Ever interrailed at 20, why not intersail now?

by | Apr 27, 2017

Do you remember when we were 20 and we decided to travel around Europe for a summer by train? When we had to travel overnight in tiny bunk beds, find a way to translate the signboard in order to get in the right train and sometimes, even ended up in random remote places?

Every person who interrailed will forever keep wonderful memories of it. The European parliament even considered a couple of weeks ago to offer an interrail pass to every 18 year old European citizen, but this project has been called off and replaced by the Move2learn project as it was beyond budget.

 

Travelling by train through Europe

We all grew older since that time, we might have kept a lot of friends from our teens and twenties, but we also became pickier when it comes to travels and transport. The time of dodgy trains and hostels is definitely over.

What if we would like to travel all over Europe again? Discovering those places we missed and see how everything has changed?  What options do we have now? A car may be convenient to explore, but due to all the highway driving it would be unpleasant on the long run.

Flights would be fast but you would lose all the countryside sightseeing and exploration.

How about boats?

Comfort: Have you ever seen what the inside of a multihull looks like? They are literally floating flats.

Living space inside a catamaran

Europe in figures is 150,000km of coasts, over 6 Million boats and 50% of the European population living closer than 50km away from the sea. This gives a multitude of remote places and cities to discover, and what a better way to explore than sailing along gorgeous coasts and beaches?

How can we organize it if we don’t already own a boat, how long is it going to take, where should we go? Let’s find out!

Step 1, organizing the journey: where should we sail from and to?

The Mediterranean Sea : sun, beaches, food, islands and culture … No wonder why these coasts are the most favorite sun destinations.

Where should we start?

Marseille in France is one of the best place to start your journey from, it is a centralized location on the sea, the second biggest French town and it has a lot of direct flight connections with the UK.
Moreover peer to peer boat rental, as in a boat airbnb, in France makes boat rental cheaper than going through usual boat charter, the French Riviera is also a well-known location for boating and has therefore a wide choice of boats to rent.

Marseille's view from the harbour of Notre-Dame de la garde

Let’s plan a journey starting from Marseille then, where should we go next? Here is an example of a trip you could do, of course there are many more possible stops and routes, isn’t it the whole point of doing a boat trip?

A suggested route for a sailing journey in Europe

 

Spain – Barcelona:

2nd Spanish town and capitol of Catalonia, it is a city of culture with Gaudi’s church: la sagrada familia, and a culinary city with all its tapas bars. Rent a boat in Barcelona is a good way to enjoy your visit.

boat-cruise-barcelona

Gaudi’s Barcelona is very colorful

Spain – Palma de Majorque:

Biggest islands of the Baleares, there is always a beach or boat party happening there or in Ibiza its sister island and if you’re looking for monuments to visit, have a look at the cathedral!

Aerial view of the cathedral and the port of Palma

Tunisia – Galite Island:

Volcanic islands with turquoise water on the Tunisian coast, still preserved, a complete change after the baleares.

A wild island in the mediterranean sea

Tunisia – Sidi Bou Said:

You’ve always seen those white and blue typical house on the guides? Well let’s enjoy the view directly from your boat while sipping a traditional Tunisian mint tea.

Palm trees, blue and white houses : welcome to Tunisia

Malta – Valletta:

Entering the harbour of Valletta is always an extraordinary experience, the 400 years old fortification facing you make you feel like you are in a movie.

Valleta's impressive port entrance

Greece – Heraklion:

Another Island, another 16th century protected harbour, but don’t be fooled, this one is in Crete and you can start feeling the Greek influence!

These walls have been sheltering the harbour for centuries Greece

 

Greece – Santorini:

Welcome in the heart of the Cyclades, where the cliffs are rising up as you get closer to the docks and the towns are overlooking you.

The world most famous cliff village in Greece

 

Greece – Corfu:

On last glimpse of Greece to enjoy the beautiful islands, and this one has always been on the crossroads of all the Mediterranean cultures: Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Italian … Even the French and the British once settled on this island!

Greek ruins overlooking the sea in Corfu

 

Albania – Sarande:

Right across corfou, why not make a stop in Albania? A country usually in the shadow of its neighbour but with beautiful shingle beaches, byzantine and roman remains.

A gorgeous Albanian shoreline

 

Croatia – Dubrovnik:

If you have you ever watched or read games of Thrones you must know what king’s landing is. Well, in the TV show, kings landing shots have been taken in Dubrovnik and barely modified, this should give you an idea of how beautiful the city is!

View of the coast and the port in Croatia

 

Croatia – Hvar and the Pakleni Islands:

This is the new boating paradise of Europe! Sailboats and Multihulls yacht charter croatia everywhere. Why? Because it has everything you could be looking for, nature, remote almost private beaches, architecture, turquoise water, parties and food.

Aerial view of the islands near Split, Crotia

 

Italy – Venice:

Is it really necessary to introduce Venice? La Piazza San Marco, The Grand Canal, The Rialto and the gondolas …

Night view of the inland channels in Venice

 

Italy – Polignano a Mare:

A charming cliff village with tiny typical south Italian streets, the food there is astonishing and the beaches are amongst the best in the area.

View of the port in Italy at sunset

 

Italy/Sicily – Taormina:

A Sicilian town at the bottom of the world famous volcano: the Etna, with an antique roman theatre still in use nowadays!

View of the ancient ruins in Italy overlooking the beautiful coast

 

Italy – Aeolian Islands:

A volcanic archipelago with hot springs and a well preserved luxurious nature, another world class sailing area with gorgeous places to discover.

Sailboats in the port near the volcanic Aeolian islands

 

Italy/Sardinia – La maddalena:

A tiny archipelago in the north of Sardinia classified as a National Park for its beauty.

Sailboat sailing towards the coast in Sardinia

 

France/Corsica – L’ile Rousse:

3rd Corsican Harbour after Ajaccio and Bastia, it’s a human size town ideal to get some rest before an eventual return to overcrowded cities.

Castle on a hill on the coast of Corsica

 

What is the best option to rent a boat?

Boat rental options used to be pretty limited, back in the days, you had boat charter Company and that was about it. They were usually not cheap and unless someone advise you, you’re never quite sure what I might be like.

As a result of the sharing economy growth, boat rental in France and in some other European country has grown larger and cheaper! Website like samboat.com allow private boat owners and professional to register their boat and you can get in touch with them through the website, check the boat comments from previous renters, ask the owner whatever you want to know about the boat, even bargain for it if you plan a long term rental, and then rent it if it fits your needs.

Most of all: it’s easier to rent boat in Marseille than anywhere else ! Marseille is the biggest peer to peer boat rental hub in Europe.

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