There is a tangible sense of history when you’re on a boat passing by the remains of a citadel, or having an anchorage to yourself under ancient fortifications. These sights and the history they represent are found all around the Mediterranean, and really are one of the main attractions for cruising here. Others include warm, clear water; tranquil to vigorous sailing conditions; and access to multiple countries with their people and unique cultures. Here are a few highlights from our last three seasons in the Med. In 2017, after enjoying the popular Porquerolles, a group of islands close to Toulon, France, we left the anchorage at oh-dark-hundred and enjoyed several hours of great sailing to the rugged island of Corsica. It was an auspicious moment when we passed under the massive citadel walls that had withstood the ravages of time and man for centuries. It evoked a feeling that our lives were very transient and insignificant. Then we rounded the bend into the bay and into the incongruity of superyachts, jet skis, kiteboards, tour boats, hotels and beach clubs. Welcome to the Med!
In the Mediterranean there are so many destinations in close proximity that you can change your plans as needed and still be very happy. Two years ago we were transiting the Strait of Messina en route to Montenegro for the winter. It was very exciting passing by Charybdis and Scylla from Homer’s Odyssey fame. (The entertaining translations for these were “the sucker-down” and “the render.”) After transiting, we changed our minds and turned right instead of left. We ended up wintering the boat in Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, which had a wonderful cruising community. The change of plans also meant we needed an alternative to Montenegro for the VAT reset, and that’s how we ended up in Yasmin Hammamet in Tunisia, which was both a safe and an interesting place to be during the 2018 ‘Medicane.’
The Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain have a real ‘summer vacation’ vibe, and although we didn’t make it to Ibiza, where the party is said to be nonstop, we did get into the flow of tapas and dinner after 10:30 p.m. on Mallorca and Menorca.
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