A Mediterranean yacht charter offers an exceedingly rich mixture of cultures, history and landscapes amongst the world's most popular yacht rental destinations. Home to iconic luxury charter locations like the sun-dappled French Riviera and the Amalfi Coast, and innumerable island paradises found in Greece, Croatia and Turkey, a yacht charter in the Mediterranean offers a range of picturesque cruising grounds bound to whet the appetite of any yacht charter guest.
Enclosed by three continents, the Mediterranean's exciting fusion of modern metropolises, sun-soaked beaches, archaeological delights and pleasant year-round weather provide the foundation for an unforgettable charter vacation. And thanks to the region's insatiable popularity, there is a wealth of choice when it comes to renting a yacht in the Mediterranean. Luxury motor yachts, sailing yachts, catamarans and even gulet charters can all be rented in these epic cruising grounds.
There is also a spectacular array of yacht charter itinerary options in the Mediterranean too, meaning whether you are looking to unwind or turn up the party dial to the max, there is something for everyone.
- Cinematic landscapes
Make up the show-stoppingly beautiful jigsaw that is the Mediterranean. From cosmopolitan thrills to blindingly white beaches and eyepopping blue waters, the choice is all yours.
- Easily accessible
The Mediterranean is extremely well-connected to the US and most worldwide destinations, ensuring you travel with ease.
- Long cruising season
Warm temperatures extend well into October in East Mediterranean destinations like Croatia, Greece and Turkey.
- Endless adventure and entertainment
The Mediterranean is full of intrigue: it's an island-hopping, diving and snorkelling wonderland, a designer shopping mecca, and home to some of the world's most glamorous events. Simply put, the Mediterranean is the place to see and be seen.
- Top-end superyacht marinas
The region has some of the most sought-after berth slips in the world, replete with state-of-the-art facilities, hip boutiques and restaurants, as well as jaw-dropping panoramas aplenty, of course.
Luxury yacht charters in the Mediterranean are divided into two distinct cruising grounds. The West Mediterranean has been the superyacht hotspot du jour for decades, with the most popular yacht rental destinations undeniably being the South of France, Monaco, Italy, Sardinia, Corsica and the Ibiza. Diverse and exciting, these countries offer some of the finest cuisines, architecture, cities, and coastlines to be found in the region.
But East Mediterranean yacht rental destinations like Greece and Turkey are also buzzing with charter activity, thanks to their incredible culture and history, spellbinding anchorages and boundless islands that make for a rip-roaring yacht charter itinerary. Montenegro and Croatia yacht charters are also becoming increasingly in-demand, with a number of state-of-the-art superyacht marinas having been developed in recent years adding to their attractiveness.
There are some locations that garner considerably more attention for superyacht vacations in the Mediterranean than others, which means we highly recommend you book as far in advance as possible if you are considering any of these cruising grounds.
The most popular West Mediterranean yacht charter locations are:
- The French Riviera: comprising a glittering medley of some of the world's most glamorous hotspots like Saint Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, and Monaco, think world-class restaurants, night-time revelry and endlessly alluring bays and beaches to choose from.
- The Italian Riviera: places like Portofino and Cinque Terre are adored for their pastel-perfect villages, otherworldly vistas, and incomparable cuisine.
- The Amalfi Coast: the heavenly towns of Positano, Sorrento, Ravello and the island of Capri make a yacht charter here an intoxicatingly beautiful experience.
- Ibiza: international party capital and an upscale bohemian hotspot, Ibiza's appeal endures.
The most popular East Mediterranean yacht charter locations include:
- Cyclades Islands: the most popular yachting destination in Greece, with a staggering 220 islands to cruise to, including hedonist haven Mykonos, romantic Santorini, and myriad archeological delights in Delos.
- Ionian Islands: an idyllic Greek island-chain promising pine-scented beauty and serene coves at every turn, with highlights being Corfu, Ithica and Cephalonia.
- Dubrovnik and Hvar: Croatian cities steeped in historical significance with ample cultural highlights, plus balmy weather all-summer-long late into the season.
