Cruise to the Med

24 February 2014

Posted 24/02/2014:

I have lived/sailed the Med now for 32 years, when I got the time off work 🙂

I have some favourite places:

The West Coast of Corsica is my favourite sailing area in the whole world. It has everything EXCEPT too many boats (That’s because there are not many marinas). In the North it is steep too and mountainous. Coming south around Saint Florent it has beaches and sand. Calvi is a lovely town with a large sheltered bay and safe beach – good for provisioning. Just south of there is the Marine Reserve of Scandola, spectacular (but limited anchoring). Pretty little port of Girolata very small, crowed in summer, can anchor off in calm weather. Half way down Ajaccio – good for provisioning, fuel and services. Going south some great bays and anchorages until you arrive south at the spectacular port of Bonefacio which you MUST enter and finally the islands off the south coast. All the coast has many anchorages, I never go ashore 🙂 Mountains to 3000 metres. Wind every day.

The Balearic Islands around Palma Majorca are well worth a visit including the port of Mahon on Minorca.

Then on the south Coast of France, just East of Marseilles and Toulon you come to the Porquerolle Islands, all protected, beautiful anchorages. Port of Porquerolles on the main island, book a place in advance, go ashore and cycle the island on rented bikes, wonderful. Don’t miss the little port of Port Cros on one of the Easterly islands.

A bit further east is St Tropez, spectacular to sail by, anchor outside in good holding, go in by dingy, berths are busy and its expensive, but its worth seeing.

Keep going east to the islands off Cannes, and anchor between, both protected very pretty.

Might be worth stopping in VilleFranche, spectacular bay and anchorage, bit rolly.

Pop in and see me in Monaco perhaps 🙂

However going south, after Corsica, the NW corner of Sardinia has an archipelago Les Maddalenas.  One of my favourite spots is Cala Lunga on Razzoli island, but there are many beautiful anchorages in these islands. Keep going south to Porto Cervo – don’t bother going in, too expensive and flash but anchor in the next bay Gulfo Pevero, although I think they try to charge for that also.

Nice islands and anchorages south of there to Olbia. If you decide to head south from there towards Sicily there is not much after Olbia. Olbia (Capital), busy and smelly, and a long way up the river, but good provisioning.

Further south there is a nice anchorage on the N side of I. Dell’Ogliastra near Arbatax which is nice in calm conditions Or cross over to the west coast of the Boot of Italy.

Off Naples is the island of Capri and the Almalfi Coast sailing south is very nice, then cross to the Island of Stromboli, the lighthouse of the Mediterranean, try to pass at night, it’s a volcano and usually active.

From there the islands between Stromboli and Sicily are nice. Sicily – well not really my choice, but sailing through the Straights of Messina is busy but fun look out for the swordfish fishing boats they are great. I hear the Siracusa down on the east Coast is nice, but I have not been there.

Malta is worth a visit just for the natural harbour, fortifications and history in valetta. Can take a pontoon off the Royal Malta Yacht Club       

I am not sure its worth going up the Adriatic, we did the islands off Croatia, they were great.

My personal knowledge of further East is limited.

I have sailed the Cyclades islands of Greece and I hear the Turkey is really beautiful.

I am a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London and they organise a cruise in company through the Med every other year see next posting.

Paul / Foreign Affair

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Posted 28/01/2014:

I am planning a cruise to the Med. I wonder if anybody could offer any suggestions as to where and when to visit, especially on a more limited cruising budget.

Thanks and Best regards, Tom / Katface