If you still haven’t planned an escape to foreign waters this season, here are our picks for where to embark on some late summer sailing aboard your private luxury yacht or charter.
Cesme Marina, Turkey
Since its opening last June, Camper & Nicholson’s Cesme Marina has become a prime hot spot for boat lovers. Perched on the western end of Turkey’s Izmir peninsula, it’s little off the beaten track and boasts miles of beautiful, deserted coastline and sandy beaches. You can windsurf, NFT Monkey snorkel and scuba dive in the crystal blue waters or find an utterly secluded spot to anchor and relax. It’s also a great starting point to explore the other gems of the Aegean Sea such as the Greek Islands of Chios, Samos, Lesvos -all close enough for weekend cruises.
For a change of scenery you can venture on land and work up an appetite with a round of golf or explore the historical fort of Cesme before tasting the delicious seafood or other specialties in the local Turkish tavernas of the old town. The area is also famous for its hot springs and spas where you can spend a lazy day rejuvenating your body and soul in the soothing, holistic waters.
Cesme’s luxury marina facilities include 400 fully serviced marina berths and 18 superyacht berths, covering yachts from 10m to 60m. Other facilities include a smart yacht club, chandlery, supermarket, hotel and swimming pool, and numerous bars and restaurants offering a mix of international and Turkish flavours.
Karpaz Gate Marina, Northern Cyprus
Untouched cruising grounds in the Mediterranean are hard to come by during the height of the summer but if you venture just a little further east to northern Cyprus, charteracatamaraninthebvi you’ll find an oasis of year-round sunshine and tranquility around Karpaz peninsula.
Boasting colourful underwater corals, idyllic white sandy beaches and charming little coves, the region is beautifully picturesque and famous for its slow pace of life. If you’re a beach fan, Golden Beach is the place to go with 2.5 kilometres of sand and dunes. If you time it right, you might catch site of the protected loggerhead and green turtles that use the dunes as their nesting ground.
The bay is also home to the exclusive five-star Karpaz Bay Resort that offers an impressive array of luxury amenities. Schedule at least one meal at Hemingway’s, a contemporary restaurant and bar paying homage to Ernest Hemingway, author of The Old Man and the Sea.
Inland, the area is famous for its population of indigenous wild donkeys (that is bigger than its people). Must-sees include Bellapais, a small village four miles from the town of Kyrenia, the 13th Century Bellapais Abbey, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, St Hilarion Castle, a ruined citadel dating from the 10th Century that offers spectacular views of the island, and the uninhabited old town of Famagusta, dating back to the 11th century. There are also numerous ancient Byzantine churches to explore.
The recently-opened Karpaz Gate Marina, the first luxury marina of North Cyprus, provides 300 berths including the capacity to accommodate superyachts up to 55 metres in length.
Port Tarraco Marina, Tarragona, Spain
There’s a reason why the Western Mediterranean continues to attract crowds of pleasure sailors year after year. It offers beautiful beaches, imposing cliffs and a host of activities on and off land. Start your holiday at the high-end Port Tarraco in the city of Tarragona on Spain’s picturesque Costa Dorada (“Golden Coast”) for a taste of lively Catalonian culture. You can relax on the beach, bostonhaikusociety dine on fabulous seafood and tapas and learn a bit about the interesting history of the region in Tarragona’s numerous museums and archeological sites, including the well-preserved amphitheater.
If you want to take a break from the heat and the beaches, you can also venture up into the nearby mountains for a few days and go hiking.
Tarragona is also only 95km from Barcelona, Catalonia’s most vibrant city. And from Port Tarraco, you’re also in close proximity to the other major cruising grounds in the Western Mediterranean in and around the Balearic Islands.
Tarraco Marina is fully equipped and offers deep water berthing for boats between 30 and 160 metres in length.
Port Louis Marina, Grenada, Caribbean
Stepping onto the island of Grenada is like stepping back in time to a bygone era. Known as the Island of Spice due to its abundant production of nutmeg and mace crops, it’s a friendly corner of the Caribbean steeped in history and local traditions. The waterfront of the capital of the island St George’s is considered one of the most picturesque waterfronts in the Caribbean, lined with colourful old houses and forts whose faded elegance hold a unique charm.
What’s more, you’ve got the choice of over 40 pristine white and black sand beaches to enjoy. Take a mask and snorkel and immerse yourself in the warm turquoise waters exploring old sunken shipwrecks and colorful marine life. Alternatively, if you’re more of an adventure seeker, you can lose yourself in the luscious rainforests where you’ll find postcard perfect waterfalls and crater lakes alongside fragrant spice plantations and rum distilleries.
Beyond Grenada, you have the rest of the Grenadines to explore by boat. Just off Grenada’s shores are two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which are even more isolated and laidback and populated by friendly, hospitable locals.