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Why choose the Aeolian Islands for a sailing holiday?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 7:59 PM

If you are searching for somewhere a little bit different for a sailing holiday, you should take a look at what the Aeolian Islands have to offer. This Italian archipelago is home to some of Europe's most beautiful scenery and also has the added kudos of exclusivity.

While it is not one of the Mediterranean's major tourism destinations, the area has been recognised for its stunning landscape and environmental importance. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to it being "an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena".

You don't need to worry about the continuing activity, as there is no chance of being caught up in a major eruption during your break. However, you will be treated to the spectacular sight of molten rocks being propelled into the night sky.

Another thing that should not concern you unduly is the sailing conditions in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, as even relatively inexperienced skippers should be able to cope with them. The tidal range is very small and the wind speed is between 20 and 25 knots during the summer months, when rain is rare and the temperature can reach 30°C.

Panarea

A day spent exploring Panarea is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your sailing holiday in Italy. The small island is renowned as an upmarket destination for affluent tourists and has all the facilities you would associate with that, such as stylish nightclubs and swanky restaurants.

However, its main attraction is the idyllic La Spiaggetta beach, where you can laze on the sand or go snorkelling. If you enjoy getting active, take a walk to Punta Milazzese, where archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Bronze Age village, and up to the northern tip of the island, where you will see volcanic steam rising from the ground.

Located close to Panarea is the tiny isle of Basiluzzo. It is now uninhabited, but was once the site of a Roman dockyard, the remains of which you can see beneath the crystal clear waters as you sail around the rocky shoreline.

Stromboli

This island is where you will find Europe's second-largest active volcano - and it certainly makes for a spectacular sight as you sail towards it. It rises 3,034 ft above the clear blue sea and is all the more noticeable for the steam and smoke billowing out of the summit, as it has done since its current eruption began 2,000 years ago.

A walking tour of Stromboli is a great way to spend a few hours, as it will take you through the green landscape and around the lower parts of the volcano. End the afternoon by relaxing on a black-sand beach, before heading to one of the restaurants to enjoy some traditional local cuisine as you watch the glowing red lava thrown into the night sky.

Salina

The second largest of the Aeolian Islands after Lipari, Salina is one of the prettiest places you are ever likely to visit. It was formed from six volcanoes, but its landscape is very different from the lunar terrain seen on the other isles.

It is largely covered in greenery, with poplar and chestnut forests interspersed with olive groves and vineyards. Hire a bike in one of the small villages and you can explore the scenery at your leisure, but make sure you include the salt lake after which the island is named and the pilgrimage site of the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Terzito on your route.

There is lots of stunning coastline in the Seychelles

What to see on luxury sailing holidays to the Seychelles

Any break in the Seychelles will involve an element of island hopping, as you try to see everything this Indian Ocean paradise has to offer. So, a luxury sailing holiday in the archipelago is not only an exciting choice, but also a practical one.

Antigua is a beautiful place for sailing

Why Antigua is such a popular sailing destination

It's not hard to see why Antigua in the Caribbean is a haven for sailors - and indeed all water sports enthusiasts. It has hundreds of golden beaches, light winds perfect for yachts and plenty more to discover underwater, as well as its wonderful weather.

Skiathos is easily reached from Milina

What makes Milina the perfect base for a sailing break?

If you're looking for a sun-soaked break sailing around some of the Greek islands, make Milina your base. Located on the Gulf of Volos, this peaceful harbour town is close to the stunning Sporades archipelago and offers all you could want on a yacht charter holiday.

Bora Bora is a tropical paradise

Why choose French Polynesia for a sailing holiday?

If your idea of the perfect getaway is to tour islands where the scenery is idyllic and the pace of life slow, you will love a sailing holiday in French Polynesia. It is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit and travelling by yacht will let you see some of its hidden sights.

Tonga is ideal for sailing holidays in the sun

Where to visit while exploring Tonga

If your idea of the perfect getaway is to taste a little adventure while soaking up the sun, yachting holidays in the South Pacific are ideal. Spend your break touring a selection of the 176 islands of Tonga and you can relax on stunning beaches, see magnificent wildlife and enjoy some great local cuisine.

Sunbathe on beautiful beaches in the BVIs

Why the British Virgin Islands have the perfect sailing conditions

If you love to soak up the sun with as minimal effort as possible when on holiday, a bareboat charter around the British Virgin Islands will be the perfect getaway for you. Imagine relaxing onboard your own private yacht as you recline in the Caribbean heat.

Visit Mahe while yachting in the Seychelles

Set sail through the sun-soaked Seychelles

If a break that involves cruising between exotic islands and basking in glorious sunshine - both at sea and on dry land - appeals to you, the Seychelles is a destination worth visiting. Not only does the archipelago have a year-round tropical climate, but it is also a fantastic place for experienced sailors to put their skills to the test.

Where can you go on a dinghy holiday?

Where can you go on a dinghy holiday?

The beauty of dinghy holidays is that you can have them just about anywhere you stay, so long as you are by the coast. However, if you really want to make the most of this method of transport, you can't beat having one of the vessels onboard your yacht charter.

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