Sailing in Europe.
What constitutes the perfect European sailing trip varies from person to person and of course, depends upon many factors such as sailing experience, qualifications, and expectations.
A unique, tranquil and relaxing option is to rent a barge boat. Moreover, renting a 50-foot barge in France requires no formal qualifications or previous experience. After just a 20 minute course required to familiarise yourself with the barge, you are at the helm of a beautiful, four cabin, two-wheel floating house enjoying the freedom, fresh air and scenic French landscapes. Quickly learn to navigate locks and seek out shady spots to dock and explore the picturesque French towns and villages, stocking up on breakfast provisions such as croissants and fresh French baguettes and, of course the obligatory French wine and cheese.
If you hanker for the ocean, a skippered sailing vacation on board a yacht is a practicable option to discover specific parts of Europe such as Croatia and Turkey. Various organised boat charter organisations exist, catering to specific requirements such as age and preferred activities.
For an excellent sailing vacation with no maritime experience, opt for a chartered Mediterranean sailing holiday and take advantage of a local skipper where you are in safe hands. Choose to relax with your feet hanging off the side of the yacht or gain some useful sailing tuition. A reputable chartered boat organiser works with you to plan your itinerary, or you might prefer to allow them to steer the flavour of the trip, to take you to some of the best locations on the Mediterranean, picturesque towns, hidden beaches, vibrant nightlife and great stopovers.
The same rules apply to a flotilla sailing trip around the Greek Islands. Sail the beautiful South Ionian Islands solo, with family or with friends. A flotilla is a group of up to 12 boats all led by an experienced crew who plan exciting destinations, assist whenever needed, keep a close eye on the weather thus allowing you to be confident and enjoy the high seas. Flotilla sailing is a great way to meet like-minded, seafaring people, take part in friendly regattas, and enjoy the social aspect of life on the ocean.
If the preference is a recreational day trip without the luxury of an on-board skipper, catering and amenities, there a few exciting options available. For instance, Germany’s northern Lake District of Mecklenburg has a myriad of natural inland lakes connected via meandering rivers upon which day sailing is a prevalent method of travelling and exploring. This peaceful and scenic region fondlyc called the “Land of a Thousand Lakes” is popular with kayakers due to convenient routes and stop-offs along the way, including campsites with picnic tables and small cafes.
Also in Germany are the Alster Lakes, located within the heart of the city of Hamburg. The lakes date back to medieval times and comprise two large lakes, the Außenalster and the Binnenalstar. Boat rental is very popular, everything from small one-hour cruise boats with refreshments, chartered catamarans and sailing yachts, to simple pedal boats, canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards. Enjoy the magnificent backdrop of architecture from the water including Hamburg City Hall, iconic churches, impressive mansions and fountains, ancient trees and lush green parks. Sailing while the sun drops over the city horizon provides a fantastic photo opportunity with the city lights reflected on the lake surface.