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Tall Ship Sailing in The Mediterranean

A quieter way to see the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean is to visit them outside the main summer season. Ashore it is easier to meet the locals, especially if you have arrive on an unusual tall ship. Fishermen tend their nets and the waterfronts are free from crowds. If you take a stroll ashore, outside the towns or around a small cover, the warm smell of pine needles and the herbs and aromatic plants of the Mediterranean is the lasting impression rather than holidaymakers.

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Why we love this sailing ground

A Quieter Mediterranean in Winter

Escape the summer hoards and explore some of the best spots in the Mediterranean out of the main tourist season. Ibiza, Mallorca, Minorca or sleepy Formentera like the used to be before the youth of Europe discovered them. In March there is all of the culture to see but a gentler pace of life - meeting the locals as they enjoy a bit of elbow room. Baking sun and afternoon sea breezes are replaced by a gloriously unpredictable mix of sun hot enough for a winter tan one day then wild and windy gales, which are just what a 700 ton tall ship needs for exciting sailing. The next morning is could be flat calm again and the next port might offer a reflective coffee ashore and crystal clear blue skies.

Sailing in the Mediterranean. Iconic windmills on Minorca. Photo from Pixabay
iconic windmills on Minorca. Photo from Pixabay

The Mediterranean for Winter Sun

Mallorca’s mountains are warm enough in winter for many cycle teams to train here, so it should be pleasantly warm in December and January with a lot more daylight than in Northern Europe. Ibiza is idyllic without the summer party animals, and the island of Formentera has many unspoilt sandy beaches to anchor off and swim. At this time of year the sea is pretty chilly but at similar temperatures to UK beaches in early summer, you might want to give your body a bit of a thrill. The locals will think you are mad.

Jumping off the side is not for everyone
Jumping off the side is not for everyone

Windy Entrance to the Mediterranean

Tarifa and Cadiz coast on the Atlantic side have always been a mecca for kite surfers and windsurfers so there is plenty of wind just outside the Straits. Within the Mediterranean you have the Mistral occasionally bringing gales off the South of France and the Sirocco blasting you from the North African coast. Strong winds are a bit intimidating on a small yacht but on a big square rigger you can really get going.

Learn About Architecture, Culture & Maritime History

Enjoy the physical and mental challenges of sailing a tall ship (climbing the rigging is encouraged but not compulsory) with the chance to explore ashore. You could head for a bar with your new shipmates and watch the world go by, or you could immerse yourself in urban and rural landscapes of the Mediterranean that have many layers of fascinating history: Whether it be visiting architecture wonders, learning about great explorers or sea battles, or learning about island and mainland cultures. Gibraltar has a fascinating history and you can find the graveyards from the Battle of Trafalgar.

There is much to be said for arming yourself with an interesting guide book and setting off to explore.  Tenacious is a ship for both able bodied and disabled crew. Expeditions ashore with friends in wheel chairs can lead to some surprising discoveries and you may see cities in a very different light.

Small calas or coves are common on all the Balearics. This is on Formentera
Small calas or coves are common on all the Balearics. This is on Formentera
Which ship for my adventure?

Three tall ships within the Classic Sailing fleet have explored the Mediterranean in the past - Oosterschelde, Lord Nelson and Tenacious. The whole of the Mediterranean Sea is a vast area. Our ships are dipping into the Western and sometimes Central Mediterranean- mostly looking for winter or spring sailing grounds. Areas visited before include Sardinia, Malta, Sicily, Corsica, South of France and the Costas.

It is rare for our smaller boats to head for the Mediterranean in peak season as the sun is pretty cruel to wooden boats.

In 2018-18 Tenacious will be offering voyages from Mallorca over Christmas and New Year. 

Tenacious is a British Barque offering active sailing adventures world wide
Tenacious is a British Barque offering active sailing adventures world wide. Photo Tallshipstock.com
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