If you have a strong desire to travel, yachting is a great way to explore new sites from all corners of the world. You can also engage in other activities while cruising the waterways, such as swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. When it comes time to plan for your next trip, look beyond the plane tickets and hotels and opt for a yacht-worthy vacation. Here are the top 10 travel destinations only accessible by yacht or boat. These remote destinations offer an opportunity to explore some of the most amazing wonders on Earth.
Catalina Island lies off the southwest coast of LA and is a tourist favorite due to its diverse wildlife, gorgeous beaches, diving sites, and Mt.Orizaba. The sought-after island is divided into two sides: Avalon and Two Harbors. Cars are scarce on this island, and many locals and tourists opt for golf carts since there are no stoplights in sight. Catalina Island is the perfect weekend destination and offers plenty of activities and attractions. Most noteworthy activities include: visiting Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens; cocktails at the Descanso Beach Club; learning the history of this destination at the Catalina Island Museum; camping at Starlight beach; night out at the Catalina Island Casino; taking a glass-bottom boat tour, and so much more.
Deemed one of the most Instagram-worthy travel destinations in the world, Zakynthos is home to the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach in the heart of the Ionian Sea. Only accessible by boat, shipwreck beach has mystic turquoise waters, powdery white-sand beaches, and vivid towering cliffs as the backdrop. This hidden gem is also popular for its extreme watersports, such as base jumping, flyboarding, and parachuting. When it is time to grab a bite to eat, savor the local cuisine made with high-quality ingredients. The island’s cuisine draws on traditional Greek recipes that are oil-based and rich in taste.
One of the world’s greatest natural wonders is located on the coast of the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Horizontal Falls is home to an unusual phenomenon, where some of the largest tidal movements shift through a gap in the ridges of the McLarty Range and create what looks like a horizontal waterfall. There are two horizontal waterfalls, and both can be found in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer. In addition, the waterfalls are reversible. Each day when the tide turns, the falls flow in the other direction. The unique waterfalls are only accessible to view by boat or bird’s eye view.
Legend has it that Es Verde is the gateway to the Lost City of Atlantis and the third most magnetic place on Earth. The magical island of Es Verde sits off the east coast of Spain, two miles from Ibiza. This popular travel destination only accessible by yacht is quiet and secluded, with the human footprint reduced as much as possible. For that reason, the island has an abundance of wildlife and rare plant species. Es Vedra is the source of many island myths and legends. People claim to have seen UFOs, others have heard siren calls from shore, and spiritualists say it has healing powers. Nonetheless, Es Vedra’s beauty at sunset is unlike anything you will ever see. View it from the remarkable beaches, or the deserted pirate lookout tower, Torre de Savinar.
Stocking Island is a small island off the port of Georgetown, Great Exuma. Only three miles long and home to just ten people, this island features dramatic sea-side cliffs standing over 150 feet in height. Stocking is home to some of the Earth’s oldest fossils called stromatolites; fossilized bacteria dating from more than 1 million years ago. Stromatolites are found in only two places on Earth— Australia and the Bahamas. Other popular activities include snorkeling Angelfish Blue Hole and Mystery Cave; swimming with sharks at Compass Cay; visiting the swimming pigs of Exuma Island; feeding stingrays at Chat n’ Chill, and much more.
If you are a wildlife lover, the Galapagos Islands are a must-see destination only accessible by yacht. Located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is one of the world’s most notable destinations for wildlife viewing. Both land and sea are protected throughout the 19 islands and smaller islets, making it a world heritage site. The Galapagos also served as inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The lack of predators on the island allows for wildlife such as sea lions and giant tortoises to let you get up close and personal. Aside from the wildlife, these islands are home to breathtaking landscapes and gemstone blue waters.
Taha’a Island is located among the western Leeward Islands, of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. This picturesque travel destinations only accessible by boat is home to luminous white sand beaches and mountain landscapes rising from tranquil lagoons. Thanks to the many vanilla farms, the aroma of the island is a mix of fresh ocean breeze and the sweet scent of vanilla. Travelers from all over the world come for the remarkable snorkeling in the coral gardens. This narrow channel from the ocean barrier coral reef into the inner lagoon is the ultimate aquarium experience.
The Hidden Beach, also known as Playa del Amor, is located 22 nautical miles west of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; at the mouth of Banderas Bay. Hidden Beach is part of the Marieta Islands, which came about by underwater volcano eruptions. The beach is invisible from the outside and is only accessible through a long tunnel that links the beach to the Pacific Ocean. Rumor has it that the unique hole was created by deliberate bombings from the Mexican government back in the early 1900s. The beach became a national park in the 1960s and only permits swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, and other forms of recreation. Aside from the beach, this destination is also home to an abundance of flora, fauna, and marine life. You can potentially see anything from dolphins to eels and turtles, and humpback whales between December and March.
Sa Dragonera is an inhabited island off the south-western coast of Mallorca. This islet separates from the main island by a narrow channel and is crowned by two ancient watchtowers. During the 18th century, the tower of na Pòpia and the tower of Llebeig were built on the island in order to watch for the numerous Barbary pirates operating in the area. Sa Dragonera and small neighboring islands are home to 361 different plant species, 18 of which are prevalent in the Balearics. People from all over the world visit this destination only accessible by yacht for the spectacular ecosystem, which includes many types of birds, wall lizards (an endemic subspecies that can’t be found anywhere else in the world), and 5 species of bats (the parks only naturally existing mammal group).
The Blue Grotto is a waterlogged sea cave located in a small bay called Balun. It is located near Komiža, in the Croatian Adriatic, and one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. Due to the morning sun rays, light pierces deep into the caves, reflecting from the limestone seafloor, creating amazing blue color reflections all over the cave. If you are visiting on your private boat, you can anchor near the Grotto and call for a boat to transfer you to the entrance. You can only enter the Blue Grotto by boarding small rowboats that hold a maximum of four passengers at a time. Tickets for entry are available at the floating ticket office at the cave entrance. The best time to visit the cave is between 11 am-2 pm on a sunny day. Avoid tourist season by traveling there in the spring and fall months.