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Sailing holidays in France, what is it like?

Sailing holidays in France are very popular, as France boasts an extensive coastline with a wide variety of sailing destinations, from the rugged Brittany coast to the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera. The Mediterranean coast of France is particularly popular for sailing holidays, with destinations such as Marseille, Cannes, and St. Tropez attracting many visitors. The French Riviera is known for its glamorous ports, luxury yachts, and lively nightlife, while the coast of Brittany is known for its rugged beauty, with steep cliffs, wild beaches, and charming fishing villages. In addition to the stunning coastline, France has many islands that are worth exploring by boat, such as Corsica, Porquerolles, and the Île de Ré. Sailing in France offers a wide range of experiences for all levels of sailors, from relaxing coastal cruising to more challenging offshore passages. There are many charter companies and sailing schools throughout the country, making it easy to rent a boat or take sailing lessons. Overall, sailing holidays in France offer a unique and exciting way to explore the country's stunning coastline, vibrant culture, and rich history.

The best time to hire a yacht in France varies depending on the region you want to explore. France has a diverse climate, with different regions experiencing different peak seasons for yacht charters. In the South of France, including the French Riviera and Corsica, the best time to hire a yacht is from May to September. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F), and there is plenty of daylight hours to enjoy the stunning coastline and nearby islands. In the West of France, including Brittany and Normandy, the best time to hire a yacht is from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F), and there is plenty of daylight hours to explore the stunning coastline and picturesque villages. It is important to note that the weather in France can be unpredictable and changeable, so it is recommended to bring appropriate clothing for different weather conditions. It is also advisable to book your yacht charter in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability.

One option for budget yachting in France is to rent a smaller sailboat, such as a dinghy or a small keelboat. Another option is to join a sailing club or community, which can provide access to shared boats and other resources at a lower cost, like Searadar. This can also be a great way to meet other sailors and participate in group events and races.

Renting a sailboat in France can be a fantastic way to explore the country's beautiful coastline and experience its rich maritime culture. There are many rental companies that offer a range of boats, from small dinghies to large yachts and catamarans. Popular destinations to sail in France include the French Riviera, Brittany, and Corsica.

Choose your yacht in France

For sailing in France, I would choose the Dufour 460 Grand Large. This versatile and stylish yacht offers a superb blend of performance, comfort, and functionality, making it perfect for exploring the diverse French coastline and the Mediterranean Sea. The Dufour 460 Grand Large features a spacious layout, contemporary design, and exceptional sailing capabilities, ensuring a delightful experience while discovering France's rich maritime heritage and breathtaking coastal scenery.

Gathering your gang in France

France is a wonderful destination for sailing with your gang. Starting in Marseille, sail to the nearby Calanques National Park and explore its stunning fjords and crystal-clear waters. From there, head to the glamorous French Riviera and visit the famous towns of Cannes, Antibes, and Saint-Tropez, known for their luxury resorts and lively nightlife. Finally, make your way to the picturesque island of Corsica and discover its rugged coastline and unique blend of French and Italian cultures.

Plan your sailing route in France

France has a variety of sailing routes to choose from. One popular route is to sail along the French Riviera, visiting cities like Nice and Cannes. Another option is to sail along the west coast of France, exploring the islands of Brittany and stopping in picturesque ports such as Saint-Malo. A third option is to sail along the southern coast of France, exploring the historic city of Marseille and the stunning Calanques national park.

The winds of France

Bora (NE)

France can experience Bora winds, but they are relatively rare and localized. Bora winds are cold and dry northeasterly winds that originate from the Balkans and can affect parts of northern and central Europe, including some areas of France. In France, Bora winds are most commonly experienced in the southeast, particularly in the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, where they are known as "Mistral." These winds can bring cold and dry conditions, and their strength and duration can vary depending on the weather patterns in the region. However, the impact of Bora winds on France is generally more moderate compared to other areas, such as the Balkans or the Adriatic Sea.

Tramontana (N to NW)

Tramontana winds are experienced in southern France, particularly in the Pyrenees mountains and along the Mediterranean coast. The Tramontana wind is a type of cold and dry wind that blows from the north to northwest and affects the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. The Tramontana wind is known as the "Tramontane" in France and can be particularly strong and gusty, creating challenging conditions for sailing and boating. The wind can also bring in colder temperatures and dry weather to the region, particularly during the winter months. Overall, while Tramontana winds are not present throughout France, the wind can significantly impact the climate and daily life of the people who live in the southern parts of the country. The country's climate is also influenced by a variety of weather patterns and phenomena, which can bring in occasional rainfall, thunderstorms, and gusty winds throughout the year.

