Sailing in Winter: How to Stay Warm

Perhaps sailing in winter is not the first thought that comes to mind when you begin to plan your next boat holiday. However, guest blogger Louise of Sandy Toes and Writer Woes and Bailey Boat Cat proves that sailing in winter can still be enjoyable if you know how to stay warm. Read Louise’s tips for keeping warm while sailing on those cold winter days or chilly summer nights. 

sailing in winter

by Louise Kennedy

If you’re sailing over the winter months you might have to deal with some colder weather. If you’re anything like me, you won’t enjoy your sailing experience if you’re feeling cold. Even if you don’t have dedicated winter sailing gear, you can still keep warm whilst you’re sailing and be able to enjoy your day.

sailing in winter

The most important thing is to stay dry. Once you get wet, you’ll probably stay wet and with the (hopefully) perfect sailing wind, you’ll start to feel chilled and not in the good way. Salt water is incredibly hard to dry because of the salt crystals. If you’re sailing because you love it, your fashion sense won’t matter… do whatever you need to do stay dry. Waterproof clothing and shoes are great if you don’t have proper wet weather sailing gear, because you can layer warm clothes underneath them too. If you find yourself in a squall and don’t have time to get your waterproof clothing on, then even something simple like a plastic bag over your legs will do.

Layers are perfect for changeable weather. I like having lots of layers that I can pull on or off easily when the temperature is about to rise or drop. For example, if you’re doing a watch and you don’t want to disturb the other crewmembers who are resting, you can ensure you’ll be comfortable for the duration of your shift by having several options. Breathable clothes are also great, especially sports clothing, because they wick sweat away from your body.

sailing in winter

Keep out of the breeze by staying behind the dodgers and ultilising any covers that you have. If you’re on watch, then getting up every five to seven minutes to have a good look around or staying active by tweaking or raising sails and safely walking around the deck will help to keep you warm.

Remember to take any cockpit cushions inside to keep them dry too. Soggy salty cushions will take a very long time to dry and aren’t fun or comfortable to sit on. If there isn’t any wind, you could even follow my lead and use a small umbrella to protect you and whatever electronic device you’re using during a rain shower!

sailing in winter

Warm drinks or soup are also fantastic for keeping you warm during a cold sail. You can prepare something nice and hot and store it in a thermos flask, which you can grab whilst underway.

If you keep warm and have a great day’s sailing I guarantee you’ll have that warm fuzzy feeling at the end of the day!

Of course, there are other options for sailing in the winter. If you are looking for warmth and sun, check out our top winter sailing destinations. Prefer to book in summer? Keep a look out for our latest deals on our website and social media. 

Dominican Republic, A Country of Contrasts


Right here started our tour of this contrasts associated with the Dominican Republic even as we cruised from small fishing villages to bustling metropolitan areas  (posted August 2016)

Departing Ile ‘a Vache Haiti, we sailed 140 nautical miles along the southern coastline of Hispaniola to make very first land in Dominican Republic (D.R.) at island of Isla Beata (“bee-AHH-tah”). One c

annot clear in to the Dominican Republic at Isla Beata but the Armada (The Dominican Republic’s navy) keeps an outpost here.  Soon after we anchored, a fishing boat brought the Comandante de Puerto, wearing the conventional issue beige camouflage fatigues and tall laced boots, and also a tee-shirted M-2 Intelligencia officer (we knew he had been M-2 as it was on their baseball hat), to the boat.  They certainly were extremely cheery and assisted united states function with their brief questions even as we known Kathy Parsons’ Spanish for Cruisers (a must have product in the event that you don’t speak Spanish fluently). Comprehending that we’d clear in at Barahona, we had been welcomed and told we’re able to remain and go to the area for as long as we wished and had been told to, “Please use your dinghy”.

Even As We were prepared to depart, the Comandante, raised a shut fist with thumb extended and pointing to their mouth, asked “Whiskey?” We obliged with three containers of one of our city beers. Providing someone to all the males, we quickly discovered that there is a hierarchy therefore had been around the Comandante to later on share the propina aided by the M-2 officer and their watercraft driver. These small tips, or propina, are part of the tradition plus the financial system.

