Family Sailing Holiday? Unexpectedly Brilliant Places To Charter A Yacht
It sounds ridiculously extravagant – charter your own yacht for a family sailing holiday. But actually, renting family-friendly sailing yachts can be surprisingly affordable – it’s often cheaper than a hotel or villa.
And seriously – sipping your cocktail on deck as the sun sets across the bay… it’s truly a magnificent way to explore a new country.
If you’re not sure about a Family Sailing Holiday, there’s a really great introduction in the Independent here – basically it’s such a flexible holiday that there’s bound to be something that’ll fit exactly what you’re looking for. And choosing carefully means that no, it’s not just for celebrities and millionaires!
And it’s not just about floating between Caribbean Islands in a white bikini with a glass of something sparkly in your hand, either. Sailing is a fabulous adventure activity for the whole family, with amazing fitness benefits as well as unexpected psychologicalones. Not only are you utterly in charge of your boat, you’re also adjusting constantly to the elements, equally challenging to both your mental and physical fitness. You’ll all improve your flexibility and agility, and sailing will significantly improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
And on top of the obvious physical demands of keeping your boat cutting through the waves, simply being out on the water can lift your mood – we defy any teen to continue a pity sulk as they fly across the ocean or battle an approaching storm (interestingly it’s not just an emotive reaction – the salt in the sea air is composed of charged ions that aid in the body’s oxygen absorption, which in turn balances serotonin levels. The more balanced your body’s serotonin levels are, the happier you’re going to be. Its the same levels as those found in the air after a thunderstorm – and everyone knows how good that feels).
Best of all for families, sailing teaches everyone on board how to communicate effectively. Everyone has a crucial role to play, and everyone HAS to communicate and work as a team; essential skills many families with teens find perennially useful!
If you fancy the idea of a Family Sailing Holiday but have never sailed; that’s absolutely okay.
You can charter a yacht ‘skippered’, which means that you get an experienced crew to deal with the actual sailing bit, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the view.
Naturally if you know how to sail then you’ll want to charter ‘bareboat’ (yes, that means there’s no skipper in charge and it’s all down to you and your team, so you’d really best know how to sail first).
So now you’ve decided that the freedom of the open sea is exactly what you’re looking for on your next adventure, where in the world is a great place to charter a yacht for your Family Sailing Holiday?
Family Sailing Holiday in Croatia
Croatia’s becoming the go-to place for so many different tourists; and it’s really making a name for itself among the sailing community. With over 3,500 miles of coast (we’re adding in all the gazillion* islands, obviously, because who doesn’t want to sail around them?), sailing holidays in Croatia are possibly the most flexible and varied in Europe. The wild and rugged Dalmatian coast is filled with ancient villages, astonishing beaches and isolated, uninhabited islands.
From April the water cam be warm enough to swim in, and secluded coves are easy to find. If you fancy more nightlife, head on round to the coast of Istria where you’ll find far more tourists, but also the big hotels, fine cuisine, surprising wines and an ancient culture.
*over 1,000 islands. A thousand is pretty much a gazillion, right?
Family Sailing Holiday in Fiji
It may not be your first thought, but Fiji in the Southwest Pacific has 300 islands scattered across the ocean just begging to be explored.
The clear waters are filled with reefs, and the islands hide beautiful lagoons.
It’s not quick to get there – the cheapest and quickest way is to fly to LA (11hrs) and then fly to Fiji (another 11hr flight), but that remoteness means Fiji will show you a holiday like no other.
And for a family holiday Fiji is wonderful; English is widely spoken, it’s a very safe country, and the local people are especially friendly.
If you’re after busier developed resorts then you’ll want the Mamanucas. The beautiful Yasawas are less developed and quieter, and in Fiji’s far east the Lau group of islands will show you the exotic untouched Fiji where locals still live as though the Europeans never came (you need special permission to visit).
Family Sailing Holiday in The British Virgin Islands
Apparently the British Virgin Islands are happy to declare that they have more yachts there than anyone else in the world – it’s probably one of the best places in the world to charter one!
Generations of sailors can’t be wrong – the winds, the navigation and the anchorages all add to make life as good as it can be for sailing in tropical waters. And when you’re on shore there are stunning beaches, plenty of adventurous activities and wonderful stops for foodies… what’s not to love? You can see why so many people love to sail here. And yes, don’t worry, the BVI have recovered very quickly from hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria (though the same can’t be said for all the Caribbean)
Family Sailing Holiday on the French Riviera
It’s ridiculously quick and easy to get to, and yet this Mediterranean coastline is so packed with astonishing beaches and stunning scenery it’s been popular with the celebrity A-listers since the golden days of Hollywood.
The year round sunshine means there’s never a bad time to head to the French Riviera, and of course Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo never sleep. However, if you’re looking for a quieter trip just head your yacht down towards Port Cros and family-friendly Porquerolles; white sandy beaches, palm trees and a slow gentle sunset are all the nightlife you’ll need.
Family Sailing Holiday on the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Virtually unknown to the outside world, the Mergui Archipelago is located in Myanmar’s (Burma’s) remote south: a group of 800 deserted islands. Think white beaches lined with palm trees and dense jungle. Think swimming in azure water amongst colourful reef fish, spotting corals, and collecting seashells.
And best of all: you have this entire experience to yourself. You can sail for days on end and meet not a soul but the odd fisherman in a dugout canoe.
Just across from the Thai border, the archipelago opened to foreigners as recently as the late 1990s. With only a few of the 800 islands sparsely populated and a couple dozen visitors to the entire area each month, the Mergui Archipelago remains one of the planet’s most unspoilt destinations.