By some estimates, three-quarters of the world’s charter business takes place every summer in the Mediterranean. And the stretch of coastline known as the West Med, including the French and Italian rivieras, continues to be the most popular region within this most popular place.
The beauty of the West Med is that it changes constantly—and yet not at all. Many of the towns and buildings have stood for centuries but have evolved, say, from family chateaus into public museums. The Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix continue to be the season’s kickoff events each May, but they lure increasingly impressive superyachts and A-list stars.
Antibes, France, is often used as the starting point for charters, thanks to the nearby airport at Nice and all of the yacht services nearby. From Antibes, itineraries can either hug the coastline or head out to islands including Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. Multiweek charters can do both, combining the shopping and high-society fineries of St. Tropez, France, with the sunset views that turn mountains in the distance purple when they’re viewed from Calvi.
High season in the West Med—July and August—comes with premium pricing, and some yacht owners insist on bookings of two weeks or longer. If clients want a buzz-worthy yacht, then it’s wise to book six months or even a year in advance. After all, one of the best ways to experience something unique in a classic destination is to be aboard a new yacht.