- Bodrum: a vibrant port city in southwestern Turkey thrumming with life, packed with ultra-chic bars, beach clubs and restaurants and topaz-coloured bays.
A Mediterranean yacht rental vacation offers a mesmerizing selection of things to see and do. Here is our small selection of some of the most outstanding:
- Cinque Terre: a string of sorbet-coloured fishing towns carved into the hills overlooking the sea in Italy.
Porto Cervo: a luxury-lovers nirvana, with its high-end shops and designer emporiums close to the main port.
Promenade de la Croisette, in Cannes: one of the most famous avenues in the world; peppered with high-end boutiques and Belle Époque hotels.
The Blue Grotto: a stunning semi-submerged cave in Capri where the light refracts the sunlight from outside creating an optical illusion.
Hotel Splendido: head to Portofino for sundowners and to try out one of their world-famous peach bellinis.
Porto-Vecchio: Corsica's most charming town.
Porquerolles: oft-cited as the best island in the French Riviera renowned for its crystal clear waters and fragrant forests.
Îles d'Hyères: one of the best anchorage spots in the South of France.
Les Voiles: world-famous sailing regatta that takes place in Saint Tropez in September.
Villefranche-sur-Mer: postcard-perfect French fishing village.
Casino de Monte-Carlo: set pulses racing at this Belle Époque glory in the heart of Monaco.
Monaco Yacht Show: one of the most important events in the yachting calendar.
Shipwreck Beach (Navagio Beach): legendary beach in Greece, famous for the large shipwreck lying on the sand.
Nammos: come to this landmark beach club in Greece for a night of uber-luxe revelry amid the world's gliteratti.
Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn): located on the southern coast of Brač, Croatia regularly listed as one of the top beaches in Europe.
Diocletian’s Palace, Split: UNESCO site within the walls of Split’s historic and thriving town.
The cultural heartbeat of the rich and famous in the summertime, the Mediterranean has long been welcoming the jet set to its sun-drenched shores. Well-to-do hedonists and socialites enjoy the beach club buzz, designer boutiques and glittering throng of exclusive events found in hotspots like the South of France and Monaco, where some of the most important dates in the calendar year like the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival also take place.
Equally, with an outstanding array of tranquil beaches, bays and inlets to explore, the Mediterranean is also a veritable nirvana for families or those simply seeking serenity on their yacht charter vacation.
The Mediterranean sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, bordering more than 22 different countries, and over 3,000 islands, the largest two being the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Its name comes from two Latin words: 'Medius” (Middle) and “Terra” (Earth/Soil), roughly translated as the center of the Earth, and the sea itself is thought to be more than 5 million years old.
In terms of Mediterranean culture, there isn't a one size fits all approach — each and every country in the region has their own. But we can say that there are some overarching themes: an appreciation of the finer things in life being one of them: of nature and of cuisine.
A luxury crewed yacht rental vacation in the Mediterranean is without a doubt the best way to lap up the natural splendor of this magical region, offering you access to a dizzying array of splendid spots far from the typical tourist trail.
With an extensive selection of vessels available to choose from, the perfect yacht for you and your charter party is destined to be out there. Unsure whether a crewed motor yacht charter, sailing yacht charter, or in some cases, a gulet charter will work best for you? We've laid out the main aspects to consider before making a final decision.
A crewed motor yacht charter in the Mediterranean is the epitome of luxury. With seven-star amenities and hotel-serviced living coupled with a completely unrivaled level of privacy, it's no wonder a motor yacht has evergreen appeal. Uncover awe-inspiring that are only accessible by boat, and experience what it's like to have your own floating palace.
There is a huge variety of Mediterranean motor yachts available, from 100m superyachts with all the latest charter-focused amenities to small speedy weekend cruisers, or somewhere in between. But do keep in mind when selecting your motor yacht that slips here are in high demand during the summertime, which means it's more likely you will spend time at anchor.
As for yacht types, those with planing hulls are perfect if you want to zip through locations at speed quickly. However, they are usually less stable at anchor.
Displacement and semi-displacement hulls are slower and make up most of the global charter fleet, They are more comfortable, voluminous, and more stable with at anchor stabilizers.
