How to plan the perfect Mediterranean yacht charter


Our top Mediterranean tips

The Mediterranean Sea is the world's largest bareboat charter region, and one of the world's most popular sailing holiday destinations.

And when a Mediterranean yacht charter is characterised by vibrant turquoise waters, bright, warm sunshine and an array of unique, culturally rich islands and bays, it's easy to see the appeal.

There is no better way to see the world than from the water, but knowing where to start can be tough. Do you go bareboat and enjoy the freedom of setting your own course; hire a skipper and relax in the hands of a pro; or go for the full luxury yacht charter experience on a crewed yacht?

The Med is the home of European cruising, and there are hundreds of charter bases scattered along the coastlines and islands of Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Spain. Did we mention the Mediterranean cuisine?

So you won't be stuck for choice when planning out your yacht charter itinerary!

Start planning your Mediterranean escape here

Timing is everything

Helm Mediterranean Sailing Holiday 1

The best place to start when planning your next holiday is to figure out when you want to go.

The Mediterranean sailing season runs from April to October, and when you set sail depends on a few different factors such as weather, sea conditions and pricing.

When you choose to go also has a bearing on where best suits you; from the west Med to countries further East.

Summer is the most popular time for a western Mediterranean yacht charter, generally because the weather is hot, the water is warm and the coastal areas are in full swing: festivals, markets and bustling restaurants and bars.

This does not mean, however, that you strictly have to sail during this period; the charter season generally runs from April to the end of October.

In fact, the other months have plenty to offer too. Read on for a few tips on the best time to sail for you.

Mallorca Cathedral Charter Holidays | Helm

April, May, June

If you want to avoid the masses of tourists and enjoy more of a private yacht charter, setting sail during Spring is a good idea, especially in Italy.

The weather is warming up, and is enough to soak up some coastal sun, while the water is a comfortable swimming temperature.

A great time for a charter in the West Mediterranean. Explore your chosen Balearic Island, or enjoy a luxury yacht charter from Porto Cervo, Sardinia and head across to visit Corsica.

More on Spring sailing

Kioni Harbour

July to August

July and August are the Mediterranean's busiest yacht charter months, as this is when the European school summer holidays fall.

If you are going on a family holiday with children, this is the best time to sail.

The weather is at its warmest across the region, there are plenty of hours of daylight, and the summertime festivities are fully underway. It's also when the more luxury charter yachts are most likely to be fully booked up.

You'll be guaranteed great weather wherever you go - choose from the Aegean sea or Ionian island in Greece; any of Croatia's diverse Dalmatian coast; or Sicily's volcanic Aeolian islands - all at their ultimate at this time of year.

Where to sail in the summer

Marmaris Yacht Charter | Helm

September to October

Catch the last of the summer sun from September to October.

During these months the climate is generally still warm (in fact, the increased breeze makes it more appealing to some), you have a far greater choice of anchorages, and tourist numbers are greatly reduced.

Late in the season, the best conditions can be found further south and in the East Mediterranean, towards the Dodecanese Greek Islands and the Turquoise Coast.

Read more about Autumn's finest sailing areas

Family Sailing Charter Holidays | Helm

Where to sail?

Once you've chosen when to go, the next thing to do is figure out where it is you want to go. Each sailing area boasts its own unique charms, from quiet anchorages and picturesque fishing villages to strong winds and vibrant nightlife.

Discover the enchanting sheltered moorings and coastal towns on the southern coast of Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean.

Island hop to your favourite Greek island and swim in pristine waters. Explore the French Riviera, taking in the luxuries of Monaco, St Tropez, Cannes and Nice.

Dip your toes into Croatia's wonderful culture. Cruise along the Italian Riviera and Amalfi Coast. Soak up the sun on the magical Balearic Island beaches.

Wherever you choose to explore, there is truly something for everyone.

Browse destinations

Romantic Honeymoon Charter Holiday | Helm

What type of holiday?

Next, you'll need to think about what type of trip you're after and what sort of charter yacht you want.

Are you looking for a sailing yacht, a catamaran, a motor yacht, or a more luxury yacht or super yacht?

When it comes to private yacht charter, there are three options - Bareboat, Skippered, or Crewed.

Bareboat charter is great for adventurous sailors, skippered charter allows everyone to take to the water, while a crewed yacht is a more luxurious option, with a crew looking after your needs.

GreeceBareboat cover

Bareboat Yacht Charter

A bareboat charter is a popular option for those who hold a skipper license and are able to sail.

This boat rental option grants you the freedom to travel wherever you choose at your own pace and is the least expensive option.

A bareboat yacht charter also gives you the chance to design and plan your own itinerary - a fun and exciting process, especially in more remote areas like the Dodecanese island chain..

Helm Sailing Holidays

Skippered Yacht Charter

A skippered yacht is ideal for those who have no sailing experience, or who just want to kick back and relax.

An experienced skipper will take care of the sailing and boat for you; they can share local knowledge and sail you safely to your chosen destinations.

Crewed Yacht Charter | Helm

Crewed Yacht Charter

A crewed yacht is a popular option for those who want to experience luxury.

Crewed yacht charter destinations cover the whole of the eastern Mediterranean or west Mediterranean and include glamourous locations like Monaco, Sardinia, and St Tropez.

Crewed charters are available across a range of yachts, from sailing catamarans to motor yachts and superyacht models.

The crew will take care of shopping, cooking and tidying, leaving you free to relax and soak up the sun.

Restaurant Charter Holidays | Helm


A flotilla sailing holiday is a great option for those seeking to sail the seas with some company and nearby assistance.

A flotilla is a group of yachts sailing together, accompanied by a flotilla skipper and host on a lead yacht.

They meet up after sailing most days, taking part in afternoon activities and joining up for group meals and BBQs on beaches. Flotilla holidays are a popular option in Greece and Croatia's Adriatic Sea.

Temple Aphaia on Eigina island Greece | Helm

Decide what you want from your trip

What sort of charter guests are you? Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing and visit interesting heritage sites? Or are you looking to visit some sandy beaches and soak up the sun and views from your superyacht?

Perhaps you are a food enthusiast, hoping to seek out the delicious tastes of Italy, Greece or Croatia. Or a large family looking for some action-packed adventure?

Mediterranean yacht charters have something for everyone so it pays to work out exactly what you expect from your trip. If you are sailing with a group of friends, discussing what you expect from your holiday will ensure that compromises are found and that everyone has the perfect experience.

Let the experts help you

Planning a Mediterranean charter itinerary can be rather daunting, which is why it is always recommended to get in touch with the experts.

Here at Helm, we are able to assist you at every stage of your planning process.

Once you're ready to charter a yacht, simply tell us the yacht charter destination that you are interested in exploring, how many people you plan to take with you and what you want to get out of your holiday, and we can design a bespoke package and itinerary that is specifically tailored to you and your requirements.

This takes away any stress, and ensures that you get the most out of your trip.

Enquire here

Create your Mediterranean escape

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