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Photo Story: Sailing the Med

by Meredith

Post image for Photo Story: Sailing the Med

Journalist and explorer, Meredith Price describes her magical sailing trip around the Med aided by 12 of her favorite vacation shots.

You’ve probably heard about traveling Europe by air, rail and road, but what about seeing Europe from the water?

Sailing may not be the most efficient mode of transport to cover ground quickly but chartering a boat is one of the coolest ways to see Europe’s fabulous port cities.

And floating beneath a canopy of stars as the waves lap the side of your boat should be ranked as one of the top 10 things to do before you die.


A Surprisingly Affordable Vacation

Our three-week sailboat charter itinerary started in Barcelona, Spain and ended up in the charming port town of San Remo, Italy.

We cruised up Spain’s Costa Brava, shopped in Marseille, anchored for a sunset seafood feast and dined on “moules-frites” in the island paradise of Porquerolles.

We also sampled the nightlife in the Riviera towns of St. Tropez, Antibes, Nice and Cannes. And the best part? It didn’t cost a fortune.

But now for my favorite shots!


1)
Directly across the street from Barcelona’s Port Vell lies the Barri Gòtic neighborhood.

Full of authentic eateries, charming alleyways and historical buildings, this is a great place for giving land-starved legs a place to aimlessly stroll.


2)
This hand-carved statue outside of the Sagrada Familia epitomizes architect Antoni Gaudi’s (1852-1926) incredible attention to detail and idiosyncratic style.

Although construction began in 1882, its estimated completion date is not until 2026!


3)
Spectacular sunsets from the water just before reaching France.


4)
All we could see for miles was sun-tipped clouds and the choppy peaks of a wind-swept sea.


5)
A view from the water of Notre Dame de la Garde atop Marseille’s highest 490-foot limestone peak.

Consecrated on June 5, 1864, this Neo-Byzantine basilica replaced a church built on the same site in 1214.


6)
We happened upon a sailing regatta in which only antique wooden boats were participating.

If you like racing, local regattas are frequent and often easy to join if you’re interested in some competition to spice up your journey.


7)
Just beyond Marseille are the famous “calanques” – small limestone inlets defined by deep valleys and steep sides.

With their dramatic cliffs and shallow waters, they provide the perfect place to anchor for a short swim or even for the night.


8 )
Another view of the calanques outside of Marseille. There are plenty of charming villages along this stunning coast to stop for supplies or a walk on land.


9)
Just around the corner from these magical cliffs, we found a small island with a sheltered cove – the perfect setting to enjoy a plate of delicious French cheese and chilled rosé at sunset.


10)
For a late afternoon snack and refueling, we decided to stop in port on the island of Porquerolles. The island is protected from unsightly development and has maintained its wild beauty.

Dotted with stunning beaches and intimate coves, the island is a fabulous place for sailing.


11)
St. Tropez’s most famous stretch of pristine sand – le Pampelonne.

If you find the 25 euro privilege of lying in a lounge chair at one of the beach clubs unnecessary, there are wild sections of sand where you can bring your own towels and picnic lunch.


12)
One of the best places to grab lunch in France is at a local “patisserie.” You’ll find a mouth-watering array of breads, quiches, sandwiches, pizzas, tarts and pastries.

There are plenty of these bakeries to choose from in every city and everything is always fresh.

Thinking of taking to the water? I’ll be offering more practical advice  for chartering a sailboat, seasickness prevention tips and lots more in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Toured Europe by boat? Been to any of these port cities? Post up your comments below, we want to hear from you!

If you liked this, you might also like: 12 Tacky but Terrific Things to do in London

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5 comments… read them below or Add a Comment

Vera Marie Badertscher

This looks so dreamy. We sailed around the Greek Islands in the Cylades and felt like millionaires, but it was actually as cheap as traveling cheap on land.

Scentsy

I live in Seattle, near the puget sound and watch the sail boats on a daily basis. I am always continuously curious about the view they are encountering. What a wonderful experience this must be for you, especially in Italy and Spain. Those are two places that are definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

jessiev

oh, this SO makes me want to go!!

Combson Yachts

I have always loved to own my yacht and to sail for a months along the Mediterranean coast! It would be so great. Maybe I’ll have a chance someday!

Paschal

Its not all sunshine and fun!!!

I found my dream Gulet in Marmaris earlier this year and paid Euro 1 million to the broker Gulet Group. I had been searching for a number of years and got to well know Ceitin Korkut and his assistant Okan Korkut after many visits to Marmaris. I paid Gulet Group for the 45m boat and all appeared in order.
They then requested Euro 100,000 to deliver the boat to South Africa, which I paid. Part of the agreed arrangement was that I would spend a few weeks on board whilst it travelled through the Mediterranean. Gulet Group provided a crew of four under the captaincy of Serdar Bedir. The boat is a sailing motor yacht. After many requests over two weeks I asked the captain to sail the boat rather than motor all the time. Finally they raised the sails, and it was clear that they did not know what they were doing, and tore one sail. They quickly reverted to the motor! I informed Gulet Group that I was concerned that the incompetency at sailing would not only endanger the boat but their own lives out in the open Atlantic. After my report Gulet Group apparently terminated the contract through the office in Marmaris.

Captain Serdar was sent the following email in English and Turkish,

serdar let me know urgently position of the phealan good cordinates and take the new crew of owner to the boat and make sure the leaving boat to new crew all s okey on the boat and let me know your flight date to turkey atleast two day before so ı can send your tickets.i dont want any other explain or idear if you have anythink to say you seat with cetin and clear all with him.
contackt to mr cetin or owner of the boat with mails and inform them they can send new crew.
kaptan cengiz selcuk

Gulet Group said it would be difficult to get a replacement crew quickly and we agreed that I would find a replacement, which I did.
I tracked the boat to San Raphael in South of France and sent the new crew. Captain Serdar refused to allow them on board. They now hold my boat for past 5 weeks. Last week I sent another representative and again Captain Serdar refused to allow him on board. Captain Serdar says he is owed money, but refuses to say how much or provide me with a copy of his contract.

Ceitin and Okan Korkut the owners of Gulet Group refuse to be of any assistance and ignore my emails. They refuse to refund any part of the Euro100, 000 I have paid them to deliver the yacht the full way.

guletgroup.com is a very fancy website and certainly inspires confidence, however such brokerage firm appear regulated in Turkey by no one.

It is ironic that I decided to have the boat sailed ‘the long way around’ via the Atlantic so as to avoid Somalia pirates only to have my own crew pirate the boat instead!

Surely this is not the norm for business in Turkey in 21st century???

Any assistance or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

You may also phone me Paschal +27823336622

ps my record of the entire transaction and all communications is 100%

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