Five ways to take a sailing holiday

Whether it's an hour off the Isle of Wight or a week in the Med, find your sea legs whatever your budget

The sporting calendar just wouldn't be the same without Cowes Week (01983 295744; aamcowesweek.co.uk): this year from 2-9 August. It's been a summer highlight since 1826 when just seven yachts first raced off the Isle of Wight. Now it's the world's largest regatta, with around 40 races a day and up to 1,000 boats scudding across the waves. If you want to get out on the water, you can book a one-hour trip on a spectator boat (£12.50) or for an adrenalin fix, take a RIB ride (£35).

At other times of the year, Red Funnel (0844 844 2687; redfunnel.co.uk) includes a one-hour dinghy taster session as part of a three-night package with Wightwater Adventure Watersports for £172 per person based on two sharing B&B accommodation and return vehicle crossings. Or go the whole hog with a Tall Ships (02392 832055; tallships.org) sail training voyage, featuring day sails, European and UK coastal adventures and RYA practical courses on board the fleet of six vessels. The Channel Cruise from 8-14 September on the Stavros S Niarchos, a 200ft Brig, is a six-night voyage out of Greenwich for the finale of the Tall Ships Regatta, finishing in Southampton from £449 per person.

In the Swiss Alps, the famous Maloja wind on Lake Silvaplana makes the area ideal for sailing. Indeed, the Nira Alpina hotel (00 41 81 838 69 69; niraalpina.com) has just introduced a new three-night sailing package including two two-hour sailing lessons, beach barbecue, massage and dinner at Stars restaurant from £630 per person B&B.

Stretch your legs

On Explore's (0844 499 0901; explore.co.uk) new eight-day Greek Cruise and Island Walking holiday, you live on a traditional sailing boat finding turquoise bays, snorkelling in rocky coves and trekking through olive groves and hillside villages to ancient sites: from £799 per person, including return flights, six nights' boat and one-night hotel accommodation B&B with some meals and transport.

Or cycle and sail around the Turkish coast from Kalkan to the ancient city of Olympos, scrabbling around rock-hewn tombs and swimming in azure bays with Freedom Treks (01273 224066; freedomtreks.co.uk), sleeping on a three-masted wooden sailing boat from £1,047 per person including seven nights' half-board and activities, but excluding flights.

Go for gold

Learn to sail where the British Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie honed his skills. In Falmouth, Mylor Yacht Harbour and its RYA-accredited sailing school creates bespoke sailing holidays from £540 per person (01326 372121; mylorharbourside.com) for a family of four during August including one week's luxury self-catering accommodation overlooking the water and a five-day Royal Yachting Association (RYA) sailing course with Mylor Sailing School.

A whale of a time

Take part in whale and dolphin research while sailing around Italy's Ligurian Sea (01273 823700; responsibletravel.com). You'll be part of the crew: sailing the yacht, gathering data and analysing sightings to determine the effect of human activity. No research or sailing experience necessary. The six-day trip costs from €799 (£632) full board, excluding flights.

There's also a good chance of spotting whales and dolphins off the remote Knoydart peninsula in the Highlands. Wilderness Scotland (01479 420020, wildernessscotland.com) has a trip on a beautifully converted 70-year-old Gaff cutter. Sailing up the west coast you can explore some of the less trampled areas on foot with a walking guide. From £1,195 per person including six nights' full board on the yacht, a skipper and walking guide.

The world's your oyster

If you've money to burn, charter the latest addition to the Y.CO fleet (00 377 93 50 12 12; y.co), aptly named Tiara, a 54-metre sailing yacht, swanning around the Med this summer (and the Caribbean during the winter). The front deck can be embellished with a Bedouin tent for chilled out coastal cruising, there's an open-air cinema, a Jacuzzi and a DJ console on deck for starlit partying. Below deck it's Art Deco in style: rich mahogany, leather and lacquer. It sleeps up to 12 from – make sure you're sitting down – £145,000 per week, including staff.

Northern exposure

Rubicon 3 (020 3086 7245; rubicon3.co.uk) is a new company offering off-the-beaten-track sailing adventures around Europe from one week to six months. No experience is required but you need to do a couple of days' training before joining one of the expeditions, such as the one-week Norwegian Fjords, Bergen-to-Stavangar leg from 19-25 September. The price of £980 includes berth accommodation on board the 60ft race yacht Hummingbird and all on-board meals plus tuition from instructors, foul-weather gear and all safety equipment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital