Sunsail Palma Mallorca

5 Things You Didn't Know About the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is to most, a cultural melting pot of history, colourful folklore and mouth-watering cuisine. But to sailors it’s also known as the ultimate sailing mecca, whether you want to revel in our bareboat yacht charters, learn from our local skippers, or discover together on flotilla. From exhilarating meltemi winds across the Aegean and steady winds around Adriatic atolls of Croatia, to short passages off the glittering Amalfi Coast, the Med has something to delight every kind of sailor.

You may think you know everything you need to for an epic sailing vacation in the Med, but read on. We’ve delved deeper into some little-known facts about the Med to guide you on your 2019 compass!

Go underground in Mallorca

Apart from laying claim to Europe’s first sweet pastry recipe, the Moorish island of Mallorca is also home to one of the world’s largest underground lake – Cuevas Del Drach, “Dragon Caves”. Discovered in the late 1800’s on the east coast in Porto Cristo, the caves are theatrically lit in vibrant colours, with its walls adorned by impossibly-shaped stalactites and stalagmites.

Sunsail Mallorca

The Cuevas Del Drach guided tour takes you to the most beautiful parts of this 2km-long limestone tunnel, where you’ll navigate through a seemingly endless walkway of chambers filled with impressive formations and turquoise waters. But don’t worry, the ending is just as spectacular, with a send-off at its underground amphitheatre where you can enjoy a brief classical floating concert!

Afterwards, we’d recommend you head north from Porto Cristo on your bareboat yacht charter, towards the secluded coves of Cala Petite and Cala Morlanda. While Cala Morlanda’s epic turquoise crystalline waters make it a top hidden snorkelling spot, the anchorage of Cala Petite is another off the track spot that’s best seen in the late afternoon, when its stunning pink rocks turn a deeper shade and turtles from the nature reserve walk out onto the paths.

Walk in the footsteps of Caesar from Lefkas

If you’ve already basked in beauty of the medieval Santa Maura Fortress, kite-surfed off Milos beach and enjoyed a bonfire night with new friends in Abelike Bay on our Lefkas one-week flotilla, why not take the helm and explore Grecian coastal delights on our Lefkas bareboat charter.

Sunsail Lefkas

Athens may be the birthplace of civilisation, but if you head north from Lefkas on an exhilarating long passage towards the storied ruins of Nikopolis, you can wander in the footsteps of Caesar. Founded in 29BC, in commemoration of Caesar’s victory over Antony and Cleopatra, Nikopolis is one of the largest ancient cities in Greece. With an impressive network of Roman amphitheatres, fountains, aqueducts, baths and Odeon, this “victory city” was once the centre for culture, trade and philosophy.

Once you’ve had your fill of Nikopolis’ colourful history, take a short cruise down to the picturesque harbour of Preveza for dinner. While there, tuck into fresh grilled sardines and battered squid at the well-loved Greek taverna, Amvrosios, which can be found just off the waterfront on a blushing bougainvillea side lane.

When in Ischia, cook in volcanic sands

Just 19 miles from the striking city of Naples in Italy, you will find the beautiful volcanic island of Ischia. The largest of the Phelgrean Islands, Ischia is known for its pristine gardens, natural thermal spas and spectacular Aragonese castle. But one thing you may not know about this chestnut forest gem is its rich culinary history!

Sunsail Italy

For decades, local culinary curators of Campania have taken to Le Fumarole Beach in Ischia to cook their traditional recipes on the beaches’ hot underwater fumaroles. Once frequented by ancient Roman Aristocrats who used to bath in their hot springs, a small spattering of locals continue the tradition of using these hot pockets to cook.

With Mount Vesuvius only 30km away, the volcanic sand underground in Ischia can get as hot 350 degrees in some areas, giving Ischia’s chefs the perfect natural frying pan to concoct some of the Nation’s favourite dishes. 

At Ristorante Emanuelo on the shimmering shores of Sant’ Angelo, the chefs wrap their dishes in layers of foil, thin plastic and cloth to keep sand particles out, and pack the rich aromas in. Typically, each packet includes white onions, chicken, tomatoes, wild garlic, potatoes, piperna, basil, rosemary and local white wine. Once the parcel is buried in Ischia’s hot sand for an hour, this piping hot local speciality is served after an antipasti of prosciutto, anchovies, melon, artichokes and mozzarella, in a thick spaghetti dish with tomato sauce. We’d recommend pairing this meal with local Biancolella, for a truly explosive culinary experience! If you want combine your passion for Italian cuisine and love for sailing, check out our Procida Flotilla Sail, Wine and Taste of Italy.

Fall in love in Dubrovnik

Apart from being known as a Game of Thrones hot spot, Lord Byron affectionately coined this romantic city as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” – and for good reason. After you’ve finished kayaking around Dubrovnik’s fortified walls, taken in the aerial views of the Old Town from the summit of Srd hill and dined on fresh seafood on its picturesque marble harbour, it’s time to take a closer look at Dubrovnik’s gargoyles.

Sunsail Dubrovnik

Soon after entering Dubrovnik’s Old Town through Pile Gate, you will be met with a strange gargoyle directly facing onto the public cisterns. Protruding from the marble wall on Stradun, lies the Dubrovnik’s Maskeron. Legend has it, that patrons who are able to stand on the gargoyle, facing forward to the wall, while keeping their balance and taking off their shirt, will be blessed with luck in love forever. 

After you’ve satisfied your taste for local legends, one of the best ways to experience the Dalmatians is on a Dubrovnik bareboat yacht charter. Enjoy the ultimate freedom to roam in the Elaphiti Islands, and head towards the old Benedictine Monastary in Mljet’s spectacular National Park, unwind on Lopud’s stunning Sunji Beach or bask in the beauty of ancient roman ruins in Sipan Luka, to fully delve into Croatian culture. If you want to venture that much further why not take a look at our Dubrovnik two-week flotilla that takes you to Korčula Town and the mysterious Vela Špilja cave.

Bask in Europe’s bluest grotto from Agana

Nestled in the middle of the Dalmatian Coast, our base in Marina Agana is the perfect gateway to explore the outer lying islands across the Kornati archipelago –but one sticks out in particular.

Sunsail Agana

Once you’ve toured the vineyards and lavender fields, wandered through the dense pine forests of Brač and tasted Šolta’s fine selection of local wines and olive oil on our Agana one-week bareboat, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Bisevo’ Blue Cave!

Only 5 nautical miles southwest of Vis Island, The Blue Cave is situated in Balun, a small cove on eastern side of the island. Taking around 2.5 hours to get to from Marina Agana, the Blue Cave is a truly enchanting wonder and one of Europe’s bluest grottos. We’d recommend to go in between 11am and 12pm on a sunny day, as this is when the sun’s rays hit off the limestone floor and cave walls, giving the water its bright blue glowing effect.

If you want to get your taste buds tingling with traditional peka, fresh anchovies while exploring Cr“>Agana Food and Wine Flotilla.

When it comes to the Med, be prepared for rugged, pine-studded coastlines, lively harbours, striking roman ruins and some of the world’s bluest coves, to name a few! It’s never too early to start planning next summer’s adventure – the only hard part is choosing which of our sensational Med cruising grounds you want to set sail in.


Ian Pedersen

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