Set sail to Europe's most scenic sailing destinations and float away into bliss. Sailing holidays open up untouched beaches and hidden coves, not to mention some of the most impressive and ancient naval cities in Europe.
Horizon chasing in Europe
The British Isles' coastal towns are as drenched in a history and atmosphere as they are sea salt. Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, is an epicentre of yachting culture. Cowes Week, held every August, sees the seas filled with white sails, drawing crowds of competitors and spectators alike. Parties follow the race. Fowley, in Cornwall, is an idyllic estuary where you can dine on mussels from the river or a Cornish pasty, and wander cobbled alleys. Hole up in a traditional pub for some seafaring stories. Alternatively, head inland to the UK's well-known Lake Windemere, which is blessed with yachting clubs that have garnered almost as much fame.
Croatia's coastline is home to some of Europe's most spectacular walled cities. Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik are replete with mediaeval history and grand fortresses. The 13th-century battlements of Hvar embrace a city with streets polished by centuries of footsteps. A glamorous spot in which to berth, its Gothic palaces are matched by boutiques and Michelin-starred seaside restaurants serving lobster and other fresh seafood.
As a well-established sailing destination (as far back as Odysseus, in fact) Greece is a great place for less experienced sailors. Bareboat charters are accompanied by flotillas, while the winds are light and the tides minimal. Set off from Lefkas and island hop, discovering picturesque bays and ancient ruins on your way. Or explore the coast of Korfu, home to Odysseus's Ithaca, traditional tavernas, and exceptional scuba diving. Unspoilt beaches, cornflower-blue sea and sky, and the spectacular ruins of the mediaeval Castle of Agia Mavra are your rewards.