February 01 2024

My 6 Must-Visit Mediterranean Sailing Spots

Today I will share with you the top 6 of my favourite sailing departure ports in the Mediterranean. These ports have in common that sailing from there you will be in a boaters paradise right from the start. Furthermore, you can reach within a one week journey a set of wonderful authentic islands.

Today I will share with you the top 6 of my favourite sailing departure ports in the Mediterranean. These ports have in common that sailing from there you will be in a boaters paradise right from the start. Furthermore, you can reach within a one week journey a set of wonderful authentic islands.
6 must-visit sailing spots in the Mediterranean

Let’s start in Greece, the east part of the Mediterranean. From there we will move westwards over Croatia and Italy until the Balearics, introducing further ports.



Kos, Dodecanese Islands, Aegean Sea, Greece

Experience a Memorable Boating Journey from Kos Marina

Kos harbour

Kos stands as a premier sailing charter hub in the Eastern Aegean Sea, offering an unforgettable journey through the authentic Dodecanese Islands. Your charter boat is moored in the well organised and service-orientated Kos Marina. On a one-week voyage, you have the choice of two captivating itineraries, each leading through a set of picturesque islands and serene harbours.

The Northern Itinerary 

Set sail to the northern route and immerse yourself in the unspoiled beauty of islands like Pserimos, Kalymnos, Astipalaia, Leros, Patmos, and Lipsi. Each island offers a unique glimpse into the tranquil life of small Greek harbor towns, reminiscent of the serene ambiance that graced these waters 30 years ago. Mooring is a breeze, often directly in front of welcoming tavernas, inviting you to savor local flavors just steps from your boat.

The Southern Itinerary 

Alternatively, the southern route beckons with the allure of Tinos, Nisyros, Alimia, Rhodes, and Symi. This path is dotted with charming bays, perfect for anchoring under the starlit sky and embracing the peacefulness of the Aegean. Kos and Rhodes, the only bustling cities on these routes, offer a vibrant contrast with their lively nightlife options.

Unforgettable Experiences Await

No matter which path you choose, the Dodecanese Islands are a haven for sailors seeking both relaxation and adventure. Don't miss the opportunity to rent a scooter and venture to the volcanic crater on Nisyros, an experience that promises awe-inspiring views and a touch of adventure. A night spent in the picturesque fjord-like port of Symi, which is brimming with vibrant life, is something to remember even years after.

Join us from Kos Marina for a sailing trip that not only explores the beauty of the Greek islands but also transports you back in time to a world of traditional charm and natural wonder.

Lefkas, Ionian Islands, Greece

Discover the Sailing Paradise of the Ionian Islands

Lefkas - getaway into the Ionian Islands

Embark on a memorable sailing adventure from the charming Lefkas town, home to the renowned Lefkas Marina. This bustling hub is the starting point for numerous sailboat charters, offering a gateway to the Ionian Sea. However, just a few kilometers south, in the quaint village of Nidri, awaits another fleet ready for your boating vacation.

Sailing South
Our most sought-after sailing route begins in Lefkas and takes you on a journey through the Ionian archipelago. Glide over the serene waters to Meganisi, and continue to the legendary islands of Ithaka, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos. Each destination boasts its unique allure, with Ithaka, the land of Odysseus, offering pristine beaches like Sarakiniko, Filiatro, and Gidaki. Kefalonia invites you to its captivating ports of Argostoli, Sami, and Assos, each brimming with character and charm.

A highlight is Zakynthos's iconic Navagio Beach, where a shipwreck rests on a dazzling white sand beach, a sight so striking it graces numerous Greek tourism brochures. The picturesque villages of Kioni and Vathy on Ithaka are perfect for leisurely strolls, immersing you in the tranquil beauty of the Greek Isles.

Sailing North

But the allure of Lefkas doesn't end there. Sail north to discover hidden gems like the lively Preveza town and the serene islands of Paxi and Antipaxi. A night in Gaios, Paxi's scenic harbour village, is highly recommended. Here, you can anchor your vessel right in front of charming local restaurants, indulging in authentic Greek cuisine while soaking in the picturesque views of this idyllic port.

Join us in Lefkas for an unforgettable sailing experience, where the beauty of the Ionian Islands awaits to captivate your heart and create lasting memories.

Sibenik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Launch an Adriatic Voyage from Marina Mandalina

Historic town of Sibenik, Dalmatia

Your sailing adventure begins at the Mandalina Marina, not far from the historic charm of Sibenik's Old Town, which you can visit on your first night. As you embark on this journey, the Adriatic Sea unfolds its treasures, offering a blend of serene natural beauty and rich cultural experiences.

