When planning a sailing holiday, most people have in mind sun-bleached island destinations in the Mediterranean. Though, the Mediterranean coasts are dotted with fantastic beach towns that should not be overlooked, offering the chance to experience everything an island hopping holiday has to offer, plus the convenience of a road connection to the facilities of the mainland.
Not only they are ideal itineraries for your sailing holidays, but also can be considered as plan-B solutions in case of a bad weather or ideal destinations for families with young children!
Here are the best beach towns in the Mediterranean, as selected by the Guardian newspaper!
Sibenik – North Croatia
Although it is mostly known as the access point to Krka National Park and the Kornati islands (to many, also known as the Braavos city in Game of Thrones), Sibenik remains an overlooked gem with limestone palaces, ancient ruins, traditional villages and secluded anchorages, all in a tremendously beautiful landscape that is considered to be one of Europe's finest destinations.
Zadar – North Croatia
A city with long history, blending Ancient Roman, Byzantine and Venetian impact, today well-known for the ancient ruins, wonderful Venetian settlements, laid-back beaches, some of the world’s best street art and Croatia’s most spectacular sunsets. The Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation, art installations that utilize the power of nature to create awesome sounds and colours in the Sky, is a hard-to-believe-unless-lived experience.
Also known as the City of Flowers for its bloom-laden, colorful and fragrant streets, San Remo is a cosmopolitan coastal city with a Dolce Vita air, a historic casino, a scenic old town and beautiful alleys. As there is no free access to the most beaches here, the best way to experience the azure Ligurian Coast is on a yacht charter in Liguria, ideally setting off from Genoa.
Sciacca, Sicily, Italy
Located in Southern Sicily, a small port town that was founded by the ancient Greeks, now is dominated by tourists and fishermen. Descending amphitheatrically from a hill to the harbour, get wonderfully lost among steep streets, baroque cathedrals and castle ruins, and enjoy the waters of the golden sandy beach stretching by the harbour, or sail your way 7 km to the east, to enjoy the wild beauty of Sovareto, with white sands and crystal clear waters.
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz, Spain
A vibrant blend of palaces and cathedrals, influenced by the Seville aristocracy of the 19th century that used to spend their summers there. A spectacular bunch of beaches and sand dunes stretches along for 6 km while on the other side, the lovely town sits on the mouth of Guadalquivir river. A great time to visit is during August’s Carreras de Caballos, when horses are racing along the beach during the evening low tides (8-10 and 22-24 August 2018).
Steep, arid hills backing white cubic architecture, strongly reminding of Cycladic scenery in Greece kissed by the Alboran Sea. A bustling destination with a crowded beach, but remains miraculously sweet and easy for those who are willing to go beyond the tourist guide, and explore the small bays and coves east beyond the marina on yacht charter holidays in Almeria, Andalusia.
Volos, Pagasetic Gulf, Greece
On the Northern shores of Pagasetic Gulf lies vivid Volos, the most convenient starting point for your sailing holidays in Skiathos and Sporades islands. Backed by the spectacular Mount Pelion and the Pelion Peninsula stretching to the East and South like a giant fishhook, while the town waterfront is dotted with cafes and tavernas, Volos has the aura of a cosmopolitan Greek island in the Greek mainland.
Galaxidi, Gulf of Corinth, Greece
Let yourselves time travel back to the 19th century and get wonderfully lost among the narrow streets of Galaxidi, a former shipbuilding centre with charming mansions, now a low-key coastal settlement sitting on a natural harbour embraced by mountains. Surrounded by the spectacular ancient ruins of Delphi, idyllic villages and countless beaches and coves, chartering a yacht in the Gulf of Corinth and Galaxidi calls for endless explorations