How to plan the perfect Mediterranean charter


Our top Med tips

The Mediterranean Sea is the world’s largest bareboat charter region, and one of the world’s most popular sailing destinations. And when the Med is characterised by vibrant turquoise waters, bright, warm sun 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. The Med is the home of European cruising, and there are hundreds of charter bases scattered along the Croatian, Greek, Turkish, Italian and Spanish coastlines and island groups, so you won’t be stuck for choice when planning out your itinerary.

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 western Med to countries further East. Summer is the most popular time to sail the Mediterranean, 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, setting sail during Spring is a good idea. 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 to explore the more westerly parts of the Mediterranean, like the Balearics, Corsica, or Sardinia.

Kioni Harbour

July to August

July and August are the Mediterranean’s busiest 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. you'll be guaranteed great weather wherever you go - the Ionian, Croatia and Italy in particular are at their ultimate at this time of year.

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 east, towards the Greek Islands and the Turquoise Coast.

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 of the world’s charter destinations 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. Island hop through the turquoise waters of the Greek islands. Explore the French Riviera, taking in the luxuries of Monaco, Cannes and Nice. Dip your toes into Croatia's wonderful culture. Soak up the sun on the magical beaches of the Balearic Islands. Wherever you choose to explore, there is truly something for everyone.

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Romantic Honeymoon Charter Holiday | Helm

What type of holiday?

Next, you’ll need to think about what type of yacht you want to sail. When it comes to yacht charters, there are three options available to you.

A crewed yacht is a popular option for those who want to experience luxury. The crew will take care of shopping, cooking and tidying, leaving you free to relax and soak up the sun.

GreeceBareboat cover


A bareboat charter is a popular option for those who hold a skipper’s 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 charter also gives you the chance to design and plan your own itinerary - a fun and exciting process.

Helm Sailing Holidays


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


A crewed yacht is a popular option for those who want to experience luxury. 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. Flotilla holidays are a popular option in Greece and Croatia.

Temple Aphaia on Eigina island Greece | Helm

Decide what you want from your trip

Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing and visit interesting heritage sites? Or are you looking to soak up the sun and views from your yacht? Perhaps you are a food enthusiast, hoping to seek out the delicious tastes of The Med. Are you a large family looking for some action-packed adventure? Before you set sail, work out exactly what you expect from your trip. If you are setting sail 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 an 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. In fact, tell us the area 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.

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