When the Christmas lunches and New Year parties have come to an end, and we return to our office jobs and daily commutes, we often found ourselves dreaming about faraway paradises. Palm-fringed beaches, sparkling turquoise seas, endless sunshine and colorful cocktails with little umbrellas - you know, the works.

The grey, wintry January weather has got us daydreaming as well, so we've decided to put together this list about our favorite 18 places to visit in 2018 on a yacht charter - from scuba-diving paradises in Indonesia to remote Thai islands, from Mediterranean beaches to bustling metropolises, 18 destinations to chase away the winter blues and remind you that summer is just around the corner! Whether you have a day or a few weeks, we're positive you'll find something of your liking - we have thousands of boat rentals to choose from, all provided by local operators who will share their insider's knowledge with you!

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1) The Surin Islands - Thailand

The five Surin Islands are located in the Andaman Sea, about 60 km from the Thai mainland. In a country such as Thailand, where over tourism is sadly becoming a problem, the Surin Islands are one of the last unspoiled island paradises, only visited by keen divers and snorkelers. There are many reasons to visit the Surin Islands on a yacht charter - first and foremost is diving Richelieu Rock, an isolated rock 10 km from the islands, and one of the best places in Thailand to see large marine life. 
The Surin islands are part of a marine national park, offering truly phenomenal snorkeling opportunities - the coral reef is in healthy conditions and with a little bit of luck it's easy to spot large species such as whale sharks, manta rays, and Napoleon fish, as well as dozens of turtles. These islands are also home to the Moken people, sometimes called 'sea gypsies', leaving a semi-nomadic life almost entirely at sea. Getting to the Surin islands is easier than you may think - sailing from Phuket only takes a few hours, making it a perfect day yacht charter trip!
 

2) Nusa Penida - Indonesia

Tranquil Nusa Penida is the perfect antidote to bustling Bali - when you've had enough of all-night parties, sunset sessions on the beach and zipping motorbikes, this little island will welcome you with pristine nature, including excellent opportunities for diving and birdwatching, with some near-extinct species like the Balinese starling recently reintroduced on the island. 
Sailing from Bali to Nusa Penida makes for a wonderful day yacht charter trip - make sure you head to Crystal Bay, a white sand beach on the northwest corner of the island, and to the cliffs and pinnacles on the southern coast. The cliffs are very hard to reach by car or motorbike, but sailing you'll have a great vantage point!

3) Hong Kong

From remote beaches to hawker markets, neon lights and towering high-rises - Hong Kong is truly one of those places that has something for everyone, whether you're in search of nature, adventure, unforgettable culinary experiences or nightlife, or wonderful boat rental cruises led by local operators! Start your exploration from Hong Kong Island, the heart of the city and home to some of its best attractions like Victoria Harbour and The Peak. 
If you want to breathe nature without traveling too far from the city, Hong Kong is also home to great hikes like the popular Dragon's Back Ridge, a two-hour jaunt in Hong Kong's urban nature. Just what you need before sampling Hong Kong's legendary street food!


4) La Digue - Seychelles

La Digue is smallest of the three main inhabited islands in Seychelles, and it is the place to head to if you're looking for those wallpaper-perfect Seychelles landscapes of coco-de-mer palms, transparent sea and granite boulders. La Digue is fairly small and easy to explore by bicycle or ox cart - places to visit include coconut plantations and the spectacular beaches of Anse Cocos, on the South side of the island, and Anse Source D’Argent, the most famous beach in Seychelles. Renting a boat and sailing around Seychelles is a great way to explore away from the beaten track and taking in remote islands like St. Pierre, one of the best snorkeling destinations in Seychelles. 
 

5) Komodo - Indonesia

Komodo is one of those places that ticks all the boxes - it is home to the legendary Komodo dragons, the largest lizard on the planet measuring up to 3 meters length, to spectacular beaches like the world-famous Pink Beach, one of the most colorful beaches in the world, and to stunning underwater seascapes, making Komodo one of the best diving locations in Indonesia
A Komodo liveaboard is the best way to explore all there is to see beneath the waves, while enjoying luxurious surroundings between one dive and another - and our local operators will definitely know where the best action's at!


