Whether you are travelling as a couple, with friends or as a family group. If you have never sailed before what should you consider?
First off you need to think about whether you would prefer to charter a bareboat with a skipper, or a crewed yacht. If you click here you can read more about the differences between the two.
Once you know which one would suit your trip. Then it’s on to look at where you wish to visit and the boats Enaviga have available for your trip.
Take a look at the Enaviga Website. Here you can carry out a quick and easy search. You can specify destination, dates or yacht type.
If you hit the search tab, there are more criteria offered. As a non-sailor, you should start with crewed yachts and then use the sliding bars to refine your choices. Unless you have chosen a destination or date, you are seeing worldwide availability.
What destination would you like to visit?
This depends on when you are looking to travel. If November – May then you would generally be looking to visit the Caribbean. This is because the weather will be warmer than the Mediterranean. Are you looking to travel May – October?, then you should consider the Med, Australasia or the United States.
If you did want to sail ‘off season’ you will find quieter anchorages and better deals on both flights and boats. If travelling to the Caribbean / Southern United States. There is a risk of a hurricane from June – November. Research the area you wish to travel to in advance. Some restaurants and amenities may close.
What type of boat do you want to hire?
Do you have a preference between a monohull or a catamaran? Click here to read about the differences between the two. Enaviga also offers you the choice of Gulets or Powerboats. Gulets are traditionally available to charter in the Mediterranean. Enaviga also has Gulets sailing from locations such as the Seychelles and Phuket.
A Gulet is a traditional Turkish sailing boat. She has two or three masts (so one more than a regular sailing boat). Despite the extra masts, bareboat Gulets are ‘sailed’ with their diesel engine. If you wish to enjoy a traditional sailing Gulet, then you will need to join a crewed Gulet.
A Powerboat is a boat that does not have any sails. She is dependent on her engine to move. Generally, a quicker method of travel, albeit noisier than sailing.
Sailing the Greek islands is on just about everyone’s bucket list, and Athens is a clear first stop, especially if it’s your first time in Greece. If you’re taking off from Athens, be sure to spend some time in the city. We recommend a visit to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon and the Monastiraki neighborhood. Once you’re on board and ready to go, consider this itinerary to tour the Saronic islands and nearby coast.1
As you begin your trip, keep in mind that many Greek places have similar names, so it’s always a good idea to double check your plans and destinations.
Stop 1: Aegina
Logistics: The trip is about 18 nautical miles to the south-southwest, and the main port is on the northwest side of the Island, near Aegina Town.
What to see and do:
Eat pistachios. They’re grown on the island and are a local specialty.
Visit the temple of Aphaia, a doric temple from the fifth century B.C. with sea views. Admission is less than 5 euros.
Make pottery in old Aegina village. You can arrange for private lessons with locals who have passed the craft down through generations.
Visit the fruit boats near the Agios Nikolaios church.
Stock up on any provisions you forgot to get in Athens; Aegina is a fairly popular island with ATMs and other modern conveniences.
Tip: Because Aegina is popular and close to Athens, the harbor can be crowded, particularly on weekends. Be sure to get there early. You can also use the secondary harbor or any of the three anchorages.
Stop 2: Poros
Logistics: Sail 15-20 nautical miles to the south. To reach the harbor, sail through Poros Lagoon, watching for ferries and hydrofoils.
What to see and do:
While en route, keep your eyes and nose peeled for Methana. This dormant volcano is on your starboard (right) side and smells distinctly of sulfur.
Hike up the hill in Poros Town to enjoy the view. You can also visit the Poros clock tower for another great view of the town and sunset, if you’re there at twilight.
Snorkel in Vagionia Bay, where you can see the remains of an ancient city below the water.
Tip: On your way to the harbor, anchor in Poros Lagoon to swim and eat lunch.
Stop 3: Palaia Epidavros (or Archaia Epidavros)
Logistics: Leave Poros Lagoon and sail around the Methana peninsula and follow the coast to the town of Palaia Epidavros on the mainland.
What to see and do:
Archaia stands for ancient, and ancient Epidavros is the town of Argolid from the Illiad. You can visit historic sites, including a large historic theatre.
A smaller version of the ancient theatre still hosts productions during a summer festival.
Tip: As you sail up the coast, keep an eye out for dolphins. When researching this destination, make sure you are looking at the coastal town; some internet searches may redirect to the island by the similar name of Corfu.
Stop 5: Agistri
Logistics: After a day-time stop in Korfos, head southeast about 10 nautical miles to the Island of Agistri.
