The Best Family Sailing Holiday Destinations
From our 40+ years of Sailing Holidays we have come up with some of the areas we believe are best for families. This article is particularly aimed at sailing destinations for families with young children and pre-teens. We know that being sailors with young children you are faced with a bit of a conundrum...you want to sail, but you don't want a destination so windy you face losing your loved ones overboard! This is where we come in.
Below are three of our favourite destinations sure to give your family a thrill without blowing them away (in the wrong way...). Get ready to prioritise swim stops over sheet tightening and your lunchtime beer over the leech line - these are sailing holidays with the emphasis on 'holiday'!
1. SOUTH IONIAN ISLANDS - View our Rough Sailing Guide
Sail from Lefkas to Kefalonia, Ithaca, Meganisi, Kastus & Kalamos
The south Ionian Islands are one of the most sheltered areas you can sail in the Mediterranean. This is perfect for first time sailors taking a skippered charter or if you are a sailor looking to introduce your friends and family to sailing for the first time. The majority of the area is very sheltered and often as calm as a lake until later in the afternoon when the prevailing NW wind picks up to a force 3-4.
This is the perfect holiday sailing. The distances between stops is short so there is no risk on board 'are we there yet?' fatigue! There are also an incredible plethora of bays to stop in for swim stops along the way which breaks up the day perfectly. There is nothing better than a lazy lunch and swim stop in a bay, whiling the hours away, waiting for the afternoon breeze to pick up.
The main perks in brief: warm weather, lovely bays, short days, no swell & friendly tavernas - what's not to love!
2. NORTH IONIAN ISLANDS - View our Rough Sailing Guide
Sail from Corfu to Paxos, Anti-Paxos and along the stunning coastline
The north Ionian Islands, similarly to the south are one of the most sheltered areas you can sail in the Mediterranean. Again the majority of the area is very sheltered and often as calm as a lake until later in the afternoon when the prevailing NW wind picks up to a force 3-4. This area is lovely as it is north of Athens and so ever so slightly cooler during the school holidays (no bad thing when temperatures in parts of Greece reach well into the mid 30's). Harbours in the north Ionian also tend to be slightly less busy than the harbours in the south that are more well-known.
Our favourite aspect of this area is the stunning emerald coloured water you find in the numerous bays littered along the islands and coastline. The gin clear water makes swimming more enjoyable than ever, particularly for little ones nervous about swimming in the sea! Iggy Creek and Parga on the mainland also have an array of watersports options for activity hungry children (i.e. those aged 8 going on 18...)!
The main perks in brief: warm weather, stunning emerald water, short days, little swell, good watersports, great sunsets!
3. KORNATI ISLANDS CROATIA - View our Rough Sailing Guide
Sail from Sukosan or Biograd and get truly off the beaten track
The Kornati Islands are the archipelago, that lies between Pag in the very north to Sibenik in the south, including the beautiful Kornati National Park. We think this is a brilliant destination for a crew who are looking for a sailing ground with stunning scenery, marine life and a chance to get away from it all. We particularly recommend this area for families or groups of friends looking to get back to nature, eschew technology and embrace their surroundings.
We can see why people enjoy it – we don’t know a faster or more effective way to switch off the mind and enter into holiday mode than leaving harbour on the first day with nothing but blue sea and blue sky ahead of you! There is something remarkably special about stimulating the mind with something entirely different – saying goodbye to the computer screen and hello to the horizon – it can’t be bad for you can it?
The main perks in brief: empty bays, beautiful national park, getting off the beaten track!
Like the sound of it? Check out our rough guides to the Kornati Islands to see where you can visit in a week or two. View our One Week Kornati Islands Sailing Guide or if you have a little more time our Two Week Kornati Island Sailing Guide.
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