Essential Sailing heads to Italian waters this summer
Perfect for sailors and non-sailors alike, Essential Sailing combines sailing with gastronomy and sightseeing in three superb locations: Italy's Ligurian coast, the French Riviera and the Canaries (Tenerife and La Gomera). With a maximum of six guests on board at any one time, spend a week in the lap of luxury, being taken from place to place on a luxury 50-foot Beneteau yacht.
Italy: New for 2012, the itinerary along the Ligurian coast combines Italy's renowned culture and cuisine with sailing and sightseeing. Aside from enjoying delicious local produce, swimming in sheltered coves and admiring postcard-worthy views, the flexible itineraries take in the highlights of Liguria - a region which offers a supreme blend of art, architecture, history, culture and gastronomy.
Itinerary highlights include living the high life in jet-set Portofino, wandering past the pastel-coloured houses of the Cinque Terre villages and arriving in picture-perfect Rapallo with its mix of medieval, Baroque and Rococo architecture.
It goes without saying that the food in Italy is amongst the best in the world: delicious plates of pasta, home-made gelati and fantastic local wines.
Departures in June, September and October 2012
France: With the option of heading either east or west out of Cannes, the French Riviera itinerary is as flexible as it gets.
Itinerary highlights include admiring spectacular views from the hill-top village of Èze, sampling local produce from the colourful markets in Vieux Antibes and getting your fix of French culture in cities such as Nice, Cannes and Monaco.
Sample Provençal and Niçois dishes including bouillabaisse (fish stew), pissaladière (olive and onion pizza) and olive tapenades. Delicious cheeses, cold meats and freshly-baked bread are all also served onboard.
Departures in May, July and August 2012
The Canaries: Explore the waters surrounding Tenerife and La Gomera, exchanging the usual tourist hotspots for some of the islands' lesser-known areas.
Itinerary highlights include visiting Icod de los Vinos (previously Tenerife's largest Guanche settlement) and the ancient Pirámedes (pyramids) de Güímar, climbing El Teide by foot or cable car and mooring up in San Sebastián de la Gomera - the most westerly port in the world, where Christopher Columbus anchored before his voyage to the Americas.
Fresh fish, mouth-watering tapas and traditional dishes such as papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) and traditional stews (often thickened with gofio - wholemeal flour) all feature on Canary Island menus.
Departures in January, February, March, April and December 2012
Lead-in price: A one-week fully-crewed private charter sailing holiday with Essential Sailing costs from £1,385 pp (six sharing) in low season. Price includes private airport transfers, seven nights' en-suite accommodation on board, fully-crewed service, daily breakfast and lunch on board, two dinners on board and all drinks served with meals. Flights excluded.
For further information, visit essentialsailing.com.