Balearics – Espalmador, Formentera
The Spanish golden isles have evolved to be among Europe’s most glamorous holiday hot spots, attracting well-heeled travellers to enjoy the long hours of sunshine and world-class hip hangouts. Life in the Balearics is all about long lazy lunches anchored in secret coves, ambling through ancient streets, and finding yourself in the latest nightclub (should it take your fancy).
The tiny island of Formentera to the south of Ibiza is relatively peaceful, even during the peak summer months. This is the place to head if you are looking for something off the beaten track. The magnificent anchorage of Espalmador lies off a tiny uninhabited island to the north of Formentera. It is well protected from the elements and blessed with clear waters that lap the pure white sands. Take the tender or swim ashore and bathe in the natural mud baths at the heart of the island.
Côte d'Azur – Île de Porquerolles
The coastline of the Côte d'Azur is a must-visit destination for any bona fide charterer. In the quintessential playground of the rich and famous, glamorous seaside towns sit next to medieval villages dotted with chic restaurants, bars and casinos. The most celebrated spots lie between Saint-Tropez and Monaco, but to escape the crowds head to the archipelago of natural splendours known as Îles d'Hyères. Surrounded by an underwater reserve with protected marine life, the waters are teeming with fish. Step ashore and explore the winding paths and sun-drenched vineyards of Île de Port Cross.
Back on the main coastline, the horseshoe shaped Bay d’Agay, between Saint-Tropez and Nice, is a pretty, natural harbour fringed by beaches. It provides another peaceful anchorage and an ideal spot for an afternoon of watersports.
Amalfi Coast – Ischia
Italy’s most glamorous coastline remains as popular as ever, but there are a few hot spots that only the locals know about. From the historic city of Naples and the chic island of Capri, to Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento further along the coastline, the Amalfi Coast provides the perfect backdrop to a truly indulgent charter.
The lesser-known volcanic island of Ischia is the place to head to escape the summer crowds that flock to the neighbouring island of Capri. Known as the ‘island of wellbeing’, Ischia has been a Mediterranean holiday destination for aristocrats since Roman times and is famous for its thermal springs and therapeutic spas. Head to the south of the island where you can lie in pools of thermal water carved out of rock.
Corsica and Sardinia – Maddalena Archipelago
Lying between Corsica and Sardinia, the Italian Maddalena Islands are largely uninhabited and perfect for an afternoon of watersports and a peaceful anchorage before heading on to the rugged coastline of the Costa Smeralda. The waters surrounding the 55 islands and islets could be mistaken for the Caribbean.
Discover the island of La Maddalena itself before cruising on to Razzoli for one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire Mediterranean -Spiaggia Rosa. Neighbouring Santa Maria is the best for a lazy long lunch at the famed La Casitta overlooking the shallow waters of Manto della Madonna.