It was a windy afternoon having a very good roll in anchorage so after the 29 hour sail we decided to defer establishing the dinghy before next morning. There was an abundance of coral around Isla Beata stepping down seriously to a narrow band of sand a couple of hundred legs wide which offered good holding off the beach within northwest end of the island. Another action is found just a couple of legs from coastline so dinghies had been most readily useful held from the shore having an anchor and a line to shore, just like the fishing boats for sale are located.  At Comandante’s post, we were offered a line to shore for the dinghy.

The shoreline backs to steep stone walls making a slim strip where are found countless tiny fishing huts. Some of those are Colmado, little shops selling basic food and supplies to the fishermen and girl in the island.  A few of these small huts, which act as houses, have utilized the rock wall surface to produce big normal fireplaces for cooking.
As we moved down the coast, we had been invited often to stay and see with all the fishermen and women. We came across Ramon and their pet, and chatted as most readily useful we could as he ate their fish and rice. Ramon sent a young guy down seriously to his boat to fetch fish through the coolers there. Ramon then filled a big synthetic bag of tiny yellowtail snapper for us, smiling the complete time, and demonstrated together with his pocket knife how to clean the seafood. We offered a couple of dollars in payment, which appeared to shock Ramon. We think he meant to gift us the seafood, as he commented that what we offered had been “mucho dinero” and then proceeded to place more seafood within the case. Back up to speed, and after cleaning the seafood, we discovered we had sufficient for at least four dishes. Initial meal had been consumed straight away also it had been one of the better tasting seafood we had ever eaten.

One fascination of fishing on Isla Beata usually although traps and nets had been used, each fisherperson did actually have a specialty fish and all sorts of the fish they certainly were cleansing, drying or cooking had been of that one species.  How they got traps or nets to catch just one single form of seafood defied description.
Ramon’s simple lifestyle and love of life had been a delight for all of us to see.  And now we could see between the other fisherpersons on Isla Beata exactly the same kind of pleasure making use of their great deal in life.  An outsider might label this as “poverty” but the people of the Dominican Republic never notice it this way.  It absolutely was explained to united states that no body the following is going to bed hungry and a lot of enjoy large extensive families and sets of friends become satisfied with.

Sailing onto Barahona, we were struck head-on with all the comparison of the busy, dirty and loud city. But the officials whom visited our boat were just like friendly since the people on Isla Beata. There have been no extra fees no must have a real estate agent manage our clearing in.  We were done in under 20 moments, after offering the Comandante de Puerto as well as the Immigration representative a trip back to shore within our dinghy. By comparison, others from the eastern told us of paying as much as 3 times up to we did to clear in, convinced by the marinas that the procedure had been complex, difficult, and time intensive.

One thing we seemed forward to in Barahona, along with super marcados, was a most exciting market. Forex trading, available in places and enclosed in other people, meandered with an area of several town blocks. Motorcycles went down the slim corridors regarding the market bringing people and services and products back and forth. One could, and

Barahona from anchorage

Barahona from the anchorage

should, bargain for many purchases right here.  Countering at one third of what is first asked is not very unreasonable. We found all the vegetables & fruits we purchased at the market to own much more taste than the people home grown on chemical fertilizers. Barahona also introduced us towards Dominicans’ love of noisy music, to which crowds frequently sing along.  This began at sunrise with workout classes in the park and went well to the wee hours associated with evening from coast part bars and dancing floors.

Given that we were cleared to the D.R., we had to secure a despacho everytime we moved from a single slot to a different. This is merely a matter of visiting the office of Comandancia de Puerto and telling them where you desired to go next. The info was gradually entered as a computer as well as the despacho printed.  Another 5 minutes passed away although the kind had been taken to a commander for signature. No fees or propina were requested in Barahona. Keep in mind that the despacho will only be granted within a couple of hours of one’s intended departure. At Barahona one could at 4:00 p.m. request a despacho for departure prepared for the following morning. Some ports won’t enable this and will only issue a despacho for instant departure.

Boca Chica coastline

Boca Chica coastline

A hop of 111 nautical kilometers brought united states to Boca Chica in which we picked up a mooring ball at Marina Zar Par.  Coming into this bay actually bit dramatic with waves crashing more than a reef simply to the proper of red markers.  From then on point, a little bit of neighborhood knowledge ended up being required which went like this, “To avoid running aground, remain near enough to kiss the ships and yachts docked on your own left as you get in.” With that information at hand, we had no problems but we did view a amount of other ships, who apparently couldn’t get the term, are available and run aground.

Marina Zar Par is really a bit west of Boca Chica proper. Between is about three quarters of the mile of coastline with a lot of small food vendors who will deliver your meal and beverages out to the tables and chairs lining the coast under thatched roofs.  A number of these vendors have the obligatory noisy noise systems and apparently take turns regarding which is the loudest for the afternoon or evening. Regarding the weekends the “Dominican Navy,” the fleet of neighborhood motor boats of all of the sizes, happens to anchor in the bay and play their very own music, some with very impressive systems including underwater light programs. Many evenings the boats returned to slips around 10:30 p.m.  plus one could easily get some rest. Oddly, enough it was a Monday night, rather than a holiday, whenever music went until 3:00 a.m.

Using Marina Zar Par as our base, we visited the nation’s capital town, Santo Domingo, about eight miles away and went inland towards the “Dominican Alps” to your mountain city of Jarabocoa in which Jill and I were the visitors of cruising guide writer, Frank Virgintino, and his spouse Clemencia, at their family retreat. The rides to both places were adventures in their own personal legal rights.
Franklin, a former Santo Domingo bus motorist, served as our taxi motorist the a few hour drive to Jarabacoa. This really is typically about a two hour drive but we had to end as you go along to look for tires for the taxi. The right size and cost had been available at the sixth stop where in fact the car ended up being jacked up, inside traffic lane, Indy pit stop style, with Jill and me still into the back chair, whilst the tires had been changed, once we looked over each other and laughed.  The trip continued through Santo Domingo where we learned that turning from the comfort of the leftmost of six lanes, and left from the rightmost of six lanes, both in identical intersection, even though the lights were still red, had been precisely how it is done here. We had been glad we didn’t rent a car or truck.

Coming back included Franklin stopping for the beer (a grande Presidente believe it or not), become consumed in the mountain road down, a stop to fill the trunk associated with the vehicle with full stalks of plantains which we were told were a great deal cheaper right here than in town, followed later on with a stop the motorist to alleviate himself roadside and toss their beer container in to the woods.

It was disappointing to see the number of trash which found roadside not merely right here on the side regarding the highway but of all roadways and roads we walked. A large percentage of that is disposable Styrofoam meals service containers, an unfortunate yet typical indication of growing affluence in the country.

Towards Boca Chica, to circumvent the traffic of the Friday night rush from Santo Domingo, we were disassembled unpaved lanes hardly wider versus automobile utilizing the occasional home home opening in to the street, requiring the taxi to stop suddenly.

On Sunday, permitting each day to recover from the journey straight back from Jarabacoa, Jill and I made a decision to allow it to be on our very own to Santo Domingo to check out the Colonial Town, Chinatown and look for some Carnival activity. We took the general public bus. To get this done properly, one must flag down a coach planning the wrong direction and remain on because it goes to the conclusion of the line and comes home within intended direction. Whenever asked to cover, merely state, “No, para Santo Domingo”.  The bus can make numerous flagged stops until its full, which never takes place since people also get off at requested stops. Someplace on the way the bus adopts a terminal where you are pointed to an “express bus” to Santo Domingo, which also makes many flagged stops. This time when required to cover, produce 60 pesos ($1.33) per individual and let the conductor know where you want to log off. It absolutely was useful to have map of Santo Domingo in hand so we’re able to follow our progress and move forward in the coach as our stop approached. (A taxi would cost about $40 each means). Coming back from Santo Domingo involved locating the bus terminal for Boca Chica and backpacking in a chair on an air-conditioned coach until it received its complement of 30 passengers. Happily, this terminal ended up being really close to where we exited the bus.

