It’s time to make your plans now in time for summer in Europe, and what better way to sort accommodation, meals and transport than on a Mediterranean luxury yacht charter.
The Mediterranean is a perennial favourite among holiday makers and travel by superyacht makes it easy to avoid the crowds, skip the traffic and spend your days lounging in the sunshine from your sundeck Jacuzzi, or trying out every water toy beside an isolated sandy beach.
Whether you’re searching for striking coastlines, awe-inspiring architecture or mouth-watering cuisine, here are the top five destinations that have it all – and plenty more besides. Be sure to plan your itinerary ahead of time to ensure that your see the very best of every location.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Named for the city that was once so powerful it created the basis of today’s naval code, the Amalfi Coast was draws thousands of tourists every year for the picturesque coastal villages and famous (and infamous) names that passed through. Artists and writers took in the fresh sea air while finding inspiration for their creative works along the steep-stepped vine-covered alleyways, colourful houses and intricate cathedrals.
Explore by jet ski or kayaks to discover the caves and arches of the winding coast, and your captain will find you the most secluded beaches in the region for a romantic sunset dinner.
Capri and Anacapri offer the Mediterranean experience in miniature: Visit the limestone grottoes and the picturesque Gardens of Augustus, then get in some shopping and savour an authentic Italian coffee in the local cafes.
In contrast to the quaint seaside towns, Naples is a hive of activity and Mount Vesuvius makes for a striking background for your photography. Indulge in some high end shopping, savour pizza made in its birthplace and spend an evening at the world’s oldest continually operating public opera venue, Teatro di San Carlo.
If your itinerary includes a tour of the Pompeii ruins, be sure to visit the National Museum of Archaeology: Many of the best artefacts were removed from Pompeii when they were originally excavated, and the collection includes mosaics from the lavish House of the Faun.
French Riviera, France
The heart of the summertime luxury yacht charter scene, the Cote d’Azur hosts the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix as well as a myriad of other galas, events and festivals that spring up around these prestigious occasions.
Antibes is a city of private superyachts and of music and it’s possible to spend all day at the beach then start the night with a concert before hosting your own party on board. Art and architecture go hand-in-hand and the Musée Picasso at Château Grimaldi should not be missed, where over 200 pieces from his lifetime are on display.
The famous destination of St Tropez promises seaside charm and beautiful sandy crescents, and the clear, shallow water makes it an ideal place to take young family members to learn how to snorkel and swim. The beach is brimming with trendy bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants and is a big hit with the superyacht crowd as it is ideally situated in the middle of the French Riviera.
Nice is an excellent destination for shopping and culture, blending luxury boutiques and boulevards with the atmospheric Medieval Quarter and the awe-inspiring Russian Orthodox Church. Dine at Michelin starred restaurants and revel in the rich nightlife. The city was visited by famous artists before it rose in popularity and the Musée Matisse should be included on any art lovers’ itinerary.
For a more serene setting, add a day in the town of Cassis beside the Clanques National Park and take your time exploring the bays and coves by paddleboard or canoe.
Balearic Islands, Spain
Entertainment, culture and nature – the three main islands in the Balearics have it all and the short distance between them ensures that you can fall asleep in one location and wake up to different scenery and new activities.
Mallorca is a centre for culture among the Balearic Islands and your luxury charter group can expect to find plenty of entertainment and shopping in the city of Palma, while at the north end of the island Pollença holds music festivals and boasts plenty of art galleries. Guests looking for a destination with mountain hikes as well as beach walks will find an excellent balance of both.
For a romantic getaway, consider the island of Menorca: Sandy beaches stretch for miles and the beautiful coastal towns and villages are maintained to a high standard while still preserving authentic island life.
Notorious for its party lifestyle, Ibiza has a roaring night scene that continues through to the early hours in the summer, and beach parties and high-octane sports are all part of the experience. For a quiet night away from the noise of the town, cruise to one of the many scenic anchorages and make Ibiza the backdrop to your own celebration.
On shore and among the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia is a natural wonderland that blends clear turquoise water with pale sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and greenery that bursts into flower in the spring and summer months. It’s easy to spend one day among the bustling towns and cities then cruise away on your superyacht to a secluded beach far from the summer crowds, where you can get out the water toys for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon or test your fitness kayaking from island to island.
Traces of the region’s vibrant and oftentimes turbulent past are visible in the architecture and beautifully preserved antiques in the museums and galleries. There are eight possible UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Croatia; chiefly among them is the splendid walled capital of Dubrovnik that has soared in popularity due to filming here for the Game of Thrones TV series.
Among the Dalmatian Islands is the Greek-built Satri Grad Plain in Hvar, the Roman-Gothic Complex of Trogdir and the 2000 year old Historical Complex of Split which contains the Roman-built Diocletian’s Palace.
Combining history with the moment, the Dalmatian Islands also host some of the world’s largest electronic music festivals such as the Ultra Europe festival on Split. Berth beside the stadium and step ashore to get in on the action, then continue the party on your superyacht charter and recover in the spa facilities or sundeck Jacuzzi the following day.
There are culinary delights aplenty and the oysters of Mali Ston are considered some of the finest in the world. Freshly caught fish and local farmers’ markets provide your on-board chef with an excellent choice for everyday meal variety and satisfyingly savoury three-course meals for you and your guests.
Home to one of the most famous marinas in the world, Sardinia is an excellent base for your Mediterranean charter. The Maddalena Archipelago has 60 islands to choose from for a peaceful day at the beach where the group can snorkel and splash around.
Scuba divers will be impressed with the area’s offerings and there are World War II wrecks to explore, underwater grottoes and coral-rich environments that attract diverse marine life.
Porto Cervo caters to the superyacht lifestyle from a practical point of view as well as ensuring that your guests have plenty of luxury facilities, entertainment and chances to mingle. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda hosts numerous regattas throughout the year, including the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Add these events to you luxury yacht charter for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Get ready for a summer of fun with a luxury yacht charter at these top destinations in the Mediterranean. Each region has its own unique charm and plenty to discover, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to boutique shopping and world-class events.
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Photos courtesy of Dynamiq Yachts, WINNICO Yachts, Azimut Yachts and Heesen Yachts