Best Places to Sail in the World – Top 13 Spots to Visit!

For sailing enthusiasts, the world is literally their oyster. Besides the thrill and luxury of cruising across the pristine blue ocean, there is also the opportunity to see and explore quaint towns, hidden beaches and coves, and some dramatic coastlines.

Each sailing destination has its own unique characteristics, making them stand apart from the crowd. Some sailing enthusiasts prefer destinations with pristine natural beauty, while others prefer the charm of quaint towns and fishing villages.

For those who are still unsure of their next sailing destination, I have put together a review of the best places to sail in the world. So if you want to make an informed choice about your upcoming sailing trip, read on!

1# Greece

Arguably the most celebrated sailing destination, and with very good reasons. Greece greets sailors with hundreds of little islands that are best explored aboard a yacht.

There is no dearth of quaint and secluded spots to admire these pictures perfect islands while you dine on the freshest seafood prepared in classic Mediterranean style.

In addition, you can come face to face with a history dating back thousands of years. The quaint appeal of white-washed towns on islands such as Santorini completes the experience with their unique architecture and cuisine.

View on Santorini sea

2# Croatia

Over the last many years, Croatia has emerged as a genuine world-class alternative to sailors who want to avoid the rush of the French Riviera.

Croatia offers the very best of Mediterranean coastlines in terms of beautiful secluded coves, unspoiled beaches, as well as some of the most dramatic coastlines dotted with forested sloping hills.

Croatia is also home to some of the most charming and quaint towns and fishing villages where you can soak up authentic European culture.

View on Croatia sea

3# Italy

Part of the so-called old Europe, Italy is another traditional favorite among sailors from the world over.

Whether it is some of the best Mediterranean ports, an azure blue ocean, and a coastline that has inspired some of the most celebrated Renaissance artists and painters, the list of reasons to make Italy your sailing destination is long.

From the beautiful Amalfi coast to beaches in Palmero, you would be guaranteed a sailing vacation of a lifetime in Italy.

Amalfi coast in ITALY

4# British Virgin Islands

While the British Virgin Islands may not compare to their European counterparts in terms of history, they more than makeup for it in terms of their jaw-dropping natural splendor.

The picture postcard beaches with sparkling blue water and silvery sands are enough to leave one dreamy.

In addition, there are the lust tropical forest-covered mountains, stunning coral reefs, and some awe-inspiring natural stone formations.

No surprises, therefore, that the British Virgin Islands are one of the most sought-after international sailing destinations.

Boat on the water in the BVI

5# Caribbean and the Bahamas

Located in the same geographical region as the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean islands and the Bahamas are some of the most coveted international destinations.

On the beautiful islands of St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, Bahamas, etc, you would be face to face with stunning bays and forested coastlines that seem straight out of paradise.

Whether it is surreal marine life, some of the most drop-dread-gorgeous land and seascape, or a perfect sailing climate, you cannot go wrong in the Caribbeans.

Beach in the Bahamas Caribbean

6# Turkey

Turkey, similar to Croatia, has been for long a hidden European gem that has been attracting boatloads of sailors.

With its calm and serene blue waters, rugged mountainous coastline, and quaint towns and villages, Turkey double up as a surprising value-for-money sailing destination.

It has a distinct culture of its own, a blend of Europe and Asia, that further makes it stand out from other neighboring European destinations.

View on a Marina in Turkey

7# Thailand

Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a worthy sailing destination owing to its pristine sailing conditions, picture-perfect beaches, and stunningly lush coastline.

Voted consistently as one of the most popular global tourist destinations, Thailand offers something radically different in terms of cuisine and culture when compared to traditional sailing spots of Europe and the Americas.

Boat on the water in Thailand

8# The French Riviera

Probably the reigning queen of all sailing destinations, the French Riviera’s list of attractions is endless.

With a jaw-dropping coastline buffeted by the serene blue waters of the Mediterranean, pristine beaches and coves, and some of the most celebrated towns and cities, the French Rivera would consume you like no other destination.

Visit cities such as Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez for its cosmopolitan crowd and world-class arts and culture scene. Do not be surprised if a celebrity yacht parks next to you!

View on St Tropez sea

9# Zanzibar

Located off the coast of Tanzania, a trip to Zanzibar takes you into a different world where you can still experience life as it was lived hundreds of years ago.

Zanzibar was a traditional trading hub during the peak of Arabian culture, with merchants from the world over congregating here to buy exotic spices of the east, including vanilla, saffron, and coffee.

