When it comes to yachting, there are few places more popular than the Mediterranean. From the soft golden sands of the Balearics to the crystal clear waters of Greece – there are literally hundreds of places to explore.
Some of these destinations aren’t exactly the best-kept secrets in the world, but the beauty, fun and charm they serve up are. To help you plan the perfect yacht charter in the Mediterranean, here are ten gems to inspire your itinerary.
1. Zakynthos Islands, Greece
Zakynthos is the perfect combination of rich cultural history meets oceanside playground. While not exactly a hidden gem itself, it’s definitely worth a visit this summer. The island’s southern side is a popular party hotspot, loaded with beach bars, clubs, and luxurious resorts. For something a little more exclusive, the City of Yerakas is popular with megayacht charters, located lagoonside on the island’s southeastern coast.
Other notable places of interest include Laganas Bay, which is one of the last few breeding sites for Loggerhead Sea Turtles and the famous shipwreck at Navagio Beach. With 14 hours of daylight during the summer months, make the most of the azure blue waters and soft, warm sands, sip on local wines and ouzo and soak up some of the most spectacular sights to be seen in the Ionian islands.
2. The Dalmatians, Croatia
From flagstone paved alleys lined with terracotta-roofed buildings to pristine bays filled with cosmopolitan bars, restaurants and wineries, the Dalmatian Islands are fast growing in popularity with the jet-set crowd. With 79 islands, along with more than 500 islets and the mainland to explore – there’s always something to enjoy. Off all the islands, the larger ones are where you’ll find the party scene., especially on the island of Hvar.
Just a mile away from Hvar is the small yet idyllic archipelago of the Pakleni Islands, popular with the superyacht crowd due to its stunning views and laid back vibe while being just a short trip to the best bars, clubs and beachside restaurants around. Explore fortress towns, relax on isolated beaches and soak up the sun in a culture-filled country that’s still reasonably exclusive compared to other places in the Med.
3. La Maddalena Island, Italy
Located just 20-minutes from the port of Sardinia, the archipelago of La Maddalena is a beautiful mix of blue lagoons, heavenly beaches and pink granite rockscapes. Long a popular choice with the yachting crowd’s upper echelons, it is fast growing in popularity thanks to its ‘almost’ Caribbean look and feel. The perfect place to enjoy lazy days in the warm waters while breathing in the warm salty air tinged with the fragrance of pistachio and lavender, it truly is a gem in the Mediterranean.
Stop at one of the oceanside trattorias for a bite to eat and a glass of red before making your way to one of the many secluded beaches only accessible by boat. Due to the close relations with the US navy, locals have an excellent command of English not often seen on such a scale in the Med – making it the perfect place to enjoy some local shopping, wining and dining and exploring without needing a translator or tour guide.
4. Albufeira, Portugal
Located at the mouth of the Mediterranean, the Algarve brings a distinctively Atlantic vibe combined with the heat and romance of the Mediterranean. While not officially in the Mediterranean, Portugal is still classed as a Mediterranean country thanks to cultural and climatic reasons. Yacht charters are popular in Albufeira, with plenty of opportunities to spot dolphins and porpoises while exploring ocean caves, pristine bays and oceanside villages.
A fantastic place to start your Mediterranean itinerary, spend a few days enjoying the beauty of Portugal before making your way past Southern Spain and Gibraltar, then making a stop at Marbella before heading off toward the Balearics. No visit to the Mediterranean is complete without at least a couple of days sampling local wines and the freshest seafood while listening to traditional Fado as the sun sets over the Algarve.
5. Port d’Andratx, Mallorca
Located in the Southwest of Mallorca, Port d’Andratx is loaded with stunning scenery, natural beauty and a relaxing atmosphere. Popular with movie stars, the Instagram crowd and the yachting elite, this coastal fishing village merges the best of age-old traditional practices and cosmopolitan modernity. Make your way around museums, galleries and Mallorcan stone ruins, hike the valley for spectacular sights of the Mediterranean and dig into freshly caught seafood dishes paired with local wines, cheeses and olives.
