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Old 30-12-2019, 09:33   #1
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Med Sailing plans

I have been a member of CF for several years while preparing for our dream. The Forums here have been immensely instructive and helpful in preparing for our next step in our sailing lives.

My wife and I have been fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new Outremer 51 that we take deliver in early July. We plan to stay close to the Factory during the break and break-in period with a target time frame of heading east from the Factory in the South of France in mid-August.

We will cruise from there to either Turkey, Montenegro or? and store it from November to March, staying on the boat some and traveling and also coming home to Los Angles. (We plan to obtain French 1 year Visas)

We would ask for your suggestions given that time frame of 'must see' places on our way to Turkey/Montenegro. In our second season we plan to go North to Croatia, then to Greece, Italy, Sardinia, Corsica then on to Gibraltar to catch the 2020 ARC to the Caribbean.

We desire to avoid Marinas and Tourist spots and prefer anchoring and exploring small towns and unique places. I have told my wife we have only so many 'participant' years left and the rest are 'spectator' years, and we can to Tourist places then.

We appreciate any and all input and hope to see some of you over there!
Happy New Year!
Steve and Denise,
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Old 30-12-2019, 11:06   #2
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Re: Med Sailing plans

Congratulations! I am sure you will enjoy cruising in the Med.

(I am assuming you plan on joining the 2022 ARC to the Caribbean, not the 2020.)

First of all, I have to say two season to cruise the whole Med is probably not enough time. You might consider spending more seasons of just focusing on the western Med. Getting to Turkey, or even Montenegro from the south of France in a season, in a new boat, may be ambitious. The season is fairly short here and even November could be challenging weather-wise.

I haven't cruised in the south of France but I understand the Hyères are very nice.

After that Corsica and Sardinia are certainly must-see places, particularly Bonifacio and the archipelagos in between the two islands.

Sicily and the Aeolians have few well protected anchorages but are certainly well visiting, particularly Palermo and Syracuse.

After Sicily you will need to decide if you want to explore the Adriatic or move on to the Aegean. I haven't cruised in the Aegean but can certainly recommend Croatia. It any case Ionian Greece could be a good option to winter the boat.

You could catch the Balearics on your way out to Gibraltar.

For high-level planning I like to use this site to choose places to visit: The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

For more details you might consider the Imray pilots, but you will need several of these given the scope of your planned trip!
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Old 30-12-2019, 13:15   #3
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Re: Med Sailing plans

Congratulations, you're getting good suggestions already; though when you leave La Grande Motte, I'd suggest you initially go SE rather than east, as even a catamaran'll go aground if you don't.
I chose the road less travelled, now where the hell am I?
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Old 31-12-2019, 03:58   #4
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Re: Med Sailing plans

We're at the Canaries right now and spent 5 years in the Med. It's getting crowded in there , but then the circumstances are close to perfect .
If I were you I would not limit my stay to one year because there are so many nice destinations in the Med .

A serious recommendation from my part , get to the winter marine in the south of Sicily , Marina di Ragusa , we had 4 winters there and loved it like heaven . Nearby cheap Ryanair airports like Comiso and Catania can get you anywhere .
More than 50% of the winter residents are English speaking , UK , US , AUS , NZ , you'll feel right at home . Office staff has good English also .
From MdR you have an array of destinations at hand , thumbs up for Malta & Gozo in the backyard , the Eolians islands , a must see but not in July or August , the Egadi islands , some good anchorages but not that interesting .
Lampedusa in the south with Tunisia in reach .
Remember , you'll be in Tuna territory all the way up to Sardinia , get the BBQ ready .

Eastward there is Corfu , Greece ( outstanding but mind the charters ) , the Cyclades around the corner ( also outstanding but mind the charters and the Meltemi wind ,so infact off limits halfway June to Halfway September ) , Crete is nice , and for sure check out Athene's Acropolis and incredible museum . I think we loved Greece the best , but so did many and now they have a not so cheap cruising tax . So do inform yourself .

Never done Croatia , but in MdR some permanent residents/liveaboards we know can tell you all about that .
Turkey was too far away for us

My advise in a nutshell .
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:52   #5
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Re: Med Sailing plans

Great replies so far - and thank you to all for answering.
Xlantic - and bobs, with your input we are reconsidering and will leave our options open to do a 3rd year in the Med - but after that we would like to get the boat home to enjoy here with friends and family (after the Carib of course). We are also thinking of wintering in Greece and perhaps obtain a one year Visa since we would like to cruise without worrying about days in EU.

We are looking up all of your suggestions in the Cruising Guides and we really appreciate your input.
Happy New Year
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:51   #6
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Re: Med Sailing plans

Hello Relentless,

If you do the Med and miss the east of Greece and Turkey, it would be pitty.. For wintering, if you have no work to be done on the boat, Greece would be a bit cheaper than Turkey, otherwise, Marmaris is the way to go. We have a O 51 that we are looking after for 3-4 years in our marina and will be glad to see you if you happen to come to Turkey.
We have done a lot of after factory fit on this Outremer and know the boat quite well.

The winds in the MEd are unpredictable but they are more westerlies than easterlies in the spring. I would directly head towards Greece with couple of stops, spend the summer in Greece and Turkey, winter in Greece or Turkey than slowly head west again in next spring touching the spots that you skped when going to east. My favorite spots from east to west are: Rhodes, Crete (from east to west Agio Nicalau- Rethimno and Chanio are awesome. Skip Iraklio which is a terrible place), Ionanian part of Greece, Montenegro , Malta, west tip of Sicily, Carloforte in Sardinia (Cagliari is a waste of time..) Alicante and Malaga.
If you want to make some sight seeing, go to Catania east of Sicilly, rent a car to go to Etna vulcano. For visiting Granada in Spain, go to Motrul where there is a small, safe and cheap marina. You can rent a car and drive to Granada in about an hour.

If you have time, you can add Croatia as well but keep in mind that it will be overcrowded in July-August, very little or no wind and pretty expensive but awfull land scape..

Hope this helps, good luck..

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Old 06-01-2020, 02:48   #7
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Re: Med Sailing plans

Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
west tip of Sicily, Carloforte in Sardinia (Cagliari is a waste of time..) Yeloya
Agreed Cagliari is a dump. However, the other option for Sardinia is the islands around La Maddalena in the north. Think they have made it some sort of national park a few years back.
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