What to see and do:
Tip: The harbor in Agistri is notoriously shallow, though the north end offers more depth.
Take photos for social media and people watch: Agistri is a picture-perfect Greek town, filled with cobbled streets and whitewashed houses.
While there are plenty of places to jump off rocks and swim, Skala beach is a popular sand beach. It is also the shallowest beach on the island, so it’s the perfect go-to for families.
Chalikiada beach is popular with naturists and campers.
The southern portion of the island is mostly wild, with thyme and woodland growing up to the water’s edge. To experience this part of the island, consider a horseback ride.
As a final stop, you might consider heading back to Aegina, or returning to Athens from Agistri.
Split is the second largest city in Croatia after Zagreb. A city steeped in history and if time allows, you should visit the Palace of Diocletian. Below we have given you some ideas for a week’s itinerary after you have boarded your Enaviga yacht.
Sail to Hvar Town.
When you sail close to Hvar, see if you can smell lavender. Grown alongside grapes, figs and olive oil. At certain times of the year you can smell lavender whilst on the water.
Berthing on Hvar Town Quay is popular, so get there early to moor up. There are also around 20 mooring buoys. You are only allowed to drop anchor outside of the bay.
A visit to the walled town is a must. It’s pedestrian only and full of decorated mansions and historic buildings. It’s a walk upwards, but don’t let that put you off seeing the breathtaking views.
Your next destination is Korcula.
Korcula was a source of quarried stone during the long period of Venetian rule. The home to a flourishing shipbuilding industry. It now relies on tourism, wine and olive oil production. Korcula was also the birth place of Marco Polo. You can even visit the Marco Polo museum in Korcula Town if you wish.
Choose from a selection of marina’s or anchor in one of the smaller settlements around the island. Some anchorages have facilities near by, some do not.
Your next port of call is Lastovo.
It’s only within the past 20 years that visitors have been granted access to Lastovo. It’s previous life was that of a a military island. In 2006 Lastovo became part of the Croatian National Park.
There is one main sheltered harbour, Luka Velji Lago where you can tie onto the quay or anchor off. There are 2 smaller anchorages on the north and 1 on the south side of the island.
You are now going to sail north to Viz.
Viz is a green island noted for its wineries. A marked change from its history as a base for Tito’s partisans during World War II.
You can moor at either Viz Town on the north east of the Island or Kormiza on the west. You could also drop anchor, with the most popular anchorages being at the north of the island.
From Viz you are going to sail NE to Stari Grad.
The oldest town in Croatia. The settlement is thought to have been founded by Greeks under the name of Faros in 385 BC. Stari Grad was the capital of the island until Hvar Town assumed that role in 1278.
Walk the cobbled streets stepped in history. Look out for the most popular tourist stop, home of Croatian poet, Petar Hektorovic.
Tie up at town quay, Western or Ferry Jetty. Or pick up one of the mooring buoys on the north side of the harbour.
Sail north to Solta.
An untouched island, Solta is a lovely island to spend one of the last night’s of your trip.
You have the choice to stay in 1 of 3 well equipped marinas. Or you can anchor in some lovely sheltered spots around the island.
On your final day, sail back to Split.
If you have time before leaving the island. Why not ask the staff at the yacht base for suggestions of things to see and do.
All the team at Enaviga hope that you enjoy a fantastic time in Split and her surrounding islands. Why not let us know if you find some hidden gems that we can share with future visitors to the islands.
You’ve decided on where in the world you’ll next be sailing in. The question now is whether to charter a catamaran or a monohull.
Most trips you take onboard a sailboat will be different. Why? because the party you are sailing with will change with each trip. This may be party size, dynamics or age.
Who are you travelling with?
Thinking about the trip you are making plans for. Are you travelling with your immediate family or with extended family or friends?
What ages are the people you are travelling with? Will there be young children or older adults? Are they all agile? Anyone get motion sickness or doesn’t like confined spaces?
Is everyone onboard a seasoned sailor or do you have some newbies onboard?
By considering your crew, it may be immediately clear that a catamaran charter will be best.
A 40ft Catamaran has a much larger beam than it’s monohull counterpart. Space onboard can seem vast in comparison.
They are more stable, with less heel. This makes it easier and more comfortable to cook, sleep and move around the vessel.
They have two engines. I know we choose a sailing boat because we like to sail but the auxiliary engine has its uses. We have all experienced engine failure or a fouled propeller. If one fails you still have another to get you to a safe harbour or out of danger.
