>> Mar 15, 2013
Whether chartering your own yacht or sailing with a crew; few destinations offer as many scenic ports of call as the glorious Caribbean. The clear skies and blue seas never fail to disappoint and these attributes have been charming visitors for years.
The following are just some of the area's many highlights.
The British Virgin Islands
Often called the capital of the sailing world, the British Virgin Islands are the ideal boating destination. Conditions on the water are consistently conducive to sailing. Whether you are an experienced yachtsman or a novice sailor, holiday providers such as Sunsail outline a variety of yachting opportunities suitable for all. Boasting crystal clear waters, prevailing winds and anchorages navigable by sight, the Islands are a pleasure to sail around.
The British Virgin Islands cover a large area populated by hidden keys and sheltered isles ready for discovery and explanation. The geography of the area means that it is perfect for those who enjoy relatively short excursions with an average of two hours between stopping points. Although the Islands' popularity means peak times can be particularly busy, nothing detracts from the beauty and variety of land and sea on offer.
Antigua and Barbuda
The neighbouring islands of Antigua and Barbuda are home to idyllic harbours and pleasant coral reefs. Sailing conditions are perfect all year round and Antigua, in particular, revolves around its boating heritage. For the true enthusiast, planning a visit through Sunsail to coincide with the Classic Yacht Regatta is much advised. Boats and yachts of all shapes, types and sizes are on display during this celebration of Antigua's legacy.
In addition to its reputation for life on the sea, life on Antigua's shore is just as appealing to many visitors. The liveliness of Antigua is in contrast to the peace and quiet of nearby Barbuda. Here, sailors can explore the imprints of colonialism in a relaxed and laidback atmosphere.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Paradise is a vastly overused word when it comes to describing holiday destinations, but in the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines it is almost not enough. Rustic and unspoilt, this is perhaps the most peaceful location in the Caribbean. As such, it is perhaps best suited to those sailors with more experience.
The islands that make up St Vincent and the Grenadines offer secluded beaches of white sands, verdant landscapes and that most Caribbean of items, coconut trees. Although a popular location, the area is far from over-run with tourists or over developed by industry. This means once you have found your own tranquil beach you can picnic and sunbathe in absolute serenity.
There are many stunning sailing destinations across the world, yet for sheer picturesque beauty and idyllic landscapes the Caribbean can't be beaten and once you have exhausted the locations discussed above there are many more just waiting to be discovered, proving that the Caribbean really is the home of yachting holidays.
Susannah Brown worked as a travel agent for a number of years. She now writes regularly on exotic holiday locations for several websites and publications. She is currently researching a book packed with advice on how to make the most of a yachting holiday.