Colonial Town ruins

Colonial Town ruins

The Colonial Town originated by the sibling and son of Christopher Columbus and shows both Spanish and French influences inside architecture. Many firsts for the Americas are found right here such as the first cathedral, 1st medical center while the very first university. It’s possible to employ a tour guide or ride the “Colonial Chu Chu” to obtain filled in on reputation for all of the notable websites here.

From Colonial Town, we wandered north towards the adjacent Chinatown for lunch then south once more, skirting the Colonial Town to cover our respects at tombs associated with founders of this D.R., Duarte, Sanchez and Mella. We made our method to the Malecon which runs along the coastline the total period of Santo Domingo. We had been told that on any Sunday afternoon in February one would find lots of Carnival goings on anywhere over the Malecon. We wandered for a few miles and, to our frustration found none, but did see a few memorials and areas that were well worth the stroll.

At anchor, Casa de Campo

At anchor, Casa de Campo

We had been ready for break through the busy towns and loud music of Boca Chica so we headed 48 nautical kilometers further east to Casa de Campo, a luxury resort community with what is hailed due to the fact largest marina into the Caribbean. We radioed for guidance to the fuel dock plus dinghy was sent in to the surf to steer us in, but we were told the marina had been overbooked so we’re able to maybe not stay.  Oscar, the marina supervisor, must meet united states and gather our despacho before we would be permitted to undertake gas. Understanding that we’d no place to go, he took me for a ride in their tennis cart to show us where we could anchor within the marina. He explained your people spending three million bucks for a home round the marina really don’t like evaluating boats so he’d to restrict how many ships which could anchor away. There was clearly totally free for staying.

Casa de Campo is as big a contrast from cities of this D.R. as you could imagine. We rented an electrical golf cart, drove around the community and visited Altos de Chavon, a relaxation of the sixteenth century mediterranean village overlooking the gorge for the Chavon River. Imagine Epcot on European steroids. This spot is magnificent and, unlike Epcot, made from genuine stone. It’s billed being an artist’s village and there are several galleries and workshops here. The main water fountain alone will probably be worth the go to. The Romanesque amphitheater can be a sight to see. However the pièce de opposition may be the view from terraces overlooking the river with all the hills for the D.R. in the background. And unlike the towns and cities, there isn’t a piece of trash to be found running free anywhere in Casa de Campo. We had been told that this actually must-see and we agree.

Our last stop, isla Soana

Our final stop, isla Soana

We entered the D.R. at a tiny island and our final stay in the D.R. would be to be considered a little area, Isla Saona (“ SAH-ohh-nah”). One are unable to however discover associated with the nation from Isla Saona so rather we secured our international despacho for Puerto Rico at Casa de Campo, perhaps not mentioning our intention to go to Isla Saona. Upon reaching Isla Saona, we straight away brought down the dinghy and motored over to look at the Armada station here to humbly welcome the Comandante having request to see until the winds improved for our transportation to Puerto Rico. We had been told that other individuals who couldn’t “check-in” in this way were chased down.  The Comandante welcomed us to remain providing we liked. Isla Saona is a peaceful island that supports tourists visiting for a couple hours each day from the mainland. The rest of the time the beaches are excellent for solitary walks while the mangrove lined shores north regarding the area are worth exploring by dinghy. We anchored from the northwest beach wholly expecting a deluge of catamarans and motor boats around noon the next day.  As luck would have it, a lot of them proceeded to beaches further south regarding the area with only some ships visiting “our” beach. By 3 p.m. individuals were headed back to the mainland together with area, and the song of the birds there, was kept for the next 21 hours towards couple of sailboats anchored.


