Sailing Destinations Tips and tricks

The top 10 most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean

Would you like to drop anchor in a different bay every, snorkel in the beautiful blue water and enjoy a delicious dinner on board in the evening? The Mediterranean offers plenty of fantastic places to head to. There are thousands of islands, of which Greece alone offers 6,000 islands. The climate has warm dry summers and moderate winters with a rainy period. Read on to discover the most beautiful islands.

1. Ionian Islands, Greece

The Ionian Islands are a beautiful area to discover the Greek coast during your sailing holiday. The islands are located on the west coast of Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. This archipelago consists of 7 main islands: Kefalonia, Lefkas, Corfu, Zakynthos, Ithaca, Paxos and Kythira. Despite the relatively small distance between the islands, they differ a lot in atmosphere.


The largest Ionian island of Kefalonia, for example, is characterized by its high, wide mountain landscape and the long coast with many sandy beaches. For a beautiful sunset, head to Myrtos Beach. This is one of the most famous beaches in Kefalonia. The nearby village of Assos with its many flowers, pastel-colored houses and cozy bay is also worth a visit.


Lefkada is the most contrasting island, due to the steep rocks in the west versus the rolling landscape with fishing villages in the east. Sail along the beautiful green coasts and bays surrounded by green landscapes and moor the boat in the luxurious and modern port of Lefkada town. Although monohulls are mainly offered here, there are also a few catamarans available.


For a perfect mix of rich history and nature, Corfu is the island of choice. Pazuzu is certainly one of the many hotspots on Corfu. This nice beach tent on the beach of Glyfada offers sunbeds, loveseats and a delicious cuisine. The islands landscape is very diverse, from a mountainous landscape in the north, to a rolling hilly landscape in the center and a low plain with beautiful nature and olive trees in the south. Depart from Gouvia and start your sailing holiday!


The southernmost island, Zakynthos, is characterized by the wide range of flora and fauna. On this island you will find all the essentials for a real Greek holiday feeling. Clear blue water, sun, beautiful beaches and plenty of sights, who wouldn’t want that? You can even fly directly to Zakynthos from the UK, how nice is that!

Shipswreck Beach in Zakynthos Island

2. The Dalmatian Islands, Croatia

This region, the Dalmatian Coast, is located in southwestern Croatia and runs from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. There are 600 islands off this relatively narrow coastal strip, including the Kornati Islands. These 89 uninhabited islands are located in the Kornati National Park. Rules have been drawn up to protect this nature reserve and you will have to purchase a ticket to enter the park. However, there are no restrictions for admiring the natural beauty from the boat and a fantastic underwater world during a snorkeling trip. The amount of hidden and secluded coves makes this a popular Mediterranean destination for the sailors among us.

Kornati islands in Croatia


Visit one of the most beloved islands of the Dalmatian coast. Discover the special lunar landscape and the delicious goat cheese of the island of Pag. Or party until the late hours at the famous party destination Zrće beach where international DJs come to play during the summer months.

Partying people in Pag


Anchor the boat at one of the many beautiful bays the island of Brač has to offer. Zlatni Rat, also called Golden Horn, is the most popular beach on this island. Try the authentic street food from BioMania here.


South of Brac you will findc the island of Hvar. Hvar town is a historic harbor town, with a modern touch.

In addition to these beloved islands, the following cities are also popular:

View on the marina of Hvar

3. Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located west of Italy. There are plenty of sailing yachts here! The beautiful north of Sardinia is characterized by many stunning bays. Here you can also find the nature reserve La Maddalena with its many beaches. It is known for the ‘pink sand’ and a large number of anchorages. The range of yachts is also the most diverse here and you can sail to Corsica within half a day.

In contrast to the south coast, the (north) east coast is very rocky. Here you will find kilometers of sandy beaches and bays with shell and pebble beaches. At the end of a sailing day, there are plenty of options to spend the night at anchor. Tip! The autumn is perfect for a stay in Cagliari.

Sardinia has been a battleground for a long time, so the inhabitants always focus on their own culture. The sailor will therefore become acquainted with ancient folklore. So there is not only sailing, but you will also find some kind of folkloric party in almost every port.

View on Cagliari in Sardinia

4. The Sporades, Greece

Yes, you read it right, we ended up in Greece again. In addition to the Ionian Islands, the Sporades is also a very popular sailing destination in the Mediterranean. This archipelago is located on the east side of the mainland and is the ideal place for island hopping!


