Whatever happened to family holidays?
The days of playing board games and “I spy” during long car rides seem long gone, replaced by hours spent in isolation with our iPhones or with our faces glued to our Netflix.
Well, we’ve got news for you: A sailing holiday with the family can change all that.
A family vacation on a boat is one of the last types of holidays out there that combines true engagement, bonding, and adventure.
Sure, most boats come with the option of wi-fi service, but a sailing holiday also guarantees sunny views, relaxing beaches, and secluded islands that your entire family will easily choose over their phones. On a sailing trip, you’ll get the chance to see dolphins, go snorkelling, and cook meals together under magnificent Mediterranean sunsets.
Sometimes it’s hard to consider the words ‘family-friendly’ and ‘relaxing holiday escape’ in the same sentence. But we’re about to prove you wrong.
Here is our list of the top five sailing holiday destinations to take the family on
Hidden from tourist traps and the party madness of Ibiza and Mallorca, Menorca is the perfect Spanish family getaway. Idyllic beaches with glistening sand and turquoise waters provide the perfect playground for the whole family.
For a relaxing beach break, head to Cala’n Bosch; for a sheltered cove surrounded by pine trees, head to Cala Macarella; and for fantastic snorkelling and diving, check out Pregonda. With locally-run family establishments scattered all over the island, you’ll never have trouble finding a suitable dinner for the kids.
Inland, the country is laced with beautiful walking trails and sleepy island villages perfect for adventurous day trips. On the coast, Mahon and Ciudadela are charming Spanish cities full of elegant yet comfortable eateries, beautiful harbours and boutique stores to explore.
The Greek island of Crete is known for its neverending, sandy beaches, beautiful ancient chapels, and excellent countryside for hiking. Compared to many of its surrounding islands, Crete has a relatively non-commercial and relaxed vibe, with low-key evenings and slower-paced local establishments.
Destinations like Rethymno (on the northern edge of Crete) and Hania (to the west) are accommodating and welcoming for family holidaying parties of all sizes. Of popular interest are delicious, housemade taverna meals that will appease all palettes, chestnut villages where you can indulge in freshly roasted nuts, and even blown glass workshops. Explore the incredible Greek cuisine by boat.
During the day time, you can walk off your meals with visits to historical landmarks like the Sultan Ibrahim Han Mosque, or spend hours looking through locally made crafts and leather goods.
While Greece has by now reached mainstream status, family sailing vacations here are still an affordable option and widely beneficial to the local economy, so pack up the family and rent a yacht in Greece now!
Split is one of the largest cities on the Adriatic coastline and one of the most popular destinations for a family sailing holiday in Croatia. And while its size means it’ll accommodate the needs of any family, its surrounding towering mountains, old walls, and blend of ancient and modern architecture will ground you in the atmospheric vibe of this city.
Split has a well-equipped marina and an abundance of resources, and children are accepted and welcomed here. The beaches of Split are perfect for sandcastle-building, and the stunning national parks will keep any teenager with an adventurous spirit occupied for hours.
With sports like wind surfing, water parks, snorkeling and white water rafting on offer, Split is the perfect Croatian family sailing destination. One of our top tips is to visit Split in June and September, when it’s not so hot and the crowds aren’t as large.
With picturesque seaside resorts, white sandy beaches and budget-friendly establishments, Bodrum is a Turkish holiday destination that is totally accommodating to families. The cost of travel in Turkey is relatively cheap, and the facilities in Bodrum — optimized for a lively touristy crowd — will not disappoint.
Bodrum’s bustling old town provides plenty of family-friendly restaurants and boutique shops, and the surrounding natural beauty will keep the kids mesmerised as they explore the countryside. With many hidden coves and beaches, you can set sail and escape the crowds for some quality family time.
With nearly 2,000 km of coastline to explore, some of the dreamiest beaches in Italy, and an endless sea of crystal clear water, Sardinia is an adventure paradise for the whole family. Check out a full itinerary for 6 days trip in Sardinia.
Drop anchor in Costa Smeralda’s turquoise water, slide down the dunes of the Costa Verde, or relax on the Costa del Sud’s picturesque bays. The mountainous countryside is perfect for hiking and day trips, with coastal paths, limestone cliffs and plenty of oak forests to explore. With excellent seafood, hospitable towns and a living history that will keep the kids occupied, Sardinia is one of our favourite destinations for a family holiday.
So, now that you know some of the best spots for a family holiday in the Mediterranean, all you need is the boat!
Not sure what boat to book for a family sailing vacation?
Catamarans between 40 to 45 feet in size would serve as the perfect family sailing boat for a group of four to eight people. Catamarans come with two hulls, making them more stable and easier to manoeuvre. Additionally, their speed hovers around four to six knots, making for a gentle and easy boat ride for the whole family (Consider, in comparison, that motor boats cruise at around 25 to 50 knots and cruise ships maintain a speed of 20 to 30 knots.)
Above all, the advantage of going on a family holiday in a catamaran is its relative indoor comfort. Multiple decks, sunbathing areas, and a cabin optimised for comfortable sleeping means that even though you’re on water, you’ll be able to cruise in the cozy comfort of a homelike environment.
If you want a specific recommendation, take a look at the Catamaran Lagoon 450, which was one of Zizoo’s top 5 booked boats of 2019. Lagoon is a trusted brand for holidaying around the sea, and this particular model is loved for its spacious cockpit optimized for sunbathing, its lush interiors, and its ability to provide a dynamic and gentle voyage.
Though, if your family sailing holiday has different requirements for speed or size, there’s always a gulet or motorboat that’ll get the job done. Remember, the boat should serve your family, and not the other way around!
Check out our latest discounted boats, perfect for your next family vacation, and pack those bags now!