The Kornati National Park

Your first itinerary option lies westward from Sibenik - the Kornati National Park. Just 15 nautical miles away, this breathtaking archipelago is a mosaic of dozens of small islands, each offering unique anchoring spots or mooring buoys. As you navigate through these islands, you'll discover quaint “Konobas” nestled on their shores, inviting you to savour traditional Croatian dishes in a setting that feels untouched by time.

Your voyage takes you from the peaceful island of Zlarin, a car-free haven, to the idyllic island of Kaprije, celebrated for its olive and grape production. The journey continues to the Kornati Islands National Park, a sailor's paradise of nearly 100 islands and islets, where you spend a night on Ravni Zakan, indulging in the island's local cuisine.

As you sail north towards Dugi Otok, you're greeted with opportunities for nature exploration. The choice between a shorter trip to Žut or a longer sail to Murter offers diverse experiences, from quiet coves to bustling beaches.

Exploring the Dalmatian Islands

Another option is turning southeastward from Sibenik to visit the renowned Dalmatian islands of Brac, Hvar, and Vis. Apart from the port town of Hvar, these islands exude a relaxed atmosphere, reminiscent of the Greek islands three decades ago. Here, you can moor directly in front of a taverna, enjoying the simplicity and tranquillity that these islands are celebrated for. 

A Visit to Krka National Park

As your journey nears its end, reserve the last day for an excursion to the Krka waterfalls near Skradin. Accessible through the scenic Skradin channel, this area is a testament to Croatia's natural splendour. The cascading waterfalls and lush surroundings provide a perfect backdrop for reflection on your week-long adventure.

Whether you're anchoring in secluded bays or exploring bustling towns, a sailing trip from Sibenik promises an unforgettable experience, blending the serene beauty of marine nature combined with highlights of Dalmatian culture.

Portisco, Sardinia, Italy

Embark on a Captivating Sailing Trip from Marina di Portisco

The bay of Marina Portisco - Costa Smeralda

Set sail from the charming Marina di Portisco, nestled in the heart of Sardinia's renowned Costa Smeralda. This idyllic starting point opens the door to a week of exploration along some of the Mediterranean's most stunning coastlines and islands.

A Journey Through Crystal Waters and sheltered Bays

Your voyage begins with a serene sail towards the glamorous Cala di Volpe. Renowned for its crystal-clear waters and frequented by luxurious yachts, this bay offers the perfect introduction to the beauty of the Mediterranean. Here, you can immerse yourself in the clear waters with a refreshing swim, surrounded by scenic vistas.

Exploring the Maddalena Archipelago and Corsica's Charm

As you leave Cala di Volpe, the journey takes you towards the enchanting La Maddalena, the main port of this archipelago. This leg of your trip is graced with stops at picturesque beaches like Spiaggia del Principe, ideal for sunbathing and relaxation. La Maddalena itself invites you to wander its charming streets and indulge in the local culinary delights, like authentic Italian gelato.

The adventure continues as you set course for the stunning town of Bonifacio on the island of Corsica. This destination captivates with its striking limestone cliffs. The narrow, winding streets of Bonifacio are perfect for leisurely exploration, leading you to delightful local restaurants where the flavours of Corsica come to life.

Corsica's Southern Coast and Uninhabited Isles

Your journey then takes you along the southern coast of Corsica to the town of Porto Vecchio. En route, the idyllic Santa Giulia Beach invites with its white sands and turquoise waters. Porto Vecchio, with its ancient Genoese fortress, offers a blend of history and modern luxury.

As you sail southwards, the uninhabited granite island of Isola di Lavezzi emerges, a haven of natural beauty and tranquility. This spot is ideal for anchoring and exploring ashore, capturing stunning panoramic views from the granite rocks.

Discovering Hidden Gems in the Archipelago

Venturing further into the Maddalena Archipelago, you'll find dozens of bays and beaches, each with its unique allure. From the serene Cala Lunga on Razzoli Island to the picturesque Rosa Beach on Budelli Island, these stops are perfect for swimming and soaking in the Mediterranean sun. The night can be spent at a boy in the sheltered Porto Palma on Isola di Caprera, a tranquil end to a day of exploration.

Returning to Portisco with Lasting Memories

As your journey nears its end, a final swim at Spiaggia del Relitto or the quaint island of Mortorio offers a refreshing pause before you make your way back to Portisco. This last leg of the voyage is a time to reflect on the unforgettable experiences and breathtaking sights that have marked your sailing adventure.

