Getting out on the water and sailing along with the breeze in your hair is hard to beat, but which destinations should you navigate to? Holiday Lettings takes the helm and steers you to spots from the Salcombe Estuary to the Nile Delta where you can get aboard this exhilarating sport.
Master the basics in Tortola, British Virgin Islands
If you’re going to going to get wet (and let’s face it, you’ll get soaked if you’re learning to sail), then you might as well fall into the warm waters of the Caribbean and dry off in the bright sunlight of its beaches. Sunsail offers courses from beginner level up on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, so you can practise your knots as you sail past palm-fringed beaches and pretty bays on your way to explore nearby tropical islands.
When you’re back on Tortola, you can swim with dolphins on the island’s south coast for a truly memorable experience. If you’re in the centre of the island, why not hike through the lush rain forest on Sage Mountain? It’s an hour’s walk from Sage Mountain National Park to Cane Garden Bay, where you should definitely reward yourself with a rum-tasting session at the quaint Callwood Distillery.
Cruise along a fjord in Oslo, Norway
As the sun sets over Oslo, escape the city’s hustle and bustle with a relaxing evening cruise on a traditional wooden sailing boat. You’ll drift past many of the city’s landmarks from the ancient fortress to the cutting-edge Oslo Opera House and travel back through a labyrinth of islands dotted with quaint cottages. Just sit back, admire Oslofjord’s rugged scenery and savour the freshest prawns you’ll ever taste.
To explore Norway’s rich maritime culture, take your pick of the Viking Ships Museum or the neighbouring Kon-Tiki Museum. Here you can see the raft that carried explorer Thor Heyerdahl across the Pacific. Fans of the great outdoors will love the beautiful walks and tranquil atmosphere of the nearby Oslomarka forest. Meanwhile, the monumental Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Ski Jump Tower will soon have keen skiers strapping on their boots.
Join a sailing club in Salcombe, UK
Why not join Island Cruising Club in chic Salcombe? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a boat as the club was founded over 60 years ago to make sure everybody could take part in the sport. If you sign up, you’ll become a co-owner of the club’s sailing fleet. You can then simply jump aboard and head across the sheltered estuary as often as you’re able to get down to Devon. They also organise events from barbeques to Sunday lunches on Egremont, a vintage Mersey ferry now moored in the harbour.
Salcombe is the perfect base for lots of other water sports too, from high-octane powerboating to a spot of chilled kayaking. You can investigate the town’s seafaring history at the Maritime Museum. There are also beautiful beaches from Sunny Cove to South Sands where you can relax in the sun after a tiring session on the water. And it takes a strong-willed person to go past Salcombe Dairy without succumbing to a scoop or two of salted honeycomb ice cream.
Catch a world-class regatta on Lake Garda, Italy
The Italian Lakes host a range of regattas that are fun to both watch and compete in. The hugely popular Topper dinghy class, for example, holds their World Championships at Riva del Garda on Lake Garda this summer. You’ll be in the thick of the action if you’re racing; alternatively watch the sails glide around the lake from the shore. Either way, the glittering water and mountain backdrop make this an enchanting location.
Back on dry land, there are stunning vistas along the path from Riva del Garda to Lago di Ledro. Fans of dramatic scenery will want to know it’s a lovely hike, too, from the centre of Riva del Garda to the picturesque church of Santa Barbara. This is the perfect place for a picnic with breathtaking views. Call in at the imposing Bastion, a fortress dating back to the 16th century, on your way back.
Charter a traditional sailing vessel in Luxor, Egypt
For a truly memorable experience, glide down the Nile from Luxor in a canvas-sailed felucca for a few hours. Sit back on comfy cushions with a refreshing drink by your side and see the millennia-old scenes unfold as you float down the river. Do you see the camels and water buffalo at the water’s edge? Gaze up at the sun as it goes down over the Valley of the Kings and treat yourself to a classic holistic therapy.
It would be wrong to visit Luxor without touring the powerful Valley of the Kings. Check out the close-by Valley of the Artisans, where the workers who built the Pharaohs’ tombs settled, too. The imposing Temple of Karnak isn’t far away and is a highlight of any trip to the area. And for a different perspective on the beautiful landscape, you can go up, up and away in a hot air balloon.
Would you like to venture to the great places mentioned in our post for a group excursion or even a relaxing getaway? Head to our accommodation page where fantastic, money-saving stays from Egypt to Italy await.