Us citizens in many cases are taken aback by the tradition of recommendations, or propina, required by federal government officials and frequently examine these little payments to be “bribes” or “graft”. Frank Virgintino, author of almost twelve free cruising guides to the Caribbean ( explained it to me because of this: “It is very important to understand how different nations work. In the U.S., our company is straight taxed. We pay our earnings, home and product sales fees therefore the federal government pays their employees a reasonable wage. Into the Dominican Republic, plus some other countries, the income tax is more indirect. Yes, the government will pay their workers a wage but it is a minimum. Recommendations or propinas are expected from those that have the services. This training apportions the costs to the recipients of this solution. In the long run, you almost certainly pay less in immigration fees here than you are doing, for example, inside Bahamas.  
    presently there are some port captains that are benefiting from this, and Luperon could very well be the most famous instance, but by and large the port captains, immigration and M-2 officers are only searching for tiny methods for their some time service. Most importantly, it is vital to never ever get aggravated. Anger is not section of this culture which is perhaps not well received. You can simply say “no” and laugh. They’ll not arrest you or throw your watercraft. It is worth noting though that when leaving for the U.S., including to Puerto Rico, that the U.S. calls for the Dominican officials to conduct medication searches with dogs, that aren’t required for despachos to other countries, so expect you’ll tip those officials with regards to their unique costs, sometimes traveling quite a distance, at their very own expense, to come calmly to your boat.
Over the past many years we’ve watched Pete and Jill Dubler’s restoration and refit of their Pearson 424.  In December, they began their new lease of life as cruisers aboard S/V Regina Oceani.

Luxury Foods in Croatia

As a Mediterranean country gifted with an ideal climate for agriculture, it is safe to assume that Croatia has some of the world’s best and most valued food items. Though not as lavish as French or other European cuisines, the real stars of Croatian dishes are the ingredients, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the top luxury foods in Croatia. Make sure to try some of these specialities while on your next sailing holiday in Croatia. 

And if you haven’t already learned your way around Croatian cuisine, you can do so here.


luxury foods in croatiaSavour traditional Croatian dishes topped with prized white truffles when sailing in Istria. Photo source: Chung Ho Leung/Flickr.

Did you know that Croatia is home to one of the most famous truffle capitals in the world and that one of the largest truffles in the world was found here? If you didn’t, we suggest you do some reading up on Croatia’s truffle craze here. The region of Istria, in northern Croatia, was found to be a real mine for truffles only about 80 years ago. Since then, Croatians have figured out how to masterfully combine truffles into products such as olive oil, honey, cheese and even sweets. The region is most famous for its white truffle called Tuber Magnatum Pico, which grows from September until January. Truffle hunters search for the prized tuber, which, in turn, is sold to restaurant owners and other foodies for a hefty price. The finest white truffles of the season are best used fresh and shaved on pastas, meats and fish. And for something different, try ice cream or chocolate cake with truffles.


luxury foods in CroatiaRaw oysters may not be for everyone, but they certainly are one of the best luxury foods in Croatia. Image source: Heather Cowper.

Croatia has a long tradition of fishing and maritime trade thanks to its prime position on the Adriatic. The Croatians’ love of shellfish has also been well documented throughout the centuries and was first noted during the Roman period. Today, Croatia is known for having some of the best (if not the best) oysters in the world. Foodies craving one of the most well known luxury foods in Croatia head to Mali Ston in southern Dalmatia not far from Dubrovnik. The special shellfish have been prized by emperors and noblemen who couldn’t get enough of Mali Ston oysters, which even today are favoured for their taste which comes from a unique mix of both salt and fresh water in the bay. Mali Ston oysters even won The Grand Prix and Gold Medal of oysters during the World Exposition in 1936. These oysters are best enjoyed raw and accompanied by a glass of Croatian wine or a cocktail. If you are not into raw oysters, we can have a chance to try fried, baked or roasted oysters, oyster soup or one of many other preparations while on your sailing holidays in Dubrovnik.


luxury foods in CroatiaChocolate. Yet another great reason to go sailing in Zadar. Photo source: VITLOV ČOKOLADE

Croatia may not be famous for it’s chocolate, but if you happen to find yourself in Zadar, a chance to savour one of Vitlov’s specialties, is something you won’t regret it. Somewhat new on Croatia’s foodie scene, Vitlov Chocolate has become a mecca for chocolate lovers in Croatia. Just one look at their display case of delicate truffles will really make you feel like a kid in a candy store (just a more luxurious one). Famed for their Maraschino Pralines, which are made from the region’s famous Maraschino liqueur, Vitlove Chocolate takes chocolate making to a whole new level. These beautifully designed boxes of chocolate will be a perfect gift for someone special back home (if they make it that far!).


luxury foods in CroatiaSample some of Croatia’s Old World wines.

