France offers some of the most beautiful sailing areas. Having over 3000 km of different coastline between two different bodies of water, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Choosing a sailing cruise to have in France might be difficult.
Skippering and chartering your boat, you can join an experienced crew to brave the imposing seas, or embark on a gentle voyage across the French waters where professional crewmembers provide their skills. Usually, tour operators organize the latter if you cannot manage to take on the waters yourself. Whether it is the French Riviera, Mediterranean, or Brittany, sailing adventures in France will largely give you joy.
Here Are Some Of The Day Sailing Cruises in France:
Marseille to Saint-Mandrier-Sur-Mer
Marseille to Saint-Mandrier-Sur-Mer forms part of the scintillating experience on the exciting Cote d’Azur sailing. Eventful and educative, it is one of the perfect day sailing experiences in France. Given that it is a popular route, ensure you book with your tour operator before the day to visit. And when you do, arrive at least ten minutes before the boat leaves.
The size of the group will determine if participants will take a minibus or private vehicle from Marseille to Saint-Mandrier-Sur-Mer. However, the skipper is expected to meet everyone at the marina for more information and the allocation of cabins. If you have any special dietary attention, ensure to notify the operators while booking.
Some operators provide additional accommodation if participants intend to arrive earlier and enjoy the views of Marseille. In the case that you are one of them, do not forget to try the bouillabaisse, a tasty local fish stew.
Cote d’Azur (French Riviera)
Depending on where you set off, the Cote d’Azur is an excellent area for a day sailing experience. The Iles d’Hyeres archipelago, also referred to as the Island of Gold, is a brilliant place to start. It has retained its natural charm and beauty that is insulated from tourism. This group of islands os lush in woodlands, phenomenal beaches, and Roman history.
Porquerolles is the largest of the islands, and you can hire a bike to explore the inland if you want. Alternatively, you can relax on the island’s beaches or savor the splendid ocean views on the south coast.
For a unique island experience, you can watch locals play the petanque as you slurp down a pastis in the island’s Place d’Armes. In your day sailing adventure, you can also stop at the Port-Cros, the smallest of the islands. It used to be the home of monks, artists, soldiers, and pirates centuries ago.
Port-Cros has a neat environment where no cars are allowed. Meander along walking trails that lead to untouched pine forests. You can even snorkel in the clear waters if you want. Bormes-Les-Mimosas is also another village worth seeing for its history and stunning sites. On a calm afternoon, you can visit any of its white sand beaches are located along the coastline.
A St Tropez sailing experience is one of the finest encounters you will have in southern France. The city is a charming spot in the summer for the rich and famous. Its coastlines are incredibly beautiful, as you must have heard from guide books or seen on YouTube.
After seeing the waterfronts, you can visit the La Ponche or wind down in Place des Lices. See the 1600s Citadelle de St Tropez for some history lessons with nice views too. And you can further relax in an upscale beach bar on the chic Plage de Pampelonne. The beaches in the area all have amenities like change rooms and toilets. There are also sun lounges for hire. For the brash and bold, they can head to one of St Tropez’s nudist beaches for some fun. But you must dress up even if its shorts and sandals you have on.
Iles de Lerins
A day sail in Cannes, Iles de Lerins, especially, is an incredible time on the sea. Off the coast of Cannes, Iles de Lerins is made up of four islands. St Honorat is an island that has been occupied by monks for centuries. Take a break at La Tonnelle, a restaurant managed by monks who offer wine made from their vineyards.
There is a chance to discover Ille St Marguerite and a small museum. Then you can sail to the glamorous city of Cannes, a clean hotbed for the rich and home to the popular film festival. Or you can just have a tour to the Massif de l’Esterel and either stroll or ride through the woods to the peak. After the visit, you can eat along the Rue Saint-Antoine in one of the restaurants located at Le Suquet.
Sightseeing Sail from Nice
In this brief adventure, you can see the delightful scenery along the Mediterranean coast. Often times, the vessel leaves from the Port of Nice, and the tour leaves in the Baie des Anges. Navigate around the Cap de Nice to behold the massive Citadelle and the many hamlets that mark the craggy landscape.
There is the wonderful Promenade des Anglais along the beach in the city of Nice. While you savor the magnificent views, you can hear the commentary in English about the French Riviera’s history.
Glow in the radiant Mediterranean sun while you move down the coast of the region. On-board, hear educative commentary about the area as you look at the small villages that sit on hillsides that look over the sea. You can also see the landscape rise from the beaches via hills and high into the mountains. The villas with their stately sea views are definitely something to love.
The vessel is also expected to cruise around the Cap de Nice and through the Rade de Villefranche-sur-Mer. Reach the shore to behold the fortified Citadelle before turning around for the return trip into the Baie des Anges and along Cap Ferrat. See people walk along the Promenades des Anglais too.
The Coves of Estérel
Not popular among tourists but a day sailing at Saint-Raphael in the coves of Estérel could be the highlight of your France vacation. It is an opportunity to see the mountainside of Estérel. The golden island, Cap Dramont, the Creeks of Anthéor, and many other fascinations mark this region. In a relaxed atmosphere, savor the sensations of gliding and the feeling from been immersed in the amazing surrounding landscapes.
For an exceptional sailing trip with rough coastlines and different tides, Brittany is the surest bet. The region is divided into the northern part (Jersey, Guernsey, St Malo) and the southern part. For those who prefer to sail on the western side of Brittany, Arzon is the ideal place to see the French Atlantic coast. La Trinite-sur-Me and Port du Crouesty are the two main marinas in the area.
Unlike Northern Brittany, Southern Brittany is calmer. It spans from the Pointe du Raz and reaches the mouth of the Loire. Bel Ile and Ile de Groix are perfect for an excursion on a private yacht.
Bear in mind that sailing in the northern part of Brittany is more difficult than a vacation on the southern coast, so it demands adequate preparation.
Sailing in St Martin (the Caribbean)
This interesting small island perfectly blends the French and Dutch characters in a suiting way for tourists. If you are in the French part of the Caribbean, add a day sailing to your itinerary for some incredible experience on the sea. St Martin and its neighboring islands of St Barts and Anguilla provide some of the most magical sailings in the region.
See beautiful sunsets, stunning anchorages, and impressive restaurants when you visit. And in the case that you are used to sailing in more crowded sailing places, you might observe that the island provides absolute relaxation for your day out.
St Martin is popular with vacationers for its pristine sands and its gentle atmosphere. It is a perfect place to have a BBQ under the stars or lunch or dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. You also get to see the splendid views of the island from the comfort of your seat over a fresh croissant and a cup of coffee.
Best Sailing Cruises in France – Summary
Winds and tide conditions should be considered before sailing in any part of the country. And if you have little or no experience, use a skipper. You can swim, snorkel, and do other exciting things while sailing. There is nothing more classy and romantic than a sailing experience in France.