Whether you’re sailing for a week, a season, or becoming a long term liveaboard, you’ll find a variety of information about sailing in the Mediterranean here. My family and I spent two full years in the region and loved every moment of it.
In order to pull in the majority of our sailing in the Mediterranean information and videos, I’ve chronologically referenced where we started off in the Med through to our travels to Spain, Gibraltar, France, Italy, Greece, Malta, various islands and even Northern Africa.
Where we visited the same area two years in a row, I include all the articles I wrote in one go.
That way, I’m hoping, you’ll be able to select an area of interest and discover everything I’ve written about that area all in one place.
All my links located within this article about sailing around the Mediterranean are either links to articles I’ve written within this blog OR to my SailingBritican YouTube.com channel. All links will open in a new browser so you won’t lose your spot. I only referenced a few of my videos. If you want to see a list of all our videos visit our SailingBritican YouTube channel.
There’s a menu on the right if you ever want to jump over to another country. And if you’re not sure whether you want to sail in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, read my article 25 Differences – The Caribbean or The Mediterranean.
So…let’s start at the beginning…this is where we started sailing in the Mediterranean.
Sailing into Gibraltar
Our journey from Mallorca to Gibraltar was a baptism of fire. Upgrading from a 35’ to a 56’ sailboat was a massive learning curve. Furthermore, we got caught in a Force 10 storm. We were all very thankful to see and have the opportunity of visiting Gibraltar.
Our next plan was to sail nonstop from Gibraltar to Malta. We had a VAT issue that we had to sort out so we needed to sail to a non-EU country. The trip was 900+miles and would take around seven days.
Our second trip sailing around the Mediterranean did not go as planned!
We left with beautiful clear skies, hit another terrible storm, and ended up stormbound in Algeria! Who gets stormbound in Algeria?! After leaving Algeria, we had to pull into a port in Tunisia (North Africa) to fix a part of our rigging.
Sailing to Malta
Eventually, we arrived in Malta, and, once again, we were all very happy to get off the boat. This ended up being the first out of two visits to Malta that we enjoyed. We stayed at the Manoel Island Marina (I wasn’t too impressed with the marina) the first time and the second, we enjoyed Grand Harbor Marina.
The trip, however, was extraordinary. Read, Sailing Gibraltar to Malta to get a feel for what it was like sailing in the Mediterranean along the north coast of Africa. And discover my thoughts about Malta by reading, Malta – Not What We Expected.
After a fantastic stay in Malta, we sailed north to Sicily. It was the very first time that Simon and I were alone without a professional skipper on board. We had the helping hands of my cousin and the look-out eyes of our daughter but otherwise, it was just me and Simon. We felt a bit scared 🙂
I was blown away by Malta. When we arrived in Sicily, I was once again totally gobsmacked at the amazing people, food, and sights.
Sailing around Sicily, the Aeolian Islands & Mainland Italy
Our sailing trip from Malta to Sicily (read about the voyage and view a video) started off calm yet it ended with us docking in a Force 8 storm. What is up with us and storms? We successfully moored up in a town called Marzamemi. Little did we know the amazing experiences that were about to happen.
Most notably, we met a boatload of Italians who eventually became great friends. Incidentally, only one out of the six Italians spoke English. We ended up sharing some wonderful memories and I truly started to learn that there are no walls in the sailing community.
From Marzamemi, we sailed over to Catania, Sicily to get some repairs done. The sail was great until our main got stuck at the top and wouldn’t come down. In my article ‘Sailing to Catania in Sicily – dolphins and disasters included!’ you can get the full scoop on that crazy experience.
After a fantastic stay in Catania…
…we stopped at Riposto Marina before heading to the Aeolian Islands. On our first visit to Riposto, we only stayed a few days. This marina is right at the foot of Mount Etna, an active volcano. Little did we know that in our future, we’d visit Mount Etna on several accounts! My fondest memory is when we had a snowball fight just below one of the craters!
After Riposto, we sailed to the Aeolian Islands with a brief stop in Calabria on the mainland
The Aeolian islands are north of Sicily on Italy’s boot (above the foot). It’s home to Stromboli, a very active volcano. To my utter amazement, we were able to sail by Stromboli at 3 am in the morning witnessing lava blow out the top of the volcano. Read, ‘‘Sailing around Stromboli Volcano’
While in Italy’s Aeolian islands we stayed at the Salina Island Marina for one night and another night we docked up to a jetty on another island.
Eventually, the time came to leave Sicily
Sailing from Sicily to Corfu hitting mainland Italy on our way is an article about our voyage.
Before we head across the Ionian, I’m going to include some other articles about Sicily from the winter and the following year. I feel that I can then, at least, organize all my Sicily/Italy articles in one place.
If you’re interested in sailing around Sicily and/or Italy, check out the links below:
- Visiting Sicily
- 12 Day Trips To Take In Sicily
- Taormina Bay in Sicily – An anchorage that has it all!
