The Best Places To Sail In The World

Sailing Travel

One of the very best benefits of sailing is that you get to visit the world in a completely different way from other travelers.

If you have a sailboat, travelling is basically free and you are not limited to destinations with airports,convenient accommodation, grocery stores and so on.

Everything you need to get by is already in your sailboat.

This means that we - as sailors - get the opportunity to see the world from a unique perspective while visiting some truly spectacular places.

 

To help you draw some inspiration, we have assembled this list of our favorite destinations.

 

The Grenadines

place to sail

A southern Caribbean island located in the West Indies. Also known as the “spice islands” due to their rich variety and volume of aromatic vegetation, these islands are by many considered as the true definition of paradise on earth. And you will practically have them to yourselves.

Due to its remote location, the stunning landscapes, white sandy beaches and abundant wild-life, will be practically be all yours to explore. However, if you do wish to touch base with civilization,Bequia and Port Elizabeth are great options.

 

Catalina Island

best sailing places

If you are looking for something a little less remote, Catalina Island located just 22 miles of the coast of Los Angeles.

However, it’s proximity to the mainland also means that you will not be alone out there. Rather, the island is normally filled with sailors, surfers, divers and enthusiasts of any other water sport activity imaginable.

Fortunately, loads of rental options exists in all different price ranges, so it is only up to you and your wallet, how many things you wish to check-mark on that bucket-list.

 

Croatia

where to sail

For many years, the Croatian coastline has been completely overlooked. For the last 10 years or so that has drastically changed. Now known as the “New Riviera” referring to the popular southern coastline of France, Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular destination for sailors.

From late spring and continuing deep into the autumn, the region is blessed with sunny skies and a consistent mild breeze,just perfect for a couple of weeks recreational sailing.

Along the coastline there is plentiful of small villages worth visiting and and hundreds of small rocky islands to go explore. 

 

Galapagos Islands

sailing adventures

This group of Islands are mainly known to the public because of its impressive diversity and volume of rare animal wildlife protected by the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the Galapagos National Park.

The islands are located in the Eastern Pacific Ocean,around 600 miles west off the coast of Ecuador - basically right on the equator. The wildlife includes Pelicans, Marine Iguana’s, blue-footed boobies,tortoises, penguins, dolphins and so on. 

 

French Polynesia

A total group of 118 islands sprinkled across more than 1200 miles of the ocean. Most famous however is Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Maupiti and Teahupo’o.

The islands offer an abundance of exotic wildlife in the sea as well as on land, picture-perfect beaches, volcanic rock formations, beautiful lagoons and stunning waterfalls.

On top of it all, is that true island culture. A culture permeated with love, mystique, dancing, and laughing. Tomorrow is going to come tomorrow and nobody is in a hurry to get there.

 

British Virgin Islands

places to sail

White sandy beaches,shadowing palm trees, refreshing azure waters. Add a nice mild breeze and the result is one of the most attractive sailing destinations in the world.

Part of the Caribbean and located between Puerto Rico and Anguilla, the group consists of around 50 islands offering remote spots where you can be all to yourselves or larger lagoons where you can join other sailing adventurers to explore the charming local culture.

 

Greece

sailing in greece

Perhaps the most famous European archipelago. And for good reason. The number of islands beckoning a visit is endless. Some is uninhabited while others are characterized by villages filled by white-washed houses and pink bougainvillea blossoming into the streets.

The surrounding nature is stunning and you should grab any opportunity to dive, snorkel, swim, hike and climb in and around the islands.

Also, the local cuisine is worth exploring. Many times the individual islands will have their own specialties but anywhere in the region you can expect the seafood to be absolutely top-shelve.

Then you have capers and fava that is special to Santorini, cheese pies on Milos and kopanisti on Mykonos. Add some local wine to the dinner plan and everybody is guaranteed to have a good time.

 

Stockholm 

place to sail

East of Stockholm an archipelago consisting of small rocky islands sprinkled all over the coastline is known as one of the very most beautiful destinations in Scandinavia. Months between June and August should definitely be preferred as the weather is very likely to be cold, windy and fickle for the remaining months.

But, during these two months,just sailing around sightseeing the islands may be one of the most beautiful adventures you will ever experience as a sailor.

