Sailing holidays to float your family’s boat

A sailing holiday can be as active or relaxing as you want. Sara took a Stay and Sail holiday to the Retreat Beachclub in Greece with her husband, Marc, and daughters Thea 8 and Amelia 13. Here’s what they thought.

What made you choose a Stay and Sail holiday?

My husband’s true love is sailing and he has long yearned to coax his reluctant family away from lounging around the pool or soaking up the rays on a beach to life on the ocean wave. I booked a Stay and Sail holiday to reward my husband for all the sunbathing holidays he has had to endure over the years.

So were you pleasantly surprised by the trip?

Very much so, there was plenty of opportunity to come and go during the first week at the Retreat Beachclub whilst we were doing our training for the second week. The yacht training was actually fun and my confidence soared in leaps and bounds, but it wasn’t all about the sailing for me, I also enjoyed a bit of lounging round the pool, and also had a massage and facial.

At the end of the first week we finally got our hands on our home for the second week, a 37’ Dufour yacht which had 3 cabins and was very spacious for our needs, after a surprisingly comfortable first night sleep, our adventure began

If you’re interested in sailing in Greece some of our best summer charter options leave from Lavrion, a great cruising hub in Athens. It’s an easy port to get to (just 35 km from the airport) and you can get there by coach bus or taxi. Departing from Lavrion you can sail to the picturesque Saronic Islands; explore ancient ruins and sandy beaches on Hydra, Aegina, Poros, Spetse. You can also choose to go to the Cyclades- these larger islands have their own unique personalities and they also offer more challenging sailing for those who prefer longer days on the waters and stronger winds.

How were your instructors?

They were great; our lead boat team gave the impression of being completely laid back whilst being utterly professional and efficient. Added to that, they were just thoroughly good fun and provided some great laughs throughout the week.

How did you manage to please all the family?

Our younger daughter made friends quickly in the Surfbusters children’s club and she spent her time ashore doing the club activities, our eldest loved the TAG club and didn’t want to leave her new friends and cool young instructors who made everyday a fun day. Meanwhile Marc and I sailed with our intrepid instructor, water-skied early in the mornings and played tennis in the late afternoon sunshine – the whole family was happy with that arrangement. The kids had a great time and it was comforting to know they were in good hands.

During our second sailing week, my husband was to be captain whilst our daughters pulled whatever ropes needed pulling, so my presence was optional and I was quite often to be found relaxing with a refreshing drink in hand admiring the passing scenery!

What was the highlight of your trip?

There is no way to convey the beauty of the azure blue sea we sailed across on our first morning, watching dolphins and flying fish swim and jump almost alongside us. At lunchtimes, we simply dropped anchor in one of the hundreds of idyllic little coves along the coastline and swam in the clearest of blue waters. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself nearly as much as I did.

Would you do it again?

Yes, definitely. We came home buzzing and relaxed and with a new skill that has opened up a whole new world for us. This year we are booking a flotilla holiday, no more beach holidays for us just yet!