Var is a hotspot for tourists in the summer months. Located in the south of France, with fabulous weather and breathtaking landscapes, it’s not hard to understand why sailors also flock here every year. With state-of-the-art marinas to charter a boat from; in town such as Saint Tropez, unique towns such as Port Grimaud, (known as ‘the Venice of France’), and wilder moorings for example on the nature-protected island of Port Cros; Var is diverse, exciting and truly stunning. What better destination for a sailboat charter?
The harbourside town of St. Tropez is synonymous with sophistication and style, so if you’re looking for a sailboat charter where you’ll be mingling with famous faces and swanky yachts; this is your spot. However, there is more to it than that, moor your sailboat, and head to La Ponche, the charming, historic fishing quarter or the Citadelle which was built in 1602 and now houses a history museum in its dungeons, as well as offering marvelous views of the city from its positioning atop a hill. As with all of Var and the South of France, Saint Tropez is surrounded by some gorgeous beaches, such as L’Escalet and Tahiti Beach which you can visit during your charter.
Saint Mandrier is an old fishing port southwest of Toulon, Var. It’s not only great for sailboat charters, but also is renowned for its diving opportunities! The surrounding hills are green and great for hiking, and if you walk up to La Pyramide de l’Amiral de la Touche Tréville, you will be met with beautiful views. From here you can easily sail to or do daytrips to Toulon or Sanary-sur-Mer. You can also sail across the bay and drop anchor at Mourillon Beach, where glittering waters and golden sands make for a truly idyllic destination.
If you charter a sailboat in Var, Hyères is a must-visit! A gorgeous coastal town, Hyères is surrounded by glorious hills and greenery, with a medieval old quarter, scattered with charming shops and markets. A sailboat charter from here will give you some incredible views. Head to Park St. Bernard where you’ll be met with an array of olive and pine trees, and enchanting walkways and arches, and astonishing views looking out onto the town and the azure waters of the Mediterranean. There are also many wineries around this region, so why not moor your sailboat and spend an afternoon sampling the delectable local wines, or simply sail your boat out in the open sea and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales!
Sailing in the Mediterranean means glorious weather, and when you choose Var, you will also be privy to first-rate marinas and mooring facilities! A sailboat charter here is synonymous with long, sunny days in a moderate breeze (15-20 knots), however it’s important to be aware of the mistral winds which can disrupt these perfect conditions in May, June and October. These winds are strongest in Marseille and get weaker as you head towards Hyères and Saint Tropez; therefore, beginners may rather avoid these periods.
The Mediterranean is known for its food, so a sailboat charter in Var will guarantee your taste buds a good time! Sample the famous ‘Tarte Tropézienne’, the signature cake of Saint Tropez; famed when Brigitte Bardot tasted it when filming in the town, and suggested it should be so-named! Ratatouille and Bouillabaisse also originated in Provence, so Var is the place to try these dishes cooked how they should be.
Flying into Var is the easiest way to reach your charter base, and there is a choice of three airports depending on where you’re headed. If you’re renting a boat from Fréjus, Saint Maxime, Port Grimaud or Saint Tropez; fly into Nice-Cote d’Azur, located 6km west of Nice. Or if you are starting your sailboat charter from Bandol, Toulon, Hyères or Porquerolles, fly into Marseille-Provence airport, located 6km west of Nice.
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