Manoeuvrability in confined areas is exceptional. With two engines and the two propellers a good distance apart, it is easy to turn on a dime (or sixpence!).
More space equals more comfort. You will find larger water tanks. There may also be a generator, air conditioning etc.
Dinghy storage on the davits is simple and easy.
You can fit more people on a 40-foot catamaran than you can a 40-foot monohull. If travelling with friends, there is a degree of separation in sleeping quarters.
Plenty of storage space. Lots of room for extra beer, dive equipment and water toys.
They sail fast and furious off the wind.
Your galley cook will not be sweating below decks. He/She will be on the same level as the outside seating, so not feeling left out.
Why not Catamarans?
They cost more for berthing. Expect to pay 1.5 x least what you would for an equal mono-hull. This will affect your pocket more in the Mediterranean than in the Caribbean where you’ll probably be on a Mooring Buoy.
They do not sail well upwind. You will have to come further off the wind to get these beasts moving. But in my experience, a 40-foot cruising cat will go faster than a 40-foot cruising monohull. Even though it will have to put in more tacks and sail further off the wind, it will still get there quicker.
Wind effect. With two powerful engines, they are easy to dock. In a strong gust, they do not have as much grip in the water. With their high freeboard and large coach area, they do react to the wind and can slide sideways.
Chartering a Catamaran for the first time is a great way to introduce non-sailers to sailing. Whichever vessel you charter, the team at Enaviga know that you will have a fantastic time aboard.
If this is your first time renting a boat, you may have some questions about the logistics. Consider this “boat rental 101.” We’ll start with what you need to know about renting a bare boat to sail yourself and then move on to what you need to know if you’re hiring a crew as well.
But first, a few notes for everyone:
Saturday schedules. If you want to rent a boat in the Mediterranean, you may have to rent it for a week starting on Saturday. This is how it’s done traditionally, and while some companies are shifting to a hotel-style booking model, many companies still prefer rentals to start and end on Saturday.
Itinerary: If you’re planning to sail during peak season to a popular destination, you may need to pre-plan your itinerary and book places to dock your boat, known as berths, ahead of time. Winging it is always an option, but that won’t work in very popular locales.
Insurance: Boat rentals come with liability insurance, but if damage occurs, you may be responsible for up to a few thousand euro. Most charter operators offer additional insurance, via a daily surcharge. They may also require a deposit to protect themselves in case of damages. If you don’t want to agree to a large deposit, some charters offer deposit insurance instead, which is a smaller amount but non-refundable. These details will vary by individual contract, so be sure to look at the details and ask if you have any questions.
How bareboat charters work:
If you’re an experienced sailor, you can likely rent a boat and crew it yourself.
Most operators accept the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). This certification is offered by different agencies, such as the American Sailing Association, or ASA, in the US and the Royal Yachting Association, or RYA, in the UK. Many charter operators also require you to upload your sailing experience to ensure you’re able to operate the particular vessel you plan to rent.
How crewed charters work:
Some charters are pre-marked as “crewed,” which means the boat has a permanent crew on board. Usually, the baseline crew is a skipper (captain) and a chef. The skipper is in charge of the boat and keeping you happy. He/she can help with itineraries, adventures, and so on. The chef covers food and drinks, and may also cover housekeeping.
With crewed boats, the crew have their own cabins that are counted separate from the berths (beds) listed as available to you. You won’t need to plan for, or worry about, accommodating them.
Another, potentially cheaper, option is to book a smaller vessel as a bareboat charter and then ask to hire a crew. These crew members then sail with you on a per diem rate.
In these cases, the crew will need a cabin. If there are 4 cabins available, one will need to be earmarked for your skipper, meaning only 3 cabins are available to you. Additionally, you’ll need to plan on additional provisions for your skipper. You can also wait and shop for provisions with your crew before you set sail.
Each charter company tends to have clear outlines about what is expected.
Whether you book a crewed charter or hire a crew separately, it’s customary to tip your crew based on service. The general rule is to tip 15-20 percent of their per diem rate.
Your charter is all booked and paid for. Now you have the enviable task of either doing nothing until you arrive or researching the area you are soon to visit. This is where your charter base will come in handy.
Charter bases are great places to gather current, up to date information. Every charter base that you visit around the world is unique. Each will have its own way of working. Yet all will have knowledgeable staff working with them.
