Mediterranean Sailing Holidays

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					Mediterranean Sailing Holidays
There are many cruise and sailing options that offer you the wonderful
sights and beautiful landscape of the Western Mediterranean Sea. Popular
stops include Malta, Italy, Sicily, Tunisia and Spain. Many cruises
actually make a stop on the island of Mallorca, the main island of the
Balearics, which has a large expat community, but often overlook the
other two main islands, including Ibiza and Menorca.
However, cruises weren't quite for me. I felt I wasn't ready for the
large cruise ships quite yet and the large crowds that come with it once
you hit the shore. And as for which island, I wasn't quite keen on Ibiza,
which has more of a late night mentality, with casino's and clubs located
throughout. Though it is a stunning island, and there are some private
yacht charter trips that go from Ibiza to nearby Formentera within a day,
which in fact is quite a relaxing route. One can view Ibiza's coastline
and cliffs and get away from the crowd, finding a cove where you can
anchor your yacht for the afternoon.
Still, for the best combination of both, Menorca is still my top choice
out of the Balearic Islands. Even with more flights available to Menorca
from Gatwick this year than previously, it still felt like Menorca had
that calmer easy-going feel to it. Gentle, relaxed and tranquil year
round, Menorca is the right combination for all types of visitors. From
the relaxed sunbathers to the eager deep seas divers and watersport
enthusiasts, attracted by the local cuisine and scenic coastline, it has
the best of all worlds, but particularly the one where I want to detach
from the faster paced life back in the city. And even the nightlife
carries a different vibe, such as "The Caves of Xuroi", which is located
halfway down the cliffs above the sea of Cala'n Porter, where the dancing
goes well into the night.
There are many offers that package holiday villas along with sailing
holidays or private yacht charter services in Menorca, however, from
experience it works best to perhaps pick and choose from each category
individually. With single day excursions barely over a hundred euros per
person, independently owned local companies such as Go Nautic can not
only provide a good price (even by today's exchange rate standards), but
also add the benefit of local experience. It always helps to have someone
who knows the nooks and crannies of the coastline and where the best kept
secrets are. And of course, a touch of hospitality is always welcome, and
having the daily yacht charter excursions include a delicious three
course meal, with drinks included was a nice touch. Few yacht charter
services offer a catering service of this quality, and if you contact
them in advance, one can choose various dishes in their menu.
Should you want it all to yourself though, they also offer weekly charter
trips that can take you around the Balearic Islands, which include
Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Come to think about it, I guess
you actually can have it all.
Mark Smith is a travel journalist who explores the far reaches of the
earth, by sea of course. From urban delights to remote islands, he
reviews the wide range of nautical travel available. This month he looks
at Yacht charter holidays and Sailing in Menorca and will be focusing on
the top Mediterreanean hotspots through the year.

				
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