The Mediterranean is recognized for having some of the most beautiful waterways in the world, which also connect to the different coastal ports in the region. The beauty of this area makes it a beloved tourist destination as well, with the European Travel Commission reporting that the Mediterranean has seen a 52% increase in US tourists compared to previous years.
If you’re looking to visit the cities and islands that make up the Mediterranean, traveling by boat is a great way to access the renowned sites and experiences it has to offer.
Here I have compiled a list of the best boat options to explore the Mediterranean and help you get started!
Cruise vacations are generally popular for their multi-port all-inclusive nature, but upgrading to a luxury cruise can provide you with a richer and more relaxing experience, especially when you’re heading to the Mediterranean. To illustrate, Explora Journeys highlights how luxury cruises are designed to take your ocean journey to a different level. On board their ship, guests are treated to exclusive perks like their choice of spirits, access to wellness centers, dining at upscale concepts, and dedicated service from hospitality experts. All of this ensures that your trip is taken with a luxurious constant base to retire to at the end of the day, exploring the busy Mediterranean towns and beaches.
When traveling to the Mediterranean, a luxury cruise will also give you an unforgettable immersion in the local culture thanks to more mindfully curated itineraries. Instead of the usual tourist traps, luxury cruises take you to places and activities that are rooted in local customs and colors. Case in point, Explora's Mediterranean experiences feature wine tasting at Domaine d’Alzipratu, gastronomic explorations at Mykonos, a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and other more meaningful activities that showcase a more intimate understanding of the region. With a luxury cruise, you’ll get the best of the Mediterranean without having to worry about much else while on vacation.
If you’re looking to travel luxuriously, but want to do it with more independence to follow your own schedule, then chartering a yacht might be best for you. Yachts are a staple in Southern Europe, with a considerable population of mega-yachts sailing around the Mediterranean year-round. International companies such as Dream Yacht Worldwide offer chartering services to allow guests to enjoy their vacation in a secluded setting away from crowded tourist areas. You can also decide between a variety of yachts, as they offer catamaran, powercat, or monohull types from the company's skipper charter fleet.
Traveling by yacht can also provide easy access to popular destinations like the Greek Islands and Italian coast to visit beaches and coves that would otherwise be difficult for large ships to access. For instance, the Marina di Portofino in Italy is known for only having a few berths, thereby restricting access to bigger vessels. You can also dock in the marinas of coastal towns and engage with the local scene without much fuss. Take, for example, the Greek island of Ithaca, which is a popular stop for yachts who want to enjoy its picturesque scenery and myth-laden past. Yacht charters also come with their own crew, who can also provide you with itinerary suggestions and guidance if you’re exploring the Mediterranean for the first time. Overall, a yacht charter gives you a personalized luxury sea experience that can make your trip to the Mediterranean unforgettable.
Sailboats are another popular option for exploring the Mediterranean. Similar to yachts, sailboats can also be chartered to explore the different coasts lining the region. One prime reason to choose a sailboat over other options is that, with the right licenses and training, you can commandeer this yourself. There are different companies that offer sailboat charters, such as SamBoat, who offer online rental services so you can book prior to your arrival in the Mediterranean. However, you can also head to a local marina to inquire if there are any boats you can rent to use.
As sailboats are generally smaller than cruise ships and yachts, they can provide even more ease in docking as you explore the Mediterranean. This is perfect for exploring specific countries or coastal clusters where island-hopping is doable. One such place to do this is Spain, where there are a lot of beaches with marinas where you can dock and enjoy the local cuisine. Spain is also home to the Balearic Islands, which includes Ibiza. A well-known destination, this island warrants a visit for its stunning castles and diverse nightlife. You can reach the Spanish island by sailboat and dock for a few days to enjoy some time in the sun and even attend a party or two before heading off to neighboring islands like Majorca.