Utilise your time on land to attend chart briefing. Also, spend time talking to local staff on the ‘must do’s’. Many of them will be well versed in talking of the anchorages to visit. The snorkel spots to enjoy. The restaurants and ‘must visit’ bars. They will hear returning charter clients rave or moan every week. A good team member will adjust their suggestions accordingly.
What else can you expect from your charter base?
Whether your yacht charter is booked with a large company or a small may vary the services you find on the dock. If booked with a small charter company. You may find the following offered through an independent service.
You will usually be able to buy ice and other consumables at the charter base. This may either be an on-site market, or a shuttle/taxi to take you to provision.
Looking to take a kayak onboard or borrow some scuba dive tanks? Then look to see if your charter base has someone certified who can help. It’s usually a watersports company who can help you get fishing permits if required. These items are all best to get organised well in advance of your arrival.
Planning on going snorkelling? Check ahead of time to see if snorkels, fins and masks come with your charter. If not you then have the choice to bring out with you or pre-book and rent from a watersports company.
Most charter bases will have an on-site bar and restaurant. This is particularly handy after a day of travelling. Help you relax upon your arrival and get you ready for your holiday.
Some charter bases may have a swimming pool. A good idea to check ahead of time so you can keep swimming suits handy for a refreshing pre or post charter dip.
Looking for a hotel for the night before or after your charter? Check to see if there is one situated at the charter base.
When you have booked your holiday.
Why not ask Enaviga for the details of your charter base. You can then check online to see what facilities are available for you to enjoy.
Don’t forget to download the Enaviga On Board Ap. You can use the ap to familiarise yourself with the vessel you have chartered before you arrive at your destination. This will help you be more time effective when it comes to your boat briefing.
You’ve booked your yacht charter and are very excited at the prospect of stepping onboard. Why not take a moment to think about whilst on your trip, how you can make a difference to the environment.
The amount of plastic in the ocean is a hot topic at the moment. It’s up to all users of the sea to try and keep the oceans clean.
At home, it’s quite simple to know which can to sort your rubbish into. Splitting cardboard, plastic, compostable, glass and other waste is no biggie. When you go to a place you aren’t familiar with, will being friendly to the environment be as simple?
Here are a few tips from Enaviga to try and keep on the right side of your environmental conscience.
Before you go
Ask Enaviga for your charter based contact details. Get in touch and ask how they recycle. This may have an impact on your provisioning choices.
If you find that they are able to recycle glass and not plastic. When provisioning request, where possible. To have glass-filled bottles of juice, soda, mixers, wine and beer.
Water is usually only available to buy in plastic containers. Buy the largest bottle you can and decant into glasses to drink rather than buying one drink bottles.
Pack a reusable bottle suitable for drinking water. Whether you top up from drinking fountains, or from one huge water bottle. It will save dozens of smaller plastic water bottles going to landfill.
Take your sturdy bags for life. Use them when you go shopping. Saving countries who aren’t quite so organised double bagging with thin carrier bags.
When choosing soap for washing dishes, shampoo or shower gel. Choose one that is biodegradable. If one is not available, take one from home.
Did you know that biodegradable suntan lotion costs no more than regular lotion? Consider buying family sized bottles rather than many small bottles.
When you are there
Check with the base where you’ll be able to recycle when out on the water. This will help you to divide your rubbish as needed.
Say no to plastic plates, cups and cutlery when eating out. Take Tupperware from the boat for takeaways.
At bars and restaurants, request no straw if the straws on offer are plastic.
Always use your own bags for life. Store well so they don’t go overboard.
If buying Ice, can you buy it and scoop into your own reusable bags rather than by the bag?
You may see other ways in which you can help make your trip better for the environment. Why not share tips learnt with Enaviga on your return. We’d be happy to share them with future travellers.
Whichever country you are travelling to has their own methods of recycling. As a visitor, you may feel happy or dismayed at the way they recycle. Take a moment to stop and consider why their recycling programme is different from home.
The boot-shaped country of Italy is easy to identify on a map. Once the center of the ancient world, the country of some 61 million residents boasts a temperate climate and thousands of kilometers of coastline. Italy shares land borders with Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, France and San Marino.
Top sailing cities
The amazing Amalfi coast is practically always peppered with sailboats, catamarans, houseboats and fishing boats. Amalfi’s prime location just 17 NM from Capri, 30 NM from Ischia and 55 NM from Ventotene makes Amalfi one of Italy’s most popular sailing cities. Lake Como boasts a number of sailing schools where novice sailors can ‘learn the ropes’ on generally gentle waters. Experienced sailing enthusiasts find Lake Como an ideal spot to rent a boat in Italy and join a lake regatta.
