The Adriatic is the start of an Eastern Mediterranean luxury yacht charter for many, beginning in Venice before travelling south to the Istrian Peninsula and Dalmatian Coast. Venice has the same wonderful cafe culture that can be found on the western side of Italy, plus unique treats such as the Murano and Burano glass workshops which are world-renowned. Take a private tour of St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace, and a gondola ride along the waterways is a memorable way to see the city. As night descends there are concerts and plenty of modern entertainments to keep you enthralled with Venice, particularly during the annual Venice Film Festival and Venice Carnival. Accommodation during these events is limited, which is why a luxury yacht charter is even more desirable.
Although Istria has long held its position as a top summer holiday destination in the Eastern Mediterranean, Croatia as a whole is growing in popularity, and both motor yachts and sailing yachts offer the freedom to visit the exceptional islands and marine reserves on your own initiative. Snorkelling and Scuba diving are prime activities in Croatia because there are so many interesting wrecks from WWII, and swimmers can have close encounters with dolphins around Losinj.
Umag, Novigrad, Porec, Rovinj and Pula all have impressive architecture and cuisine, both of which are influenced by Italy across the Adriatic. Furthermore, there are full-bodied wines, succulent seafood and traditional Slavic dishes to add to your menu too.
The Diocletian’s Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that should be included in an itinerary exploring the amazing Dalmatian Islands, known for partying and water sports close to the cities, while more remote locations offer peaceful nights under starry skies. Lastovo and Mljet are choice destinations to reconnect with yourself and nature, while Dubrovnik is as lively and enchanting as it’s always been, replete with ancient manors, museums, galleries, boutique shops and international brands, while the winding cobblestone streets conceal myriad cafes and cosy bars.
The Bay of Kotor is part of Montenegro just south of the Dalmatian Coast. There are numerous little Medieval seaside villages that will satisfy history enthusiasts and urban adventurers who like to take in the architecture on a walkabout town. Kotor itself has several worthy attractions, including castles, forts, bastions and churches and a cathedral all vying for your attention.
There is so much history and culture to discover amongst the Greek islands that you could return year after year and still not see it all. The Ionian Islands are known for their scenic serenity and are lusher and more temperate than the Cyclades and Dodecanese farther east. Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Lefkada are the most popular for the beaches and laid-back lifestyle in town. Head off the beaten track and find your own quiet beach for uninterrupted time with family and friends.
The Cyclades are an eclectic mix of traditional and modern delights, and this is what makes these islands desirable to so many. The blue and white buildings of Santorini make the perfect backdrop for holiday snaps, then venture forth to find the colourful red and black sand beaches. Evening entertainments include bars and clubs, however, a taste of ouzo in the local tavernas accompanied by traditional music.
The Dodecanese Islands have a more relaxed atmosphere than the Cyclades and are the perfect place to explore at your own pace. Discover the unique history of the area, such as sponge diving in Kalymnos and kayaking through the exceptional Galazio Spilaio (Blue Cave) at Kastellorizo.
Sailing yachts use the winds within the Saronic Gulf to adventure from one island to the next, and this destination not far from Athens is surprisingly quiet even at the height of the summer tourism season. Another verdant and relaxed archipelago is up north: The Aegean & Sporades Islands for beaches, forested coastal walks and fine dining created with fresh local ingredients.
The western coast of Turkey is known as the Turquoise Coast, and it is well named for its clear blue waters. The beaches are also resplendent, with golden sands tempting visitors and locals alike around Marmaris, Fethiye and Oludeniz. Water sports are a must, particularly snorkelling and Scuba diving to see dolphins, turtles and other thriving marine life. Turkey also has two of the Ancient Wonders of the World easily accessible by luxury yacht charter: Stop off at Bodrum for the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (as well as some wonderful spa treatments in a traditional Hammam) and see the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.