Hi - we're a UK flagged vessel and have been cruising the western Med since 2006 (tho not this year, so our info is to 2010.)
It depends what you want in your winter base as people have said. We had a v pleasant winter based afloat in Rome, with time spent there and in England
. it wasn't cheap
- but if you compared it to several weeks paying for accommodation there and getting to know that city, it was great value! So - will you be aboard? Do you want a live-aboard community where you are? Are you anticipating work on your boat needing outside assistance? What do you enjoy - eg sight-seeing?
The advice about Navy Service
in the Golfe de Fos is absolutely correct: it is almost certainly the cheapest place in the Western Med, and the local town (Port St Louis) is well set up to cater to cruisers. (it is also the main exit area from the French canal system.) There is another marina with both afloat and ashore storage
nearby, called Port Napoleon, which if you reckon to spend time aboard, is a bit dearer, still has mossies but is a bit more salubrious.
Gauvins also gave good advice. Cagliari is excellent. A lot of people have reported favourably on Marina de Ragusa in Southern Sicily
, though it is a place to stay or leave, as it is a trek to an airport
is worth exploring, though not nearly as cheap
as it once was, as it is very easy to get to. There is good storage
afloat or ashore, and if you need substantial work done it can help that so much English
On the Atlantic coast, then it would be worth looking at Cascais, at the mouth of the Lisbon river, or indeed the Doca's further up river in the city. (Fewer cruisers, closer to sights, certainly cheaper from August on). Or try Portimao (already mentioned, popular with cruisers with kids), Lagos (lots of Brits), the hook at Alvor (t'other end of the spectrum), on the hook upriver at Alcotim, on the hook upriver outside Seville (our favourite), in the marina at Rota (much more pleasant than Cadiz marine
itself), or the new Spanish marina at La Linnea (more sociable and cheaper than Gib, but in Spain).
We had a fab time in Morocco
in 2007. We think Smir however is rather isolated and expensive (it's really European prices). If you were happy to leave the boat afloat, you could look at Tanger, where the security
is excellent and transport connections also good. Alternatively, consider Mellilla,. the eastern Spanish enclave inside Nabor. Ludicrously cheap, afloat only, several liveaboards, but transport connections dire.
We haven't got to Turkey
yet, as we found so much lovely cruising and places to see in the western med. I'm sure it is cheaper there, but you will dash past some of the most exciting places to visit.
HTH and enjoy the exploring.