A sailing boat on the blue Caribbean Sea

The Best Sailing Destinations in the World

12 min read

Our curated collection of best sailing destinations in the world. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a beginner, there are countless destinations around the globe that offer incredible sailing experiences.

12 min read

Sailing is a thrilling adventure that allows you to explore the beauty of the world's oceans and seas. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a beginner, there are countless destinations around the globe that offer incredible sailing experiences. In this article, we will guide you through the best sailing destinations in the world, providing you with essential information and highlighting the unique features of each location.

What to Consider When Choosing a Sailing Destination?

When choosing a course for your next sailing adventure, several key factors come into play. The natural beauty of the location, robust sailing infrastructure, rich local culture, and favorable weather conditions are all pivotal in ensuring an unparalleled sailing experience.

One of the key factors to consider is the scenery and natural beauty of the area. Sailing allows you to witness stunning landscapes, from picturesque islands and white sandy beaches to rugged coastal cliffs and charming fishing villages. Imagine gliding through crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking sunsets.

Sailing boat sailing on a calm sea
Woman sitting on the deck of a sail boat near the coastline of Greece

Another important aspect is the availability of sailing infrastructure, such as marinas and yacht clubs. These facilities ensure that you have access to essential services and amenities, making your sailing experience comfortable and convenient.

Furthermore, the local culture and cuisine can greatly enhance your sailing adventure. Exploring coastal towns and experiencing the unique traditions and flavors of different regions can add a memorable cultural element to your trip.

Last but not least, the weather and sea conditions play a crucial role in determining the suitability of a sailing destination. Ideal sailing conditions include steady winds, calm seas, and moderate temperatures, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Read also our guide on how to charter a yacht for your ultimate dream vacation.

What Are The Top Sailing Destinations in Europe?

Europe's vast and varied coastline beckons sailors with promises of unforgettable voyages. From the sun-kissed shores of Greece, Italy, and Croatia to the dramatic fjords of Norway and the rugged beauty of the British Isles, the continent offers a sailing experience like no other.

Mediterranean Sailing: Greece, Italy, and Croatia

The Mediterranean Sea, with its azure waters and gentle breezes, offers a vast playground for sailors, with Greece, Italy, and Croatia being particularly appealing destinations.

Scenic Amalfi coast with boats
Beautiful coastline of Croatia with boats
Shipwreck beach in Greece
Amalfi, Italy (1), Croatia (2), Zakynthos, Greece (3)

Greece, with its idyllic islands and crystal-clear waters, provides a delightful sailing experience. From the iconic Cyclades to the historic Ionian Islands, there are numerous routes to explore, each offering its own unique charm.

Italy, with its stunning Amalfi Coast and captivating islands such as Capri, Sardinia and Sicily, is another hotspot for sailors. The rich history and vibrant culture combined with breathtaking scenery make it an unforgettable "la dolce vita" lifestyle destination.

Croatia's Adriatic Sea boasts a mesmerizing coastline dotted with medieval towns and picturesque anchorages. The Kornati Islands National Park and the vibrant cities of Split and Dubrovnik are must-visit highlights.

Northern Europe: The British Isles and Norway

If you seek a different sailing experience, Northern Europe offers a dramatic and rugged backdrop for your sailing adventure.

Fjord in Norway with beautiful nature
Coast of Isle of Skye in Scotland
Norway (1), Isle of Skye, Scotland (2)

The British Isles of United Kingdom, with their diverse landscapes and rich seafaring history, provide a sailing experience like no other. From exploring the charming ports of Cornwall to navigating through the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, you will be amazed by the beauty the region has to offer.

Norway's fjords, with their majestic cliffs and serene waters, are a true sailing paradise. The combination of awe-inspiring natural wonders and tranquil seclusion creates an unforgettable experience for any sailor.

What Are The Top Destinations to Sail in The Americas?

The vast expanse of the Americas offers an array of breathtaking sailing destinations. From the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to the rugged Pacific coasts of Canada and Mexico, the choices are both diverse and captivating for sailing enthusiasts.

Caribbean Cruising: The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, and More

The Caribbean Sea is synonymous with tropical island getaways and azure waters. The Bahamas, with its stunning Exumas and Abacos, is a dream destination for sailors seeking secluded anchorages and pristine beaches.

Woman on the deck of a luxury yacht on Caribbean
Yacht in blue Caribbean sea in Saint Lucia coastline
Saint Lucia

The British Virgin Islands are another Caribbean gem, boasting a collection of breathtaking islands, each with its own distinct character. The consistent trade winds and calm seas make it an ideal sailing destination for both novices and experienced sailors.

