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Best spots to charter a superyacht in the late med season

16 September 2022• Written by Georgia Boscawen

While it’s customary to start thinking about chartering in the Caribbean towards the end of summer, this period remains a great time to charter in the Mediterranean, allowing you to avoid the crowds, and find quieter quays and deserted beaches. Here are the top spots that remain warm at this time of year and are well worth exploring before migrating to more tropical climates.

Cyprus

With over 300 days of sun and temperatures around 30 degrees from April through to November, Cyprus’ season is akin to a middle eastern climate and remains a popular spot towards the end of summer. Over the years, the island – which is one of the largest in the Eastern Med – has gained a slightly unfair status as a package deal hot spot which is teeming with tourists. However, It’s archaeological marvels, quiet anchorages and extravagant properties strewn along its 400 miles of coastline beg to differ.

Superyacht infrastructure in Cyprus is also going from strength to strength, namely led by Limassol Marina, which has 650 berths and can accommodate yachts up to 110 metres. And there are more marinas following suit with two more under construction along the island’s southern coast. But despite all this development, you’ll still cruise past untouched hills and forgotten coves towards Paphos, not to mention luxurious hotels such as Anassa, Amara and Almyra, that remain open into November.

Across the island the cuisine is centred around European flavours with mezze-style sharing plates often featuring fish and halloumi. And you can bank on dinners being a long drawn-out affair that can last well into the night.

Sicily

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Famed for its positioning at the toe of the boot of Italy, Sicily is also one of the Mediterranean’s larger islands and a good spot to catch some rays before the sun slips away at the end of the season. The island is bursting with competing influences – having been ruled by the Germanic Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Byzantine Empire – which has manifested many archaeological sites across the island, most famously the Temple of Concordia, one of the best-preserved temples on the islands southwest coast.

While most associate Sicily with Mount Etna (which can be spotted from the Taormina anchorage) and the Mafia, its shores are dotted with sublime hotels such as Verdura Resort, Grand Hotel San Pietro and Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo. The beaches here are also quite the draw, such as Faraglioni beaches, which are composed of lava rock and Playa di Catani with its golden sand, which at this time of year don’t risk being overcrowded. Food across the island is typically Italian, best known for its Arancini, pasta and cannoli.

Sardinia

Another one of the Mediterranean’s archaeological gems, Sardinia remains a buzzing destination for yachts well into October, with temperatures remaining at around 20 degrees until November. For the yachting crowd, it’s the north of the island, particularly Porto Cervo that takes the crown as the central yachting hub including the glittering Costa Smeralda, home of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. But cruise south and you’ll discover hundreds of scalloped bays, shimmering sandy beaches, and mysterious ruins dating back to the bronze age.

While Sardinia’s reputation for sublime beaches tends to attract the masses, crowds have mostly dispersed late in the season presenting an opportunity to catch some rays in peace. There are also several beautiful Sardinia beaches that are only accessible by boat, including Cala Goloritzé and Cala Luna.

Turkey

In Turkey, plan for warm days and balmy evenings well into October before temperatures begin to fall slightly in November. Unsurprisingly, the cyan bays of Turkey draws the crows over the peak season, but it’s a sublime spot to cruise once things begin to get cooler. Offering impressive anchorages in spots such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye, charter yachts cruising these waters will launch their guests into a cultural melting pot where East meets West that is best enjoyed away from the crowds.

Turkey’s most famous cities lie on the coast, such as Istanbul, Marmaris, Fethiye and Kas, each home to labyrinthine markets and Bazaars, not to mention luxurious hotels such as the Four Seasons Hotel at Sultanahmet and D Maris Bay on the Datça Peninsula.

But Turkey towards the end of the season isn’t just about the bustling cities, as the 100-kilometre-long forested finger of Datça showcases, proving that Turkey also has a more tranquil side. Here you’ll discover secluded fjord-like inlets such as Dirsek Bükü and Bencik, where only a few yachts will drop anchor in the bays. Its primitive topography also makes it slightly more difficult to reach, so it’s unlikely these spots will become overrun with tourists, just glittering sandy beaches, verdant clifftops and quiet eateries serving up local seafood.

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