Sailing Holidays

Sailing Holidays in Tenerife

Just off the coast of Africa, the Canaries enjoy year round sunshine and Tenerife provides superb sailing holidays all year.

The Canaries are situated close to the northwest coast of Africa off the Western Sahara. With constant north-westerly wind throughout the year, the sailing is exhilarating but yacht charter in the Canaries requires more experience than in the easier Mediterranean destinations. 

Starting your yacht charter in Tenerife gives you the chance to visit three of the most untouched islands in the Canaries - La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, long considered the "world’s end" until the discovery of America.

The Canary Islands are spectacular volcanic mountains but there are plenty of good harbours and marinas. During your sailing holiday keep an eye out for dolphins and pilot whales that play in the bow wave.

For yacht charter in Tenerife the skipper must have RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate or RYA ICC qualification. Experience up to Coastal Skipper is recommended.

Tenerife has Spain's tallest peak, lovely beaches and seaside restaurants. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital, is a friendly port with shady plazas and excellent shops.

La Gomera remains blissfully untouched by tourism - maybe due to the lack of white sandy beaches - but it does have hideaway coves and a historic port at San Sebastian, the starting point for Columbus on his first voyage. La Palma, the most exotic of the islands formed from a volcanic crater with a coastline of majestically steep cliffs and black volcanic sands. El Hierro may be the smallest of the Canaries, but it’s strikingly dramatic and the sea is so clear, it's a paradise for snorkellers and divers.

A sailing holiday in the Canaries does need reasonable prior experience to RYA Coastal Skipper standard. This is the open Atlantic, not the semi-enclosed Mediterranean nor the predictable Caribbean. Distances between the islands are considerable, the winds can be strong and are funnelled between the islands to give a sort of wind tunnel effect in the "Acceleration Zone" that is well documented but still needs experience to handle. 

Strong north-westerly trade winds all year Force 5-8. The wind varies throughout the year but, though largely predictable, is always interesting. The weather is warm and sunny most of the time. Experience Level 3.

 

DAY 1 : Embark at Santa Cruz the capital of Tenerife, about 30 minutes from the airport.
DAY 2 : San Sebastian (28nm) on La Gomera was the starting point for Columbus on his first voyage. Overnight in Puerto de Playa Santiago and savor the local Gomera cuisine. The whole island is an unexplored place of wild beauty - go ashore and enjoy the scenery of steep cliffs and beaches,  palm groves and the Garajonay National Park, a unique ecological treasure of crystal clear waters and green laurel forests.
DAY 3 : Visit Puerto De Tazacorte (60nm) on La Palma, the most exotic of the islands formed from a volcanic crater with a coastline of majestically steep cliffs and black volcanic sands. La Palma is called the 'Pretty Isle' by Canary Islanders for its spectacularly lush vegetation, abundant clear waters and floral wealth which are in sharp contrast to the many volcanic forms that are testimony to the island's origins.
DAY 4 : La Restinga (65nm) on El Hierro. Spectactular scenery above and below the water and the sea is so clear, a paradise for snorkellers and divers. All this, plus the kind and friendly nature of the people, makes a visit to the smallest of the Canary Islands a charming experience.
DAY 5: Puerto de Valle Gran Reyiseros (45nm) on La Gomera is a picturesque harbour.
DAY 6 : Back to Tenerife. Los Gigantes (25nm) is a lively marina with a superb beach.
DAY 7 : Sail back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife (14nm).

Yachts are based at Santa Cruz, the capital or Tenerife, and Marina San Miguel in the south of the island near the international airport. Charters can start and finish Friday or Saturdays but most direct charter flight from the UK are on Fridays.

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Prices given below. Click on the yacht names to view yacht layout & specification

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.

FLIGHTS TO TENERIFE:
easyJet have flights to Tenerife South from Gatwick, Bristol & Manchester on Fridays and Saturdays. Jet2, Monarch, Thomson and Thomas Cook have flights from most UK airports on Fridays. Transfer time to Santa Cruz 75 mins, to San Miguel 15 mins.

To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew.

You need an RYA Day Skipper qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for charters in Spain, including Mallorca and Tenerife.

The RYA ICC will be ever more required by overseas port authorities but if you have skipper experience it is easily obtained in a day from RYA sailing schools in the UK such as Hamilton Sailing or Brixham Sea School 

Whether you are an experienced sailor or setting foot on a yacht for the first time, we can offer you a holiday afloat to suit you. We have given all the sailing areas a level with 'Experience Level 1' suitable for less experienced crews and 'Experience Level 3' for the experts.    

This takes into account the wind strength, tidal range and currents, distances between stops and ease of mooring. Of course even experts may choose to sail in Level 1 areas as they still offer stunning scenery and great sailing.

Experience Level 1: Mallorca - south and east coast

Generally light winds Force 2-4, line of sight navigation, shorter sailing distances under 20nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 1 week or 100nm as skipper.

Experience Level 2: Mallorca - round the island

Stronger winds up to Force 3-5 with some longer passages up to 30nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 2 weeks or 200nm as skipper.

Experience Level 3: Mallorca - visit other Balearic islands; Tenerife

Stronger winds up to Force 4-7 which can lead to bigger seas on long passages between the islands. You will be Coastal Skipper 
standard with experience to a higher level having sailed at least 4 weeks or 400nm as skipper.

Los Gigantes, or 'The Cliffs of the Giants', on the western coast of Tenerife is home to a busy yacht marina. The town of Los Gigantes lies at the foot of  the imposing vertical cliffs. Built into the cliff face, Los Gigantes has a pedestrianised area based around the old church, and offers a good choice of bars, restaurants and shops.

Puerto de Tazacorte is a pretty little village on the west coast of La Palma and claims to be the warmest place on the island. It is divided into two areas: the port and the village. Puerto de Tazacorte has a long promenade, a fishing harbour, a black sand beach, narrow streets lined with colourful old La Palma houses and a boulevard with bars and seafood restaurants where you can sample the local catch.

San Sebastian, the capital of La Gomera, is a little seafaring town and Columbus' last port of call before heading across the Atlantic. You can visit his house, a small museum in a 400 year old fortress, and the Church of the Assumption where he attended mass. San Sebastian is not a tourist centre but it has a good variety of shops, bars and restaurants, a yacht marina, beach and large public lido. The port is in the east and within the port is its beach.

"We have recently returned from our sailing holiday from Marina di Scarlino and have had a great week. We sailed every day if not all day. The sail to Elba was a good day's sail and the distances between the harbours and anchorages were just a few hours. "
Scarlino, Italy 2014 - I.R.

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