Have you ever sat in the cockpit with friends and started extolling the beauties of this or that bay where you had dropped anchor the previous summer? Shall we bet that each of you had your own favorite destination? This is exactly what happened in the editorial office when we came up with the “unhealthy” idea of compiling a “definitiveranking” (to put it in the American way, with their “definitive rankings”) of the must-see bays of the Mediterranean 2015, those where to drop anchor at least once in a lifetime.
We started with a list of as many as 100 anchorages, only to realize that skimming would be impossible without giving ourselves guidelines to follow. We therefore chose exclusively the coves of the Mediterranean islands, from the large Sardinia and Sicily to the tiny ones of the Dodecanese. And still selecting the twenty bays you find in this report was not at all easy. Eugene was bound to include a Croatian one, Veronica felt like a Corsican pirate, Luca has the Aeolian Islands in his heart, and I would have happily lost myself among the little Greek islands. The result (ouch what a painful choice!) can be found here. If your heart bay is missing, let us know!
20. Capo Tindari – Northern Sicily
Positioned 14 miles west of Milazzo, this cape forms toward the east a bay exposed only to the southeast and well ridged when the weather is clear and stable. You can recognize it by the silvery dome of the Shrine of the Black Madonna of Tindari that stands on its head in the NO part of the bay.
Dedicated to those who love ornithology, because here you enter the Marinello Ponds Marine Reserve, where numerous species of migratory birds find shelter.
19. Porto Kalamos – Ionian Greece
Four miles east of Meganissi, here is Kalamos, an island still wild and fascinating, full of bays. Port Kalamos is the main berth, ideal for going ashore and visiting an island still bound by tradition and not defaced by tourism. Also not to be missed, if you want to take a real plunge into the past, is the bay of Porto Leone, an ancient Venetian colony now abandoned.
Dedicated to those who seek atmospheres of other times.
18. Iles de Lérins – Mediterranean France
There are places that keep their charm intact while being just a few miles from the nightlife. As in the case of this archipelago opposite Cannes. Here you can moor in the natural channel separating the islands of Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat, with depths ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 meters. Even si summer is often very crowded, its size ensures anchorage. Cars are prohibited in Sainte Marguerite, which ensures priceless silence. The island is also home to the Maritime Museum, built at Fort Royal, a manor built by the famous caridnal Richelieu.
Dedicated to those who feel like walking in nature in the afternoon–and want to have fun in the evening.
17. Bay of Levitha – Cyclades
In the heart of the Cyclades is this tiny island that features a natural harbor along the south coast. You can moor in either the left or right inner bay, sheltered by the two natural rocky arms that encircle the inlet. Absolute peace reigns here; the caiques of daily tourists do not come all the way here. A single family lives in Levitha year-round, using a fishing boat to keep in touch with the world. In summer, of course, their farm turns into a small trattoria with home cooking.
Dedicated to those who dream of a place where time has stood still.
16. Cala di Corricella – Procida, Flegree
This wide inlet positioned immediately south of the Punta dei Monaci, is fronted by a series of rocks that protect the mooring of boats: in fact, not everyone can enter because of the shallow waters that reach a maximum of two meters. Important: If you decide to stop, spin a line on the ground.
Dedicated to those who want to discover the most pristine of the Phlegraean Islands, leaving Capri and its glamorous life behind.
15. Islet of Espalmador – Formentera, West Balearics.
Sailing from the chaotic port of Ibiza to Formentera, one reaches this islet two miles away from Punta de Ses Portes. On its SO coast is a splendid anchorage located in front of the beautiful pinkish sand beach. Watch out, as you approach, for Alga islet and the shoal that comes out for 100 meters from Gastabì islet. In summer it is definitely very crowded, although for the beauty of the place it is worth it all.
Dedicated to those who have the opportunity to sail guori season, when the island empties out.
14. Cala dello Spido – San Domino, Tremiti.
Together with Cala Matano, it is one of two coves located immediately south of Cala degli Schiavoni, along the east coast of the island of San Domino, the most scenic of the Tremiti archipelago, also rich in beaches and lush vegetation. is sheltered from the mistral and north wind, but it is not very wide: you can still bottom out a hundred meters from land in 3-12 meters of water on sand and rock.
Dedicated to those who want to discover the archipelago beloved by Lucio Dalla, one of the least touristy in the Mediterranean.
13. Poroselene Bay – Ayvalik Archipelago, Turkey.
Among the beautiful islets that make up this archipelago, opposite the town of the same name, are a large number of bays, all or most of which are characterized by lush and still wild nature. We chose that of Poroselene, which is the cove enclosed between the islands of Maden Alasi and Alibey Alasi, dominated by the ancient watchtower overlooking Poyraz. If you don’t like our advice-here you will have a choice! A few miles away is Alaçati, considered with its lively and elegant nightlife the Saint Tropez of Turkey
Dedicated to those who want to be spoiled for choice.
12. Bight of Fazzolu – Southern Corsica
A truly spectacular gully, located less than a mile from the equally spectacular Bonifacio. Partially ridged in moderate westerly winds, has a bad bottom holding if the wind strengthens. It is somewhat crowded in summer because of the tourist boats that make trips from Bonifacio. The clear water is worth a stop, however. is characterized by the presence of an islet at the entrance. Be careful, anchor at the west entrance of the bay in 4-5 meters of water, perhaps spinning a cable ashore, without trying to pass on the eastern side of the islet.
Dedicated to those who do not feel like venturing into the middle of the Mouths of Bonifacio.
