Yachting in autumn is a special pleasure for both experienced yachtsmen and amateur beginners. The freedom offered by sailing allows for various cruise routes. All you need to do is define your goal. Will it be comfortable relaxation, sailing sport or a sightseeing tour?
In autumn, most skilled yachtsmen prefer the Mediterranean due to zero risks, great navigation maps, a lot of harbors, and easily available repair and fueling services. There is no danger of piracy, force-9 storms, or big waves. Beautiful weather, low to moderate winds and warm water add up to the perfect formula of peaceful and safe leisure.
Yachting is a very affordable kind of leisure. Gone are the times when this hobby was associated with big money — today anyone can afford it. Visiting Cannes, Monaco and wonderful Greek islands is a luxury for everyone. Just choose your destination, rent a yacht and go conquer the world! How about this autumn? Below you will find three popular southern routes that will help you make your choice.
One of the Cinque Terre villages in the Mediteranian Sea in Italy. Photo: Emanuel-haas / Unsplash
The Mediterranean is the hit of autumn routes. Warm, but already not hot weather, comfortable water temperature, a low storm risk, and a favorable wind forecast make sure you will enjoy your trip. Other, non-climate related, benefits include well-maintained marinas in almost every bay, and many yachting clubs — you will have no problem parking your yacht.
Beach activities combined with sightseeing tours make sailing in autumn Mediterranean a bright and eventful experience. The latter is only enriched by the dual nature of sailing — seemingly adventurous and, at the same time, completely safe. Rare rainy days will allow to feel the “sea spirit” to the fullest — you can sway on the waves and then safely hide away in a port city.
The most popular route is from Saint-Tropez to Cannes, Monaco, or Portofino, with stops in Capri, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicilia. The route allows for improvisations — you can stop at Elba or on the mainland. The world of yachting is unthinkable without the freedom of choice. Although Cannes are considered to be the most expensive French Riviera resort, a sailing cruise may suit any budget, especially in autumn.
The port city Kotor in Adreatic Sea in Montenegro. Photo: Faruk-kaymak / Unsplash
The famous water areas — Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Istria — are much more interesting in autumn than in the high beach season. At this time of the year, the weather in Croatia is steadily warm with minimum rain. The number of tourists in the cities drops significantly and you can easily park your yacht in one of numerous harbors. You will also be pleasantly surprised by low charter prices. A one-week sailing trip may be offered at a half summer price. Since autumn is not a high season in Croatia and the country boasts the biggest charter yacht fleet, you will have more comfortable sailing yachts to choose from. For a seasoned sailor, Croatia offers enough places where you can “fly with the wind”. The rest may count on having the most satisfactory yachting experience. In Dalmatian area, autumn winds are predictable which means you can spend more time learning to sail.
Autumn Croatia offers more opportunities for exploring local sights. While in summer it is very challenging to find a free parking space in a bay, in autumn all the bays are empty, which gives you access to wonderful places that are hard to visit in high season. National parks, museums, historical landmarks, and other places of interest are not only free from the crowds but cheaper as well.
One more benefit of Croatia local cuisine. Fresh fish, oysters, and seafood delicacies of all kinds are in very low demand which allows to taste these dainties almost for nothing. Also, this is the time when wine and olive oil is produced, so you will have a unique possibility to buy the best sorts.
Typical village in the Ionian Sea in Greece. Photo: Raimond-klavins / Unsplash
Many autumn yachting lovers choose to start their cruises in the Ionian Sea. Kefallinia, Leucadia, Corfu, Lefkada, Zakynthos, Ithaka, Meganissi and Kalamos are strikingly beautiful islands that stretch along the western coast of Greece.
The route offers a great possibility to combine coastal and sea benefits. A lot of natural and manmade sights, beautiful turquoise sea, mild climate — all the constituents of luxurious leisure are there. You can spend a week exploring the neighborhood of Corfu alone and still not see all of it. Agios-Georgios Bay, Canal D’Amour Beach, Angelokastro Byzantine fortress or the Old City of Corfu — there is a lot to do on the shore.
The largest marinas are located in Preveza, Lefkada and Corfu. Since the distances between the islands are not big, nothing will stop you from exploring the neighboring area. Due to the nature of the wind blowing from the Adriatic, yachtsmen will have a comfortable and peaceful experience. Early autumn winds are predictable and moderate — they do not exceed 5 knots. Low waves, if they do occur, typically appeal to both skilled sailors and beginners. In the end of October, the weather changes radically — gusty stormy winds and daily precipitation are not good for yachting.
Cover photo: Marvin-maduro / Unsplash