With varied coastlines boasting everything from celtic fishing villages to St Tropez glamour, canal and river networks winding through countryside vineyards, and beautiful lakes perfect for water sports, France by boat is an unforgettable experience.
From Hyères, it’s also possible to take a trip to Iles d'Hyères, three unspoilt islands off the coast. The largest, Porquerolles, has rocky cliffs and botanic trails waiting to be explored, as well as unspoilt beaches. The waters around the island are extremely clear and make for great snorkelling, though be sure to return to the village for a traditional local aperitif. The nearby Port Cros is a protected national park and home to a vast array of marine life where it’s possible to dive, getting up close with octopi and moral eels. Also on the French Riviera, Marseilles has a thriving port and numerous marinas that are extremely popular with yachters. As France’s second largest city and the European Capital of Culture 2013, Marseilles has an excellent arts scene. There is a famous opera house and many theatres, as well as La Friche cultural complex, home to many international artists in residence.
There are also plenty of boating opportunities inland. In the Burgundy and Loire valleys, canals and rivers wind through wine country. These areas are ideal to explore by houseboat on a peaceful holiday that combines charming vineyards, historic villages, and plenty of opportunities for delicious tastings. In the Alps, Lake Bourget is extremely popular with sailors due to the surrounding micro-climate. With water temperatures of 20–25º and a huge variety of fish sheltered in the lake, visitors flock during the summer to enjoy scuba diving, sailing, and wind-surfing. France also owns territory in the tropical waters of the Caribbean. In the Lesser Antilles, it's possible to charter a yacht from Pointe a Pitre on the island of Guadeloupe or from Le Marin on the island of Mantique.
Grab your snorkels, sun hats and friends to get ready for the boat trip of a lifetime in France. Yachtico.com has provided 3 sailing itineraries for locations throughout France to help give you ideas on where to go on your next sailing holiday
The climate in France varies between the different regions, from the snowy mountains to the dry heat of the Mediterranean. However, in general the country enjoys a temperate climate with warm summers and cool winters. During summer in Marseille, temperatures regularly reach over 30º and the beaches of the Riviera pack out with eager sun-seekers. In the north, Brittany enjoys slightly cooler days, tempered by the fresh sea breezes. Spring and autumn are cooler and rain can be expected, particularly in the north. In winter, snow and frost are possible, particularly when cold winds are blowing in from the east.