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Late summer charter in the West Med

Cannes, South of France yacht charter

The peak season crowds will have gone and a more gentle pace of life returns. Places of interest and restaurants will still be open, the weather should be dry and sunny and the sea water temperatures beautifully warm – September is a gorgeous time of the year to visit the Mediterranean and in particular the West Med.    And ideal to visit on a private luxury charter yacht, from the glamorous French Côte d’Azur to fabled islands and beautiful villages of Italy.

Whether your passion is chic ports and habours with their sophisticated pleasures, small islands, old fishing villages and quaint towns to towering volcanoes spewing fire or vigorous adventure, magnificent food from authentic bouillabaisse to branzino jumping from the hook onto the grille or mysterious treats from the Middle East, you’ll find it in the West Med. And shopping – from the art galleries of St. Tropez and chic boutiques to fragrant local markets.

Of course, the Mediterranean is a huge sailing ground, and it can be a challenge just to identify your cruising grounds. In the West Med the French Riviera is one of the most glamorous coastlines with old fishing villages and fashionable ports. St Tropez, where yachts moor along the colourful waterfront strip of cafes and restaurants. Cannes, famous for its film festival, shopping and glamour but also rich in history with museums, galleries and monuments. Villefranche-Sur-Mer, a wonderful village, rich in authentic restaurants and beach-front bars. And perhaps along to the Italian Riviera with the jewel of Portofino and fabled Cinque Terre. You’ll never forget the heady Herbes de Provence growing everywhere and touching the food as well.

France’s large island of Corsica is a popular destination, too, and lies only 125 nautical miles from Nice. It has both sophisticated ports and rugged coves, providing a mix of experiences for any taste. Don’t miss the medieval town of Bonifacio with a labryinth of narrow streets or Porto Veccio the “St-Tropez” of Corsica. The same can be said of Italy’s Sardinia, just south of Corsica with its glamorous Emerald Coast – the Costa Smeralda – to islets inhabited only by goats and seabirds.

One of Italy’s favorite cruising grounds is the beautiful Bay of Naples, famed in songs such as “Santa Lucia”, “Return to Sorrento” and the “Isle of Capri.” Under looming Mount Vesuvius, you can sail from Naples to nearby tiny and unspoiled Procida, large Ischia with its healing baths and Capri, symbol of living well since before the time of Tiberius. All bathed in the sweet aromas of lemons and other citrus made into limoncello liqueur and world-famed perfumes. If you desire more exotic and simple pleasures, tiny Ventotene is only 20 nm beyond Ischia, and Ponza and Palmarola 20 nm farther.   A must visit is also the breathtaking Amalfi Peninsula, both Sorrento on the north coast and Amalfi and Positano facing the sun on the Amalfi Coast.

Increasingly popular are islands off the north coast of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands where the Greeks believed winds originated, with the original Vulcano, still-erupting Stromboli, chic Panerea and Lipari and unspoiled Salina. Sicily itself offers many pleasures, notably many of the largest and best-preserved Greek ruins in the world, towering and active Mount Etna, as well as the island’s exotic blend of all the cultures that have passed through and lent their touch.

In the last decade, there’s been a tremendous reawakening of interest in the Dalmatian Coast and Islands of Croatia. From unspoiled world heritage towns to islands lost in time, the area boasts more than 1400 islands, relatively few inhabited − but all beautiful.

What better way to visit these places than from the sea and on a private yacht?   No looking for a parking space in the narrow streets that are characteristic of most coastal towns and villages.   There’s no fixed schedule, you can stay as long as you like.   You’ll be met at the airport and driven to the boat where the crew will be waiting to welcome you aboard.    On board, food is cooked to your tastes, although most yacht Chefs do like to show their flair from time to time for something special, and the wine and cocktails are whatever you request.    You might choose to eat lunch or dinner ashore and taste authentic local cuisine and experience famous nightspots.   But when you’ve explored ashore as much as you like, you have full access to the facilities and water-sport toys aboard the yacht – some yachts even have well equipped gyms aboard and most have sophisticated on-demand entertainment systems.    And best of all you have time alone with family or friends in relaxing, comfortable surroundings with attentive yet unobtrusive crew to look after you.

If you are looking for a short-notice vacation this month and could be interested in a fully crewed luxury yacht charter with your family or friends, please get in touch.   There are a number of boats from which to choose including modestly priced sailing yachts right up to exclusive superyachts – sailing and power – for charter parties of two to 12 people.     I will be very happy to give full information on the range of boats available, the cruising areas, charter costs and booking procedures and answer any questions you may have.

Hoping to hear from you

Liz Marlow
Antigua Yacht Charters Ltd., Turtle Bay, St Paul’s, Antigua.
Phone: +1 268 464 7662

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