There’s nothing quite like the wind whipping through your hair as you stand on the deck of a boat, watching the sun’s slow descent across the sky with panoramic views of the ocean on every side. One moment, you’re discovering hidden coves and bat caves, the next you’re in the turquoise water - snorkel on - exploring sunken shipwrecks and technicolour coral reefs. Subsequent days are spent relaxing on the deck, soaking in the sun and the scenery.
Sailing holidays are fantastic for a number of reasons. It’s the freedom of setting out each day and plotting the course to whatever location you decide; the discovery of secret coves and white-sand beaches along the way; and the ability to set the pace - creating a holiday as laid-back or as action-packed as you like.
The best thing? You don’t need any experience to enjoy a sailing holiday. With expert crew members and skippers on-board, simply lay back, relax and bask in the joys of life at sea. Here are some of the ultimate destinations for a summer sailing holiday this year.
Adriatic Sea, Croatia
Croatia is a sailing holiday favourite, and understandably so. Cruise around the many islands, diving into the deliciously cool water, snorkelling through technicolour coral reefs and exploring hidden caves. With an abundance of beautiful islands to explore, from the hubs of Split and Dubrovnik, to the lesser known but equally breathtaking islands of Bol and Hvar, this is a sailing adventure at it’s finest. Even better, some of the islands you can moor up at - including Hvar and Vis - were used as filming locations for the Mamma Mia movies, and others for Game of Thrones.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Find luxury on the water on an expedition along the glittering shores of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Begin in the glitz and glamor of islands like Capri and Procida, and meander your way to the infinite blue of the Bay of Naples. Wile away the days soaking in the sun on the deck and mooring up in beautiful coves, and the evenings enjoying limoncello aperitifs and freshly caught calamari at ocean-facing restaurants.
Lower Hebrides, Scotland
Scotland provides a different setting for your pirate adventures. Think barrels of whisky and stunning, rugged wildlife. With opportunities to set sail on a traditional tall ship, on a Scotland sailing expedition you’ll experience authentic life as a pirate on the seven seas. Discover sea lochs and open estuaries, overlooked by towering castles and twinkling lighthouses atop wild headlands.
Ionian Islands, Greece
Another iconic sailing destination, Greece ticks all the boxes for an epic adventure on the water. With remote, uninhabited islands, small fishing villages, and larger, vibrant cities, there’s something for everyone. Sensational sunsets, white-washed windmills and azure waters meet you at every turn. Dine at traditional tavernas on the beach, explore Ancient Greek archaeological sites and shake it out at one of the buzzing bars in Mykonos.
River Nile, Egypt
What could be more idyllic than a sailing trip along Egypt’s world-famous River Nile? Board a traditional felucca ship, and take a gentle voyage through the calm waters of the Nile, spotting ancient monuments and wandering camels. Pair your sailing adventures with on-land explorations of some of Egypt's most iconic sites - not least the Pyramids - for the trip of a lifetime.