We start from the most touristic island, Skiathos. With the presence of an international airport and numerous beautiful beaches, the island fills up with tourists in the summer. The capital is Skiathos town, here you will find a beautiful harbor and narrow picturesque streets. For the film connoisseurs among us, it is a nice trip to visit some locations from the famous film “Mamma Mia”.


Skopelos is the second largest island of the Sporades. The greenest island of Greece is very popular among tourists. The capital Skopelos town is located north of the island and is also called Chora. The Venetian Kastro is built on the highest point of the city. Here you can find remnants, but you also have a beautiful view of Chora. Rent a yacht from Skiathos or Volos and sail to Skopelos and/or the following islands.


The next island is Alonissos. The capital, or rather town, of this island is Alonissos town and is located on a rock in the south of the island. When you walk through the old town, you will have a breathtaking view with a beautiful sunset. In addition, Alonissos has a dense coniferous forest and is one of the best diving destinations in Greece.


Skyros is one of the lesser-known islands of the Sporades, perfect for those seeking tranquility among us! Although the advantage of sailing is that you can always find peace yourself, of course. The capital of Skyros is Skyros Town. This city is also located on the slopes of a hill, giving you a beautiful view of the Aegean Sea. Visit the Medieval Castle at the very top of the hill and wander through the narrow streets. Don’t forget the beautiful secluded and hidden beaches, such as Molos.

View on Bay of Skyros

5. The Balearic Islands, Spain

The Balearic Islands are six Spanish islands located in the Mediterranean Sea. The four largest islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The two smaller islands are Dragonera and Cabrera. You can enjoy the islands in any way you want: relax and enjoy the peace and quiet or party until the late hours. The islands have a total of 40 ports, from small fishing ports to large luxury ports.


Ibiza is known as a popular holiday destination with the most famous DJs in every disco. In addition, the island is also known for the beautiful, higher old town of the island. Ibiza Town, also called Eivissa in Catalan, has even been on the World Heritage List since 1999. There are also countless beautiful beaches and bays on Ibiza to anchor the boat.


You can sail from Ibiza to Formentera, the smallest island of the four, it only takes half an hour! This island has beautiful sky blue sea water. It is a flat island, with the exception of 2 hills namely the Cap de Barbaria and the La Mola Plateau. In addition, Formentera has a fairly rough landscape, with many forests and various vegetation, such as fig trees. There are also salt mines and you can also visit this island for art and culture.


Minorca owes its name to the larger nearby Majorca. The island has not really been discovered by tourist and is unique in its own way. The island therefore also has a quiet atmosphere. The wild flowers, the colorful birds and the clean beaches also contribute to that. In addition, the island is clean and non-commercialized. In Minorca you will find beautiful mountains, rock formations, beaches, hills with pine trees and geysers that spew water up.


Majorca is the largest island of the archipelago. This island is very popular among tourists and the economy mainly revolves around the tourism industry. In Palma, the capital of the island, is perfect for shopping and the market full of fresh products is ready for you every week. Majorca has a beautiful landscape with high mountains, of which the Serra de Tramuntana is on the Unesco World Heritage List. Cap de Formentor is the northernmost tip of the island. Here you will find a lighthouse and a beautiful view from the cliffs that drop steeply. Platja de Formentor is a beautiful stretch of beach where you can anchor. In addition to this bay, there are countless other beautiful bays and beaches, enough for an unforgettable sailing route in Majorca!

Cathedral of Palma de Majorca, Spain

6. Corsica, France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea that belongs to France and consists of two departments,s Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud. The Italian island of Sardinia is only 12 kilometers from Corsica. The capital Ajaccio is located west of the island. Here you will find soft pastel-colored houses, many sights and a wonderful climate. You can visit, for example, the Palais Fesch-Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Maison Bonaparte, the Place d’Austerlitz and many more. Other major cities are Porto-Vecchio, Calvi and Bastia. Like Majorca, the economy mainly revolves around tourism. The island is therefore also often visited by campers.

Incidentally, the island is mainly known for its nature. Corsica has a rocky coastline, impressive mountains and several nature reserves. The beautiful sandy beaches are also not missing here! So be sure to pack snorkeling and diving gear. Monte Cinto and Monte Rotondo are the highest mountains on the island. In winter you can even ski on the highest mountain peaks! Don’t forget to try the delicious sheep and goat cheeses they make here.

