The best beaches for secluded sailing stop offs

landscape photo of a sail boat just off shore of a tropical island beach. There is another island in the distance.

Sailing in warm weather offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and an intimate connection with the natural world. As the temperatures rise, many of us automatically feel more positive and active. This all feeds into an increased thirst for adventure and getting outdoors. Whether you embrace the warmth of the British spring and summer, or travel overseas for warmer climes, a beach stop off is a wonderful addition to a sailing trip. And with access by boat increasing the selection of beaches that you can access, you can choose from some truly picturesque and secluded beaches.  

The joys of summer sailing

So, what do sailors around the world benefit from when they choose warm weather sailing? Obviously the experience is more comfortable, with fewer clothing layers needed and less technical challenge on the water. But also, the more favourable conditions open up the potential for beach stop offs. 

Freedom and flexibility

Unlike traditional travel methods that often bind you to fixed schedules and crowded destinations, sailing offers the ultimate freedom. You can chart your course, stop whenever a location catches your interest, and stay as long as the tide allows. 

Pristine natural beauty

The tranquillity of a secluded beach, accessible only by boat, provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a slice of paradise where you can truly unwind.

Adventure and discovery

For those with a spirit of adventure, every sailing trip is an opportunity to discover something new. It might be a hidden cove, a secret beach, or a picturesque coastal village. 

Picturesque beaches you’ll love

While popular sailing destinations offer a multitude of stunning beaches, some hidden gems remain blissfully untouched by crowds. Here are some of the most picturesque and quiet beaches around the world, perfect for a secluded stop-off:

Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles

Located on La Digue Island, this beach is famed for its striking granite boulders, shallow warm waters, and powdery white sand. Accessible only by boat, it offers a peaceful retreat with stunning views.

Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain

Tucked away on the island of Menorca, Cala Macarella is a sheltered cove with turquoise waters and fine sand. Surrounded by pine trees and cliffs, it’s a hidden paradise that’s perfect for a tranquil stop.

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Situated on Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is renowned for its pure silica sand and clear blue waters. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, it provides a pristine escape amid one of the world’s most beautiful settings.

Honopu Beach, Hawaii, USA

Located on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Honopu Beach is a remote and untouched gem. Surrounded by towering cliffs and accessible only by water, it offers unmatched seclusion and breathtaking scenery.

Egremni Beach, Lefkada, Greece

Accessible primarily by boat, Egremni Beach on the island of Lefkada is a stretch of golden sand backed by dramatic cliffs. Its azure waters and serene setting make it a favourite among those seeking tranquillity.

Stunning beaches close to home

Finding a quiet beach while sailing in the UK can be an even more rewarding experience. Several lesser-known spots offer tranquillity and beautiful surroundings. 

Porthdinllaen, Wales

Located on the Llŷn Peninsula, Porthdinllaen is a small, picturesque village with a lovely, secluded beach. It’s accessible by boat and is much quieter compared to other tourist-heavy areas in Wales.

Scolt Head Island, Norfolk

This is a nature reserve managed by the National Trust. Access is by boat only, which limits the number of visitors. It offers serene beaches and the opportunity to see diverse wildlife.

Lulworth Cove, Dorset

While Lulworth Cove can get busy, anchoring a little offshore and visiting the beach early in the morning or late in the afternoon can provide a peaceful experience. The natural beauty of the Jurassic Coast adds to the charm.

Porth Ceiriad, Wales

Another gem on the Llŷn Peninsula, Porth Ceiriad is a secluded and beautiful beach. It’s quieter due to its more challenging access by land, making it a perfect spot for sailors seeking solitude.

South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The beaches here are often deserted, with stunning white sands and clear waters. The remoteness of the Outer Hebrides ensures peace and quiet, making it ideal for a serene sailing stopover.

Studland Bay, Dorset

While parts of Studland Bay can be popular, the northern sections near Shell Bay are often quieter. The area offers sheltered anchorage and beautiful views.

Holy Island, Northumberland

Accessible via boat, Holy Island’s beaches are typically quiet, especially during weekdays or outside peak tourist seasons. The island has historical significance and stunning natural beauty.

Herm, Channel Islands

Although not part of mainland UK, Herm’s beaches are very quiet, particularly Belvoir Bay. The island is small and less commercialised, providing a tranquil stopover.

Practical Tips 

Choosing your destination for a secluded beach stop off is just part of the planning, though. To have the best experience, and ensure that beaches stay beautiful for everyone who comes after you, we have some practical tips.

Anchor safely

Before heading ashore, ensure your boat is securely anchored. Check the seabed conditions and drop anchor in a spot with good holding ground. Use a second anchor if necessary and monitor the boat’s position to avoid drifting.

Pack essentials

Prepare a beach bag with essentials such as suncream, water, snacks, towels, and any swimming or snorkelling kit. A portable shade, such as an umbrella or a lightweight tent, can be a helpful respite from the sun if you’re staying a while.

Respect local regulations

Some beaches may have specific regulations or restrictions, particularly in protected areas. Be sure to familiarise yourself with local laws and respect any guidelines to preserve the natural environment.

Leave no trace

Practise responsible tourism by leaving no trace of your visit. Carry a rubbish bag to collect any waste and ensure you leave the beach as pristine as you found it. Avoid disturbing wildlife and be mindful of your impact on the environment.

Some of the most memorable experiences of sailing can happen away from the boat. From that first glimpse of land from the comfort of your boat seat to setting foot on the glistening sand, finding a secluded beach stop off can be truly magical! 

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