Selecting a luxury crewed sailing yacht charter in the Mediterranean is a wonderful choice for guests looking for a slower vacation pace, where you will be wooed by the sailing yacht's old-school charm. Plus, with most sailing conditions in the Mediterranean being extremely favorable, typified by calm seas and light winds (apart from the Meltemi at certain times in Turkey and Greece), this is absolutely a sailing paradise.
And with an extensive selection of catamarans, monohulls and racer sailers available, it won't be difficult to find a charter sailing yacht in the Mediterranean that will meet your requirements.
In Turkey & Croatia you also have an additional charter option: the possibility of renting a gulet with a full crew. Gulets are traditionally Turkish-built wooden motor sailor yachts which are usually much larger in volume than your average sailing yacht, with an abundance of open-plan living spaces.
Turkish gulet yachts are less expensive than other charter vessels of the same size, and can often offer all-inclusive or semi-inclusive packages, meaning you don’t need to worry about additional expenses such as food and drink. They also normally include a standard number of cruising hours per day. Plus, their crew are often local to the region that they cruise in, meaning they can double as tour guides and can provide a lot of valuable expertise.
You can visit Greek Islands on your Turkish gulet charter vacation, but you will need to embark and disembark in a port in Turkey unless it has a Greek Charter Licence - which is very rare.
Gulets are not available in the West Mediterranean cruising areas.
The average price of a motor yacht or sailing yacht rental in the Mediterranean will depend on several factors, including the vessel's age, type, crew, as well as the duration of the vacation and whether it is high or low season.
With so many options available, there’s something to suit every type of budget. For convenience we have listed the average prices for motor yacht and sailing yacht charters in the Mediterranean below;
- For motor yacht rentals in the Mediterranean, prices can range from $31,541 to $1.6m per week, plus expenses
- For luxury sailing yacht rentals in the Mediterranean, prices can go from $20,491 to $532,784 weekly, plus expenses
One aspect to keep in mind is that there are important distinctions to be made between the average costs for West Mediterranean and East Mediterranean yachting vacations. While exact costs can vary from yacht to yacht, typically, West Mediterranean yacht charters will involve newer, larger vessels and include a high-quality, international workforce, and therefore tend to usually incur higher prices. Meanwhile, East Mediterranean yacht charters will usually use older vessels and feature highly knowledgeable local crews.
The best time for a yachting vacation on the Mediterranean is between May and August, although weather is still pleasant in the shoulder months of April and September, with some East Mediterranean locations experiencing high temperatures well into October (Croatia, Turkey, Greece).
Yacht charter guests in the Mediterranean during these months can expect mellow seas, cloudless skies long, sunbaked days and low rainfall.
However, if you are looking to evade the crowds and the heat, avoid July and August.
France is by far the most popular starting point for the classic "Mediterranean milk-run charter" route (Saint Tropez to Portofino), with this term coined in the industry to reflect the most celebrated and chicest locations along the Côte d'Azur.
The best place to begin a Mediterranean yacht charter is in Nice for itineraries along the coast and towards the Italian Riviera, with the majority of guests flying into Nice Airport before being chauffeured to its port or Antibes. Cannes Vieux Port (which is a mere 30-minute drive from Nice's Airport) is also popular if beginning further west towards Saint-Tropez.
Ibiza is also a popular starting point for Balearics charters, while Positano and Ajaccio are useful embarkation ports for Amalfi Coast and Corsica yacht charters respectively.
For East Mediterranean itineraries, Athens is a popular choice for charters around Greece's Aegean archipelagos, with the highest concentration of yacht rentals, while superyachts cruising the Ionian and Adriatic Coast tend to be flexible, with charters embarking from any number of popular destinations; from Venice in Italy down to Corfu in Greece's Ionian Islands.
There are many marinas in the Mediterranean, but there are some, especially within the French and Italian Riviera that are highly coveted such as St Tropez and Portofino, which means mooring costs in this region in the summer tend to be highest and availability is often extremely limited.
If you would like to spend a night in port while on your charter yacht in the Mediterranean, be sure to make this clear to your crew or your charter broker well in advance, as there is strong competition for slips.
