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It is quite a challenge to rank the best sailing destinations of the world. In fact, there are just too many tropical delights from the Americas to the Far East to fulfill every sailing enthusiast’s notion of a dream paradise.
Top Sailing Destinations Around the Globe
For the sake of a variety, this diverse list sums up some of the top sailing destinations around the globe through these sub-categories: Caribbean, Far East, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, North America, and South Pacific.
Sailing to the Caribbean paradise of Abacos in the Bahamas offers excellent fishing areas, beautiful coral reefs, museums, beach bars, and restaurants. One of the best spots in the area is the secluded, well-protected anchorage at Little Harbour. It provides a relaxing site of the sunset, spectacular views of the Atlantic, plentiful marinas, and quaint villages and towns. A popular cruising ground is the Green Turtle Cay. It features eclectic shops and restaurants and a number of historical sites and museums. Patrons of visual arts like painting, photography, and sculpture can find solace at art-savvy places like the Albert Lowe Museum and the Memorial Sculpture Garden.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands attracts many tourists with its powdery white sand beaches, lush green mountains, and sheltered yacht-filled harbor. With fair winds and sheltered waters of minimal tidal currents, it offers a variety of exciting possibilities with short hops to new destinations often in a few hours or less. This natural beauty features majestic stone formations, intriguing flooded caves, and captivating coral reefs. The beaches make for excellent swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving. It has plenty of attractions ashore including beachside bars, luxury resorts, and tourist shops like those in the Main Street in the capital city of Road Town. The area showcases many local spices, jams, rums, soaps, silk-screened fabrics, handcrafted jewelry, and local art.
Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines
The tropical island of Boracay is famous for its rare gleaming white puka shells which is said to be the best in the world. Sailing through this Southeast Asian beach paradise in the Pearl of the Orient, the Philippines, leads to beautiful sites of charming island villages, coral lagoons, powder white sands, and azure blue waters where people indulge in scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and beach relaxation. Boracay is also the site of a world-class 18-hole par 72 golf course and home to about 400 beach resorts. The Caves of the Flying Dogs of Yapak and the Bat Caves are worth checking out. Indigenous percussions usually serenade tourists while watching the famous Boracay sunset and enjoying the tropical food in selected bars and resorts.
The shimmering turquoise seas of Phuket promotes that exotic appeal, especially to those seeking for adventure in a tropical spot a world away from the hustle and bustle of fast-paced life. This natural sailing destination is filled with exotic flora and fauna, hidden bays and coves and towering pinnacles of limestones within the sheltered waters of Phang-nga Bay. It is nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia and is often called the Land of Smiles. Sailing to Phuket allows you to visit marine parks filled with tropical birds and abundant sea life. As Thailand’s premier resort island, savoring the local cuisine is also a delightful aspect of a Phuket vacation.
The gorgeous tropical scenery in Mahe, Seychelles offers balmy and relatively calm waters from the Indian Ocean. This exotic group of granite islands about a thousand miles from the East African coast is popular for its abundant wildlife, pristine white beaches, and lush forested mountains. Sailing here offers island hopping opportunities and enjoyable sights of beautiful coves, majestic palms, and marine sanctuaries. Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, is a vibrant little city that provides beautiful offshore experiences like the aerial sightseeing from La Digue Island, the St. Anne Marine National Park, and The Bird Sanctuary of Cousin Island.
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Sailing through this Mediterranean paradise offers a diversity of coastlines and cultures that feature world-famous beaches, quiet fishing villages, and secluded anchorages. Swimming and snorkeling at scenic bays that are filled with local fishing craft and picturesque towns showcase many structures that embrace a variety of ancient cultures including the Byzantine, Norman, Arabic, and Sicilian. For scuba enthusiasts, Ustica is a must-visit spot. A key diving site here is the Punta Gavazzi, a place where divers can swim among anchors from ancient Roman ships and other nautical artifacts.
Sailing to Athens via the Saronic Gulf means an opportunity to explore many laid-back beach destinations and historic sites. Athens has a beautiful Mediterranean cruising ground with coast and islands cradling towns of ancient roots. Castles, fortresses, monasteries, temples, and churches perch on hilltops while the city grounds adjust themselves as vibrant, cosmopolitan areas filled with intimate cafes, tavernas, and nightclubs. The Saronic Gulf offers protected and scenic coastal cruising, while the Aegean Sea features spirited open-water passages for yachts. A site of the sunset by the Attica Peninsula leads a fine gaze of the ghostly white marble columns of ancient Greece’s sacred structure the Temple of Poseidon.
Baja, Mexico is a top North American sailing destination known for its soaring red cliffs, secluded anchorages, rare species of animals, and stunning beaches with mountainous backdrops. Isla San Jose has an interesting exotic desert landscape with towering species of cacti, including some of the largest in the world. The city of La Paz has a scenic boardwalk that runs along the edge of the harbor. It features historic grand hotels, bars, shops, art galleries, and the Juarez Theater. The Isla Espiritu Santo showcases hundreds of golden-colored sea lions on shore. It is possible to swim wih these sea lions. Sailing through the island called Los Islotes situated at the Sea of Cortez leads to world-class snorkeling and scuba diving sites.
Situated in the South Pacific Ocean between Tahiti and Fiji is the Kingdom of Tonga. Its nearly countless islands fringed with coral reefs, picturesque anchorages, and white sand beaches are its chief attractions. The exotic cruising grounds are made up of miles of white sand beaches, diverse coral reefs, and crystal clear waters that make it one of the world’s top snorkeling and scuba diving destination. Tonga is also famous for the sights of humpback whales, especially in the outer islands. The Tongan feast is another trademark of this Polynesian paradise. It boasts of various delicacies including tropical fruits and vegetables, lobsters, crabs, chicken, fish, and octopus.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
The Bay of Islands is known as one of the most spectacular cruising grounds in the world. This South Pacific sailing destination is a 50-mile stretch of coastline sheltering more than 80 scenic islands with a great variety of wildlife. It features dolphins, blue penguins, North Island robins, snapper, kingfish, and other marine and land animals that are visible both in and out of its pristine white sand beaches. The Cavalli Islands situated around two miles from Matauri Bay features a nature reserve filled with exotic birds. The Westhaven Marina complex, the central sailing hub, is near walking trails where travelers can enjoy stunning sea views and explore the laid back resorts, restaurants, and historic sites in this New Zealand paradise.
“Destination and Activities.” 7107 Islands Cruise.
“Caribbean Destinations.” The Moorings.