Capri, Monaco, Porto Cervo, looks all too crowdie, unreasonably costly and hysterical. Since my sailing time is so scarce, it must be a pleasure for eyes, mind and soul. I’m therefore happy to share my point of views with you, let me know your opinions, also privately.
1- Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
Outside Stockholm, the yachting capital of Sandhamn is on the edge of one of the world’s most alluring archipelagos. Among the thousands of uninhabited islets, guests may indulge in a dingy race, or host an angling competition followed by a fresh fish barbecue. Yacht parties have been known to top off the evening with a midnight disco featuring the music of Abba, whose famously reclusive singer Agnetha lives on her own private island in the archipelago.
2- Aland Archipelago, Finland
The sea may be a shade cooler than the South of France, but it’s just as crystal clear. The 6,500 islands of Finland’s Aland archipelago offer remoteness and privacy in spades. Breaking out the yacht’s paddleboards for a tour along the deserted Baltic coastline in summer makes for an afternoon of one-off exploration. And compared to Capri, it is quiet indeed. In winter season, with a proper yacht it’s fascinating.
3- Calauit Island, Philippines
A private safari doesn’t get any more experiential than in Calauit Islands’ ‘nature reserve’. Formerly the private playground of the assuredly nuts Marcos dynasty, the island provides a refuge not only for native species, but also for African animals imported as part of the family’s private zoo. By anchoring offshore, the global glitterati can take in giraffes and zebras by day, followed by a sunset South East Asian dinner prepared by their on-board private chef.
4- Cabrera Islands, Spain
Even locals struggle to get to the Balearic Island’s best boating spot, the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime Park. Off-limits until 1988 as a military base, privacy is assured, as its 19 islands are accessible only to those with their own boat. The towering cliffs harbor herons and shearwater, while whales and dolphins bask in the 100km2 of protected seas. Mere mortals are limited to a day trip. After lunch, superyacht guests have the archipelago to themselves.
5- Tinos, Greece
Serene Tinos could hardly be more different from its indulgent neighbours. This tranquil Greek Island is the perfect antidote for anyone who has over-partied on Mykonos or over-indulged on Delos. With no airport on the island, visiting VIPs have their anonymity assured. The pebbly bays of Rochari, Malli, and Ormos Panormos melt into a deep Greek blue, and are most easily reached not by land, but by sea. The beach of Agios Pandeleimonas, close to the island’s southern tip, is the island’s biggest and best.
6- Gulf Islands, Canada
Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia has an incredible 40,000 islands scattered along its 27,725km of coastline. From a superyacht’s bridge, deck or even crow’s nest, one may sight glaciers, icebergs and snow-crowned summits. The finest yachts now employ a learned guest lecturer who can expound upon this pristine wilderness for one’s own private party. High-end adventures include a crew-led kayak expedition among orcas, seals and otters, or whale watching with an expert guide in your own RIB. Avoid to sail here in winter season without experience or a skilled crew.
7- Cefalu, Sicily
Despite its popularity, Italy is one of those rare places that has managed to retain a sense of old world charm while developing a number of authentic luxury destinations. For yachtsmen, Sicily’s fishing villages and the beautiful beaches of Palermo are just some of the reasons why those in the know keep the region high up on their sailing to-do list. For those who have experienced the beauty already, Palermo is the sort of place you never stop longing to return to.
8- Morro Jable, Canaria
This paradisiacal archipelago has been well-established as one of the world’s most enviable luxury destinations for sailors. Beautifully-maintained marinas flow busily with yachts coming in from around the world, or simply making their way from island to island — Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote — as they usher passengers to lay back on white sand beaches
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