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An article written by our staff and featured in The Charter Connection


THE MEDITERRANEAN
Venice and Dubrovnik - two highlights of Ed and Barbara's visit to several Mediterranean charter cruising grounds this summer.

by Ed
December 2007


Our trip to the Med this summer concentrated on the cruising grounds around Croatia, Sicily, ItalyMonte Carlo home to luxury mega yacht charters and the South of France. These are all wonderful areas to charter, particularly in the early summer and fall. We went in May, and were surprised how many more tourists were already filling the popular spots compared to previous years. We recommend sailing in May and June, or September and October, but if you can only get away in July or August and wish to avoid the crowds, we can propose an itinerary in some more secluded cruising grounds. The weather stays comfortable at least through mid October.

Anyone who has visited the Charter Destinations section of our website recently, might well have noticed that we have re-organized and expanded The Mediterranean section considerably. We have divided the area into 14 different cruising grounds:

WESTERN MED
Spain—Balearic Isles
Coastal France—Cote d’Azur
Inland France—Canal barges
Corsica and Sardinia
N.W. Italy—Genoa to Elba
S.W. Italy—Amalfi Coast
Sicily and Aeolian Islands

CROATIA
Eastern Italy and Croatia

GREECE
Greece—Saronic Gulf Islands and Athens
Greece—Cyclades Islands
Greece—Dodecanese Islands
Greece—Sporades Islands
Greece—Ionian Islands

TURKEY
Turkey

THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ATTRACTIONS
We will start this series of featured cruising grounds, cities or popular attractions with two of our Med favorites:

VENICE, Italy.

The original Venetian settlers built their city on swampy islands off the Italian Coast, to avoid being attacked by the ‘Barbarians’ on the mainland. They produced a city that is like nothing else in theVenice Grand Canal world. To begin with, there are no cars beyond the bus terminal at the end of the bridge connecting the city to the shore. All transportation is by water taxis or ferries, which run on strict time tables. The larger ferries, such as those on ‘Route Number 1', which stop at all points along the Grand Canal, have electronic signs describing the route, which are very similar to subway trains. A 24 hour pass for all routes is about 15 Euros. Smaller ferries take you to your hotel, or to get around in style, you can rent a gondola or a private water taxi (around 80 Euros for most routes). Art is everywhere, but for those people looking for more, you can buy a single pass for many different museums and galleries. The more expensive shops and restaurants are around Piazza San Marco, but as you head toward Rialto Bridge, prices get more reasonable.

For a crewed charter, it makes sense to start in Venice. It's a wonderful city to explore and starting your charter outside Croatia can have some advantages depending on the way the boat is registered. If you have enough time, cruise the wonderful Dalmatian Coast and finish in Dubrovnik, another spectacular city. We can help you set up your charter, give advice on hotels, getting around and, yes, shopping. For us, Venice is one of the most interesting cities in The Mediterranean.



DUBROVNIK, Croatia.

The old port of Dubrovnik is magnificent. The massive stone walls date from the 12th century and completely enclose this ancient town and harbor. Inside, white houses with terracotta tiled roofs line beautiful squares and the streets are paved in white stone. There is nothing like it. Unlike so many tourist attractions, Dubrovnik does not have gaudy signs and the shops do not detract from the beauty of the place. Having explored the town, relax in one of the many open air restaurants or take advantage of the relatively low prices and browse the shops.

If you have time to sail this far south, this is a great place to finish a Croatian charter, both for crewed yachts or bareboats (a Sunsail Bareboat Base is nearby). You cannot take the boat into the old harbor but there are marinas a short bus or cab ride away.
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  Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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