Sailing holidays in France

Sailing holidays in France

The Ultimate Guide to French Riviera Yacht Charters

In this complete yacht charter guide for your next sailing holidays in France, learn all about:

  • Top Yacht Charter Bases in France
  • Sailing Conditions
  • Where, when & how to go there
  • Suggested Itineraries
  • Prices for Yacht charters in France

Are you already familiar with the French sailing regions and want to look at boat options for your next yacht charter? Then skip to:

Request a tailor-made offer for FREE!

Let’s dive right in.


Sailing French Riviera: The Hollywood's elite sailing spot

Sailing holidays French Riviera (France)
French Riviera, sailing holidays in France

Sailing The French Riviera or Cote d' Azur is the coastline of 560 miles from the Italian border and all the way to St Tropez

It perfectly and harmonically combines the world's most luxurious, high-class resorts with majestic secluded bays and aquatic wildlife

A French Riviera yacht charter is the best way to explore the cosmopolitan towns of Nice, Monte Carlo and Cannes that have been a favourite destination for the Hollywood's elite and tourists from all over the world for years and are guaranteed to amaze even the most demanding of visitors.


Sailing Conditions in French Riviera

Winds in the South of France are generally light and the sailing conditions ideal for all levels of sailors. 

The “Tramontane“ blows from the Pyrenees to Sète, and “the Mistral” blows down from Vallée du Rhône and may even reach as far as Corsica and Sardinia

During summer the prevailing south and southeast winds do not exceed 15- 20 knots. 

In the rare case that the Mistral wind gets stronger, it doesn't last longer than 2-3 days.

Sailing Holidays to French Riviera: Where to start & how to get there

There are several start point marinas in the South of France and luckily more than one airport choices that serve them. 

You can fly in and out of the airports of Nice, Marseilles, and Hyeres, which also welcome flights from low-cost carriers.

Transfer Time: 45 mins 

French Riviera Holiday Tips

A must-see on any Cote d’Azur cruise is the Iles d’ Or

When sailing west of Toulon, please take the strong swell from the south, southwest into consideration. This phenomenon is weaker east of Toulon.

Summing up, Cote d'Azur offers a once in a lifetime experience with vibrant harbours, breathtaking views, and turquoise waters waiting to be discovered.

Recommended Sailing Itineraries in French Riviera:

1-week Sailing Route

⚓ Day 1. Bormes les Mimosas (check - in)

⚓ Day 2. Bormes les Mimosas - Port de Porquerolles 20 NM

⚓ Day 3. Port de Porquerolles - St Tropez 25 NM

⚓ Day 4. St Tropez - Port Grimaud 5NM

⚓ Day 5. Port Grimaud - Cavalaire 17NM

⚓ Day 6. Cavalaire - Ile Port-Cros 15NM

⚓ Day 7. Ile Port-Cros - Bormes les Mimosas 15NM

2-week Sailing Route

⚓ Day 1. Baie de l’Alicastre

⚓ Day 2. Calvi 

⚓ Day 3. Scandola

⚓ Day 4. Ajaccio

⚓ Day 5. Porto Polo 

⚓ Day 6. Cargèse

⚓ Day 7. Piana

⚓ Day 8. St. Florent

⚓ Day 9. Centuri 

⚓ Day 10. St Tropez 

⚓ Day 11. Bonporteau Bay

⚓ Day 12. Ile de Port Cros

⚓ Day 13. Baie de l’Alicastre at Porquerolles

⚓ Day 14. Check out


Sailing Corsica: the 4th largest Mediterranean island

Sailing holidays Corsica, France
Corsica, yachting holidays in France

Known by the Greeks as “Kalliste", meaning the Beautiful Island, Corsica lives up to its name.

Blessed with stunning natural terrains and spotted with towns full of warm and welcoming people, rent a boat in Corsica and you will not be disappointed. 

Here’s the deal:

As the fourth largest Mediterranean island, there is plenty to do and see in Corsica. The island is quite rocky, as two thirds of it are made of an ancient crystalline massif running Northwest to Southeast. 

