10 must-see places to sail at least once around the world

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worldThere are places that remain in your heart, crystal clear bodies of water and breathtaking scenery, which you really enjoy only if you are on a boat. We have selected ten around the world where, at least once in your life, you must sail, if you have not yet been lucky enough!

1. Brittany (Atlantic France)

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Home to great oceanic navigators such as Eric Tabarly, Michel Desjoyeaux and Alain Gautier, the French peninsula competes in sailing importance with the neighboring Solent. Lovers of harsh weather (even in summer, it rarely exceeds 15-20 degrees) will be comfortable among the Breton coast. Watch out for tides, the ocean is no joke and getting beached can take a moment. Every four years the world’s largest maritime festival is held in the port city of Brest-the next edition is scheduled for July 2012. If you are in the area with a boat, join the festivities: 2,000 boats, many of them vintage, from 25 different countries. Brittany also has much to offer gastronomically: seafood first and foremost (they call it coquillage), but also excellent meats and a butter to tears. Learn about the best rental offerings.

2. Bora Bora (Polynesia-Pacific Ocean)

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Bora Bora, Tahiti, Papeete, need no introduction. In 1969 Bernard Moitessier, the poet of sailing, abandoned the Golden Globe Race (the solo round-the-world race) despite being in the lead to set course for Polynesia, “to save his soul.” The feat is recounted in his most famous book, “The Long Route.” Progress has come to the Society Islands, the cost of living is sky high, and the cities have traffic similar to European metropolises: but they continue to be a paradise. Learn about the best rental offerings.

3. Grenadines (Caribbean)

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The 600 islands that make up the archipelago are very close to each other, but each constitutes a micro-state of its own. They are ideal for a leisurely Caribbean cruise. On Bequia, the northernmost island just below Saint Vincent, you will find all types of sailors, from the professional to the lucky neophyte or the old hippy sailor. Mandatory stop at the five islets of Tobago Cays: a coral reef like this has never been seen. Director Gore Verbinski chose them as locations for his “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series. Learn about the best rental offerings.

4. Hamilton Island (Pacific Ocean)

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It is part of the wild Whitsundays Archipelago, a group of islands facing the Pacific Ocean in front of Queensland, and is one of the best-known starting points for cruises that wind through Australia’s most beautiful sea. Indeed, it is here that a large coral reef stretches out, making the waters and beaches magical and fascinating. Is also one of Australia’s sailing havens. Learn about the best rental offerings.

5. Isle of Wight (southern England)

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Here, in 1851, the British Royal Yacht Squadron challenged the New York Yacht Club: at that time it was called the Hundred Guineas Cup, but since the Americans won aboard the schooner America (the British raced on Aurora), starting with the second edition in 1870, it was preferred to change the name to America’s Cup. The channel the island forms with the English coast is the celebrated Solent, the starting point for regattas such as the Admiral’s Cup and the Whitbread. Cowes, on the north coast of the island, is the historic home of British sailing. Learn about the best rental offerings.

6. British Virgin Islands (Caribbean Sea).

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It is no coincidence that any self-respecting sailor would like to set his or her bow on the Virgin Islands, east of Puerto Rico. When Columbus discovered them in 1493, he decided to name them after the 11,000 virgins of St. Ursula, but today the name takes on a special meaning because it is nature that has remained virgin: stunning water, beautiful bays, and “Treasure Island”-style scenery (tradition has it that Stevenson was inspired by Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands when writing the novel) make the 93 islets (split between American and British) unique. Learn about the best rental offerings.

7. Palawan (Indian Ocean)

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We are in the western part of the Philippines, in Asia, and it is here that we reach the Palawan Archipelago, consisting of nearly 2,000 islands. A mix of white, sandy beaches, lush green forests, brown rocks and emerald waters, it is imperatively explored by boat by setting sail from the largest island, which gives the archipelago its name, where boat rental agencies are located. Not to be missed are the beaches of the Bacuit Atolls, east of Puerto Princesa. Learn about the best rental offerings.

8. Valdés Peninsula (Argentina-Atlantic Ocean).

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It’s not every day that you get to skirt southern Argentina by boat, but if by chance you find yourself involved in some alternative cruising (perhaps using one of the charter services offered), the Valdés Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places. You may encounter seals, orcas, whales, and even the Antarctic pigeon while sailing! Learn about the best rental offerings.

9. Reunion (Indian Ocean)

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East of Madagascar and a hundred miles from Mauritius, Réunion has been spared mass tourism-if you want to dive into the unseasonably warm weather, Réunion is for you. Some 35 kilometers of enchanting beaches and wild lagoons formed by coral reefs make the volcanic island a recreational paradise. Learn about the best rental offerings.

10. Saint Barth (Caribbean)

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The island is a real jewel in the French Antilles. The capital, Gustavia, is a bit like the Porto Cervo of the Caribbean: throughout the island there are 14 beaches in front of which you can anchor (the waters are shallow, and especially in the southern area they are well sheltered). Why not participate in Les Voiles de Saint Barth (in April), which has now qualified as a major international regatta? Learn about the best rental offerings.

Discover the top ten Italian destinations

Discover the top ten Mediterranean destinations

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