The Mediterranean remains one of the most popular charter destinations in the world thanks to its unique combination of top-class facilities for yachts, a generally benign climate, and a huge variety of peoples and cultures.
Many superyacht owners, regardless of where they live, keep their boats in the Mediterranean simply because it offers more options for cruising than anywhere else.
There are a number of areas in the Med that are perennially popular for charter holidays – the Cote d’Azur, the Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia, Sicily, the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, and Greek islands.
All have excellent facilities for visiting super yachts, a lovely climate from April to October, and attractions ranging from boutique shopping, championship golf courses, museums, top-flight restaurants, and ancient ruins.
If the northern shores of the Mediterranean are well-travelled and often quite busy, the southern shores are very different. Much of this has to do with the political machinations of some of the North African states, and the current “Arab Spring” means that the situation in some places is quite volatile.
It’s a shame, because much of the North African coast is hugely under-developed and is crying out to be explored.
For the time being, sadly, the southern shores of the Mediterranean are effectively out of bounds to all but the most intrepid, and few (if any) charter companies will allow their yachts into these waters.
But from Gibraltar in the West, to Istanbul in the East, the Med can still offer charterers deserted bays, crystal-clear waters, stunning scenery, beautiful ports-of-call, and the possibility of sailing in the footsteps of Homer or St Paul or Hannibal. History, culture, and commerce are inexorably intertwined here in the cradle of civilisation.