Ok, so technically not a food, but still deserving a spot on our list of the top luxury foods in Croatia is wine. Perhaps you already read or tried out our sailing route dedicated to wine in Croatia, but in case you haven’t, here’s what you should know about Croatian wine:

-Croatia’s history of wine making goes back to 2200 BC

-Although wine has been made in Croatia, it is only in recent years that the country’s coastal and continental wines are getting the recognition that they deserve.

-After many decades of debate, it has been scientifically proven that the origin of California’s famous zinfandel wine grape came from Croatia.

-Croatia’s islands produce some of the best grapes used to make excellent white wines.

-Today, Croatia has about 17,000 registered wine growers that cover nearly 60,000 acres.

So where do you find the country’s best and most prized wines? There are several noteworthy wine boutiques and vineyards where you can get your hands on some of the highest quality wines that Croatia has to offer. If in Zagreb, make sure to visit Vinoteka Bornstein, which offers two of Croatia’s best wines: Dingac and Postup. Other wine lovers might go to Istria, which has often been called “the other Tuscany”. Here you’ll find several vineyards and wine boutiques where you can taste and buy some of the region’s most esteemed wines: Malvasia Istriana and Teran. Istria is most well known for their white wines, which pair perfectly with fresh seafood. Make sure to try an Istrian wine while savouring other luxury foods in Croatia (it goes perfectly with those raw oysters).


luxury foods in croatiaHoney has been used as a medicine and wine enhancer for many centuries.

Honey has been used both for indulgence and medicine for many centuries. The Romans even documented their love of honey which was used in wine in ancient times (mead is still very popular today!). Not only has Croatia perfected the taste and texture of honey over the years, but has learned how to use it as a health benefit. A jolt of energy, improved immune system and pain relief are the main reasons to indulge in honey while your on your sailing trip in Croatia. Enjoy Croatian honey in its purest raw form or in a number of other local products including liqueur, cosmetics and various sweets. For a real gourmet treat, make sure to bring home some of Croatia’s white truffle honey which goes best with cheese, veal or pork. Local honey scented with wild strawberries and island herbs such as rosemary, lavender and heather may not be a luxury for Croatians, but it certainly is a speciality for visitors, which is why it deserves a spot on our list of luxury foods in Croatia.

So if the food in Croatia haven’t convinced you yet, here are even more reasons to go sailing in Croatia.

Sailing Holidays in the Azores

Portugal, famed for the charm and beauty of it’s historic cities of Porto and Lisbon, is also a dream destination for sailors and one of our top picks for sailing holidays in 2017. Diverse coastal landscapes and excellent wind conditions make boat holidays in Portugal an ideal place for those looking for a more adventurous break. Read on to learn more about sailing holidays in the Azores, one of our favourite spring and summer destinations for sailors. 

sailing holidays in the azoresDiscover the dramatic landscapes that define Portugal’s enchanting island chain.

Sailing holidays in the Azores

There are two main sailing regions in Portugal: The Algarve Coast and the Azores. Each offer breathtaking landscapes and exciting conditions for sailing. For more experienced sailors, we recommend sailing holidays in the Azores, Portugal’s intriguing island chain that is distinguished by it’s dramatic volcanic landscapes and lush green hills.

The Portuguese offshore territories are found in the mid-Atlantic more than 1,300 km west of the European continent.From continental Europe, it takes between two and four hours to arrive by plane (depending on your starting point). Their remote location make the Azores a rather off the beaten path destination. Due to this fact, the islands are rich in flora and fauna and maintain their pristine, unspoilt and nearly otherworldy appearance.

sailing holidays in the azoresThe magical waters of the Azores are just as spectacular inland as they are along the coast.

