This is a tough one! Two stunning sailing locations offering completely different experiences, yet both have some similarities which make them so popular. But which destination is right for you? We have decided to break down the characteristics of both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean to see if we can help you decide where to charter next.
Yacht Charter in the Caribbean
- Best time to sail: December to April
- Winter Winds - North-Easterly
- Summer Winds - South Easterly
- US and British Virgin Islands - US $
- French and Dutch Territories/Islands - € Euro
- Other Islands - Eastern Caribbean Dollar
Number of boats to rent in the Caribbean on our website - 1653
The Caribbean is the epitome of a tropical paradise. In fact, it has quite possibly some of the best beaches in the world, populated with heavenly palm trees and lined with the finest white sand around. With temperatures remaining in the mid-20s throughout the year, this region of the world is a secluded haven away from the bustling city lifestyle. It grants you the opportunity to be at one with your surroundings, a simpler life with emphasis on the natural world in which you are immersed. You could almost liken it to nature’s biggest playground – no matter the terrain there is something to do. Scuba diving? Check. Caving? No problem! Want to explore a dense rainforest? Strap on your boots and let’s go.
So where should you sail in the Caribbean?
Starting off in French territory where arguably the best food can be found. A yacht charter in Guadeloupe means you are surrounded by the picture-perfect turquoise waters and basking in the stunning sunshine of the winter months. Even UNESCO adores this island, naming the Bay of Les Saintes as a contender for most beautiful bays in the world. A perfect infusion of French culture and island heritage, this is a strong contender for best place in the Caribbean (although it would be impossible to just choose one).
What’s great about these islands is the diverse nature of the lifestyles ranging from Saint Thomas to Saint Croix and, of course, Saint John. The more popular Saint Thomas is the ideal location to meet locals and tourists alike, making the most of the thriving social scene and vibrant nightlife. The next day, sail to the quieter haven of Saint John, where the spectacular beaches offer great mooring spots. Then, to get a true taste of the island lifestyle with a trip to Saint Croix, where the best rum is served.
St John - The Quieter of the USVI
Seven hundred islands lay waiting to be explored in this exquisite sailing hotspot. Abundant in snorkeling opportunities and swimming hideaways, the Bahamas is a popular destination for yacht charters. If the breathtaking stretches of coastline and the flavourful range of cuisine isn’t enough to entice you, how about the opportunity to swim with the friendliest pigs in the world? Or for those who love to delve into the history of their destinations, take a trip to the Versailles Gardens or the Queen’s Staircase. The Bahamas is a really unique and exceptional sailing destination.
Of course, these are just a small sample of the endless sailing opportunities presented with a yacht charter in the Caribbean. Whilst each island is unique in culture, lifestyle, and opportunities, the one guarantee is the presence of blissful sandy beaches, tropical waters, and truly remarkable scenery.
Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean
- Best time to sail: April to October
- Winds differ depending on your location in the Mediterranean but the Levante Winds in the summer hail from the east, and the spring and summer can see stronger southerly winds especially in the western parts of the Mediterranean.
Most Mediterranean countries and islands are part of the Eurozone and use the € Euro, however there are two major exceptions
- Croatia - Kuna
- Turkey - Lira
Number of boats to rent in the Mediterranean on our website - 11 224
It almost seems a little unfair to compare the vast Mediterranean region to the Caribbean, especially given the diverse sailing experience each region of this European coastline offers. Island hopping off the coast of Croatia presents a glorious opportunity to see one of the most sought-after sailing destinations, while the French Riviera’s pristine coastal cities are the perfect location for a jam-packed sailing holiday. The marinas tend to be busier than in the Caribbean, with many sailors in July and August choosing to visit the likes of the Turquoise Coast and the legendary Greek islands. But if you know where to look, there are elements of seclusion and serenity that rival the heavenly hideaways of the Caribbean.