Things to do
Visitors who desire a variety of experiences find an amazing number of things to do and see in Italy. The Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in Rome are wonderfully historical attractions, but they’re not the only things to see in Italy. Explore Venice by gondola at night and join a Tuscan wine tasting tour. Hire a crewed yacht or rent a bareboat and set sail for Spiaggia dei Conigli where you can spend a summer day bird watching or simply basking on a beautiful beach.
When in Italy, eat as the Italians do. Delightful pasta dishes, fresh Sicilian seafood and a bounty of local veggies make Italian one of the great cuisines of the world.
Set sail at Portisco to reach Tavolara / Spalmatore. Anchor for the night, or sail on to Bonifacio harbour at Isola di Caprera. Obtain fuel and provisions at the marina, then proceed to Isola Budelli. The run from Catania to the Lipari Islands via Syracuse and Portopalo offers spectacular views, smooth sailing and enchanting stops along the way. For an extended excursion, embark at Milazzo and sail to Panarea. Allow a couple of days to explore Stromboli, then sail on to Salina, Lipari and back to Milazzo.
The Bay of Naples and the Italian Riviera tend to receive less wind than do islands such as Sardinia and Sicily. On the whole, Italian winds slow down during summer months. When this happens, you’ll be glad you rented a bareboat with a motor.
Best time to visit
Italian beaches and major cities tend to be crowded with tourists in July and August, which also happen to be the hottest months in this pretty part of the Mediterranean. April, May and June offer easier access to historical sites and museums, as do September and October. Late summer and early fall are great times to participate in a flotilla off Sardinia. Rent a bareboat in Italy and cruise from Costa Smeralda all the way to Corsica.
How to get there
Three major airports serve travelers to and from Italy. Milan Linate Airport sits in the north; the airport in Florence is nearer the center of the country. If sailing, fishing and watersports are for you, fly into Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. High-speed trains take passengers into Italy from London and other European cities.
The charming country of Portugal sits squarely on the western portion of Europe’s famed Iberian Peninsula. Notable as a point of departure for 15th and 16th century explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, Portugal offers a comfortable Mediterranean climate, exceptional sightseeing and deliciously diverse cuisine.
Top Portuguese sailing cities
Sailing aficionados find plenty to love about Portugal. Numerous marinas and anchorages dot the coastline from Caminha in the north to Troia on the central coast to Lagos in the south. Sailboat rentals, houseboat rentals and fully crewed boats for hire are available in many if not most Portuguese ports.
Approximately 1,360 km (850 miles) west of continental Portugal lie the Azores. The remote archipelago comprises nine major islands and a small array of islets. Horta, Ponta Delgada, Graciosa and Corvo are not nearly as crowded as mainland Portuguese ports and offer an ideal place for SCUBA divers to rent a bareboat or hire a crewed charter boat with which to tour virtually unexplored reefs and grottoes. Horta is especially well known as a welcomed landfall for Trans-Atlantic sailors.
Things to do
Sailing, fishing, football games and watersports are popular among Portuguese locals and visitors alike. Explore cobblestone streets in the medieval town of Pinhão or spend an afternoon sampling ruby red port wines in the dramatic Douro Valley. Catamaran rentals are an attractive option especially during sunny summer months. Rent a yacht or motorboat and visit the Berlengas nature reserve where energetic dolphins splash in crystal clear waters.
Clean coastal seas provide a bountiful assortment of seafood and shellfish that local chefs serve with pride. Rent a boat in Portugal and try your luck trolling for a local cod called bacalhau.
The 550 NM route across the shimmering Bay of Biscay from Plymouth to Bayona is beloved by mariners for its exceptional scenery and wide-open waters. If a day sail with plentiful stops at ports along the way is to your liking, and you have a sailing license, hire a bareboat and cruise to your hearts content.
In Portugal, sailing conditions are generally good with trade winds of up to 20 knots blowing more than 300 days of the year. Twice-a-day tides range roughly three meters. Expect southerly currents in summertime and northerly currents during winter months. Heavy swells are known to shut down smaller ports, especially along the country’s rugged northern coast.
Best time to visit
If you prefer the scent of almond blossoms to that of tourists slathered in sunscreen, visit Portugal in springtime. Early autumn is another alternative to the always-busy months of June through September when beaches are crowded and prices tend to skyrocket. November through March are typically the rainiest months in Portugal.
How to get there
A number of airlines offer regularly scheduled flights to main hubs like Lisbon, Faro and Porto.