Seasonal Holidays shares some of the best places to holiday in spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer, and it is the depressing time of the year when many boats are out of the water, which equals no sailing or, even worse, spending hours and hours on boat maintenance… But just like it is always 5pm somewhere, there is also always somewhere to go sailing! Here’s the top picks of where to spend the seasons according to the yacht and catamaran charter experts at

After a long winter, and once the ski-trips are out of the way, then it is time to think about getting back on the water. And there are actually a few options to choose from. The most obvious destination is to fly yourself out to the Caribbean, where you will find the impeccable mix of constant sunshine, literally transparent waters and the classic settings of palm trees and white sandy beaches (honestly, they do exist in real life – not just on postcards!). You can sail in the Bahamas to see why the pirates made it their home or visit the famous islands of swimming pigs. Or fly to Grenada and sail out to the Grenadines (the best place to sail on earth?). Or maybe the British Virgin Islands for some rum punches and spectacular beaches. Spring is a good time to go to the Caribbean because it is away from peak-season pricing (in Christmas to the end of January), as well as being a safe distance from hurricane season (in August). If long-haul is not your thing, then you can also get some decent sailing closer to home – the Balearic islands usually have good winds and pleasant temperatures at this time of year, so head to Ibiza or Palma. There is also the added benefit of there not being too many boats out on the water, so you will find idyllic Calas or bays all to yourself.

As summer comes into view, there is nothing quite like getting on a boat in Greece, Croatia or Italy, where, in May, you will find there is an energy and excitement around the coastlines and islands that summer is coming. You will also find the best prices for chartering a boat there at this time of year – with the only downside being that the sea temperatures are usually a little bit ‘fresh’. The rest of the summer months are all about the Mediterranean too – where you can sail in the sunshine by day, and join the land-lubbing tourists in lively bars or fine restaurants by night. The peak season is August, when schools close across Europe and almost every boat and every marina is full, with everyone enjoying the break from work and the holiday atmosphere. It seems that Italy is the place to be seen sailing in 2024 – where you can mix sunny sailing with the best food and wine the world has to offer, as well as plenty of history, culture or fashion. For those on a lower budget, Croatia is very accessible (particularly if you moderate how many nights you spend moored up in their fancy but expensive marinas), or you will find your money goes further in restaurants in Greece than anywhere else in Europe. Almost all the bases in Croatia, Greece and Italy offer brilliant sailing, and something to suit all tastes, so often it is best to choose where to sail based upon which airport is the easiest or cheapest for you to get to, and that fits in with the Saturday-Saturday rhythm of Med charters. You can also have fantastic sailing experiences in the French Riviera, Malta, Montenegro, Sicily, Sardinia and the Balearics.

Non-sailors might think of autumn as a time for falling leaves, harvest festivals and Halloween – but for a sailor, autumn is all about Turkey and the adjoining Greek Dodecanese islands in the southern Med. Being that little bit further south means that you can find fine sailing conditions in this region throughout October, and even in November these days. In Greece, that means picking up a boat in Rhodes or Kos, where local history includes the birth of modern medicine, knights on crusades, the writing of the Old Testament and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, whilst the geography includes volcanoes and delightful fishing villages, and they claim to have the best olives… In Turkey, sail from Gocek or Fethiye to explore the wonderful Gocek bay area, where you will find to your delight that every little bay is blessed with its own restaurant with a jetty. You can also visit the healing mud baths of Dalyan (said to take 10 years off how old you look), the famous Blue Lagoon or see how many sea turtles you can spot. Turkey has a unique culture and cuisine, which mixes the best of the East and West, so it is an intriguing place to visit in its own right – but even more so on a boat.

The Canary Islands offer good sailing conditions pretty much all year round – which makes them a fine place to sail after the clocks go back in the UK. In early December the flight prices are not too crazy either. The only point to note is that as you are sailing in the Atlantic, the sailing conditions are often more challenging (or exhilarating!) and you will have to start thinking about tides again. That is a pro or a con, depending upon who the skipper is. For calmer waters, then you can follow the sunshine and sail in Australia – where the Whitsunday islands offer exceptional snorkelling in coral reefs, gorgeous beaches and, of course, plenty of shrimps on the barbie. Likewise, the season will be starting to hot up again in the Caribbean, so maybe now is the time to head to Antigua for some jerk chicken and to visit Nelson’s own dockyard, the BVIs for tasty lobster and parties on the beach, or the Bahamas or Grenada, amongst others. Price-wise, charter fees are actually in the same ball-park right around the world – so for the long haul or exotic destinations, the main difference in price will be the cost of the flights. For long flights you might want to consider adding on a few days for exploring on land before or after the sailing holiday too.

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