It’s not surprising that we island dwellers love sailing – around 600,000 Britons enjoy messing around in boats. What better way to escape the strains and stresses of everyday life than by jumping aboard and heading for the sun-dappled cruising waters of southern Europe?
As the Mediterranean yachting season warms up, competitive types can now find regattas taking place nearly every day. Boats are also great places from which to join the party at events from the Monaco Grand Prix to the Cannes Film Festival, both coming to an end this weekend.
Many boat owners want to keep their craft close to their holiday home to allow for easy escapes throughout the season. But with the Med offering such a diversity of sailing areas, how do you choose?
Waterfront: a house in Spain’s Empuriabrava Marina is €2.995m with Lucas Fox
Unless you are among the ranks of the super-rich, then steer clear of the most prestigious marinas, suggests Robert Green, managing director of Sphere Estates. “Owning a yacht can be an expensive hobby. A great deal of the expense comes down to where it’s moored,” he says. “Established and glitzy marinas such as Monaco, St Tropez and Marbella command premium prices, so some buyers will look for more affordable alternatives. There is, however, a shortage of marinas throughout Europe and quite often owners will moor their yacht half an hour away from their home.”
«Established and glitzy marinas such as Monaco, St Tropez and Marbella command premium prices, so some buyers will look for more affordable alternatives. There is, however, a shortage of marinas throughout Europe and quite often owners will moor their yacht half an hour away from their home»
Robert Green, managing director of Sphere Estates
Peter Murray Kerr of the berth-finding portal mooringspot.com agrees. “There’s overwhelming demand for berths in the south of France and Monaco, and some people are starting to look at other areas – Spain, where taxation for yachts is lower, or the Adriatic coast, where you won’t face such long waiting lists.”
So where does Green suggest? “Porto Cervo in Sardinia (Marina dell’Orso Poltu Quatu) and Théoule-sur-Mer to the west of Cannes in the south of France (Port La Galère) are worth considering,” he says. Both are small marinas (the latter takes 170 boats up to 52ft in length). Tim Swannie of buying agency Home Hunts also picks out Théoule: “You can get an apartment on a gated estate for €350,000 (£302,570), or a four-bedroom villa with a sea view in need of renovation for €1.3 million.”
Villa Cassedda in Sardinia is €7.4m with Sphere Estates