6. Cala Luna, Sardinia
Cala Luna is often voted as the best beach in the Mediterranean, and it’s easy to see why. The shallow cobalt blue sea is crystal clear and offers some spectacular snorkelling opportunities, while the towering cliffs and natural beach caves give an eerily lunar feel to the landscape. The best way to visit Cala Luna is on a private yacht charter, spending lazy days on the ocean before heading onto the island for an alfresco evening meal under clear skies with a glass of prosecco or two before enjoying a moonlit stroll along the shoreline.
7. Fethiye, Turkey
Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is often overlooked in favour of the Greek Islands, but it really is one of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean that is worth every second spent here. Fethiye old town is more than just a nugget of historical charm and beauty; it’s one of the best places to indulge in a spot of shopping. The rock tombs carved into the cliffs make for a fantastic hike and serve up spectacular views, while the multitude of beaches let you enjoy a new bay every day.
Talking about beaches, no visit to Fethiye would be complete without visiting one of the most photographed beaches in the world – Ölüdeniz. From souks to Saklikent Gorge and mountains to magnificent monuments, it’s easy to spend an entire month at this gem and still have plenty to see and do.
8. Formentera, Spain
The Balearics are hugely a popular holiday destination for European vacations. Everyone has heard of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca – but not many people have heard of Formentera. Formentera is the smallest of the Balearics, but don’t let this trick you into thinking it’s not worthy of your time. Take your charter yacht to the long sandy strip and drop anchor in some of the most transparent waters around.
Spend the day picnicking on the golden sunbaked dunes fringed by pine tree forests. Enjoy jet skiing, kayaking and snorkelling and savour the flavour of local cuisine at one of the many beach bars, restaurants and cafes. Popular with the likes of Kate Moss, it is home to tourmaline waters, stunning backdrops, and 83km2 of beauty to explore.
9. Kos, Greece
While not as popular as it’s brother, Crete; Kos brings its own unique charm and beauty to the world of yacht charter destinations. Often compared to Ibiza, Kos is most definitely the party island of the Dodecanese. But fear not, just like Ibiza, Kos also has an idyllic, soft and traditional side to it that is picture-perfect and prime for sightseeing. Take in sites such as the Ottoman Mosques, Ancient Agora, Casa Romana, the thermal springs, Kastri Islet, and much more.
10. Porquerolles Island, South of France
Stretching 7km long and 3km wide, Porquerolles is home to a 14th-century fort, towering cliffs in the South and stunning beaches in the North. During the hot summer months, the air is thick with the scent of eucalyptus and lavender, genty drifting out over the beach on the soft, gentle breeze. With only a handful of restaurants on the island, seafood is definitely on the menu. Take advantage of the island’s raw and unadulterated beauty, filled with rustic charm and a sense of the golden era of the Mediterranean.
With no public transport or private cars on the island, it’s explored either by foot or bicycle. But what is it that makes this one of the best-hidden gems in the Mediterranean? The fact that it hasn’t allowed the glitz, glamour and urbanisation of the French Riviera to spill over here. It’s the low-key atmosphere and high-key views combined with its proximity to the French mainland, making it a little slice of paradise perfect for a luxurious European yacht charter.
Choose Your Mediterranean Yacht Charter Itinerary
Thanks to its sub-tropical climate, a treasure trove of historical and scenic beauty and its long yachting season, the Mediterranean is bursting into life from May until October.
With 22 countries sharing 46,000km of coastline on three separate continents, the best way to visit the Mediterranean is on a private yacht charter. At Ahoy Club, we help you customise every step of your superyacht charter from the destinations to your interactive preference sheet.
Enjoy an authentic 5-star experience from the moment you embark and get ready to rediscover the true meaning of luxury, only with Ahoy Club.