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If you’re considering an active and exhilarating vacation in the near future then yacht charters may just be what you’re after. The chance to sail under the hawk-eyed diligence of a professional skipper or to bareboat charter your own craft and develop your skills, often presents an extremely enjoyable alternative to ‘yet another’ beach resort break.

Below are some awesome examples of where you can rent a yacht and from the Olympic sites of the UK to more exotic locations, further afield, you may begin to wonder why you’ve never thought about bareboat charter vacations before.

Isle of Wight, UK

Renowned the world over for the prestigious Cowes week regatta, the Isle of Wight is the home of UK yachting. The whole island is dotted with hidden coves and sandy beaches and towns like Shanklin, Newport and Ryde, make the IOW irresistible to sailors and landlubbers alike. If you’re looking for safe moorings then the marina in Cowes is unsurpassable and land-based activities, such as trips to Osborne House, maritime museums and a nine-hole golf course, make the island an ideal location for rich and varied yacht charter itineraries.

San Francisco, North America

Imagine cruising under the jaw-dropping Golden Gate Bridge just as the sun sets or participating in a local regatta that will pit your crew against some of the west coast’s finest sailors. Sailing and San Fran go together like syrup and pancakes. Aside from those all-important Pacific blues you’ll soon discover a whole plethora of famous landmarks and neighborhoods that present infinite options whilst ashore. From Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz to more than 200 well-kept parks and gardens, there’s so much to tempt you from the ocean that you may have to consider taking another week to fit it all in.

Bodrum, Turkey

Ancient ruins, buzzing nightlife and outstanding sailing, the historic town of Bodrum offers an eclectic blend of recreational and cultural delights to enthral even the gnarliest of sailors. This is your chance to make the most of remote, clear-water anchorages as you enjoy the warm breeze of the Mediterranean. Thanks to Turkey’s location, next to Greece, a two-centre sailing tour is easily achievable and comparing the islands, beaches and food of two of Europe’s classic civilisations is an awesome option for experienced crews and newbies alike.

Phuket, Thailand

Regarded as one of Thailand’s most contemporary yachting locations, Phuket, in the southwest of the country, is all about the white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees. Of course, the sailing’s not bad either and from tranquil waters framed by gigantic limestone rocks to sheltered inlets which are perfect for learning how to sail, Phuket is an excellent exotic option for yacht charters. Thanks to the gorgeous climate, southern Thailand is also a great choice for winter sailing tours and if you’re tired of the cold winds and rough seas back home then remember that you’re never far away from Thailand’s exotic warmth.

Port Solent, UK

If you’re interested in British naval heritage then a trip to Portsmouth, Hampshire, will undoubtedly fulfil all of your wildest dreams. The home of the Royal Navy is also the final resting place of Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory that was commissioned for the Battle of Trafalgar. Aside from the historic dockyards you’ll find Porchester Castle, Gunwharf Keys and the contemporary design of the Spinniker Tower as well as excellent mooring facilities inside the lock at Port Solent. Opportunities for sailing are superb and from navigating the Needles, to open water racing, challenges and sea-air can be enjoyed in bucket loads.

Biog: Chris has experienced all of the locations above and has to commit to Thailand as the best of the bunch purely based on sticky rice and coconut lassies.