Other notable Caribbean destinations include St. Lucia, St. Martin, and Antigua, each offering its own blend of natural beauty and vibrant local culture.

Sailing the Pacific Coast: From Canada to Mexico

The Pacific coast of the Americas provides an equally enticing sailing experience, with stunning coastlines and diverse ecosystems.

British Columbia coastline with mountains
Arch of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur Mexico
British Columbia (1), Arch of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (2)

In Canada, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia offer a tranquil and picturesque sailing experience. The rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest combined with abundant marine wildlife creates a truly unforgettable adventure.

Further south, the Baja California Peninsula with beautiful Cabo in Mexico is a popular sailing destination. The Sea of Cortez, with its crystal-clear waters and remarkable biodiversity, provides a unique sailing experience where you can encounter dolphins, whales, and colorful marine life.

What Are The Top Sailing Destinations in Asia and Oceania?

Asia and Oceania are home to some of the most breathtaking sailing destinations, combining exotic cultures with stunning natural scenery. Whether it's island hopping in Thailand and the Philippines or exploring the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the idyllic South Pacific islands, these regions promise unforgettable nautical adventures.

Island Hopping in Thailand and the Philippines

Thailand's Andaman Sea is a favorite for sailors, especially around the islands of Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. These spots are celebrated for their striking limestone cliffs, clear turquoise waters, and diverse marine life. While Phuket provides a mix of lively beaches and local culture, Koh Phi Phi boasts secluded coves perfect for anchoring. Dive beneath the waves to explore colorful coral reefs or simply enjoy the serene beauty from your deck; this part of Thailand offers a memorable sailing experience.

Boats on the coast of Apo Island in Philippines
Boats on the coast of Phra Nang Beach in Krabi Thailand
Apo island, Philippines (1), Phra Nang in Krabi, Thailand (2)

The Philippines, with its archipelago of over 7,000 islands, provides endless opportunities for exploration. Each island presents a unique story, from the pristine, azure waters and powdery sands of Palawan's hidden lagoons to the vibrant energy and breathtaking sunsets of Boracay. As you chart your course, you might stumble upon untouched beaches, meet locals in serene fishing villages, or marvel at the underwater treasures around Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The region's warm tropical climate, diverse marine ecosystems, and rich cultural landscape make it a compelling destination for those seeking both adventure and tranquility on the high seas.

The Great Barrier Reef and South Pacific Islands

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not only a world-renowned diving destination but also an incredible sailing playground. Navigating through the colorful coral reefs and discovering hidden lagoons is an experience like no other.

Island of Fiji coastline with a boat
Sea turtle in Great Barrier Reef in Australia
Fiji (1), Great Barrier Reef, Australia (2)

The South Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands, offer a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. The idyllic turquoise lagoons, palm-fringed beaches, and warm hospitality of the locals create a dream-like setting for your sailing adventure.

What Are The Best African Sailing Destinations?

Africa offers a diverse variety of sailing experiences, from the azure waters of Seychelles and the idyllic islands of Maldives to the intriguing depths of the Red Sea. Additionally, the Mediterranean coast of Africa beckons with its rich history and captivating cultures, providing a blend of adventure for sailors.

The Seychelles and the Maldives: A Tropical Paradise

The Seychelles archipelago and the Maldives, both jewels of the Indian Ocean, are celebrated for their untouched splendor and immaculate beaches. Whether sailing through the Seychelles' turquoise waters to uncover hidden coves bordered by granite boulders or immersing in the Maldives' tranquil lagoons, the experiences are bound to leave an indelible impression.

Boat near an island in Seychelles
Maldives coastline with boat and pristine ocean
Seychelles (1), Maldives (2)

Sailing the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Coast

The Red Sea, with its fascinating coral reefs and vibrant marine life, presents a unique sailing experience. Egypt's coastal city of Hurghada and the Sinai Peninsula are popular starting points for exploring this captivating region.

Sealife in the Red Sea near Egypt
Coastline of Tunisia with blue Mediterranean Sea and boats
Red Sea in Egypt (1), Tunisia (2)

The Mediterranean Coast of Africa, from Morocco to Tunisia, offers a captivating blend of North African and Mediterranean influences. The ancient cities, historic ports, and enchanting landscapes make it a compelling sailing destination.

As you can see, the world is filled with stunning sailing destinations, each offering its own unique charm. Whether you prefer exploring secluded islands, indulging in vibrant local cultures, or embarking on adventures in breathtaking natural landscapes, the best sailing destinations in the world are waiting for you. So, set sail and create memories that will last a lifetime!


Lizzie Z.

As a top level corporate executive, Lizzie embarked on a soul-searching journey of adventure and slow living, passionately sharing her insights as the founder of RLM.



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