You may think that Greece is overrated. It is often the first place people think of for a sailing holiday – but there is a good reason. Sailing in Greece is about as special as it gets. The sheer blue expanse of the water, mirrored by the equally blue sky, interrupted only by impressive mountain ranges and white-washed dwellings. Having your own sailboat allows you to explore this archipelago at your own pace, whether you need to see the sunset at Oia, or take a dip in the Saronic Gulf. Pro tip: June sees the Meltemi Winds at their strongest, so this may not be the best time to charter a yacht in this region.
This is where the money is. Monaco, Nice, Marseille… some luxurious sailing destinations with incredible coastal views and unbeatable weather. This is the place to visit for a lively holiday, brimming with decadent restaurants, bustling city squares, and endless maritime activities. The region is famed for welcoming talent in the film industry to the Cannes Film Festival, and racecar legends to the extravagant streets of Monaco. But that does not mean you need to break the bank to visit here. Stick close to the Lerins Islands to avail of seclusion, or why not Villefrance, where the buzz of city life seems like a distant memory. The great advantage of the French Riviera is the endless opportunities which await you along this golden coast.
The Adriatic Coast has quickly become the place for a yacht charter in the Mediterranean – and there is no wonder why. There is something about the contrast between the bold blue sea and the burnt orange rooftops that makes you gasp upon first sight. A historical marvel, Croatia is home to intriguing Medieval relics and towns, 1,200 islands, and some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Europe. What’s even better is the affordability of this heavenly sailing location. If the French Riviera might seem too expensive, then Croatia will do just the trick. Great value - amazing experience. One particularly stunning town is Omis, which is quite close to Split. Here, everything that makes Croatia unique and appealing is on full display, and the holiday will last with you forever.
Still not quite found what you are looking for in the Mediterranean? Italy's slower-paced sailing experience may prove appealing, with Tuscany and Naples offering some of the most scrumptious dining experiences complimented by dramatic coastlines. Or how about Turkey's Turquoise Coast? This beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean boasts some of the most fascinating historical landmarks of Europe. Cyprus, Spain, Malta... the list goes on and on when it comes to sailing destinations in the Mediterranean. The hardest part is choosing which coastline is the best for you.
This may not be the fun part, but it could be a major factor in your decision-making. Here we have broken down some of the biggest expenses you may incur in each destination.
- Marinas - Variable, but expect up to $1/foot for boats up to 50ft, although this may increase for catamarans
- Mooring buoys - $5 to $30 per night although if you are very lucky there are some spots for free.
Cost of Living
- Restaurants – between $10USD and $25USD for a meal per person (it all depends on how extravagant you want to eat)
- Alcohol – Beer can cost as little as $2.25USD, but the average cost tends to be closer to $4.50USD.
- Groceries may be slightly more expensive to buy due to the necessity to import several items, but you can be sure to find great local fresh produce at low costs too!
- Berthing - This option tends to be far cheaper but may be more difficult to achieve in popular sailing destinations. Countries such as Greece charge as little as €5 per night for berthing, whereas South of Italy can be around four times this.
- Marinas - A far more expensive option although you may not have a choice. Croatia commands high prices, while you can expect to pay between €50 and €70 per night in Spain. Parts of the French Riviera can command more than this, and Italy nearly double. In essence, expect to pay anywhere between €50 to €300 per night depending on size of the vessel and location.
- $6.019US/gallon (Greece)
- $5.909US/gallon (Croatia)
- $6.390US/gallon (France)
Cost of Living
- Restaurants - most destinations have a range of budgetary options, but you can be sure to find a good meal for €9 per person. Don't be afraid to try street food!
- Alcohol – Beer can cost as between €3.50 and €7 (don't be surprised if you are asked for €8+ in Monaco!)
- Groceries can be quite cheap due to the vast range of supermarkets in these countries. Markets can also offer great fresh local produce.
So clearly there is a lot to consider before deciding which destination is right for you. Each offer sublime sailing experiences with enviable weather conditions. The laid-back atmosphere of island life can prove appealing, but the immense historical importance of Mediterranean destinations is equally as alluring. Take the time to figure out which is right for you, and then we can help you get you to where you want to be.