As summer approaches and lockdowns loosen, a luxury yacht charter is the answer to making the most of the sunshine while continuing to social distance. For those that live in Europe, this is your guide to discovering your amazing coastlines without ever having to set foot into civilisation.
The coast of mainland Spain has plenty of wonders to delight in, such as the gorgeous golden sands of Doñana National Park to the south or Serra d’Irta Natural Park west of the Balearic Islands. Even if you decide to go to Spain’s best cruising spots of Ibiza, Mallorca or Menorca, there are fantastic places you can escape to away from the cities, and the region is excellent for cave dives and water sports activities that will keep you entertained day after day.
And when you have sunbathing facilities, a Jacuzzi and expert chef on board, you can make the best of nature without ever having to leave your yacht.
France is known for its glamorous cities packed with history and culture, not forgetting the famous Pampelonne Beach in Saint-Tropez. However there are beaches that stretch for miles between the border with Spain and Marseilles, and one of our tips for a French Riviera Charter is to visit island destinations such as Corsica and the Îles d’Hyères: These places have beautiful nature reserves and quaint villages to explore where visitors and residents are few and far between. The must-visit destination on a yacht in the area is Monaco, the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera.
Now is a great opportunity to leave your comfort zone and discover some of the incredible coastal destinations usually overlooked around Italy. Spend the day on untouched island beaches at Scalo di Gorgona, Capraia Isola and the Tuscan Archipelago, or head to Sicily and Sardinia for the magnificent architecture and winding coastlines that give you plenty to take in. The eastern side of Italy is relatively unknown compared to the typical Italian Riviera itinerary, yet there are beaches that stretch for miles and cities with top-quality museums and galleries waiting to be seen.
Recommended luxury charter yachts in the area:
The warm weather lasts longer in the Eastern Mediterranean for guests considering chartering out of the busy summer season. One of the highlights around the Dodecanese and Cyclades Islands is the number ruins dating back millennia. The crystal clear waters and shallow sandy beaches are ideal for families with young children and less confident swimmers, who won’t have to venture far to see beautiful marine life. Scuba divers of all levels will be impressed with the offerings, particularly when it comes to wreck dives.
An Ionian Islands itinerary takes in some of the best Greece charter spots, including Corfu and Zakynthos, while Santorini and Mykonos among the Cyclades regularly make lists of the Top 10 Greek Islands for nightlife, atmospheric towns and picturesque scenery.
With so much on offer in Greece, you might be wondering: ‘Why charter a yacht in Turkey‘? The Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is a stunning destination with thousands of kilometres of soft sandy beaches, breath-taking sights like the Lycian tombs in Fethiye, and two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Turkish gulets are an exciting choice for charters with family and friends, boasting large deck space on a single level for hosting special events while at anchor. Revel in the sunshine with a whole host of water toys, and have your own private beach party that lasts long after sundown.
Farther east, Cyprus has long been a favourite with holidaymakers the world over and a Cyprus luxury yacht charter gives you an endless choice of beaches away from the bustling towns and cities. Scuba dive and snorkel around amazing locations, head on land to hike through scenic parks and amazing open-air locations such as the Kato Pafos Archaeological Park – a complex of ruins spanning back to Roman times.
Recommended luxury charter yachts in the area:
Croatia is idyllic for cruising in a motor yacht or sailing yacht, and previous visitors have given stellar charter reviews of the local fleet and the destinations themselves. A Croatia yacht charter itinerary might take visitors to the Istrian Peninsula for fishing, water sports and scenic forest walks past watch towers, lighthouses and thriving fauna and flora.
Dive or snorkel wrecks along the Dalmatian Coast, then spend the afternoon warming up on your sunbeds, savouring the lush archipelago that provides your group with complete privacy and myriad options for dining and unwinding in nature.
The small nation of Montenegro shares the same gorgeous blue sea hues as the Dalmatian Coast, and Porto Montenegro is superyacht heaven with a wealth of luxury boutiques and services right beside the marina. The Bay of Kotor provides a sheltered environment for windsurfing, sailing and other wind-powered water sports. Impressive forts, churches and other architectural wonders are dispersed throughout the numerous towns and villages, just waiting to be discovered.
Only a mile away from Corfu, Albania is an exceptional destination for natural beauty, beaches and stunning ancient ruins: The Butrint National Park has Greek, Roman and medieval ruins that can be done in a day, while the coast has more than enough Scuba diving and water sports sites to fill a whole week.
Recommended Adriatic luxury charter yachts:
Distinct from the Mediterranean yet holding just as many wonders, Northern Europe is a sensational journey for charter groups looking for dramatic landscapes concealing ancient sites, packed dive sites of all kinds for all ability levels, and best of all, magnificent long sandy beaches best accessed by the Baltic Sea.
Many visitors come to Norway to see the fjords and the waterfalls after the winter thaw, and stay to enjoy a satisfying, active outdoor lifestyle. On a Scandinavia yacht charter Sweden and Denmark continue to offer the same exceptional coastal trails and charming villages where you can stop for a coffee or pick up a unique souvenir. Finland has amazing snorkelling and Scuba diving sites in clear waters, particularly around the Aland Islands, and the calm waters will suit kayakers, paddle boarders and sailing dinghies as they travel along the shores.
Farther north, Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard are spectacularly different between the long winter and short summer seasons. This photographer’s dreamscape features snowy mountains coloured by the light fantastic, ice caves and glaciers that glow with sunrise, arctic foxes, charming sea-life and geothermal landscapes that represent another planet can all be encountered depending on when you go. Kayak through ice fields, Scuba dive cold water reefs, dog sled and do winter sports to your heart’s content, knowing that you will return to delectable dinners, warm beds and possibly other amenities such as a sundeck Jacuzzi or a beach club sauna.