5 Essential Tips & Locations for Sailing the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea might be one of the most popular and inviting sailing destinations in the world. And unsurprisingly so, as this vast sea is encircled by numerous countries and rich cultures of Europe and northern Africa, all of which have something truly unique to offer to passionate travelers, sailing enthusiasts, and yacht captains from across the globe. Whether you are sailing around the Italian peninsula or if you’re making a grand voyage from the breathtaking islands of Greece towards beautiful Montenegro and the Adriatic, there is no denying that the Mediterranean is truly the place to be during the summer season.

That said, the sheer vastness of the endless blue Med can seem a bit overwhelming to new captains and even seasoned sailors, which is why you need to prepare for your voyage well in advance. Here are the five essential tips and locations you should know in order to experience a sailing adventure of a lifetime in the great blue Mediterranean. 

Get certified first

Before you set sail, you have to keep in mind that many countries in the Mediterranean are a part of the European Union, which requires all ship captains to get certified in order to sail through their waters. Even the countries that are not official EU members can have stringent laws and regulations regarding yachting and sailing in general, all of which serve to ensure the safety of all ships at sea, as well as protect the borders of every nation. In short, you can’t sail your yacht into someone else’s waters or moor it at a marina if you’re not certified.

The basic captain’s certification that you need to get for sailing the EU waters is the ICC (International Certification of Competence), which you can obtain through private companies and yachting associations. To get certified, you will need to complete an online training course and take a practical exam. 

Listen to and monitor the weather forecasts

More often than not, you will see breathtaking photos of a peaceful and tranquil Mediterranean, with boats and yachts blissfully gliding on the sea surface, which might make you think that the Med is a placid sea. The reality, in fact, can be quite different, so you need to prep for your voyage by knowing the regional weather tendencies and monitoring the weather forecasts. 

Even though the Mediterranean is almost completely enclosed by land, that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience the roar of the sea on your voyage. You need to keep a close eye on the movements of strong winds like the Meltemi from Greece and Turkey, or the Bora from Croatia and the Sirocco originating in the Sahara Desert. These and other wind currents can make for a challenging sail, so be sure to monitor their movement during your voyage and avoid them at their peaks.

Visiting and staying at the best marinas

The Mediterranean is teeming with natural wonders and some of the most breathtaking marinas in the world, and it can be hard to decide where to moor your yacht for a couple of days or even for a prolonged stay. By far, some of the most memorable locations can be found in the Adriatic, particularly in the regions of Croatia and Montenegro. 

The enthralling and captivating Porto Montenegro marina in the Adriatic never fails to attract the most passionate yachting aficionados in the world, for example, and its rich cultural scene is filled to the brim with memorable activities that will make you want to stay for days and even weeks on end. This is just one of the many breathtaking spots in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, so be sure to research the best marinas and book your stays well in advance.  

Exploring the hidden gems of the Med

Even though sailing the Mediterranean coastal towns and cities is exciting, there is just something about taking your yachts to those hidden alcoves and islets off the beaten path to enjoy some peace and tranquility. Again, the Adriatic is teeming with such hidden natural gems, but you can also find them in the Aegean Sea and even around Sicily and Corsica. Be sure to include these destinations in your itinerary in order to escape the crowds.

Creating your perfect sailing route

Speaking of amazing destinations, you should consider taking on a grand sailing adventure across the Mediterranean. If you’re getting the time and the resources, why not plot a course that will take you through some of the most memorable spots in the region? You can start from Thessaloniki in the Aegean and make your way around the Greek coastline towards beautiful Montenegro and the Croatian towns. 

After a few days resting in the Adriatic, you can start circumventing the Italian peninsula, making your way around Sicily towards Corsica, ultimately heading for Monaco. Next up, you can take a tour of the French coast, making your way to Marseille and Montpellier before venturing into the Spanish waters, heading towards Barcelona, Valencia, taking a detour to visit Mallorca, and finishing your grand voyage in the port of Lisbon in Portugal. 

Parting words

Sailing is one of the best (and safest) ways to experience the beauties of the Mediterranean. Before you go, though, be sure to take these tips to heart in order to organize a sailing adventure you’ll never forget.