An insider’s sailing guide to West Mediterranean

With a chic aesthetic that extends from the French Riviera’s charming beachfront cafes all the way to Italy’s sprawling vineyards, you’ll be instantly impressed when sailing in the West Mediterranean.

Sparkling azure waters welcome you to this exciting cruising region. Its golden-sand beaches are the ideal place to relax with a cocktail, or to use as a starting point to hike its many mountainous peaks. That’s why Mediterranean sailing holidays - and particularly the West Med - is so popular. Read on to learn why.


The best time to visit the West Mediterranean is in the heart of the European summer season, from July to August. Those on sailing yacht charters will find the weather generally stays brilliantly warm and sunny throughout.

In these months temperatures average 32°C/89.6°F in Italy and 33°C/91.4°F in Spain. With so much sunshine you’ll find it hard to drag yourself away from the many beautiful bays and coves, making it the perfect time for a skippered Mediterranean yacht charter.

Cruising here is generally very smooth, with good weather and tideless waters prevailing.

The glittering coastline of the West Med is pure bliss for charterers, with exciting destinations at every turn. However, our skippered Mediterranean yacht charters make it extra special. Every one of our luxury sailing yachts is handcrafted with liveaboard cruising in mind, with a spacious design that you’ll look forward to relaxing in after a long day of exploring.

Our range of luxury sailing yachts for charter provide the perfect base to explore locations such as the Amalfi Coast, Aeolian Islands, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Palma and the Balearics, and our professional onboard crew have a knowledge of the region that equals that of the locals.

Discover Oyster luxury sailing yachts charter, or read on to learn more about sailing in Europe.

Sailing in ‌Amalfi

Italy’s Amalfi Coast is fabulously picturesque, perched dramatically on a cliff-face and looking out onto the sparkling turquoise ocean. Nearby Positano promises pastel-coloured houses and independent boutiques, while Sorrento - known as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast - has inspired many literary legends with its grand architecture and abundance of lemon trees. In Naples, Mount Vesuvius’ volcanic hiking trail offers a chance to learn more about the history of the area.

Although the Amalfi Coast is beautiful all year round, June, July and August are the best months to visit on a luxury yacht charter. Mediterranean flowers will be in full bloom, filling the air with the sweet scent of lemon and orange blossom. Towns and villages buzz with life, whilst private coves await those who seek something a bit more tranquil; a summertime Amalfi sailing charter has something for everyone.

Oyster’s skippered Mediterranean yacht charters along the Amalfi Coast generally include Naples, Sorrento and the islands of Ischia, Vesuvius, Positano and Capri.


Sailing in Corsica

The mountainous French island of Corsica has so much to offer: rugged wilderness; a rich and unique cuisine; historic monuments dating back the Romans; the list goes on. One of France’s least-developed regions, crewed sailing yacht charters in Corsica provide a chance to experience its unspoilt natural beauty. Meanwhile, neighbouring Sardinia is filled with some of the most paradisiacal white-sand beaches you'll ever come across when sailing in Europe. Promising romance, incredible diving spots and lively local culture, this is an island you’ll struggle to drag yourself away from.

July and August are the perfect months to sail in the Mediterranean as the weather is delightfully warm and the season is in full swing, meaning you’ll have your choice of delicious restaurants to dine at.


Sailing in Sardinia

Sardinia is so alluring that many people don’t want to leave after their skippered Mediterranean yacht charter is over. Mediterranean vacationing doesn’t get much better than sailing around this heavenly Italian island, with its 2,000km of glorious coastline. On the northeast of the island, Olbia’s old town is full of chic boutiques, bars and cafes looking onto bustling piazzas. Drop anchor in glamorous Costa Smeralda, the preferred holiday spot of A-listers and honeymooners. Sardinia is full of history, with Bronze Age relics waiting to be discovered at every stop along the way.

Sardinia is magical all year round, but the best time to visit is from late June to the end of September when all the local shops and restaurants are open for business. July offers 12 glorious hours of sunshine, and the chance to see exhilarating local events such as the S’Ardia Horse Race.

Oyster sailing charters in the Corsica and Sardinia area generally cruise between Bonifacio and Olbia to include the beautiful Maddalena islands.


Sailing in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

With its dramatic volcanic peaks and jaw-droppingly beautiful coves, it’s easy to fall in love with Sicily. A true hub for sailing in the Mediterranean, Sicily offers its own mouth-watering recipes, relying on fresh, locally grown produce to create classic dishes such as Pasta alla Norma. The Unesco-protected Aeolian Islands of Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi are equally stunning. Their crystal-clear waters provide the perfect snorkelling ground.

Visit in the summer months to make the most of the beautiful walking and cycling routes, taking in scenery that you might not otherwise see. This is also the best time to visit the island’s stunning beaches.

Our skippered Mediterranean yacht charters in the Aeolian islands usually start and finish in Milazzo, Sicily.


Sailing in Palma, Mallorca and the Balearic Islands

Sailing in the Mediterranean, and especially Palma and the Balearics, offers a tantalising mix of vibrant beaches, prehistoric ruins and traditional tapas. And, of course, that seemingly eternal sunshine, which gives the islands a 24/7 holiday feel. In Mallorca you will be astounded by the number of sensational beaches. When you’re not lying on your towel sunning yourself - cocktail or a glass of Cava in hand - head up into the hills to discover ancient monasteries, or into Palma to explore the capital's vibrant nightlife. However, don’t limit yourselves to the largest of the Balearics; there are so many more to explore across Europe.

When you should go depends on what you are looking for on your skippered Mediterranean yacht charters - Mediterranean temperatures are delightfully hot in the peak months of July and August - perfect for a beach holiday. What’s more, this is when the nightlife is at its busiest and best.

Oyster sailing charters generally start in Palma and can include the islands of Ibiza and Menorca.

Learn more about how to begin your European sailing adventure and charter a yacht with Oyster. Discover Oyster luxury sailing yachts for charter in the West Mediterranean or contact Oyster Charter Manager, Molly Marston to begin planning your trip.