Sailing-wise, you can expect gorgeous blue waters, perfect weather, and excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Beach in Zanzibar

10# Australia

For those who cannot get enough of their marine life, Australia should figure at the top of their list.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, an acknowledged natural wonder, is home to the most fascinating and rich marine life that, includes several species of sea turtles, coral reefs that seem out of a Disney movie, and schools and schools of colorful fishes.

There are endless opportunities to dive and snorkel and take in the breathtaking biological diversity of this place.

In terms of sailing opportunities, you can be assured of some of the gorgeous climates and inviting blue, serene waters.

View on Australia sunset

11# Spain

Along with Greece, Italy, and France, Spain has been a traditional sailing destination in Europe, attracting people from around the world.

Whether it is its own distinctive culture, richness in terms of pristine beaches and stunning coastlines, and a perfect sailing climate, you will discover a host of reasons to head to Spain again and again.

The fabled coastal towns with cobbled streets, world-class cuisine, and a thriving arts and culture scene are simply the cherry on top of this perennial favorite sailing destination.

View on a Marina inSpain

12# Seychelles

Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast, is an island blessed with rich marine life, thriving coral reefs, picture postcard beaches, and some world-class tourist infrastructure.

Sailing-wise, you can expect perfect sun-kissed weather, calm and azure seas, and excellent harbor facilities.

The Mahe island is particularly recommended for its lovely mountainous coastline and calm waters.

View on Seychelles sea

13# The Grenadines

For those who just wish to get away from the crowd and enjoy nature in unspoiled and virgin splendor, I would suggest a sailing trip to the magnificent Grenadines.

Boasting rich marine life, a thriving local culture, virgin beaches, and some ideal sailing conditions, the Grenadines can sate your nature lust like no other destination.

The best part? In spite of its relative lack of crowd, you can expect world-class sailing facilities and infrastructure here.

View on Grenadine sea

My Conclusion

Sailing trips and holidays are as much about the journey as the destination. While sailing in and of itself is an exciting adventure, you would want to soak up some of the local cultures and natural beauty as well.

I hope this article has given you some idea of what to expect from some of the most celebrated sailing destinations across the world.

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If you have additional comments about these destinations or want to recommend one of your own, let me know in the comments section below.

6 thoughts on “Best Places to Sail in the World – Top 13 Spots to Visit!”

  1. Amazing post! I’ve never put much though to sailing, honestly – I’ve always just hopped a flight and skipped the journey in whole. I’m slowly realising perhaps the journey is more important than the destination in alot of cases!

    Zanzibar looks absolutely incredible – I need a boat quick stat!

    • Hi Kegan,

      Thank you, I am glad you like the post:)

      Yes, I agree with you, the journey is much more important than the destination. There are so many beautiful places in the world that it would be impossible to list all of them in the same article:)

      Zanzibar is a beautiful place to visit, you have good tastes:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  2. I’m new to sailing. Which of these 13 places is easiest to plan for? Is there any regulation I need to take note of?

    Sounds like a great, epic idea for a romantic honeymoon! Uninterrupted couple time without distractions and breathtaking scenery to remember for a lifetime. I’d love that!

    • Hi Regina,

      Every places are different, you just need to decide where you want to sail and from there, plan your trip:) If you are new to sailing, I would recommend you to take a skipper on a yacht. He will take care of all the sailing task and will bring you to the best spots. As a matter of fact, you will learn a lot about the navigation with the skipper, which is awesome!

      Indeed, these countries are beautiful and it would be a wonderful idea for a romantic honeymoon:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a nice day!

  3. Hi Daniella,
    I am an experienced sailor, having owned several sailboats in my life and sailed in many places all over the world. There is a place though that I have never been sailing before: Turkey. You mentioned this destination as one of the best so I would like more details from you as Turkey is huge. Do you have a special region in Turkey? My intention would be sailing in September next year in a bareboat charter

    • Hi Roberto,

      Indeed, Turkey is huge:) No matter where you sail there, the water is crystal blue and beautiful.
      However, there are many areas in Turkey along the coastline that offer excellent sailing in terms of charming sceneries and sailing conditions. For instance, Izmir is a place not to miss in the Aegean Coast as well as Bodrum In the Peninsula and Gulf of Gokova. Bozburun and Datca Peninsula in Marmaris. Along the coast of Lycian Way “Fethiyes or Kas. On the Mediterranean coast, Antalya is just beautiful! September is an excellent time to sail in Turkey as the crowds go away, and the sailing conditions are great.
      Let me know if you need help. I’ll be more than happy to assist!


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