The Virgin Islands – A Sailing Experience

The British and US Virgin Islands are an amazing tropical paradise that many Europeans overlook because of how easily we can get to our own paradises that are scattered all across Europe; including  places we love like New Zealand and the Greek Islands, and so much more.

Crossing the Atlantic on a Yacht

But after one sailing experience that took me there, I think it’s worth giving it some attention! Bring your passport and make sure to hit both sets of islands.  Trust me when I say one thing, this journey will be one of the most powerful sailing experiences of your life. You must leave in the winter season, to embark on this 4300 mile journey.

You will be downwind and even though most believe this not to be true, the majority of boats making this crossing are yachts with standard production kits. Very few changes needed to make this journey, in fact according to Yachtingworld.com which gives 15 amazing tips to help you it’s the Biscay that will be the most difficult part of the journey.

Sailing to the British Virgin Islands

 

Once you reach this paradise you’ll be living the dream and reaping the fruits of that voyage.  Road Town is the capital of Tortolla, probably the most popular British Virgin Island.  This set of islands was formed by volcanoes creating an archipelago in the Caribbean and the four main islands are part of a territory Britain overseas.  You must not miss what they call The Baths at Virgin Gorda and take time to enjoy yourself on some of the whitest sandy beaches in the world. The fish are as a bright and diverse as anywhere, and the turquoise waters are a sight to behold.

 

Tortola British Virgin Island View

 

 

Greek Paradise

One of my favourite places to sail is Greece. With 1400-plus islands floating in the Aegean and Ionian Seas they are ripe for exploration.

Image

Greece is known for its sunshine- with roughly 300 days of sunshine a year- for a Brit this is unheard of!

For me being free on a boat is the best way to build our own holiday at your own pace. You can stop when and where you want. Feel the wind in you hair and then hit the shore for some snorkeling or dine on some meze and watch the sunset. Plus with a boat and the clear blue sea- there is no need to find your own hotel and swimming pool- the ocean is your private pool!

My favourites include Mykonos and Corfu. Of course the latter has had a bit of a bad reputation due to the influx of stag and hen do’s. But trust me as a family we have a great time here. With plenty of sun, sand and surf.

Of course one of the main ways to entertain the whole family is watersports. Whether you want the adrenaline rush of a jet ski, or parasail or the more sedate pedalos all these can be found in Corfu. 

Image

Beaches in Corfu can be diverse- some are sandy but research first as some are pebbled which can be a disappointment when you’ve promised the kids an afternoon of sandcastle building!

If watersports are too energetic we find anther great way to enjoy the shoreline is by ‘hoof’. Donkeys if you’re an amateur but for the braver horses can also be hired.

If you fancy something more challenging and want a day away from the sea, try scaling the highest mountain in Corfu Mount Pantokrator or travel to the viewpoint of Kanoni, for a spectacular view of the island.

There is also a glass-bottomed boat from the old port which for those who do not want to scuba- gives a great show of the underwater world of corfu.