In partnership with SamBoat.com
The point of a holiday is to relax, right? But sometimes that doesn’t always go to plan. You might end up in a hotel that’s sub par with noisy neighbours partying late into the night. However, there’s one way to absolutely guarantee that you’ll come back feeling refreshed, lighter and a bit more bronzed… with a boat holiday.
Blue health is actually a term for the life-affirming health benefits being by the sea has on us. The ocean has a positive impact on mental health, the sounds of the waves are mediative, being by the sea helps you sleep and the vast expanse of waves helps give you perspective on the life you left back at home. It’s basically the best medicine that can be prescribed.
So what’s the best way to access this space, seclusion and epic scenery? By boat, of course. SamBoat lets experts and beginners book any type of boat around the world (across 76 countries in fact) in just a few clicks. You can book one with or without a skipper, and prices start from just €50 a day.
There are three types of boats you can book for an overseas holiday: an original sailboat for a tan top-up and to be at one with the waves; a catamaran for added comfort and for bigger parties; and the luxury yacht for when you’re feeling flush and want to enjoy the rolling seas in serious style.
But where to go? Choices, choices, choices. Luckily for us SamBoat has narrowed down a few of the most popular options to get us started.
The summer holiday destination of Hvar is a site to behold. The 13th-century walls, a hilltop fortress and a grand cathedral provide plenty to keep you occupied. But venture a little further by sea and you will unlock some coastal gems. Pick your SamBoat sailboat and within 10 minutes you can be amongst the small cluster of Pakleni Islands.
This little haven provides a glorious mix of beach parties, relaxation and pristine views of the Adriatic Sea. Make sure to pack a mask and snorkel – the crystal-clear waters around Tarse Bay are great to spot a few fish. Once you’ve had your fill of sea life head to where the party is at in the Carpe Diem beach club on Stipanska Bay. Listen to some good music, sip on some mojitos and let the good times roll.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, pop over to Zdrilca and Mlini beaches. This is better for families and there are a variety of restaurants to keep you occupied. From the rich culture to the rusty red cliffs, there’s plenty to amuse and delight you – and there’s guaranteed sun.
This little haven provides a glorious mix of beach parties, time to relax
Drop your anchor down near Culatra Island with a martini that's shaken and not stirred
Perusing SamBoats’ selection of yachts is nearly as entertaining as the holiday itself. For the beachy escape of the Algarve in Portugal, you can find yourself on a 10-person sailboat named “Why Knot”, because… why not? There’s also a Sunseeker luxury number if you plan on channelling your inner James Bond. Can you think of anything better than dropping your anchor near Culatra Island while holding a martini that’s shaken and not stirred? No, neither can we.
But there are plenty of other places to rest for a liquid lunch. From Faro to Lagos, you can venture through epic scenery as well as cute little historic towns. Stop by the old fisherman town of Albufeira for dinner, and take in the striking rock formations of Ponta da Piedade and the Benagil Caves along the way. Next head on to Culatra Island, which is part of the protected Ria Formosa Natural Park, one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders. The soft sandbanks provide natural protection from the waves for birds to thrive. Finish in Faro for a hearty helping of seafood before you leave, with just the memories of the endless blue to keep you company.
The views of Positano and the Amalfi Coast are really best from the sea, so renting a boat is a must. Find hidden beaches and sample some of the finest seafood of the Mediterranean. A good starting point is a visit to the three islets of Li Galli on your SamBoat yacht. According to local legends, enchanted sirens used to hide amongst the rocks waiting to tempt sailors in with their ethereal cries. If you avoid their fateful calls, you can see some magical views of the city. And if you’re new to boating, rent a boat with a skipper so you can enjoy the experience without any unnecessary stress. Fancy going a bit further? Why not, hire a chef and DJ to join you for the trip to make it extra special. Boat parties are definitely a thing here.
There is a mild climate all year round, which makes it an ideal destination for a sun top-up. What’s more there’s plenty to keep you busy during the day. Positano is built on steep slopes with pathways of winding steps, which makes the view of the sea even more astounding when you finally reach the top (and wonder why you didn’t sign up to Barry’s before you left). There are two famous beaches here, Marina Grande and Spiaggia di Fornillo, for some prime sun-bathing action and also a lively old town for shopping and eating.
Positano is built on steep slopes with pathways of winding steps
Next up, the beautiful French isle of Corsica. It is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea so there’s around 1,000km of coastline for passionate sailors out there to explore. The landscape varies across the different regions – Calvi in the north is a medieval citadel known for its beaches, while Bonifacio in the south has bountiful rich, green scenery – it’s best to take more than a week to explore it all. The lush landscape and turquoise waters make it an action-packed destination. The highest mountain peak comes to 2710 metres and is perfect for hiking. You can also do some rafting, canyoning or some fast-paced watersports.
Start your charter in Bastia, where you can kick back on the Plage de Palombaggia on the southeastern coast. It’s one of the more popular beaches so expect lively crowds and a chance to sample a cool beer in the sun. For some privacy, head over to Arinella Beach, which is an enclave surrounded by hills.
There are hundreds of islands to choose from, each with its own unique offering. But you can’t go wrong with beaches, because all of them have stunning strips of sand on which to chill. If you don’t know where to start, try island hopping in a catamaran around the BVIs, the Dominican Republic, St Lucia or Martinique. Simply sail from one to the other to pick up good food and good drink. Another famous must-visit are the Baby and Arashi Beaches in Aruba and the Seven Miles Beach in the Cayman Islands. Once you go, it’ll be hard to come back.
Whether you’re looking to avoid the crowds and bask in complete seclusion or you want to take your holiday Insta stories up a notch, booking a boat holiday has never been easier thanks to SamBoat. You can even speak with a dedicated charter advisor to help you choose the right boat for you and your holiday crew’s needs. After two years spent at home, it’s time for an adventure of a lifetime. Ready, set, sail!