Jugo (SE)

In France, the prevailing winds are from the west and southwest, bringing in mild, humid air from the Atlantic Ocean. The winds from the north and northeast tend to be colder and drier, originating from the continental high-pressure systems.

Mistral (NW)

The Mistral wind is a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows across southern France, particularly in the Rhône Valley region, between the Alps and the Massif Central. It is a dry, downslope wind that can reach speeds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) and can last for several days. The Mistral wind usually occurs in the winter and spring months, but it can also occur at other times of the year. The Mistral wind can have a significant impact on the climate and daily life of the people who live in the region. It can cause damage to buildings and trees, as well as create dangerous sailing and boating conditions. However, it also has some benefits, such as clearing away pollutants and bringing in cooler, drier air. The Mistral wind has also played an important role in the culture and traditions of the region, inspiring artists, writers, and musicians for centuries. It is a symbol of the strong, resilient spirit of the people who live in southern France.

Air temperature in France
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Useful information about the country

What is the cuisine in France?

French cuisine is renowned worldwide for its sophistication, diversity, and rich flavors. French cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh, high-quality ingredients, precise preparation methods, and rich sauces. One of the most famous French dishes is coq au vin, a hearty stew made with chicken cooked in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, onions, and herbs. Another popular dish is boeuf bourguignon, a beef stew cooked in red wine with bacon, onions, and mushrooms. Seafood is also a prominent part of French cuisine, with dishes such as bouillabaisse, a fish soup made with a variety of seafood, and moules marinières, or mussels cooked in white wine and garlic. Other famous French dishes include ratatouille, a vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes, and quiche Lorraine, a savory pie filled with cheese, eggs, and bacon. French cuisine is also known for its pastries, such as croissants, pain au chocolat, and tarte Tatin, a caramelized apple tart. Wine is an important part of French cuisine, with France being one of the world's largest wine producers. French wine is enjoyed with meals, as an aperitif, or as a dessert wine.

What is the currency in France?

The official currency of France is the Euro (EUR).

What kind of Yachts can I hire in France?

France is a popular destination for yacht chartering and offers a wide range of yachts for hire. Some of the types of yachts you can hire in France include: 1) Motor yachts: These yachts are popular in France and offer plenty of speed and comfort for exploring the French Riviera and nearby islands. 2) Sailing yachts: France offers a range of sailing yachts for hire, allowing you to enjoy the scenic beauty of the French coastline while sailing the waters. 3) Catamarans: These yachts are perfect for exploring the shallow waters and secluded bays of France. They are spacious, stable, and offer plenty of room for relaxation and entertainment. 4) Luxury yachts: France offers a range of luxurious yachts for hire, which are perfect for those who want to indulge in luxury. They come equipped with all the amenities, such as air conditioning, luxurious cabins, gourmet kitchens, and even hot tubs. 5) Canal boats: France is famous for its canals and waterways, and there are plenty of canal boats available for hire. They are perfect for exploring the beautiful French countryside at a slower pace. The availability and type of yacht you can hire will depend on the location in France where you are looking to hire and the season. It is recommended to research and book in advance to secure the type of yacht you prefer for your charter vacation in France.

How to get to France?

There are several ways to get to France depending on your location and travel preferences: 1)By Air: France has several international airports, including Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY) in Paris, and Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) in Nice. These airports are served by several airlines, including Air France, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and EasyJet. 2)By Land: If you are traveling from neighboring countries, you can take a bus, drive, or train to France. There are several border crossings between France and its neighboring countries, including Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. 3)By Sea: There are several ferry services to France from the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are also cruise lines that stop in France.

What is the Internet like in France?

France has a well-developed internet infrastructure, with widespread access to high-speed broadband internet services. As of 2021, the country had over 50 million internet users, representing about 76% of the population. The telecommunications industry in France is highly competitive, with several major internet service providers (ISPs) offering fixed-line and mobile internet services. The top ISPs in France include Orange, SFR, Free, and Bouygues Telecom, with many other smaller ISPs also offering services in different regions of the country. France has made significant investments in expanding the country's internet infrastructure, including laying fiber-optic cables and improving connectivity in rural and remote areas. As a result, internet speeds in urban areas are generally high, and access to broadband internet is becoming more widely available in rural areas as well. In terms of regulation, the French Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the telecommunications industry in France. The government of France has also established several policies and initiatives aimed at promoting competition, protecting consumer rights, and ensuring the security and stability of the internet infrastructure.