With 20 peaks exceeding 6,500 feet or 2,000 meters, there’s a lot of hiking to be done! 

Aside from hiking, you can also stay close to the sea! 

Visit the whale and dolphin sanctuaries, or the sea caves in Bonifacio. Onshore, you’ll also enjoy Corsica’s interesting culture and history. 

While it has been part of France for over 200 years, Corsica has a distinctly different culture in almost all ways! 

From cuisine to language to culture customs, you’ll feel a world away from the mainland. 

Enjoy the local towns and be wined and dined by the friendly Corsican people.

Climate in Corsica & When to go

The best time to sail Corsica is in the summer season, between June to September, when average temperatures are around 20 degrees celsius. 

The water temperature will also stay warm until September

If you can handle slightly cooler temperatures, you could go during the shoulder season as Corsica has a nice long sunny season, from May to early-October

In May the average temperature is 15.5 °C, and in October the average temperature hovers around 17°C.

During the summer you can expect sunshine and you might get some nice strong westerlies, as an extension of the Mistral. But along the coast, the sea breeze is mostly light. 

Where to start your yacht charter in Corsica? How to get there?

Just 170 kilometers off the coast of France and 80 kilometers from Italy, Corsica is not too far.

By airplane:

The best way to get to your yacht charter in Corsica is by flying into one of the 4 international airports on the island. There are over twenty airlines offering cheap flights from France, Belgium, Germany, and the UK.

By ferry:

It is also possible to get to Corsica by ferry, from one of the 7 different commercials ports in France and Italy.

For US travellers, the best option would be to fly into Paris and then fly on to Corsica - it’s just an extra 1.5 hours from there!

  • Transfer time from Calvi Airport to base: 3.5 hours by car.
  • Transfer time from Bastia Airport to base: 3 hours by car.
  • Transfer time from Figari Airport to base: 1 hour by car.
  • Transfer time from Ajacci Airport to base: 1.25 hours by car.

If needed, Yacht4Less can arrange airport transfers to the base. Just speak with your charter consultant and provide your travel itinerary details.

Corsica Holiday Tips: Top anchorages & more

During your yacht charter in Corsica, it is important to book ahead or arrive early to ensure you find a marina space as Corsica gets very busy during peak season.

 However, there are also many nice calm anchorages all over the island, where you can just drop your anchor and free swing for the night

Some of the top recommended anchorages are:

  • The Cove of Roccapina - where you can set up camp beneath a magnificent natural sculpture of a lion and an ancient Genoan tower that overlook the bay. 
  • Girolata Bay - which is known as one of the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean. From your mooring you can see the maquis, a shrub native to the Mediterranean, covering the cliffs. It is also a Unesco World Heritage site.
  • Bay of Rodinara - visit this famed spot, beloved for it’s perfect turquoise waters. Because of the stunning coloring, Rodinara is often compared to the South Pacific.

Yacht4Less recommends Spar Supermarket (less than 10 mins from the base)  for all your food needs during your yacht charter in Corsica. 

Yacht4Less can also provide a provisioning service, so you can arrive to a fully stocked boat!

Recommended 7-day Sailing Itinerary in Corsica

⚓ Day 1. Ajaccio Marina (check-in)

⚓ Day 2. Sagone or Cargese 19/22NM 

⚓ Day 3. Girolata 15NM

⚓ Day 4. Calvi 22 NM

⚓ Day 5. Capo Rosso 25 NM

⚓ Day 6. Bay of Sagone 11NM

⚓ Day 7. Ajaccio Marina 19NM

Are you already convinced that a yacht charter in France is what you dreamed of for your next sailing holidays? Request a Tailor-made Offer

Sailing La Rochelle: A Seaport in Bay of Biscay

Sailing holidays La Rochelle, France
La Rochelle, top French sailing holiday trip

Previously one of the most important ports for the East-West trade routes, La Rochelle offers a ton of excitement for your sailing holiday.  