Below is our selection of some of the finest and most popular marinas in the Mediterranean:
French Riviera Marinas
- Vieux Port de Cannes and Port Pierre Canto in Cannes, both cater to all sizes of yachts and with 1,200 berths.
- Port Cogolin in Saint Tropez, which boasts 1,600 berths for yachts of up to 50m/164ft, and Port Vauban in Antibes, which caters to yachts up to a 165m/541ft LOA.
- Port de Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, located near the idyllic village of Villefranche-sur-Mer. This marina has 560 berths that can accommodate yachts up to 60m/197ft in length.
Italian Riviera Marinas
- Marina di Loano, not far from the French border can accommodate 900 vessels up to 77m/252ft in length.
- Porto Mirabello, in La Spezia caters to yachts of up to 100m/328ft, and a perfect point for exploring the region's jaw-droppingly pretty Cinque Terre.
Amalfi Coast Marinas
- Marina di Stabia is one of the most popular places to begin a yacht charter on the Amalfi Coast, and boasts luxury facilities and the capacity to host yachts measuring up to 100m.
Marina Piccola in Sorrento has 280 berths, catering to yachts measuring up to 40m.
- Port Ajaccio Tino Rossi, the capital's largest marina, has 300 slips and caters to yachts of up to 100m/328ft
- Port Calvi, located in the northwest with 150 berths for yachts up to 65m/213ft LOA.
- Port de Plaisance Saint-Florent ,a pretty marina tucked away in the north with 920 slips, and in close proximity to vineyards and the stunning Saleccia beach.
Popular Marinas in Greece
Kos Marina, close to the enchanting island's old harbor, this marina has a capacity for up to 250 berths with a maximum length of 80m.
Gouvia Marina, Corfu's most popular, situated in a secluded bay, with mooring of yachts of up to 80m, and boasts 1235 slips.
Athens Marina, accommodating 130 slips measuring up to 130m. Provides plenty of amenities on land, including a helipad service.
Popular Marinas in Croatia and Montenegro
- D-Marin Mandalina (Šibenik), an award-winning marina set between two national parks in a naturally protected lagoon, with 429 sea berths for yachts up to 140m LOA and all modern marina facilities.
- ACI Marina Split, 5-star marina offering 318 protected berths, accommodating superyachts up to 90m LOA, in the heart of Croatia’s jewel.
- Porto Montenegro, award-winning marina offering an array of five star facilities, including a vibrant marina village, upscale bars, restaurants, designer emporiums and high-end boutiques, and catering to yachts up to 250m LOA.
Popular Marinas in Turkey
Kaş Marina, recently developed and has capacity for 450 yachts.
D-Marin Marina, tucked away in protected natural cove minutes from central Göcek with a 380 slip capacity for yachts up to 70m.
Setur Antalya Marina, renowned superyacht marina, capacity reaches 235 yachts.
Portofino is one of the best places to disembark your Mediterranean yacht charter if you are embarking on the typical week-long yachting vacation along 'the milk run' (incorporating destinations in the French Riviera and Ligurian Coast). Guests usually take a helicopter back to Nice or Genoa airport.
For two-week-long Mediterranean charter vacations, Bonifacio is one of the most popular places to finish a private yacht charter in the Mediterranean due to its outstanding natural beauty. It boasts one of the most stunning port entrances in Europe, bordered by soaring limestone cliffs on one side, and on the other its impressive medieval old town teeters on a hilltop. Upon leaving, guests are chauffeured to nearby Ajaccio international airport.
For East Mediterranean charters, Athens is a popular disembarkation port, as well as Porto Montenegro and Dubrovnik or Split on the Adriatic Coast, all of which offer good transport links with international airports.
If you want to book a yachting vacation in the Mediterranean, we strongly advise booking through a qualified yacht charter broker at least three months in advance. By doing so, you will increase the likelihood of securing your preferred dates and you will have a greater selection of yachts on offer to choose from.
This also ensures your yacht broker has enough time to craft a personalized itinerary and secure an overnight berth in the most popular marinas.
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