11. Cala Rossa – Capraia, Tuscan Archipelago.
Take Punta Zenobito, the southern end of Capraia, as a reference: on its northeast side opens this cove, about 100 meters wide and a fascinating landing, made unique by the contrast between gray rock of volcanic origin and the bright red basalt. Be careful, however, the backdrop is bad keeper. This is also why it is considered a fair weather anchorage, if not suitable only for spending the day, aiming to shelter overnight in the harbor or in the bay in front, where there is also a safe and convenient buoy field.
Dedicated to those who want to break the crossing between Corsica and Italy, discovering an absolutely unique island.
10. Pollara Cove – Salina, Aeolian Islands
If you sail to the northwest end of the second largest island in the Aeolian Archipelago, just south of Punta Perciato you can discover this inlet with its high cliffs and a black beach. The best anchorage is in the center of the small bay, almost in front of the village of Pollara, in seven meters of water with a rocky bottom.
Dedicated to all those who were moved by watching “Il postino,” the wonderful film starring Massimo Troisi, which was filmed in Salina itself.
9. Sant’Andrea Cove – East Sicily
Let’s start right away with the notion that beautiful things are not always easy to achieve either; on the contrary. A bit like giving bottom in this cove, positioned in the semicircular stretch of coastline between the south side of Capo Sant’Andrea and the promontory of Isola Bella, beyond which lies the beautiful beach of the same name. In fact, the rocky seabed makes it complicated to drop anchor here,: the best spot is immediately north of Isola Bella, however, using a grippiale on the anchor. The spectacle is worth the effort.
Dedicated to those who do not want to be in crowded bays and seek water of exceptional transparency.
8. Sveti Klement – Croatia
Difficult, very difficult, to choose just one bay on this “sprawling” Croatian island. The island is completely covered with lush nature. Cars are not allowed to circulate here, where instead there are numerous paths that go deep into the green and allow you to relax in total harmony with the environment and animals. The bays, even hidden ones, are many and all feature crystal clear waters. The sea surrounding the island is dotted with ancient shipwrecks and is at the same time a paradise for fans of fish fauna, which is rich and colorful here.
Dedicated to those who want to be spoiled for choice in deciding which bay to drop anchor in.
7. Cala Pira – South Sardinia
How difficult to choose a bay along the southern coast of Sardinia! In the end, we agreed in the editorial staff on this small and beautiful, half-unknown cove, located south of Punta Is Cappuccinus. You will recognize it, approaching from the south, by the presence of a tower on the promontory that closes the bay to the east. The acorage is safe due to the sandy bottom good tenor with 5-8 meters depth. Beware, however, because it is open to winds from the south and east.
Dedicated to those seeking a different and little-known Sardinia.
6. Cala Macarella – Menorca, East Balearics.
Together with its twin Cala Macarelleta, it is one of the most famous beaches in Menorca. You can basically find two anchors here–for the price of one! In this bay positioned less than a mile west of Cala Galdana we in fact find two separate bays. Depending on the wind direction you can drop anchor in the cove to the north (Cala Macarella) or west (Cala Macarelleta. In both cases you will find sand and rock bottoms. Ashore, behind the beaches, you can find a bar. some caves and the ruins of a village. Dedicated to those who are always undecided about where to drop anchor.
5. Cala Fredda – Levanzo, Egadi.
Silent, wild, at the same time very close to the inhabited center of the Sicilian island, it is one of the most beautiful anchorages in the archipelago. On land a small pebble beach is almost always deserted. Trails start from here and then branch out across the entire island, which can be traveled safely on foot. For diving enthusiasts, just north of Cala Fredda is Cala Minnola, where you can find the wrecks of ancient Roman ships.
Dedicated to those who want to immerse themselves in the poetry of one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful archipelagos.
4. Bays of Alimnia – Dodecanese
Although it is close to Rhodes, the island is far from the typical routes to Rhodes itself and the other Dodecanese islands and is sparsely populated. Alimnia is completely uninhabited, despite not being very small and presenting perfect and easy mooring possibilities, in about 10 meters of water. A military road, built on an ancient trail, joins the east bay to the west bay and allows visitors to discover the remains of an ancient abandoned village, with large dry stone walls marking large cultivated areas up the hill. All now is silence, immersed in the smells and colors of the Mediterranean scrub.
Dedicated to those seeking totally unspoiled nature.
3. Cala Santa Maria – North Sardinia
Wonderful anchorage: crystal clear water and clear sandy bottom. Located on the S coast of the island, it offers good shelter from winds between W and N. A long sandy beach hems the NO side of the bay, behind which a few villas can be seen. The fine sandy beach, one of the most beautiful in the entire archipelago, is surrounded by very scenic rocks. Watch out for the two shoals at the entrance. Give bottom in 3-4 meters on sand.
Dedicated to those who want to discover the beauty of the islands of the Maddalena Archipelago.
2. Chiaia di Luna – Ponza, Pontine Islands.
One of the most famous bays in the Mediterranean, recognizable by its high whitish tufa cliffs surrounding it. You can give bottom about two hundred meters from the beach (which is very crowded in summer) in 4- meters of water on sand. The town of Ponza, then, is within walking distance
Dedicated to those who love wilderness and can, perhaps, sail out of season.
1. Bay of Saleccia – North Corsica
All right, we admit it. In the editorial staff, the battle was really bitter to choose the bays in this ranking. Imagine then to decide who to award the victory to. In the end, the mythical Saleccia, the large bay facing the Desert des Agriates, came out on top. it is true that it is an anchorage suitable only for good weather, but its crystal-clear waters are no match for tropical lagoons. The fact that the long, clear beach is only within walking distance means that it is never overcrowded.
Dedicated to those who are always homesick for the Caribbean.