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Top Cruising Destinations Around Europe

Cruising around the sparkling waters of Europe is one of the best ways that anyone could spend a holiday. We all dream about stopping on charming islands, exploring new port towns, cruising the beautiful waters, and living the dreamy yachting lifestyle. 

If you are planning on booking the best yacht holidays in Greece, or want to explore more of Europe, then be sure to check out some of these destinations. Chartering a yacht and sailing between these amazing places will result in one of the best holidays possible!

Here are some of the top cruising destinations around Europe that you should definitely consider experiencing. 

Greece

When it comes to European yacht holidays, destinations don’t get much better than Greece. This country is known for its magnificent Mediterranean coastline, stunning islands, and historic port towns. You can explore beautiful blue coves, dock at private white beaches, and hop between the many different islands. 

Beyond the obvious natural scenery, Greece has an incredible history and culture. A sailing holiday here could involve visits to ancient ruins and world-famous landmarks. The country is also known for its delicious food and excellent produce – something that makes docking at a port a whole lot more enjoyable. 

Greece covers a massive 6000 islands! For anyone planning an extensive sailing holiday – this offers an enormous number of places to visit and cruise between. Whatever kind of destination you may be after, there should be an island in Greece that will suit you. 

As Greece covers a fairly extensive area to cruise, here are two top parts of the country for a yacht holiday. 

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Navagio bay and Ship Wreck beach in summer. The most famous natural landmark of Zakynthos, Greek island in the Ionian Sea

The Ionian Islands

The Ionian Islands are a great choice for a yacht holiday – as the sailing time between islands is short. Sailing here is also well sheltered, with easy holding anchorages. This allows for more time to be enjoyed onshore. 

The Ionian Islands include the legendary Corfu and Paxos, among 5 other islands. Each destination here is loaded with its own unique charm and drawcards. Between the sheer natural beauty and the wonderful Greek towns – the Ionian Islands is always a favourite cruising ground in this country

As the Ionian Islands are a popular choice for yachting holidays, they are well equipped for visitors. You can expect great ports here, complete with all amenities and help that you may need. And renting a yacht for an Ionian Island cruise holiday is easy. 

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Beautiful sunset in Santorini Island, Greece. Santorini is famous for dramatic views, stunning sunsets from Oia town.

The Aegean

The Argolic and Saronic Gulf is a riviera that covers some of the best of ancient Greece. You could choose an amazing sailing itinerary around here, as there are many fantastic islands and ports to discover. 

Some top Aegean destinations include Franchini, Nafplion, Crete, and the islands of Hydra and Spetses. These are places brimming with unique Greek culture, history, and arts. The Aegean actually contains over 2000 islands – meaning that a cruising holiday here is full of opportunity. 

Just like the Ionian Islands, the Aegean is well set-up for anyone wanting to do a sailing holiday in Greece. The islands here offer quality amenities, helpful ports, and plenty of calm places to dock. 

Some other top destinations in Greece for a beach holiday include Vassiliki, Porto Heli, Horto Pelion, and Kos. If you’re after the dream European summer holiday, it could hardly get better than Greece.

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Split bay aerial view through stone window, Dalmatia, Croatia

Croatia

Croatia is a firm favourite European destination for anyone looking for a sailing holiday. This country consists of many picture-perfect islands, historic towns, and wonderful local culture. Croatia is full of natural beauty and is an easily accessible country for sailing around. 

Some of the top cruising destinations for a holiday in Croatia include Dubrovnik, Split, Kornati, Zadar, and Hvar. There are also smaller islands, like Vis and Korcula that offer incredible experiences. 

Portugal is a brilliant country to visit for a number of reasons. If you are planning a sailing holiday, then Portugal becomes even more desirable. This country has a stunning coastline and some world-class islands. With a rich history, delicious food, and plenty of historic sites. Portugal is always a good idea. 

Some top cruising destinations in Portugal include Madeira (one of Europe’s best islands) and Lisbon (the capital city). Between these, there are many other worthy places to visit. 

Viking Star in Venice, Italy
Viking Star in Venice, Italy

Italy

Italy has an extensive Mediterranean coastline, speckled with unbelievable islands, beaches, and beautiful towns. Sailing around southern Italy is always a popular choice for European cruise holidays. What makes this area even better is its close proximity to Greece – allowing you to include both countries easily into your sailing itinerary

As Italy has a rather lengthy coastline, the different destinations each offer something completely unique. Some of the best places to visit in Italy for a sailing holiday include Sardinia, Amalfi, the Aeolian Islands, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Sicily. The Cinque Terre is another great coastal destination for those interested in sailing further north. 

When visiting Italy, especially the south, you can enjoy a multitude of islands and coastal destinations that are within easy reach of each other. Sailing around here is fairly easy and sheltered. Besides the beautiful scenery that you will get to pass, the historic Italian towns and ports found around the country make it one of the most desirable European places to visit

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The view inside the Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France. From our Viking River Cruise aboard Viking Tor. #VikingChristmas #VikingRiver

France

A sailing holiday around France covers some of the most famous Mediterranean beaches and European port towns. The French Riviera is one of the most sought-after yachting destinations in Europe – with many well-known towns, cities, and beaches along this coast. 

Some of the best destinations here for a cruising holiday include Corsica, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Lorient, and many more. These are places that attract the rich and famous – so you can expect plenty of luxuries to be enjoyed in the towns. 

The French Riviera is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for a sunny sailing holiday. This is thanks to the magnificent beaches, picture-perfect towns, azure waters and calm sailing routes. 

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Final Thoughts on European Cruising Destinations

If you are planning a summer holiday in Europe, then it doesn’t get much better than a sailing trip around the continent’s pristine coastlines. There are plenty of destinations here that offer unspoiled beaches, quiet islands, sparkling blue waters and the prettiest port towns that you could imagine. 

So pack your sailing gear, pick a destination, and get out there! Sailing around Greece is the kind of holiday that everyone fantasises about – so why not make it a reality? Whichever destination you choose from the list above will be sure to provide an exciting and completely unforgettable experience.


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