There are sailing destinations on this wild earth that were made to be explored.
Places so pristine, so teeming with life and saturated with untamed energy that it holds the potential to completely transform your experience of being.
These places are irresistible to the adventure seekers. Those explorers who crave the freedom of wide, open waters and the magic of drifting under a star-filled sky. The value of true liberation. Of having less – and living more.
You may be dreaming of travelling the world or retiring on a yacht. Perhaps you’re thinking of purchasing your first sailboat – or even just plotting the sailing trip of a lifetime.
Whichever the case may be, there are stretches of ocean paradise on our planet that can only be explored to their fullest with the wind at your back.
Discover the 6 ultimate sailing spots you simply cannot afford to miss out on.
Sailing the Caribbean’s warm, turquoise waters by boat or by yacht will reward you with a rare vantage point from which to discover quaint villages, secret beaches and enchanting coves.
With 700 palm-fringed islands to explore, the Bahamas’ proximity to South Florida in the US makes this laid-back boating haven the ideal location from which to start exploring the region.
Some top sailing spots in the Caribbean include Antigua, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos. With its 60 breathtaking islands, it’s easy to see why CNN listed the British Virgin Islands as one of the world’s best sailing destinations.
Situated in the northernmost part of the Mediterranean, the beautiful Adriatic Sea separates the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans.
With coasts on Albania, Croatia, Italy, Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovenia, many summer yacht holidays in this region start in Venice, before sailing on to Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro.
Think ragged coastlines, walled medieval towns, crystal-clear, aquamarine waters and jaw-droppingly beautiful natural scenery.
Sailing the Croatian coastline, you will explore some of the most hidden-away sailing spots in the Adriatic. By far the most popular sailing destination in the region, breathtaking Croatia lays claim to over 1000 of the region’s more than 1300 islands.
Flanked by the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas and dotted with 1415 islands and islets, the Aegean Sea is the perfect playground for experienced and novice sailors alike.
In the summer months, hundreds of yachts set sail on the azure waters between the coasts of Greece and Turkey. Languid summer days are spent sailing, diving, fishing and exploring quaint white villages set above sparkling turquoise seas.
With all this region has to offer sailing enthusiasts, you can understand why Christie’s Real Estate included Greece on their list of 9 of the world’s best yachting locations.
Some amazing sailing spots in the Aegean region are the Greek Cyclades (including the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros and Ios) and Turkey’s western coastal region.
Olive groves and ancient ruins
On Turkey’s Aegean coast, the city of Aphrodisias offers some of the country’s most fascinating ruins. While romantic Ayvalik, surrounded by olive groves, is a popular north Aegean seaside resort. The resort town of Bodrum is a popular yachting port, known for its glitzy crowd and vibrant nightlife.
In the turquoise lagoons of romantic French Polynesia, thatched huts perched on stilts over shallow seas. While inland, ancient volcanoes rise out of the rainforests.
The South Pacific conjures up images of sun-drenched tropical isles and turquoise waters teeming with turtles, dolphins and manta rays. Some ultimate sailing spots in the South Pacific include French Polynesia, Fiji and the Cook Islands.
Sailing through Fiji, you could stop by beautiful Turtle Island, where The Blue Lagoon was filmed, or swim through breathtaking underwater cave networks. Exploring the Cook Islands will offer you some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving on the planet.
Cyclone season is between November and April, so sail this region between May and October.
With its vast stretches of coastline, the United States is a seafarer’s dream. Some top sailing spots in the US include Hawaii’s Maui and Kauai islands, Washington state’s San Juan Islands and the Florida Keys.
Maui and Kauai are two of Hawaii’s most pristine sailing destinations. Maui is home to the breathtaking Haleakalā National Park while Kauai island boasts some of the region’s clearest waters, with reef lagoons offering a perfect diving experience.
The San Juan Islands in the US’ Pacific Northwest offer awe-inspiring landscapes, quaint towns, historic sites and an abundance of marine life. It’s been named the best place on earth to see orca whales in the wild.
Expect dolphins, emerald waters and palm trees when you set sail in the Florida Keys. This beautiful string of tropical islands is a favourite US destination for sailing, sportfishing, diving and just having lots of good old-fashioned fun in the sun.
The most prestigious in-water sailboat show in the world
A not-to-be-missed sailing event is the annual United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD. This one-of-a-kind boat show will allow you to board and view the latest models from almost every major sailboat manufacturer in the world, including Knysna Yacht Company. The 2020 United States Sailboat Show will take place from 8-12 October.
From Madagascar to Mozambique, from KwaZulu-Natal’s warm Indian ocean to the cold waters of South Africa’s Western Cape – if you are travelling this region by yacht or sailboat, you will have no shortage of adventure.
Famous for its stunning array of wildlife, Madagascar is the only place in the world where lemurs are to be found in the wild.
The white beaches and coral inlets of Nosy Be (an island steeped in French colonial history off the island’s northwestern coast) make it a sought-after diving destination.
Discover hidden sailing gems along SA’s coast
Explore Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront before heading out to historic Robben Island – then sail up the West Coast, past Langebaan towards Saldanha Bay with whales, seals and great white sharks accompanying you along your way.
The beautiful coastal town of Knysna is one of the more hidden sailing spots in South Africa. Situated on the lush Garden Route, it is located at the mouth of the Atlantic, where the ocean spills into the Knysna “lagoon”.
Fringed by an ancient indigenous forest, the historic town’s estuary is accessed through the Knysna Heads, two stunning cliffs providing entry into the calm waters of the estuary. Knysna is also home to Knysna Yacht Company, makers of the sought-after Knysna 500SE and Knysna 550 luxury semi-custom-built sailing catamarans.
Sailing through the Knysna Heads, sipping champagne and snacking on fresh, local oysters is another experience to add to your list of (at least) once-in-a-lifetime sailing adventures.
There are so many unspoilt and breathtaking places on our planet, but these six ultimate sailing destinations are sure to ignite the wanderlust in any true explorer.
Ready to bid farewell to land life and hop on that boat yet? Life’s made for living, let’s set sail!