6) Monuriki - Fiji

Do you remember the island where Tom Hanks ended up in Castaway? It is tiny Monuriki (also known as Modriki - or Tom Hanks Island), a remote, uninhabited island that is a must visit on all Fiji cruises and yacht charters. The island is situated just off the coast of Viti Levu, and it is only 1.15 kilometers long, covered in forest and surrounded by a coral reef on all sides. 
Unsurprisingly, Monuriki developed into a tourist destination after the movie, but it is also an ecotourism success story - native crested iguanas and wedge-tailed shearwaters have successfully been reintroduced to the island thanks to an ongoing problem in collaboration with locals to eradicate rats from the island. 


7) Ko Samui - Thailand

Ko Samui is one of the best destinations in Thailand if you're looking for an island that offers a variety of sights, attractions, and experiences without the need to travel too far. Beaches are definitely one of the main reasons to visit Ko Samui - there are popular beaches like Chaweng and Lamai, and lesser known paradises such as Bang Por, Laem Set, and Taling Ngam. A boat rental or yacht charter is the best way to explore the island's remotest corners - our local operators will show you all the remotest coves!
Party lovers will be spoilt in Ko Samui - the island is famous for its beach parties and it's just a quick sail away from Ko Pha Ngan and its legendary full-moon parties!


8) Aeolian Islands - Sicily

The Aeolian Islands were recently included by Lonely Planet in their shortlist of the Best Regions to Visit in 2018, and after having seen them... we totally understand why! These 7 islands rising out of the turquoise Mediterranean just north of Sicily manage to hit that sweet spot between indulgence and adventure - they are home to pristine coves, black sand beaches and bubbling volcanoes like Stromboli in the island of the same name, erupting every 15 minutes and treating visitors to unforgettable sights. A yacht charter ruise from Sicily is a great way to visit them.
Another wonderful Aeolian hideaways are tiny Filicudi and Alicudi, two islands where villages are still connected by mule tracks, with great seafood and wonderful diving opportunities. 


9) The Turquoise Coast - Turkey

Now it's time to head back to Turkey! This country, firmly on travelers' bucket lists for decades, has since experienced a sharp decrease in tourist numbers - meaning that prices are rock-bottom, and you'll have beaches and bays to yourself. The Turquoise Coast in southwestern Turkey is the country's prime sailing destination, a long stretch of pristine sandy beaches and emerald coves, with Lycian ruins on the cliffs, sea caves, and great snorkeling opportunities. 
A three-night yacht charter from Fethiye to Marmaris is the best way to explore the Turquoise Coast - make sure you choose to cruise on a gulet, a traditional Turkish wooden boat that will make your time along the Turquoise Coast even more special!


10) Raja Ampat - Indonesia

This string of islands in the western fringes of the Indonesian archipelago is home to spectacular seascapes, top-class dive sites and a unique culture, more Melanesian than South-East Asian. Raja Ampat is also the ideal destination for those traveling to Indonesia in the European winter, when Bali and surrounds experience the yearly rainy season - in contrast, you'll find sunshine and clear skies in Raja Ampat
A liveaboard or boat rental is the best way to see Raja Ampat if diving is a priority - but if you don't dive, there's still lots to see and do. You can hike to the top of Pianemo to see the iconic star-shaped bay that is Raja Ampat's poster image, visit locals in Arborek or head across the Dampier Strait to see the rare bird of paradise. 


11) Bonifacio Strait - Sardinia/Corsica

The two neighbor islands of Corsica and Sardinia have a lot of things in common - spectacular beaches, world-class cuisine and lots of opportunities for adventure. However, they differ in one way - Sardinia is part of Italy, whereas Corsica belongs to France.
The Bonifacio Strait separates the two islands and it can be the destination for a yacht charter sailing adventure that takes in two countries, without having to travel too far. Northern Sardinia, especially the glitzy resorts of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo, is a great nightlife destination, whereas a little further from the coast you'll find the La Maddalena Archipelago and its famous beach known as 'Il Manto della Madonna', with pristine blue waters. On the other hand, Southern Corsica is mellow and relaxed, and the medieval citadel of Bonifacio will please all history junkies. 


12) Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Dubai is the kind of place that you can keep visiting year after year, and always find something new. This Middle Eastern city never stops - there's always something new being built, be it a luxurious hotel, a mega-mall or a super high skyscraper like Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world. 
As a popular stopover destination, Dubai is often visited for only a day or two, and first-time visitors can find the intense heat and traffic hard to bear. The solution? Opting for a Dubai charter cruise by yacht or catamaran, of course, escaping the crowds as you sail past the impressive skyline!


13) Kaafu Atoll - Maldives

Quite simply, there's nowhere on Earth that is as magical as the Maldives. The famous Indian Ocean archipelago includes all those seascapes that spell 'Paradise' to most of us - atolls with sparkling white sand, pristine sandbanks, thriving coral reefs and cobalt blue lagoons, teeming with marine life. 
Cruising the Maldives on a luxury yacht or catamaran is the best way to explore this disappearing paradise while maintaining a low ecological footprint - after all., many islands have a serious rubbish problem, whereas if you take away what you consume and dispose of it properly, the environment will thank you for sure! Kaafu Atoll is a great place to start your Maldives exploration - it's not far from the Maldivian capital Male and it has great surfing and diving.


14) Saronic Islands - Greece

The Saronic Islands are just a quick crossing away from Athens, and they have been a favorite getaway for Athenians in the know since the times of Pericles. There are 7 islands in total, offering different experiences from one another - Salamis was the site of an ancient battle, Hydra is quiet and secluded and Dokos is the tiniest of them all, with only 17 full-time inhabitants. 
Whatever you choose, sailing the Saronic Islands on a day yacht charter is the ideal way to leave the traffic and concrete of Athens behind you and enjoy the Aegean!


15) Elaphiti Islands - Croatia

Athens has the Saronic Islands, whereas Dubrovnik has the amazing Elaphiti, three secluded islands just a short sail away, where the crowds of Dubrovnik will feel like a distant memory. The largest of the three Elaphiti Islands is Sipan, famous for being home to the highest concentration of olive trees per capita in Europe, Lopud is the island to head to when looking for sandy beaches, and Kolocep has beautiful Romanesque architecture and a relaxing village atmosphere. 


16) Folegandros - Greece

Move over, Mykonos! Folegandros has been named by the New York Times as the 'most Greek of all the Cyclades'. It's only a few hours sail from Santorini, making it ideal for a day cruise, yet it feels a world away, with no crowds and motorbike traffic but the same whitewashed vistas and spellbinding sunsets found in the more famous island. Folegandros is a great place to disconnect and enjoy the slow Mediterranean lifestyle that Greece is famous for. Ah, and did I mention there's great snorkeling near Folegandros?


17) Kornati Islands - Croatia

The Kornati Islands are also known as 'Croatia's sailing paradise' - this archipelago is made up of more than 200 islands tightly packed together, making up a geological oddity that is spectacular from the air, but also allows for great sailing, with calm waters and lots of natural sights to see and explore - just rent a boat and get one of our local operators to guide you! You could get lost sailing the Kornati Islands for weeks on end, eating fresh fish at village konoba and watching the sunset from a different bay each night. 


18) Procida - Italy

Capri and Ischia have been on the international tourist radar for some time, but little Procida is still very much a destination for locals - make sure you get there before the world finds out about it! It's a perfect sailing destination from Naples, ideal for a day yacht charter, and even if there's not much of a beach to speak of, its delicious food, local charm and insta-perfect colorful houses will steal your heart away!

Looking for an unforgettable holiday?
Get in direct contact with local operators!
Receive and compare multiple offers today!

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