With an abundance of sandy beach coves, charming towns, and interesting historical sites there is no shortage of things to delight and entertain you. 

Visit the small island of Île de Ré with its UNESCO appointed main port. 

Or explore Fort Boyard, from the Napoleon era, which is also home to a replica General Lafayette’s frigate, Hermoine. 

If you go to Île d’Oléron, you can experience it’s renowned vineyards and lush pine forests.


Best time to visit La Rochelle & Climate

The best time for a yacht charter in La Rochelle is the summer months between May and October. During this time you will get beautiful hot sunny days, and nice strong winds.

Average temperatures range from 77ºF and 86ºF (25°C-30°C) and you’ll find water temperatures above 20°C between July and September!

Spring and fall temperatures will be mild, but chillier at around 68ºF/20ºC. Winter temperatures are also not too harsh but it will be a bit rainier than summertime. 

For sailing conditions you will find northerly prevailing winds generally. But between May and September you will also find a slight north easterly.

Where to start your La Rochelle yacht charter & how to get there.

Located in the Southwest of France, La Rochelle is a very tiny coastal town. 

While it does have its own small airport, La Rochelle-Ile de Ré airport, it only services about 15 European locations. 

By Airplane:

For most travellers, the best way to get to La Rochelle is by flying into one of the two Paris airports: Roissy Charles de Gaulle or Orly. 

From there you can get a connecting flight to La Rochelle or take the train. 

The Train á Grande Vitesse (TGV) and the Ligne Grande Vitesse (LGV) offer high speed options that travel from Paris to La Rochelle daily. 

It takes between 2.5-3 hours to get there. The train will depart from the Paris-Montparnasse station, which you can access from the airports using the suburban train and the metro, or you can take the AirFrance shuttle buses that will take you right to the station and run every 30 minutes.

Time from La Rochelle-Ile de Ré Airport to Base - 20 mins by car

If you would like Yacht4Less to arrange airport transfers for you, just ask your charter consultant for more information! 

La Rochelle Holiday Tips: Mooring, Food & more

For provisioning during your boat hire in La Rochelle, Yacht4Less recommends the Carrefour supermarket on Rue Nicolas Gargot, in Aytré, which is just a mere 6 minutes from base by car. 

Or for a more quaint experience visit the central market in the main square of the town (10 minutes drive). 

If you would like help with provisioning, Yacht4Less is happy to arrange to have your groceries and supplies delivered right to your boat so you can be fully stocked before you leave. 

No sailing license is needed in France but experience is recommended, or you could opt for a skippered charter instead for a more relaxed and stress-free sailing holiday.

La Rochelle offers many mooring and anchorage options as it is such a sailing hub. Some popular spots for overnight anchorages include Île d’Aix, Boyardville, and Saint-Denis d’Oléron. 

Île d’Aix is a 3km long natural site. There are about 24 public moorings, but you can also free swing if needed.  

Boyardville has about 20-25 visitor berths available in their marina. 

However there is a max boat length of 14m, with a max draught of 2.2m. If your boat exceeds these guidelines, you will need to request a spot at least 3 days before. 

Lastly, Saint-Denis d’Oléron on the north of the island has about 70 visitor berths. 

You will find that most anchorages are calm and well protected. The water is rougher outside the protection of the islands. Tidal currents do not exceed 2 knots. 

Suggested 7-day Sailing Itinerary from La Rochelle

⚓ Day 1. La Rochelle – Saint-Martin-de-Ré

⚓ Day 2. Saint-Martin-de-Ré – Ile d’Yeu

⚓ Day 3. Ile d’Yeu

⚓ Day 4. Ile d’Yeu 

⚓ Day 5. Ile d’Yeu – Ars-en-Ré

⚓ Day 6. Ars-en-Ré – Island of Oléron

⚓ Day 7. Oléron – Île d’Aix - La Rochelle


Sailing Brittany: One of the most historic regions of France

Sailing holidays Brittany, France
Brittany, Boating trips in France

Brittany is beloved by many adventurers for it’s medieval towns, lush forestation, and beautiful coastline

Spend your time on land exploring stunning cathedrals, elegant mansions, and fascinating megalithic sites

Learn more about Brittany’s Celtic roots and deep maritime roots

Sip on some refreshing Muscadet wine, a local specialty that will be the perfect refreshing and fruity white for the summer nights during your La Trinite Sur Mer yacht charter. 

