Man learning how to sail

5 Best Places to Sail for Beginners

Something is exciting and romantic about heading out on the open water. Imagine traveling under the power of a billowing sail, smoothly navigating the seas, and exploring remote coastlines and islands. But for those who’ve never sailed before and may not have much experience on the water, finding a place to sail for beginners can feel a little overwhelming.

It’s important for beginners to pick the right places to develop their skills. But don’t fret! Fortunately, some incredible destinations fit the bill. Read on as we explore a few of the best. 

Let’s dive in!

Man learning how to sail

Is Sailing Easy to Learn? 

While it might appear challenging, the basics of sailing are relatively straightforward. Many consider it “simple to learn, difficult to master.” Various resources can teach you the fundamentals, from books and videos to hands-on courses.

Most sailing lessons focus on three general skills. First, sailors need to recognize the direction of the wind and correctly determine how to adjust the sails. Second, they’ll need to trim the sails properly. The final skill involves learning to steer the boat. Once they have a handle on these skills, almost everyone will be ready to get out on the water and further develop their abilities and confidence. 

You have to start somewhere, like these Popular YouTubers Trying Trimaran Sailing for the First Time.

How Do I Get Into Sailing With No Experience?

Perhaps the easiest path to start to sail for beginners is to find friends, family, or even acquaintances with a sailboat and know-how. If you’re lucky enough to be in this situation, most sailboat owners will take you out on their next sail and show you a few pointers. Over time, you may be surprised how much you’ll pick up!

Those without access to a boat or who want a more intensive lesson can opt for sailing classes. Instructors teach courses on the fundamentals of sailing that only require a single day or afternoon. More involved courses are available for those looking to learn more techniques or hone their skills with instructors. These classes can last from a few days to a week or break up to over a month or more with a lesson or two per week. 

Man learning how to sail

5 Best Places to Sail for Beginners

So where should you practice your newly-learned sailing skills? These five locations are among the best bets for sailors getting started. 

1. Greece

Head to the beautiful Mediterranean for some of the world’s best sailing waters. Greece offers a sailing season from late spring through early fall, peaking in late summer. Popular areas for beginners include the Saronic Gulf near Athens and the Ionian Sea between Greece and Italy.

Sailors can check out the thousands of small and large islands making up this magnificent nation, set amid normally calm waters with relatively few storms. Plus, you’ll enjoy one of the world’s most unique cultures and ancient history. 

2. Croatia

Tucked into the Adriatic Sea opposite Italy, Croatia offers an extensive coastline and dozens of famous islands, all within a short trip from one another. This is perfect for beginners who’d prefer to limit the length of their sailing as they gain experience.

Sailors can enjoy pristine water and some of the world’s most beautiful natural environments. Fair weather typically dominates during peak sailing months in mid to late summer. 

3. British Virgin Islands

There are few more idyllic spots in the world than the Virgin Islands, whether you’re sunning on a beach or sailing the gorgeous coastline. Aside from some of the most beautiful water, you’ll find anywhere, gentle winds and calm seas make it easy to navigate along the coast or between islands.

Unlike some top sailing locations for beginners, it’s also excellent for practicing year-round. Warm weather creates a perpetual sailing season. It also doesn’t hurt that there are many fantastic beaches, bars, restaurants, and other perks that people typically associate with Caribbean vacations. 

Get inspired to set sail by watching these 10 Up and Coming Sailing YouTubers.

4. The Bahamas

The Bahamas offers many similar advantages to the British Virgin Islands, like easily navigable waters and gentle but consistent winds. For those in the United States, this is also the closest spot on our list.

It’s a short distance off the Florida coast instead of halfway around the world. In addition, it offers all-year sailing provided by many island chains in the region, allowing beginner sailors to hit the water whenever is convenient for them, without fighting crowds. 

5. French Riveria

Those looking for a luxury experience can check out the gorgeous French Riviera along the country’s southeastern Mediterranean coast. Sailing these calm waters is a perfect way to hop from city to city, which are manageable distances from one another.

Like other seasonal spots, sailing peaks in the summer when temperatures are warmest and waters are calm. In between days on the water, you can check out some of the world’s top five-star hotels, restaurants, and famous beaches. 

Set Sail to Your First Destination

Sailing is a lifelong passion you can spark with a few hours of instruction. But one of the critical parts of growing your skills is gaining experience in the right places. These five spots fit the bill perfectly. With options for all tastes and budgets, it’s hard to go wrong setting sail in any of these top choices. 

Where would you like to set sail first?

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