- The Differences Between Sailing in Greece Versus Italy
- Southwest Coast Italy: Reggio, Vibo, Cetrar, Sapri, Salerno and Capri
Also, we wintered in Sicily…so after we went to the Ionian, through the Corinth Canal down the Aegean and back to the Ionian Sea, we returned to Sicily to spend the winter.
To understand what it’s like to winter in the Mediterranean, read Living aboard a boat in the Mediterranean during the winter – what’s the scoop?
While at Marina di Ragusa, for my 40th birthday, I was privileged enough to go out on one of those tiny authentic fishing boats. If you’d like to see what it was like, watch my video, ‘Come fishing with me on a traditional Sicilian fishing boat‘
If you’re looking for Marina’s to winter in during the winter months, there are loads to choose from. For our experience, read my review of Marina di Ragusa, Sicily.
The Ionian Sea – Corfu, Cephalonia, Ithica, and more…
While in the Ionian Sea, we stayed in various ports on Corfu, Paxos, Cephalonia, Levkas, Meganisi, Ithica and Zakinthos, before sailing towards the Corinth Canal. The Corinth Canal cuts Greece and the Peloponnese in half allowing boaters to sail directly to Athens.
The following year, we spent more time in the Ionian.
The main article highlighting all our stops while sailing around the Greek Ionian is ‘Sailing around the Greek Ionian for a month‘. This article will give you a breakdown of where we went, what we saw, and any articles that came out of our voyage.
Before moving on and into the Corinth Canal, I’m going to include the articles I wrote about the Ionian the following year:
- Travel through Lefkas Canal by Sailboat – Video included
- 10 Reasons to visit Port Kastos in the Greek Ionian – 360 views included
- One House Bay in Nisis Atoko, Greek Ionian Islands – Link to video only
Sailing through the Corinth Canal
After the Ionian, I wrote and videoed us Traveling through the Corinth Canal. Before we made the epic passage, however, we took out time to run the original Olympic track at Olympia AND we visited the oracles at Delphi – the ancient center of the world.
Sailing the Aegean Sea – Athens, Poros, Hydra, Kos, Symi and more
Once we transitioned over to the Aegean Sea, we stopped at Athens to visit for a couple of days. Aside from the Acropolis and historical sites, Athens is a very dirty run-down city. We didn’t stay long.
Our first port of call after Athens was Poros Greece. We were not very impressed with the food and pushy servers, but overall, I would certainly recommend a visit. It’s a stunningly beautiful island.
We then went to the beautiful Greek Island of Hydra. Out of all the Greek Islands, and there are thousands, this is one of my favorites. It seems so quiet and unspoiled. Read. ‘The Greek Island of Hydra‘ to get more on that destination.
After Hydra and some other islands, we made a mad dash down to Delos, the uninhibited ancient island. Then to the island of Kos to pick up friends arriving at the airport. Kos Marina is a great marina to stop in and the town of Kos is lovely.
When our friends arrived we sailed around the island of Kos visiting Palionisou on the island of Kalymnos, Alindas – Leros, a bay in Leipsoi, Skala – Patmos, Xerokambos – Leros, Palionisou – Kalymnos, and Pserimos. If you’re going to hire a charter boat and sail these waters or even if you have guests to visit you in Kos, here’s a handy itinerary you can use. Check out: Kos Greece
Within Greek waters, we also sailed down to the Greek Island of Symi, an incredible port that’s very close to the country of Turkey. I was super impressed with this quaint fishing/sponge village. Anyone who has ever been to Symi will urge you to visit.
Still sailing in the Mediterranean – the Aegean Sea – Crete
We then started to head southwest and dropped down to the large Greek island of Crete. I managed to write loads about this lovely Island. It’s worth knowing that most of the marinas are not good. Also, anchoring can be difficult. This is definitely an area where you’ll want to research before heading out.
- Agios Nikolaos, Gournia, Mochlos and Vai Beach
- Knosos, Aqua Park and Elounda
- Anchored off of Spinalonga Island Crete
- Anchoring off the town of Bali
- A tour of Rethymno
- Agia Galini, Gortys and the Amari Valley
- Agios Nikolaos Marina – Crete: A review
- Rethymno Marina – Crete: A review
- Rethymno Marina – Comradeship amongst sailors – the day our 56’ yacht was almost smashed to pieces
Still sailing the Aegean Sea – Santorini, Monemvasia and Methoni, Greece
From Crete, we sailed to the famous Greece Island of Santorini. Needless to say, if you’re anywhere near Santorini I urge you to stop. It’s probably the most beautiful Greek Island there is! Whenever you see an iconic picture from Greece, 9 times out of 10 it’s a picture of this island. Unfortunately, it’s very expensive and extremely touristy, but well worth the visit.
As chance would have it, one of my readers wrote to me saying, ‘don’t miss out on Monemvasia or Methoni, Greece…you’re in the area.’ Again, if you’re sailing in the Mediterranean, check both of these destinations out!
