With literally thousands of picturesque sea, river, and canal tourist attractions claiming to offer calm waters and relatively safe sailing opportunities, picking the most beginner-friendly of these destinations can seem daunting.
We explore some of the most popular sailing tourist attractions available that cater to novices. Listed below are the 5 best sailing destinations for beginners.
The Bahamas, Caribbean Islands
The Bahamas is one of the top sailing tourist attractions for beginners. The Bahamas has more than 340 days of annual sunlight with a steady trade wind of 16 km/h.
Sailors can either rent a yacht and go on a short sailing course or pay a bit extra for a crew and a skipper.
There are a variety of Bahamas venues or beaches where you can swim with dolphins. Our recommendation would be to visit Nassau for this unforgettable experience.
Sailors with a love for fishing have multiple choices between deep-sea fishing, reef fishing, or even spearfishing at the shores of Nassau.
For those with a sense of adventure, there is also shipwreck diving in the vicinity of Long Island, Andros Island, and Bimini and coral reef diving in the area of Nassau.
You might want to try Harbour Island’s Pink Sand Beach if you feel like swapping out your yacht for sunset beach walks on actual pink beach sand.
The mild Mediterranean climate coupled with the blue sealine makes for a great swimming area, in addition to sunset cruises and stargazing evenings aboard your yacht or catamaran.
You can scuba dive in scenic parts of the coastline, such as Dubrovnik with its incredible marine life, or choose to watch the dozens of bottlenose dolphins playing and having fun near the island of Cres.
In addition, you have the choice of visiting historical landscapes and medieval villages such as Zadar and Trogir, with exciting shops, ancient architecture, restaurants, and famous landmarks.
With average summer temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the French Riviera has been favored as a sailing tourist attraction over the past few decades and is the first choice among new sailors.
The reasons are manifold and include visiting the well-known coastal cities of Nice and Cannes (Cannes being famous for its annual film festival) and sailing on the azure blue waters while enjoying delicious French cuisine and sea leisure at its finest.
The best time for novice sailors to charter a yacht or catamaran would be between May and September, as the weather is at its best, and the Mistral (cold northwesterly wind) is less active during that period.
Those who are more adventurous can enjoy fun activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. First-time and more experienced divers can test their scuba diving skills at the various diving sites that Nice and the surrounding areas offer, such as the Villefranche diving site.
The British Virgin Islands
There is no better place for a first-time sailor than the Virgin Islands that offer a tropical rainforest climate and more than 60 idyllic islands to explore. Novice skippers can also attend various sailing schools.
On top of that, there are historical shipwreck sites that sailors can visit, such as the shipwreck at the Rhone National Park. Furthermore, snorkeling excursions at Conch Island (a collection of millions of conch shells) and Horseshoe Reef are immensely popular.
Moreover, you can swim with dolphins on Tortola and St. Thomas or stroll on long white beaches on islands like Anegada.
Among the top 5 best sailing destinations for beginners, the Greek Islands are a definite must, with up to 6000 islands to choose from, the islands’ rich cultural history, and their Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters and hot summers).
Beginner sailors with a passion for scuba diving can explore various diving spots and shipwreck sites beneath the deep blue sea, such as the Mirmigi Reef (Lesvos), the Elephant Cave (Crete), and Marathonisi Island or Turtle Island (Zakynthos).
It is easiest to travel between islands via yacht or catamaran (and do island hopping), and once you are on the islands, explore the local restaurants, galleries, and shops.