Sailing, Amalfi Coast
Beginners can explore the Amalfi Coast on this four-day yacht trip from Amalfi to Procida via Capri. There are opportunities for swimming and snorkeling, including a swim next to the Blue Grotto on Capri, as well as time on land to explore. Living quarters are fairly cramped—eight people share four small cabins and two bathrooms—but much more time is spent on deck or en route. No sailing experience is required, but there is an opportunity to help, particularly when entering or leaving port. The trip is suitable for ages 15 and up. Intrepid Travel also offers a week-long version, with additional nights in Ischia and Sorrento and a visit to Pompeii.
Four daysincluding selected meals and activities, from £737, intrepidtravel.com
Day Trip, Cornwall
Those not sure if sailing is for them can dip a toe in the water on a day trip aboard the Bristol Channel’s largest surviving pilot cutter, which departs from Charlestown harbor in Cornwall and was featured in the TV series Poldark. A morning sailing on Mascotte starts from £60pp (classic-sailing.com). And if you like the idea of a boat but don’t like the sailing itself, Pen Glas’s refurbished fishing boat has berths for the night from £25,
seafood feast, Scotland
Originally a fishing trawler working the North Sea, Danish gaff cutter Eda Frandsen divides her time between the west coast of Scotland, exploring quiet anchorages around the western isles, and the waters of Cornwall. With a length of 18 meters, it accommodates up to eight guests. Local and sustainable food is a highlight. So expect wild crab, langoustine, mackerel and scallops as you explore the waters of St Kilda, the Small Isles, the Inner Hebrides or Skye.
A Three-night voyage on Eda Frandsen Costs £550, six nights off £1,100, eda-frandsen.co.uk
Foodie tour, Croatia
Sail Croatia has introduced a new island hopping foodie route, sailing on six- to ten-person yachts and mooring at restaurants for dinner. The journey begins and ends in Split and calls at three ports on Hvar, as well as Vis, the Pakleni islands and Makarska on the mainland. Suggested venues range from traditional Dalmatian Konobas and family-run seafood restaurants to contemporary waterfront restaurants. Standout is Hora, a restaurant on an organic farm and winery on the island of Hvar that offers olive oil, cheese and wine tastings and specializes in lamb peka, cooked over an open fire. The skipper makes the reservations and can personalize your itinerary.
Seven days, including transfers, excluding restaurant bills, from £332, sailcroatia.com
Smart Sailing, British Coast
Sail Britain’s aim is not just to provide an unforgettable sailing experience, but to inspire positive change for the oceans. Voyages aboard the 12-metre ocean-going cruiser Merlin are a mix of sailing and education, with titles such as ‘Creative Leadership’, ‘Ocean Optimism’ and ‘Wildfood and Sailing’. A qualified skipper is accompanied by a specialist in conservation, art, marine biology or wildlife and other disciplines for a week-long voyage around parts of the British coast.
That seven days Our living ocean ttear, sail between Mallaig and Oban in September, is £750, Sailingbritain.org
Gentle Sailing, Greece
If you like it hot, a cruise on the 15-metre Zorba might be the answer: a Greek sailing holiday away from the crowds. With five private cabins on this modern yacht, the focus of this vacation is on relaxation, island hopping, swimming and snorkeling, and sailing.
A eightt-day trip around the Saronic Islands in Greece out £895, venturesailholidays.com
Island Adventures, Spain
This week-long sailing trip, starting and ending in Tenerife, offers the opportunity to visit two lesser-known Canary Islands: La Gomera and La Palma. Passengers can hike La Gomera, explore the capital San Sebastián, laze on the beach and swim from the boat. A free day is available on La Palma, which you can spend in the capital Santa Cruz or on an island tour. The 17 meter yacht features five twin/double cabins, three bathrooms, deck space for sleeping under the stars, outdoor shower and swim platform. The minimum age is 16 years and no prior knowledge is required.
Seven days from £949, gadventures.com
Swimming and snorkeling, Turkey
This eight-day voyage on a traditional gulet sails the Gulf of Gokova with its secluded bays fringed by vast forests and plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling in the sparkling Aegean Sea. The round trip from Bodrum visits Sedir Island, also known as Cleopatra Island, the secret meeting place of the Egyptian Queen and Mark Antony, and Oren with Roman ruins and Byzantine churches. Guests stay in en-suite cabins, and all meals are included, as is paddleboarding and fishing gear.
Eight days from £875 p.p. P., Responsibletravel.com
Flotilla Sailing, Greece
This flotilla holiday is ideal for beginners who want to sail their own yacht: a group of 10-12 boats are led by a guide yacht with skipper, engineer and host. The Ionian Islands are ideal for beginners, especially Paxos and the southern archipelago. A week-long holiday starts in Lefkas and goes to Kefalonia, Ithaca, Kalamos, Kastos and Meganisi. The flotilla sails from Corfu to Kefalonia for two weeks. Most sailing days are only 12-15 miles with a few longer days and there are swim stops along the way. Social events with the other boats such as picnics and aperitifs are also a highlight.
One week, including flights, out £575; two weeks out £655, seilurlaub.com
whale watching, Portugal
A 1930’s cod fishing tall ship is now a spacious island hopping holiday vessel in the Azores. This voyage begins and ends in Terceira, where you’ll anchor in tranquil spots around the central islands and head up the São Jorge Channel for whale watching. Stops include Graciosa, the northernmost island with a 40-metre high volcanic cave and sulphurous lake, and the capital of Faial, Horta, a lively meeting place for sailors. Passengers can join a night watch and scale the rigging or simply enjoy the kayaks, paddleboards, and dive ribs. There are 16 double cabins and meals on board are included.
Eight days from £1,050, sailwiz.com
Wyl Menmuir is the author of The Draw of The Sea (Aurum, £16.99) and winner of the Roger Deakin Award for Nature Writing