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-   -   Wintering in the Med (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f17/wintering-in-the-med-132433.html)

lorenzoSF 08-09-2014 16:44

Wintering in the Med
 
Hi All,

We are a couple with a 3 year old and will start cruising in the Med in October. We have very limited experience as cruisers and plan to start slowly and learn as we go. Therefore our first question is: where do we go?

In particular what area of the Mediterranean offers the warmest wheather and calmest seas in the winter? Is it feasible to move around in the winter or do most people stay put in a marina December to March?
What I seem to find on the internet for January temperature is average max 16C and average min 8C. This sounds like freezing cold to me, certainly requiring heating.

In case the answer is a marina, then we would be looking for the following features, in order of priority:
1) Warm and pleasant weather
2) English speaking community nearby or many cruisers living aboard (this is because I am Italian, my wife Japanese and we want to bring up the little one with English as well, so we would like to avoid adding a 4th language just yet)
3) Ideally other cruising kids wintering there

Thanks
Lorenzo

Cavalier 08-09-2014 16:54

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Turkey is very popular with cruisers over the winter, especially for non-EU souls as they can use the opportunity to reset their 12/18 month EU transit allowance.

Southern Sardinia is also a good spot, as is Malta. I that respect there are many.

It may be of use to create a poll of places to see where cruisers with children are wintering based on 4 of the main locations.

Cavalier 08-09-2014 16:55

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Oh.. and welcome to CF!

jckb 09-09-2014 00:23

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1623827)
In case the answer is a marina, then we would be looking for the following features, in order of priority:
1) Warm and pleasant weather
2) English speaking community nearby or many cruisers living aboard (this is because I am Italian, my wife Japanese and we want to bring up the little one with English as well, so we would like to avoid adding a 4th language just yet)
3) Ideally other cruising kids wintering there

Warm/sunny places:

Almeria, S Spain (in the weather shadow of the Sierra Nevada, plenty of live-aboards)
Tunisia, Djerba (It's a winter sun holiday resort, but not many boats winter there!)
Crete, Agios Nikolaos (nice group of live-aboards)
Cyprus - if you can find space

But there are many more options, as long as you stay in the more southern locations. Delightful towns for wintering are Cartagena and Cagliari, while Ragusa, in Sicily, is also a popular live aboard spot.

Not many places with lots of children around . . . with the possible exception of Lagos, Portugal, which has a big ex-pat british community in addition to a lot of sailors.

Does your wife have an EU passport? And if not, the right to live in an EU country? Without that, Schengen visa limitations may limit your options.

For descriptions of those places, and links to web sites, and descriptions which help you decide where and when to cruise in the Mediterranean, start with The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

JimB

monte 09-09-2014 00:38

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Jims advice is good, check out his web page as well for tons of relevant info.
The main question is where will you and the yacht be in October? The med is a big sea and October isn't the best time to be undertaking long passages. If it's in the East, Turkey or Greece or Sicily are good options. Turkey has a slightly longer summer and no schengen problems. In the west, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar or Africa. Gib and Africa no problems with schengen.

lorenzoSF 09-09-2014 01:07

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Thanks a lot for the first few answers, let me add some comments:

- Shengen problems: my wife has a french resident permit covering this winter and I think I can get another one later on based on the fact that she is married with an european. So feel free to includ shengen countries in your recommendations. Jim thanks for the links, very interesting.

- We will be leaving from the Venice area around mid October, so we are more or less in the middle of the med. Just looking for advice on turning right or left at the bottom of the adriatic :biggrin:

Question:

- you guys talk about warm/sunny places, but how warm are they? Can we expect to live comfortably outdoors or stuck inside the boat with heating on (considering we are very wimpy when it comes to cold weather).

- Monte, you talk about avoiding long passages, this relates to my question about cruising in winter. Do most people stay put for 3-4 months or is it possible to sail and visit other areas during the winter? In other words in the places mentioned do we get reasonable stretches of good weather for passages (including wind and swells)?

jckb 09-09-2014 01:29

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
You'll have plenty of good weather windows allowing a safe couple of days to sail to the next safe harbour over winter. But when there is unsettled weather around, typhoons associated with big cells of thunderstorms are vicious and dangerous.

When big low pressure zones travel through the Med, F8/9 for a period of 3 or 4 days will occur a few times over the winter, including periods of southerly winds. Many marinas are then exposed to some surge.

In the southern parts of the Med, sea temperatures don't go below 16c to 18c, and on coastlines, day air temperatures will usually match the local sea temperature. But there will be some periods when air temperatures drop over night to near freezing for 2 or 3 days. If lemon trees don't grow locally, frosts are more frequent!

So you will need warm clothes, and when it's raining, you'll wish for some heating on board. In Kalamata one winter, we used a small electric fan heater. Wintering on smaller islands is warmer - temperatures keep closer to the sea temperatures.

JimB

atoll 09-09-2014 02:57

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
my choices! that late in the season,though hurghada egypt would allow plenty of opurtunities to explore the many reef anchorages nearby, it never really gets cold,and little to no rain.

hurghada town is right on your doorstep with all modern facilities,ie medical,mechanicalsupermarkets etc


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Hurghada Marina

monte 09-09-2014 03:40

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I'd get to Greece ASAP. First option would be proveza. Possibly go through Corinth canal to turkey, or head to Sicily. Tunisia is an option as well. Personally I would pick turkey although you will find it a bit pricier than Greece. You will still have swimming weather in Greece October. Croatia will be starting to cool down and more chance of boras and thunderstorms so I'd be heading south in every weather opportunity.

boatman61 09-09-2014 04:16

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Go to S Sicily.. or Almerimar...
The first gives you the whole S coast (tons of space) and Tunisia just 24hrs away..
The second gives you the Costa's all the way to Gib... across to Melilla.. and its cheap.:thumb:

Katiusha 09-09-2014 04:44

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I'd suggest posting the same question to kids4sail facebook group - most cruising families are on it and there've been several threads re: wintering in The Med recently for this coming winter.

lorenzoSF 09-09-2014 12:09

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Thanks to all for your suggestions!
Katiusha, I have asked the question and partecipated in the conversations on Kids4Sail. It looks like that are a few kids boats planning to go to Cartagena, so that is one of our most likely options at the moment.

A couple of follow-up questions:
- South of Spain: any place with an english kindergarten by any chance?
- Hurgada: how easy/quick/cheap is it to go through Suez? Do we need to plan ahead and get in line for weeks?
- I got the feeling from other threads that the Greece-Turkey area tends to have worst winter weather/seas than Spain. Is that correct?

atoll 09-09-2014 13:01

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1624417)
Thanks to all for your suggestions!
Katiusha, I have asked the question and partecipated in the conversations on Kids4Sail. It looks like that are a few kids boats planning to go to Cartagena, so that is one of our most likely options at the moment.

A couple of follow-up questions:
- South of Spain: any place with an english kindergarten by any chance?
- Hurgada: how easy/quick/cheap is it to go through Suez? Do we need to plan ahead and get in line for weeks?
- I got the feeling from other threads that the Greece-Turkey area tends to have worst winter weather/seas than Spain. Is that correct?

normally the most you would wait is 2 days in Port Said to transit,the first day checking in,getting visas etc,and the second day getting measured.

the transit takes 2 days,unless you can do 8 knots or more,so most boats anchor overnight in ishmalia,which is a very nice town with a nice yacht club,where if you have egyptian visas you can break the transit,we stopped there for a week on one of our many red sea trips.

cost of the transit is roughly us$500 for a 40 ft yacht,and if returning inside of 6 months the return canal fee is free.

if stopping in hurghada you will also have to buy a cruising permit which is $120 and valid for a year.

now the best bit! hurghada marina has a set fee of $200 a month for visiting yachts up to 16 meters.

so even after paying the canal fee,cruising permit,visa's and 6 months mooring it still works out way cheaper than 6 months in any marina in the med.

beer,wine and spirits are available at gov licenced liquor shops in hurghada,and most resturants.

fuel if bought in jerry cans from the local garage is 20 cents a liter.

fresh fruit and veg is very cheap and good quality,as is fresh beef,lamb,chicken.
(pork is not available,but beef bacon is readily available in the supermarkets)

we traveled through there twice with our kids when our boy was 3years old and girl 6,and again 3 years later,all i can say is egyptians love kids,my wife quite often got invited back by egyptian women to their homes for tea and cakes and kiddie playtime!

donradcliffe 09-09-2014 13:24

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I wintered in Vibo Marina, and loved the place. There were some cold rainy days, but we went for lots of walks and the high school English teachers remain good friends.

Its too rough to sail around the Med between December and March.

Hurgada would have better weather, but its a bit strange--you are in a gated and guarded compound.

atoll 09-09-2014 13:34

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 1624456)
I wintered in Vibo Marina, and loved the place. There were some cold rainy days, but we went for lots of walks and the high school English teachers remain good friends.

Its too rough to sail around the Med between December and March.

Hurgada would have better weather, but its a bit strange--you are in a gated and guarded compound.

not so much different from cartagena then!

last week when i was in cartagena found the security to be very good in the "Gated" marina compound with regular patrols by armed Guardia Civil along the perimiter every half hour or so


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