With strong currents and varied tides, Brittany provides an exciting challenge for experienced sailors

New to sailing? Hire a local skipper to navigate Brittany’s complex tidal ranges. 

Either way, sailors of all levels can appreciate the fantastic sailing in Brittany.  

Best time to visit Brittany & Sailing conditions

Being in the Northwest part of France with Oceanic weather patterns, Brittany is prone to having four distinct seasons. 

From April to October, during the summer months, is when you’ll get the best weather

During this time average temperatures are around 21/22 °C (70/72 °F). August will be the best month for swimming as this is when sea temperatures reach 19°C (66°F). 

The shoulder season, September, is still a nice time to visit if you’d like to escape the crowds, but be advised that the fall and winter are much rainier than the summer in Brittany. 

For sailing:

You will find consistent winds all year-round. The main wind blows from the southwest, and generally winds are low in the morning, but reach 3-5 knots in the afternoon. 

It’s important to note that Brittany has the fastest tides in Europe, which in turn creates strong currents

Where to start your Brittany yacht charter & how to get there

To begin your Brittany yacht charter you should fly into Nantes or Rennes, both of which offer many budget friendly, frequent routes from the UK, and the rest of the EU. 

For travelers flying from further out, like the United States, it might be best to fly into Paris, then take a connecting flight to Nantes or Rennes. 

From Paris you can also take the TGV Atlantique, a high speed train, that takes 1.5 hrs to get from Paris to Rennes. You can even take a similar high-speed train directly from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to Rennes in about 2.5 hrs. 

Yacht4Less is happy to organize airport transfers to/from your charter to make your travel even more relaxing and stress-free! Just enquire with your charter broker today. 

Time from Nantes Atlantique International Airport (NTA) to La Trinite Sur Mer Base - 1 hr 30 mins by car

Time from Rennes-Saint-Jacques Airport (RNS) to La Trinite Sur Mer Base - 1 hr 30 mins by car

Brittany Holiday Tips

For mooring during your La Trinite Sur Mer yacht charter, Yacht4Less recommends L’aber Wrac’h and Morbihan - both which provide excellent shelter and you can either use a visitor buoy or free-hang for the evening. For more information about mooring, check out this article

Please note the night sailing is prohibited in the Gulf of Morbihan. You may do night sailing in other areas, but you must request permission from the base manager before leaving the base.

For provisioning, there is an abundance of markets in Trinite Sur Mer. From big grocers to small local markets, you can have your pick. You can also have Yacht4Less take care of provisioning for you! Just tell us what you want from Intermarche Super and we can have it on your boat and ready for you the moment you arrive. 

Prices: How much does it cost to charter a yacht in France?

It depends. For example, the most important ones are the type of boat you will choose and whether you require a professional crew on board (e.g. skipper, hostess or cook). So, as you can see, there are many factors that can shape a price for a boat rental. Check our full guide about yacht charter cost and how you can save much money in your next sailing holidays.

Similar Mediterranean Destinations

  1. Sailing holidays in Greece
  2. Sailing holidays in Croatia
  3. Sailing holidays in Italy
  4. Sailing holidays in Turkey
  5. Sailing holidays in Montenegro
  6. Sailing holidays in Spain
  7. Sailing holidays in Malta


We'll get back to you with a non-obligatory tailored quote within 4 hours
Get £50 off your first booking! Subscribe to our newsletter.
Get the latest special offers, sailing guides, tips and industry news. We are committed to treating your data with respect as per our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.