We made it around the Peloponnese and then got stuck in Preveza, Greece, for weeks due to engine failure and rigging issues. After getting things fixed, we sailed 49 hours/281 miles from Greece back to Sicily, Italy. The pictures of our journey are breathtaking. The Ionian Sea was flat calm!
Eventually, we made it to Marina di Ragusa, Sicily in October where we’d winter ourselves and our boat for the winter months. I’ve included all my Sicily and Italy articles above in the appropriate section.
After our lovely winter at Marina di Ragusa, we sailed back to Preveza, Greece where Simon stayed with the boat to do a refit. If you’d like to see what we did during our refit, there’s a nice video that gives an overview: What happens when a boat undergoes a refit?
Heading West – Starting with the southwest coast of Italy
After hanging out in Greece for six weeks finishing the refit and visiting with friends, we eventually crossed the Ionian, hung out in Taormina Bay, Sicily for a while, and then made our way into the Straights of Messina.
Check out Sailing along the southwest coast of Italy: Reggio, Vibo, Cetrar, Sapri, Salerno and Capri for an article and video series of our voyage. For me, it was a highlight to finally see Pompeii.
We then spent a few weeks anchored off the Italian island of Sardinia. I wasn’t too impressed with the area but I’m sure that’s down to our lack of proper exploration. I just found the place to be very expensive – the area we were in was designated for the rich and famous…and we’re not rich or famous! Hehehe.
Sailing In the Mediterranian – The French Island of Corsica at Bonifacio
Now…if you’re anywhere near Bonifacio, it is a MUST-SEE. Read my article and watch my video to find out why: Sailing into Bonifacio on the French Island of Corsica.
After Bonifacio, we sailed to the Balearics where we started off! Not only were we sailing in the Mediterranean, but we also sailed around the Mediterranean – a circumnavigation.
Spanish Balearic Islands – Mallorca and Minorca
My family and I purchased our boat in Palma, Mallorca – a Spanish Island on the east coast of Spain. We took possession of the boat in December and had to move it out of the EU for tax reasons. Just before the Christmas season (in 2013), my husband, daughter, a professional skipper and I sailed the boat for three days to Gibraltar.
Before I move onto Gibraltar, however, we did return to the Balearics the following year! I wrote quite an extensive article about sailing around Minorca. Check out: Sailing around Minorca – Article, and video.
From the Balearics, we stopped in Spain (Marbella), hit Gibraltar, and then made our way down to Gran Canaria to prepare for our Atlantic Crossing.
So…there you have it. One concise list of most of the articles I wrote about sailing in the Mediterranean. If you have questions about a particular area, please ask them below in the comments section. If you have a question, so does someone else 😉
Are You Interested In Other Sailing Destinations or Passages?
rob cowley says
hi Kim, you mentioned that you had a friend in greece that might be able to help me with the purchase of a yacht in greece. I’m looking for a 38 ft or more up to £50000,if you could send me his number or e mail that would be great.
Kim Brown says
Hey Rob! I’ve emailed my friend and am just waiting to hear back from him. Sorry for the delay in my response. I’ll be back to you as soon as I hear from him. Smiles, Kim
Hello from La Linea, Spain! We are a family of three, with a 12 year old son. We just bought a 50 foot catamaran and moved aboard this month. We are getting the boat and ourselves all geared up to cruise the Med this season. I just found your blog and was so excited to find so much great info all in one spot and so well organized! I mean, wow, thanks! My question is- we are Americans so we can only be in the Schengen areas for 90 (out of 180) days, so starting from Gibraltar, where would you recommend visiting the most on our way to Turkey? We are more of the quiet anchorage type family 🙂 Also, are you divers? I really have so many questions, but I’ll limit myself to these to start 😉
Kim Brown says
Great news Susan. We look forward to meeting you and your family in an anchorage one day. Quite a few Americans go to Tunisia, Egypt, Malta, Turkey and Croatia. I’ve heard good and bad about all of them… If I was forced to choose were I’d go, it would most likely be Turkey. It’s a beautiful place and the people are lovely. A couple years ago when we were in the Med, however, there was an issue with health insurance in Turkey. I think it might affect only a certain age groups…but you’ll want to look into it. The Turkish govt required visitors to pay for extra health insurance. Have you joined any FB groups? There’s a MedSailors group that is good – I would post your questions on there as you’ll be in touch with people that have more recent information. Or go hang out at a busy liveaboard community marina before everyone leaves for the season. All the cruisers start talking about where they’re going to go and some even do little seminars re Schengen, wintering, etc.. Regarding diving…I hate to say this but other than diving wrecks, the Med isn’t that interesting. If you get to Cyprus, check out the Zenobia wreck… I did that after doing my PADI and it was amazing! Safe travels Susan 🙂
Hi Kim! We are planning to move aboard soon and have one daughter about your daughter’s age. Do you think your daughter ever gets lonely, being an only child on a boat?
Kim Brown says
Sienna has never been lonely…being an only kid all the other boat kids make sure that she is always included 😉 Just make sure to sign up to cruisers with kids groups. You can find out where all the kids are and even make friends before you arrive at a destination.