If you follow us on Instagram, you know we love being by the beach! We’re blessed to call beautiful Galicia home, and most days when sunset comes, we drop whatever we’re doing and head to the beach for sunset shots, tapas, and beer. Yet, we also love to explore beyond the boundaries of our home region – over the years we’ve headed to places as diverse as Thailand, Indonesia, Israel, and Malta, and we always make sure we include some sailing or water adventures, including diving!
Trouble is, sometimes it’s hard to arrange water adventures without actually knowing someone onsite – safety is paramount whenever water is involved, and even though we always travel with insurance, we don’t want to rely on operators that may be untrustworthy.
Luckily, we recently found out about nowboat.com, a new all in one seafaring platform collecting over 800 trusted operators worldwide, allowing travelers to get in touch with operators and book directly with just a few clicks.
Seafaring adventures on offer range between half day sunset cruises to Atlantic expeditions lasting several weeks, and anything in between – if like us, you love adventure and watersports but don’t have thousands to spend, there are many options to choose from. Here are our favorite 5 sailing adventures in Europe – where do you think we should go first?
1. Sailing the Kornati Archipelago, Croatia
Inma loved Croatia when she visited a few years back, but it was still quite early in the season and a bit too cold to swim and enjoy the beautiful seascapes of Dalmatia. We’ve heard great things about Kornati, one of Croatia’s National Parks, famous for being the world’s densest archipelago – there are 140 islands in just 35 square kilometers. Kornati is also a well-known sailing location, where you can get lost for weeks on end spending time swimming in pristine lagoons, snorkeling, and having lunch in one of many village konoba (family-run restaurants). Who’s in?
2. Sailing the Aeolian Islands
We love Italy, but sadly we’ve never been as far south as Sicily! If we did, we’d make sure to spend some time discovering the Aeolian Islands. We’ve heard it’s one of the most photogenic regions in Southern Italy, with stunning black sand beaches, vineyards, cute villages an the opportunity to visit two volcanoes – Volcano, with its steaming craters, and Stromboli, where eruptions take place every half an hour or so, and you can hike at sunset to see sparkling lava. Around the Aeolian Islands there are also lots of diving and snorkeling opportunities, and naturally plenty of delicious Sicilian food and wine!
3. 2 Week Adventure in the Magical Cyclades
If you love Instagram as much as we do, I’m sure you’ve dreamed of visiting Greece to take those perfect sunset-over-a-Cycladic village shots. However, Santorini is just so crowded these days, we’d rather head elsewhere and discover some lesser-known places. On nowboat there’s a fantastic two-week cruise on offer offbeat islands and locations like Skinoussa, Folegandros, Serifos, Kithnos, and Poros – have you ever heard of any of these places? I don’t think you’d have to fight with the crowds to get those perfect sunset shots!
4. Afternoon Cruise from Mallorca
Closer to home, the Balearic Islands are a fantastic destination – if you avoid the busy summer months when the archipelago is full of holidaying families and party crowds, and visit in the shoulder season instead, you’ll find spectacular beaches with only a few other souls to share them with. However, if you truly want to head off the beaten track, what about chartering a sailboat for a day to go exploring? One of the best places to do that in Mallorca is Port de Pollença, close to spectacular swimming and snorkeling spots like La Victoria and La Fortaleza.
If you get a group together, prices can be as low as €40 per person for a full afternoon of adventuring on the water. Not bad, huh?
5. Sunset Cruise in Lisbon
Last but not least, our beloved Lisbon! Inma spent a few years living in the Portuguese capital during her Erasmus, and we’ve returned to the city countless times. Sunset is a very special time in Lisbon – and when most tourists are crowding rooftop bars and lookout points in the historic center, a sunset cruise is the best thing to do to get away from it all! Sunset cruises typically start from Belem and include time sailing past the city and even up to the stunning Vasco da Gama bridge. If you’re looking to surprise your significant other or even pop the question, this is the way to do it!