).
Croatia is a powerful sailing nation worldwide for several reasons, including the islands’ proximity. Croatia could provide a clear sea with more than 1200 lovely islands and islets and a comfortable Mediterranean climate with helpful winds for sailing. Croatia is also the most considerable charter power, with 40% of the world’s charter fleet.
9. The Balearics, Spain
Operating out of Mallorca in the heart of the Mediterranean, Terracotta leads the way in creating immersive, tailor-made sailing vacations in Spain. From the stunning horseshoe harbor of Port de Soller, you’ll wave goodbye to its striking lighthouse to discover the dramatic caves of Sa Illeta by dinghy or SUP. Savor the bold flavors of authentic paella and admire expansive sea views at celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s acclaimed Sa Foradada, or dine at Ca’s Patro, a waterside restaurant featured in BBC’s Night Manager series. For the ultimate escape, sail away to the uninhabited islands and rugged blue caves of Cabrera National Park and enjoy deckside tapas at sunset. In June, the electrifying Nit de Foc festival is a beachside carnival of street food, parties, fireworks, concerts, and devil dancing. Want to take your sailing expedition further? Mallorca’s smaller sister islands of Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera have special celebrations to offer sea-bound travelers.
10. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Zanzibar Island in Tanzania is a wonderful destination that combines history, culture, adventure, and a chance to unwind all in one incredible location. The island served as a hub of trade and commerce for the Arab world for many years, and the remnants of that history can still be seen there today. However, the azure Indian Ocean also provides fantastic opportunities for snorkeling, diving, fishing, and time to relax and enjoy the sun. Ancient villages, markets, and beaches are all available for visitors to explore.
A trip to Zanzibar is ideal as a follow-up to a Tanzania safari or a stand-alone vacation spot. Intrepid Travel provides one of the most cost-effective and feature-rich sailing options. It includes a seven-day trip on a modern catamaran that can simultaneously be active and relaxing. Sailing options include one-day outings or weeklong excursions.
11. Newport, Rhode Island
This inclusion on the list may not surprise sailing enthusiasts, who may consider Newport, Rhode Island, one of the best yachting locations in the United States. Newport, known as the “Sailing Capital of the World,” attracts visitors with its gorgeous beaches and New England charm.
There are some benefits that other locations lack due to their strong reputation as sailing locations. For instance, Third Beach Newport simplifies launching and parking your boat. You’ll be able to begin using the water in no time.
While you are in the area, visit Newport’s well-known palaces. Among the most well-known are Marble House, The Elms, and The Breakers. Of course, water provides access to the majority of those mansions.
Why is Newport, Rhode Island, a significant sailing destination?
One of the most enjoyable, intriguing, alluring, and top recreational harbors in the world is considered to be Newport Harbor. The majority of people view Newport as the home of sailing. Newport’s picturesque coastline, calm coastal winds, and breathtaking scenery make for an unmatched sailing experience.
12. The Adriatic Coast, Croatia
Croatia’s Adriatic Coast is the most beautiful sailing destination in the northern Mediterranean, with its chic marinas, charming harbors, historic towns, deserted islands, and remote anchorages. There are more than 1,100 islands along this 1,100-mile coastline, which stretches from Pula to Dubrovnik, a medieval city.
You can explore islands such as Hvar, Brac, Vis, and Korcula, the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest explorers, Marco Polo. You can escape the hustle and bustle of Croatian cities by visiting the remote Kornati archipelago, an unspoiled oasis home to several hidden lagoons that line the park’s shore.
Croatia’s crown jewel, Dubrovnik, is one of the must-see locations when sailing there. This quaint Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, served as the location for the critically acclaimed “Game of Thrones” television series.
So if you’re looking for a superb sailing destination that has a great culture and offers extraordinary wine and cuisine, Croatia should be your ultimate choice. It’s an excellent destination for yacht owners who want to explore Europe without paying the EU’s huge taxes. Croatia is in Europe, but it’s not an EU member, and this might be an added advantage to your sailing escapades.
Sail The World On A Budget (8 Tips)! [VIDEO].
Conclusion – Best Sailing Destinations.
The best aspect of sailing is that you can travel anywhere in the world! So that you can choose from the top 12 sailing destinations in the world listed above for your upcoming sea voyage, depending on your preferences for activities like hiking, swimming, learning about ancient history, or simply sitting back and admiring a beautiful sunset.
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