The sun is set for around-20 hours a day offering some stunningly bright evenings and leaving you plenty of hours in the day to explore swimming, fishing, kayaking and cliff-diving. You will surely find yourself ending up with an adventure that you will never forget.   

 

Bahamas

sail in bahamas

Above sea-level the pristine sandy beaches lasting as far as your eyesight should be sufficient to make the Bahamas a world-famous attraction.

But really, it is what is going on below sea-level that is truly spectacular. Scattered around in the crystal clear waters surrounding the islands is more than 700 coral cays, just waiting to get explored.

Some is accessible only by deep water diving while others can be reached just by snorkeling. So take your boat to an excluded spot and through yourself in to explore the wildlife all on your own. 

 

Thailand (Phuket)

sailing thailand

In the land of smiles you can find some of the most beautiful scenery in the world - especially if you are visiting by sailboat.

Many of the most beautiful bays and lagoons are placed in undeveloped regions, leaving sailors with an unique opportunity to get around in the area. You have both the pulsing big city life of Bangkok as well as excluded idyllic islands within your reach - both offering an abundance of experiences.

From the local cuisine, their fascinating history and their culture to the sandy beaches, majestic mountains, wild jungle, captivating wildlife and the small villages scattered around the remote parts of the country.  You will find yourself in the midst of a true adventure.

 

Port Townsend

sailing port townsend

Located in Washington, USA, just right of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, you find some absolutely pristine sailing conditions. You will be surrounded by a mountainous landscape with long green hills and slopes, crowned by rocky peaks - just calling for a hike.

The wildlife is amazing as well. In the sea, you will find whales, sea lions, harbor seals as well as porpoise and otters. In land, you will have a variety of wildcats alongwith bears, eagles and wild horses.

It is also worthwhile to visit Port Townsend itself. Almost, as a time pocket, it will be dominated by beautiful Victorian mansions, brick buildings and sandstone storefronts that will make you feel the breath of history as you walk the streets.

 

Zanzibar

sailing zanzibar

As a historic junction of trade across all continents, the island of Zanzibar situated off the coast west of Tanzania, should definitely be on our to do-list as an adventurous sailor.

Explore the ancient kingdom of Persia, visit the marketplaces and indulge yourselves in the unbelievable world of spices, coffees,cinnamon bars and vanilla pods. And when you feel like a break is needed from the pulsating market place take your boat to a white sandy beach and through yourself into the crystal clear waters.

Just cruise around and enjoy what this tropical paradise has to offer in terms of swimming, diving and snorkeling. 

 

Newport

best places to sail

As the long-time home of the legendary America’s Cup sailing competition, it has become renowned as the “Sailing Capital of the World”. The conditions are always inviting for a sail and Narragansett Bay is definitely worth a visit.

Otherwise just exploring the coastline around Rhode Island and its picturesque beaches offers some absolutely breathtaking scenery. 

Newport, itself is also worth a visit. From the famous America’s Cup museum, the enormous boat park to the mansions on the hills you will get a real understanding of what the-american dream is all about.

 

France

best place to sail

Known as “The Riviera”, the south-facing coastline of France is world-famous for it’s beauty and exclusivity. Especially the part of the coastline closest to Italy.Saint-Tropez, Cannes and

Nice should ring familiar to most - even non-sailors.The location is characterized by sandy beaches mixed with steep cliffs and green vegetation.

Harbors and sailing clubs are scattered all along the coast and every sailor will spend an amazing couple of weeks day-sailing from sailing club to sailing club. 

Venturing into the small seaside towns, you will encounter the exclusive and lavish lifestyle that attracts billionaire businessmen as well as A-list Hollywood actors. Champagne,Caviar, Ferrari’s, Lamborghini, luxurious hotels and mansions will keep your finger glued to the camera.

What do you think is the best place to sail? 

So what would be your favorite place to sail? There's so much choice all around the world that it can be hard to pick the perfect spot for you and your family.

 

Simon Nielson

Simon is a former world class sailing athlete, winning medals in European and World Championships while being ranked no. 1 in the world in the Olympic 49'er class as part of being in the Denmark national team. He has contributed many articles to the Deepsailling blog. If you'd like to learn more, you can read our about page. If you'd like to share your photos or stories from your sailing adventures, simply email us and we'll share them on the site.

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