The allure of the Mediterranean is undeniable! And with thousands of islands, both large and small, scattered throughout the Mediterranean sea, (belonging to various countries such as Spain, France, Croatia, Turkey, Italy and Greece) there’s an abundance of choice when it comes to planning your island get-away.
In this article we focus on some of the most famous Greek & Italian islands that stand out as some of the most enchanting destinations for sailing. Embark on a nautical adventure through these ancient waters and discover a harmonious blend of rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality. Set sail and explore the magic that awaits…
Santorini – The Jewel of the Aegean: Santorini’s iconic white-washed buildings perched atop dramatic cliffs create a picture-perfect view that entices visitors from around the world. This volcanic island boasts mesmerizing sunsets and stunning beaches with black, red, and white sands. The caldera offers excellent sailing opportunities, while the charming villages of Oia and Fira beckon with their labyrinthine streets and vibrant culture.
Mykonos – Where Glamour Meets Tradition: Mykonos, renowned for its lively nightlife, is a magnet for the jet-set crowd. The island’s cosmopolitan ambiance seamlessly blends with its traditional Cycladic architecture, creating an irresistible blend of glamour and charm. Anchor in secluded bays during the day and then venture ashore to explore Mykonos Town’s chic boutiques, cozy tavernas, and iconic windmills.
Hydra – Authenticity & Tranquility: Hydra, a hidden gem in the Saronic Gulf, offers visitors a timeless and authentic Greek sailing experience. With its preserved architecture, car-free streets, and picturesque harbor, the island exudes historic charm. Navigating around Hydra unveils hidden coves, crystal-clear waters, and opportunities for swimming and snorkeling amidst abundant marine life.
Sardinia – A Sailing Paradise: Sardinia’s crystalline waters and secluded coves make it a sailing paradise. The Costa Smeralda, renowned for its exclusive resorts and stunning coastline, is a favorite destination for luxury. Sailing around Sardinia, sailors can discover hidden gems like the Maddalena Archipelago or the untouched beaches of the Gulf of Orosei.
Sicily – Mediterranean Splendor: The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily, captivates visitors with its impressive history and diverse landscapes. Setting sail from Palermo or Portorosa provides a gateway to unique sailing experiences, from exploring ancient ruins to embracing the volcanic allure of the Aeolian’s Islands. The island’s culinary delights and warm hospitality further enhance your sailing experience.
Capri – Treasure Trove of Elegance: Perched in the Bay of Naples, Capri has long been a haven for artists, writers, and celebrities seeking inspiration and relaxation. The Blue Grotto and the Faraglioni rock formations are iconic landmarks that can be admired from the water. Anchoring off Capri’s shores allows sailors to explore the island’s luxurious boutiques, charming piazzas, and stunning viewpoints.
Island Sailing – Nature at its best
Island sailing is a captivating adventure that offers the chance to explore hidden coves, pristine beaches, and breathtaking landscapes. In addition, islands offer shelter from the elements and provide natural barriers from open waters and weather conditions:
- Blocking Wind and Waves: Islands act as windbreaks, blocking the direct impact of winds and waves that might be present in open seas. When sailing around an island, the windward side is typically where you’ll encounter stronger winds and choppier waters, while the leeward side offers calmer conditions due to the island’s protective influence.
- Creating Calm Anchorages: Many islands have natural bays, coves, and harbors that serve as safe and sheltered anchorages. These well-protected spots offer sailors a refuge from rough seas and allow them to anchor securely, ensuring the vessel remains steady.
- Reducing Swell: Islands can help reduce the size and impact of swells caused by distant storms or strong winds. The landmass of the island disrupts the continuity of ocean waves, resulting in smaller and more manageable swells near the shore.
- Preserving Sea Life: The presence of islands and sealife go hand in hand, creating vibrant and diverse ecosystems that thrive in the surrounding waters.
Sailing the Greek and Italian islands is a dream come true for many. With their timeless beauty, rich histories, and diverse landscapes, these islands offer an unforgettable experience on the azure waters. Whether exploring the ancient ruins in Hydra, indulging in the glamour of Mykonos, savoring Sicily’s culinary delights, or discovering hidden coves in Sardinia, each island offers a unique and alluring sailing experience, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime.