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Sailing in Spain: The Best Places to Sail in Spain on Vacation

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With a hugely diverse coastline that stretches on for over 5,000 miles, charming white-washed fishing villages full of friendly locals and modern, stylish marinas with chic cocktail lounges and cool shopping malls, sailing in Spain is a fantastic alternative to a traditional accommodation and flight package vacation.

The best places for sailing in Spain

The Canary Islands

Known as the Hawaii of Europe, the Canary Islands have an alluring, rugged coastline with dark, almost black sand and impressive, towering cliffs created by the volcanic eruptions which originally formed the islands. The glistening surrounding waters, especially those to the south of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, are teeming with bottlenose dolphins. But you’ll have the chance of spotting all kinds of marine life, from pilot whales to leatherback turtles, wherever you sail in the archipelago. A well-balanced mix of purpose-built coastal resorts bursting with everything you could ever need and off-the-beaten-track bays that hardly anyone visits make these islands the perfect destination for anyone sailing in Spain.

The Balearic Islands

With crystal-clear turquoise waters, hidden caves only accessible by boat and beaches so perfect you’ll think you’re looking at a postcard, it’s almost as if the Balearic Islands were made for sailing in Spain. By day you can head inland to explore the forest-clad Serra de Tramuntana and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Old Town Ibiza then at night head back to the water for a cool, secluded swim and to see the incredible fluorescent plankton phenomenon that lights up the sea. Because you’re not restricted by land, you can find the perfect spot out to sea to sip a glass of Spanish cava while watching the Balearics’ infamous sunsets.

The Costa Brava

Tucked into the north-east corner of Spain, in between France and Barcelona, the Costa Brava is a wonderful place for sailing in Spain during the summer months. When the mainland is suffering through sweltering temperatures of up to 110°F, you can soak up the rays on deck and enjoy the gentle breeze that blows over the Mediterranean Sea. The shoreline is dominated by golden, rocky cliffs, speckled with patches of thick, green forest and the occasional ancient ruin that once protected Spain from invasions. You’ll also discover plenty of calm and tranquil coves where you can safely take a dip, as well as huge celebrity summer homes nestled into the cliff faces.

Costa Tropical

One of the most diverse coastal areas in Spain, the Costa Tropical lies on the southern coast of the mainland around Granada. The landscape and climate are so varied here that you can literally go skiing in the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range in the morning then head to the beach in the afternoon for some swimming and sunbathing without traveling more than 20 miles! Other highlights of the area include the iconic Alhambra in Granada, the unspoiled historical region of Alpujarras and family-run vineyards where you can sample locally-produced wines.

Sailing in Spain is a wonderful way to explore the region’s beautiful coastline and seaside towns without spending all your vacation behind the wheel. And since you don’t need to budget for transport or accommodation, a trip like this could actually save you money while opening up doors to new experiences you’ve simply got to try.

Which of these destinations is on your must-visit list?