What language is spoken in France?

The official language of France is French. It is a Romance language and is also the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union after German. French is also spoken in many other countries around the world, particularly in Africa, as it is a legacy of French colonialism. In some regions of France, regional languages are also spoken, such as Occitan, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, and Basque, among others. However, French remains the dominant language in France and is spoken by the vast majority of the population.

The climate in France

France has a varied climate, with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. The country's climate is generally characterized by mild winters and warm summers, with the coastal areas being milder and wetter than inland areas. In the north of France, the climate is temperate oceanic, with mild temperatures and frequent rainfall throughout the year. The average temperature in this region is around 50°F (10°C) in winter and 66°F (19°C) in summer. In central France, the climate is semi-continental, with hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature in this region is around 39°F (4°C) in winter and 73°F (23°C) in summer. In the south of France, the climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The average temperature in this region is around 46°F (8°C) in winter and 81°F (27°C) in summer.

How much does it cost to rent a sailboat or catamaran in France?

The cost of renting a sailboat or catamaran in France can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of boat, its size, the time of year, and the rental company. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from €500 to €2,500 or more per week for a sailboat or catamaran rental in France. It's always best to compare prices from multiple rental companies and to book in advance to ensure availability and to get the best possible rate. Additionally, don't forget to factor in additional costs such as fuel, insurance, and any additional equipment or services you may need during your trip.

10 ideas of what to see in France on the coast

Here are 10 ideas of what to see in France on the coast:

  1. Île de Ré:

    A small island off the west coast of France, known for its beautiful beaches, bike paths, and charming villages.

  2. La Rochelle:

    A picturesque seaside town in western France, known for its historic harbor and Renaissance architecture.

  3. Saint-Malo:

    A walled city and port on the coast of Brittany, famous for its corsairs and seafaring history.

  4. Brittany:

    A rugged and beautiful region of the coast known for its seafood, lighthouses, and historic towns.

  5. Biarritz:

    A beautiful seaside town on the Basque coast known for its beaches, surfing, and thalassotherapy.

  6. Côte d'Azur:

    The French Riviera, famous for its beaches, resorts, and glamorous lifestyle.

  7. Calanques National Park:

    A stunning protected area of Mediterranean coast and cliffs near Marseille.

  8. Marseille:

    France's oldest city, located on the Mediterranean coast.

  9. Étretat Cliffs:

    Spectacular white chalk cliffs located on the Normandy coast.

  10. Mont Saint-Michel:

    A UNESCO World Heritage site located on an island off the coast of Normandy.

Sailing routes in France

Here are five popular sailing routes in France:


This route takes you along the historic coast of Normandy, which is known for its D-Day landing beaches, medieval towns, and stunning coastline. Along the way, you can explore the many historic sites and museums that commemorate the region's role in World War II, as well as the many charming towns and harbors that dot the coast.

Canal du Midi:

This route takes you through the scenic Canal du Midi, which is a 240-kilometer-long canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way, you'll pass through beautiful countryside and charming towns, and have plenty of opportunities to explore the region's many cultural and historical sites.

Bordeaux Wine Route:

This route takes you through the beautiful vineyards of the Bordeaux wine region, which is known for producing some of the world's finest wines. Along the way, you can stop at the many charming villages and towns along the route, and sample the region's delicious wines and cuisine.


This route takes you along the rugged coast of Brittany, which is known for its picturesque fishing villages, rugged cliffs, and medieval castles. Along the way, you can stop at the many charming ports and harbors along the coast, and explore the region's many cultural and historical sites.

French Riviera:

This route takes you along the stunning French Riviera, which is known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning coastline, and glamorous towns like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez. Along the way, you can stop at the many beautiful ports and marinas along the coast, and enjoy the region's many cultural attractions and world-class cuisine.


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Free Deposit Pack

With FDP (Free Deposit Pack), you have the chance to avoid a full security deposit and lock in your funds. Just pay 20% upfront (non-refundable), and experience a hassle-free journey. * The price of the FDP rises to 25% if booked less than 30 days before the charter.