The 10 Best Sailing Destinations For Thrill Seekers
When you think of an adventure vacation, you may typically picture an African safari, an Amazonian trek, or an Alpine ascent. Whilst all of these are undoubtedly incredible experiences, what happens if you think outside the box? Historically, where have the most inspiring adventure stories been set? How can you combine freedom, exploration and natural thrills in one trip? Of course – a sailing vacation.
The first form of adventure travel saw intrepid explorers setting sail, not knowing which lands they’d discover, or indeed if they would ever return home. Months at sea, in perilous conditions, and totally at the mercy of the wind and the waves.
After centuries of nautical advances, the risk may not be as high, but the thrills are still there to be sought. Read on for the ten best sailing destinations for a maritime adventure
South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean
Now for something a little different – South Georgia Island. This name may ring a bell, as it was a big part of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful Antarctic expedition.
If you’re a nature-lover, be prepared for some unforgettable experiences. Inactive whaling stations are now full of life – giving you the opportunity to set eyes on sperm whales, humpbacks, blue whales, dolphins and much more. On land, you’ll find seals, penguins, albatross and other rare birds.
This is not a sailing experience for the faint-hearted, the waters can be turbulent. But the reward of seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats makes it well worthwhile.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Famed for being the home of some of Darwin’s best discoveries, the Galapagos Islands are steeped in history and wildlife. For a unique and authentic experience, the best way to visit is by boat, just as Darwin did in 1835. A Galapagos crewed yacht charter is recommended, as your captain will be able to advise on the best spots to see some of the giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and aquatic iguanas. You can take a closer look from the water’s surface, by kayaking and paddle boarding. If you fancy a little submarine exploration, diving and snorkelling are very popular pastimes here too.
The Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Across the Tasman Sea, Australia yacht charters offer much more than the Outback and Sydney Opera House. Many water enthusiasts will have the Great Barrier Reef on their bucket lists, but you may not be aware of the Whitsunday Islands. 74 islands dotted down the coast of Queensland – these are an absolute paradise for divers and snorkelers, thanks to the vivid blue waters and abundant wildlife. Departing from Airlie Beach, there are charter options to suit all vacations. We guarantee you won’t want this experience to come to an end.
Norway, Arctic Circle
For something totally different, why not combine luxury chartering with climbing and skiing in Northern Norway. Vacations don’t get much more adventurous and unique than this! Custom-built yacht Firebird is taking guests to previously inaccessible peaks and pistes. Breath-taking scenery, and even the Northern Lights, are all part and parcel of this astounding charter vacation.
The Greek Islands
It’s difficult to pick only one Mediterranean sailing adventure… so we haven’t. First up, Yacht Charters in the Greek Islands. If you want to combine a little history and culture with your adventure vacation, consider island hopping around the stunning Ionian and Aegean seas. Corfu, Kefalonia, Mykonos and Santorini are just as mystical and appealing as they sound. Coves and bays are waiting to be explored by yacht, or a little more closely, by kayak. On land, you’ll find traditional villages, welcoming locals and delicious delicacies. Many charters leave from Athens, making for straightforward connections and more time to enjoy the ocean.
The Adriatic Coast, Croatia
Next up in our Mediterranean exploration – Croatia’s Adriatic Coast offers more than 1100 miles of astounding coastlines and countless islands. In terms of adventure, the clear waters are perfect for snorkelling, diving, kayaking and paddle boarding. Your captain can guide your vessel into hidden lagoons and to remote fishing villages, giving you a flavor of the local culture. On land, you may wish to hike or cycle the unspoiled landscapes. And of course, Dubrovnik is a UNESCO heritage site, and known for delicious local wines and food.
The Bay of Islands, New Zealand
New Zealand’s incredible coastlines have been explored by curious sailors for generations. The Bay of Islands in particular welcomes anglers, kayakers and snorkelers, thanks to its varied wildlife. Dolphins, whales and penguins may be spotted from your vessel. If you take a jaunt to one of the 144 islands the hiking opportunities are also unrivalled.
French Polynesia, Tahiti
Crystal-clear waters teeming with sea creatures await you on a Tahiti yacht charter. This is a dream location for those who love to join the local wildlife in the water. A colorful underwater world is ready for exploration.
Some of the most pristine beaches in the world can also be found here. Many of which are only accessible by boat. While you’re in the area, consider heading over to nearby Bora Bora, Moorea and Huahine. The South Pacific is best enjoyed from the water.
The British Virgin Islands
With arguably the best sailing conditions in the Caribbean, The BVI offers unparalleled variety and stunning scenery, with something to please every charterer. Calm, warm waters, endless sunshine and white beaches have been enticing sailors for generations. Whether you’re a diver, angler, or just enjoy hopping between some of the 60 islands – BVI has it all. This is our top recommendation for those new to sailing vacations.
Lycian Coast, Turkey
Heading Southeast from Croatia, let’s take a look at the Lycian Coast in Turkey. This is where you can experience something a little more akin to our adventurous ancestors. Gulets are traditional yachts, with an undeniable resemblance to pirate ships. These are exciting yet comfortable vessels for adventurous vacationers. This region of Turkey is known for quiet beaches, rocky cliffs and archaeological sites. Something for every explorer in your party.
Your Adventure, Your Way
Surely these tempting travel experiences have wet your appetite for adventure. If you’d like to find out more, or if you have something a little different in mind, contact your yacht.vacations consultant today.