The Azores consist of 9 larger islands and numerous smaller islands and islets. A large part of the archipelago is of volcanic origin and has rich natural landscapes thanks to the oceanic subtropical climate. The nine larger islands are divided into three groups: Grupo Ocidental (Corvo and Flores), Grupo Central (Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa and Terceira) and Grupo Oriental (Santa Maria, Formigas and São Miguel).

Sailing in the Azores: Here’s what you need to know

sailing holidays in the azoresSão Miguel is the largest island of the Azores.

The Azores are a cruising paradise for experienced sailors owning a Coastal Skipper Certificate. If you don’t have a license, you can sill enjoy island hopping in Azores with a skipper (which you can book with Zizoo) who will guide you swiftly through the many islets and islands that make up the archipelago.

When sailing in the Azores you have various options for routes depending on how long you want to be “on the road” or so to speak. If planning to sail around the central island group, you have the advantage that the islands are within relatively close distance to eachother. However, if sailing in this region, you should pay close attention to shallow water, the tide and tidal currents to avoid any potential problems. When island hopping in the Azores, it should also be noted that you must clear in and out of all ports and islands.

Learn more about clearing into ports with ease.

sailing in the azoresSail past dramatic coastlines while island hopping in the Azores. Photo: Lino Bento/Flickr.

While it is possible to sail in the Azores in the winter (temperatures average about 13oC in the winter season), the best time for sailing is late April through October. During spring and summer, the conditions are more calm and clear from fog. Water temperatures of the Atlantic during this period are ideal, ranging between 18oC and 24oC. It is advised to always check the weather forecast before setting off as the weather in the Azores can change quite quickly.

The most popular base for sailing holidays in the Azores is Horta. Plan your trip to the Azores with our itinerary for island hopping in the Azores on a yacht charter from Horta.

Itinerary for sailing holidays in the Azores: Starting in Horta

sailing in the azoresStart your sailing holiday in the Azores in the famous port of Horta.

The port city of Horta is located on the island of Faial and is known worldwide as the meeting place for the Atlantic crosses. Here you’ll find flags hoisted from all over the globe in the marina. You’ll also find that the marina serves as an open air art gallery. Tradition has it that sailors stopping in the marina paint a picture on the walls. Countless crews have already immortalized themselves here. We’re not really sure how the tradition started, nevertheless, whether or not the sailors hope that the pictures will grant them safe passage and good weather on their continued journey or just want to leave a little souvenir, it has made the marina in Horta a gem on its on right.

sailing holidays in the azoresAdmire the paintings by visiting sailors in Horta’s marina.

After a stroll in the marina, you can stop at the legendary Peter Café Sport, a famous meeting spot for sailors visiting the island. If you charter a yacht in Horta, a visit to the bar is an absolute must. For those who prefer to relax on the beach before sailing, head to Praia do Almoxarife near Horta. From there you have a wonderful view of the volcano Pico on the neighboring island of the same name. If you would like to take a small excursion, we recommend a visit the crater Caldeira.

Another popular starting point for sailing in the Azores is Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel.

From Horta, you can sail along the south-west coast of Faial and admire the huge volcanic rock walls at Capelinhos, which are even more impressive from your yacht. Alternatively, you can go north-east to the island of São Jorge, where you can stay in the Marina of Velas.

sailing holidays in the azores.The volcanic rocks of Capelinhos on the west coast of Faial. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr.

The neighboring island of Pico is worth a visit not only because of the impressive volcano, but also for the ethereal green coastal landscapes with old fishing villages that contribute to the unique charm of this island. In Lajes do Pico, you can stop in the village marina and visit the vineyards of the island which were also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next, Terceira and Graciosa (the White Island) are waiting for you on the next lags of your sailing holiday in the Azores. During your stay in Terceira, you can visit Angra’s historical buildings which showcase the island’s long history as a place of important transatlantic trade. From Terceira, make your way to Graciosa, the northernmost island in the central island group. Declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Graciosa is home to many natural wonders including the Caldera, an astonishing elliptical depression in the volcanic landscape.

sailing holidays in the azoresAdmire the views and landscapes while hiking on Terciera.