View on Bonifacio in Corsica

7. Elba, Italy

Elba is a very green and hilly island in the Mediterranean Sea within the Tuscan archipelago. Here, the white beaches and crystal clear water are not lacking. For a beautiful white pebble beach, head to Capo Bianco beach. On Elba you will also encounter beautiful sunsets, wild cliffs with granite rocks, many hills and Mediterranean vegetation. Start your sailing holiday from Portoferraio, the island’s capital and main port. Discover the nice villages with terraces where you have a beautiful view of the sea. A must is Porto Azzurro. The historical wealth is still clearly visible in this town. It does look a bit medieval with old squares and small and narrow streets. You will also see this in other villages.

Besides sailing, there is much more to do on Elba. You can play golf, dive, kayak, hike, mountain bike, but you can also take in plenty of culture and taste delicious wines. What else do you want?

8. The Cyclades, Greece

This time not the Ionian Islands or the Sporades, but the Cyclades! Once again we have arrived in Greece. The Cyclades are located southeast of Greece, in the Aegean Sea. The archipelago consists of more than 200 islands that form a circle around the main island of Delos, offering endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.


The southernmost island of the Cyclades is Santorini. The shape of the island resembles a crescent moon, due to various volcanic eruptions. It is a fairly dry and mountainous island with a flat east coast and a rugged west coast. On the east coast you can enjoy the most beautiful beaches and vineyasrds. When you sail along the west coast you will mainly encounter steep cliffs and rocks. In Santorini you will see the most stunning sunsets against the backdrop of the beautiful whitewashed houses with blue roofs. Visit this island for a romantic and relaxing holiday! Don’t forget to visit the ‘Shipwreck Beach’.


Compared to Mykonos, Paros is a quiet island. It is the third largest islands of the Cyclades and can still get pleasantly busy. The island is distinguished by its high quality white and red wine and its marble. Furthermore, beautiful white villages, sandy beaches and mountains can be found here.


And so you suddenly end up on Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades. With fertile soil, a varied landscape, many beautiful bays and beaches, this is an perfect holiday destination. This island is also known for its marble. The capital Naxos town is one of the most beautiful towns, here you can find the 6th century old temple Portara: A gate that stands on an island and is connected to Naxos town by a narrow causeway.


View on the Island of Mykonos

Mykonos is known for its beautiful white houses and vibrant nightlife. The island is also popular among tourists, including celebrities. From Mykonos you can also easily reach the other islands. Mykonos Town is a picturesque coastal town: When you walk through the cozy narrow streets you will encounter all kinds of restaurants, churches and shops. Around this island there are plenty of beautiful places to anchor your boat, for example at the Aghia Anna bay.

9. The French Riviera, France

The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is a region in southeastern France. This region is best known for the glamorous cities of Monaco, St. Tropez or the Cannes Film Festival. But there are also beautiful islands on the coast! Iles d’Hyères is the collective name for 4 small islands that lie here: Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Île de Bagaud and Île du Levant. You can sail to these islands from Port Pin-Rolland, Saint Tropez or Grimaud.

Ile du Levant

With a size of around 8 km², the Ile du Levant is quite a small island. It is located in the Gulf of Lion and characterized by the lush green nature, there is a lot of variety in flora and fauna. You will encounter many palm trees and cacti. A beautiful beach, which also allows nudism, is the Grottes Beach. In terms of sights, you can visit Arbousier Fort. This fort was built by Napoleon to strengthen the defense of the island. The Titan Tower was also built to defend the island against English fleets and pirates.


Within 10 minutes by boat from the coast you reach the island of Porquerolles. A good way to get to know the island is by bike. There are several routes that you can take to explore the National Park. The south side of the island has many crags and secluded streams. The area is therefore difficult to reach. The north of the island mainly consists of beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue water. In the center of the island are many fertile plains. Here, ancient and unique species of flora grow in a botanical greenhouse.

View on boats in Porquerolles

10. Sicily, Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is located near the southernmost tip of Italy. In Sicily you can rent a boat at 9 ports, of which Palermo has the largest offer! Sail along the coast and discover the versatility of the island. Enjoy the sun, sea and the many beautiful beaches. Learn about the different civilizations that have lived on the island. Want more action? Take a walk through the Alcantara gorge or climb the volcano, Etna. North of Sicily are the Aeolian Islands. These are several volcanic islands, including the active volcano Stromboli. Sail past here in the evening and enjoy the beautiful red glow over the horizon while having a glass of wine.

In other words, there are countless islands in the Mediterranean, each with its own character and atmosphere. From island hopping to exploring the whole island, from a relaxing holiday to an active holiday: There is something for everyone! The islands in the Mediterranean Sea are guaranteed to give you an unforgettable sailing holiday!

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