It stormed at sea yesterday, huge waves battered the rocks on our little beach near Genoa. Today the water is like a mirror, a deep blue surface, friendly and unaware of any mischief the day before. That's the Mediterranean Sea for you, mostly calm, maybe with a light breeze to give the sailing boats just that little of a boost. I think of Columbus who left from here and hoisted his sails on a 'tall ship'. But I am dreaming of a sailing vacation on one of the beautiful ships with which you can sail along the Dalmatian coast.
It seems like many people are looking for a vacation on the water instead of at the water and long to dive from their own ship into the immense turquoise pool. Fortunately, there is plenty of room, even though sometimes you will see dozens of boats anchored in front of popular harbors or a picturesque bay.
These days you can choose from a multitude of ships of all sorts and sizes, for family vacations, or a bunch of friends, for those of you that just want to laze around in the sunshine or others who like to give the crew a hand and learn how to sail. And unless you really want to spend a quarter of a million for a week's sailing (because there are some), it's quite affordable, comparable to a winter sports vacation.
The Dalmatian coast ideal for a unique sailing holiday
You could of course opt for the Bahamas, but take it from me that the Mediterranean and in particular the dramatically beautiful Dalmatian coast with cities such as Dubrovnik, Zadar and Split, has much more to offer. You can decide on a route together with your skipper and decide which ports or islands to visit. It has been called the safest and most fascinating sailing playground in the world.
There are more than 3,300 larger and smaller islands in the Mediterranean. Consider the route taken by Odysseus or sailed by the ancient Phoenicians, and later by Columbus and Marco Polo when they traded with the capitals of the ancient maritime republics of Rome, Venice, Genoa, Istanbul, Carthage, Cairo and Athens. Of course, in one or two weeks you can't include all these islands. It gives you a taste of all that the Mediterranean has to offer though, sandy beaches, rocky coves, breathtaking sunsets and the azure, clear and warm water that the sunny climate brings. And a sailing vacation is graced by a multitude of local foods and wines, friendly people, dazzling whitewashed towns and the ruins of the glorious past.
Ask the help of an expert
To plan a sailing holiday, begin by enlisting the help of someone with experience to find the ship that is right for your party. This is not my sales pitch, trust me, it is easy to make the wrong choice. If you plan a holiday in the spring or in the fall, you can often save a lot with low season rates. Besides the weather in April to June is already wonderfully warm, in the fall it does get cooler on the beaches, but the water has not yet lost the heat of summer.
Goolets and your sailing vacation
I spoke with Alenka Mirtič of Goolets, she made her first sailing trip on a gulet in 2005. A journey along the Dalmatian coast in Croatia that turned out to have consequences on different levels. First, she fell in love with Mitja, now her husband of many years, and second, she and her new love started to organize sailing trips. In 2005, chartering a ship was still in its infancy, and Alenka and Mitja soon understood that the trip they had just made, could be a so much better experience. After 15 years and hundreds of ships under contract each year, the company now has enough experience to be able to recommend the right ship with the right crew to anyone. When she shows me some pictures, I am sold. Who wouldn't want to sail on such a beautiful yacht?
More information on yacht rental in the Mediterranean, Bahamas or Indonesia:
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