From Graciosa, it’s time to sail back to your yacht charter in Horta. Along the way, you may be able to see dolphins or whales, which are commonly found around the island chain. Back in Horta, you can partake in several different sports including cycling, diving, kayaking and surfing. After checking out of your yacht charter, spend the evening relaxing with a glass of fine wine from the island.

For more information about sailing in Portugal, visit our guide. If you want to charter a yacht in the Azores, you can simply send us a request or contact us. We will find the right boat for your next holiday.

Charter a Lagoon 40, the Ultimate Power Catamaran

Loved for their comfort, speed and ease of handling, power catamarans are quickly becoming one of the most requested yacht charters in Croatia, New Zealand and across the Mediterranean. The Lagoon 40 Power Catamaran is no exception. Offering great fuel efficiency and Lagoon’s signature light and airy design, this cat has it all. Learn about this unique luxury yacht below and charter a Lagoon 40 with Zizoo. 

charter a lagoon 40 Get more out of your boat holiday. Charter a Lagoon 40 in Croatia this summer. Photo source @ Lagoon.

Lagoon Catamarans

When you choose to charter a Lagoon catamaran, you can expect a yacht that is both elegant and extremely comfortable. From the luxurious 630 MY, which we previously featured as our “Boat of the Week“, to the set piece they produced for the cult classic film, Waterworld, Lagoon is one of the most cutting-edge boat manufactures which continues to impress us year after year. Their innovative designs and features enhance the joy and ease of driving a multihull yacht.

Learn more about the history of Lagoon Catamarans and why we love catamaran charters.

charter a lagoon 40 A Lagoon 40’s living areas and natural lighting will make you feel like you are on a floating villa. Photo source @ Lagoon.

Why book a power catamaran?

charter a lagoon 40 The vast and functional deck on the Lagoon 40 Power Cat is ideal for relaxing in the sun and dining al fresco. Photo source @ Lagoon.

Though not as common as sailing and motor catamarans, power cats are sought for their easy handling and spaciousness. The design of a power catamaran helps facilitate air movement, meaning there is less resistance and therefore, the ride is smooth and less fuel is needed to travel.The Lagoon glides easily on the waves so even people that are easily prone to sea sickness will hardly notice that they are cruising. They also make an ideal vessel for long distance and open ocean crossings.

Here’s 5 things you didn’t know about catamarans.

The Lagoon 40

The design of the Lagoon 40 is based on the popular 39 sailing cat, which was made for easy crossing, particularly in open seas. Sailors will be pleased to know that, even though the cat offers ample space for a cruising yacht, it is not difficult to enter smaller ports thanks to its compact size.

charter a lagoon 40 Enjoy your meals with a view in Lagoon’s masterfully designed interior spaces. Photo source @ Lagoon.

Of course, if you plan to charter a Lagoon 40, you’ll most likely want to be spending most of your time on the deck. However, the handsome interior also begs you to stay indoors. From the gorgeous master suite to the light-filled dining area, you may want to spend some extra hours enjoying the views of the sea from inside the boat.

Meanwhile on deck, the captain of your boat (which can also be arranged with Zizoo) will have a splendid time at the helm, which is well sheltered from the sun and wind. You can also easily navigate the boat by foot, thanks to the Lagoon 40’s wide sidedecks. Parents will also be pleased to know that this model is designed with safety in mind.

charter a lagoon 40 Be the envy in every harbour. Charter the Lagoon 40, the ultimate power catamaran. Photo source @ Lagoon.

With its iconic stylish, yet comfortable design, fuel efficiency, large social spaces and easy handling, the Lagoon 40 is, without a doubt, the ultimate power catamaran to charter this year. Charter a  new, 2017 Lagoon 40 power cat in Croatia and get ready to spend your next boat holiday traveling in style.