Returned from the Med to Holland
summer 2017. Looked in to the possibilities to go via the Canals but as my boat
draws 2.15 it seemed not a feasible option.
Sailed the Bay of Biscay with my children
an had great fun.
My opinion is that if you take the time and patience to wait for a good weather
window the Bay of Biscay is fun. T It took us 3 days to sail from Coruna to Plymout, but we had a good breeze on our tail. Planning this trip I found a lot of literature going south but less on going north as we did.
I think a lot of the bad reputation of the Bay of Biscay dates from times when the weather
predictions for the next 72h were unreliable, Nowadays the predictions for the next 72h are reliable and if you have patience during summer you will find numerous windows to go south.
Our biggest problem was not the Bay but heading north along the Portuguese coast. The dominant wind
direction is from the north and there is a constant current
of about 0.5kn going south. Of course going in your direction that is favorable. We found the Portuguese very friendly and the restaurants and bars very cheap
Also the route
along the Algarve and the coast of Spain
was great fun. In my opinion in both directions. Be sure not to hurry, if the weather is not ok rent a car and explore this coast.
Be aware that the Med is a large sea, much larger than the Northsea or the Channel. Exploring the Western part as we did takes a lot of time and it is a large trip in itself to go through Messina strait to the Eastern part. In the western parts
the towns are great-Valencia-Barcelona-Cadaques-Colioure-Marseille-Toulon etc. We stayed away from the riviera because of the costs. Also the islands are an adventure-the Baleares(Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca)-Isles de Hyeres- Corsica
must not be missed.
Can't give you more information on the eastern part than the enthusiast stories from other sailors.
And after you are satisfied that you have experienced the Med go back through the canals via Paris. With your boat
that cannot present a problem. Don't worry about sailing permits, as long as you are on a foreign boat you will not be troubled. Of course you need the Carnet. Maybe the biggest problem in a few years in going back is the Brexit, you will need to clear in and out and maybe we will raise the Carnet costs of the passage
for the British after Boris Johnson insulted the rest of Europe
. But who knows, my advise is don't worry en enjoy the Med.