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