From the luxurious bays to the hidden coves of the archipelago, this sailing trip from Marina di Portisco is an unforgettable experience. I recommend not doing this sailing trip in the high season months July and August because the anchorages are too crowded.

Capo d’Orlando, Sicily, Italy

Sea Journey to the Volcanoes of the Aeolian Islands

Coastal View near Capo d'Orlando

Capo d'Orlando with its modern marina, nestled on Sicily's northern coast, serves as a starting point for a week-long sailing trip to the Aeolian Islands.

Your sailing adventure will begin in Capo d'Orlando, where you'll board your yacht on a Saturday evening. Your first destination is the beautiful Portorosa Marina, a journey of about 4 hours along Sicily's scenic northern coast. En route, take a break in the stunning Bay of Tindari, perfect for a swim, snorkel, or simply soaking in the views of the Tindari Sanctuary.

The next morning, set sail for Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands. The 4-hour voyage is punctuated with a stop at Vulcano, where you can indulge in its famous natural mud baths. Lipari, with its vibrant harbour and rich history, is an ideal overnight stop.

On Monday, head to Panarea, an island known for its chic charm. The 3-hour sail is complemented by a visit to Lipari's Blue Grotto, a sea cave bathed in blue light.

Tuesday's itinerary takes you to Stromboli, famous for its active volcano. The 3-hour sail includes a stop at the serene islet of Basiluzzo. Spend your day swimming in its crystal-clear waters or diving into the “Grotta del Amore” before continuing to Stromboli.

Midweek, sail to Salina's port town of Malfa. The 4-hour journey allows for a detour to Pollara Bay, known for its volcanic landscape and appearance in "Il Postino."

On Thursday, return to the Sicilian mainland, heading to Milazzo. This 5-hour sail includes a stop at White Beach on Lipari’s east coast, a secluded spot for a swim and sunbathing.

Conclude your journey on Friday, returning to Capo d'Orlando. The 5-hour sail back is a chance to reflect on your adventures, with a stop at one of the beaches for a swim.

This itinerary offers a great mix of adventure, relaxation, and exploration, showcasing the best of the Aeolian Islands and Sicilian coast.

Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Embark on a memorable sailing trip through the Balearics

View over the port of Palma de Mallorca

Setting sail from Palma de Mallorca, your one-week voyage into the Balearic Islands promises an array of stunning destinations and unforgettable experiences. Departing on a Saturday afternoon, you'll find excellent nearby anchor spots in the Bay of Palma, such as Illetes, Portals Vells, or the Delta below Majoris, perfect for your first night.


Exploring the Eastern Coast of Mallorca

On your second day, you have the option to sail eastward, where you can visit the pristine Es Trenc beach, the Cabrera National Park (remember to secure permission), and explore beautiful calas and port towns like Cala Figuera, Cala d’Or, or Portocolom. This route is ideal unless strong winds from the east are forecasted.


Venturing Westward along the Tramuntana

Alternatively, heading west takes you through Santa Ponsa, Port d’Andratx, Sant Elm, Punta de Sa Foradada and Port de Soller, culminating in the breathtaking Sa Calobra. This route is best suited for days with no strong westerly winds, as the Tramuntana coast can experience significant swell, with Port de Soller being the only sheltered harbour.


A Journey to Ibiza and Formentera

For a more adventurous route, consider sailing southwestward to the enchanting islands of Ibiza and Formentera. This journey, taking ten to twelve hours, leads you to some of the most famous and beautiful beaches in the region, like Espalmador and Ses Illetes. The Platja de Migjorn in the south of Formentera offers a less crowded experience with crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Ibiza, known for its vibrant beach clubs, also boasts numerous picturesque bays and beaches. The old town of Eivissa is definitely worth spending an evening, just make sure you reserved a marina berth before.

These itineraries combine the tranquillity of secluded coves, the charm of coastal towns, and the excitement of sailing the Balearic Sea, making it an ideal choice for charter boat sailors departing from Palma de Mallorca.


My exploration of the Mediterranean's top sailing spots highlights the region's diversity and appeal for sailors. From Greece's historical sites and Croatia's rugged coastlines to Italy's culinary delights, each destination offers unique experiences and challenges. The Mediterranean is an ideal setting for sailors to enhance their skills amidst varied winds and seas, catering to a broad spectrum of interests and expertise levels. This guide presents the Mediterranean as a rich and varied sailing playground, promising memorable adventures across its many distinguished ports and islands. You can find bookable charter boats directly on our YachtFinder. If you need any further recommendations, just contact us.

Felix Wolf
Felix Wolf

Felix Wolf is co-founder and owner of YachtBooker. He is a charter skipper himself and enjoys discovering new sailing areas.

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