There are many great worldwide destinations perfect for a culture-filled sailing holiday, but it seems as if the Mediterranean has more than its fair share of these. Here are our top picks of the best locations for a truly educational getaway.
Where to start when talking about Italy's immensely rich culture? One of the most popular places to begin a sailing break from is the Bay of Naples, which is a fascinating destination in its own right - so be sure to explore the mainland a little before you set sail on your holiday proper.
Highlights in the city of Naples itself include not one but four castles that loom over the capital of Campania, along with the cathedral and the Chapel of St Gennaro's Treasure - which, as you might expect, is filled with valuable artefacts that are well worth seeing.
Next, step aboard your boat - a crewed one, if you really want to travel in luxury! - and take your pick of the nearby islands for more history and culture to soak up. Ischia is home to attractions like Aragonese Castle and the Sea Museum, while sophisticated Capri has several historic houses and museums to take in.
Of course, there are other cultural itineraries you could opt for on a sailing break in Italy. One popular journey involves winding your way through the scenic Aeolian Islands near Sicily, while Sardinia offers more sailing possibilities thanks to its Romanesque architecture, historic churches and spectacular landscape.
Sailors perhaps know Croatia best for the more than 1,000 islands that hug the picturesque Dalmatian Coast, but it's also an excellent destination for culture vultures due to its historic cities.
Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting 1,940 m of well-preserved defensive walls, an imposing fortress and an impressive range of museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Archaeological Museum and the Cultural History Museum. It's also worth looking at the city's events calendar to see if any special exhibitions, concerts or performances will take place when your yacht stops there.
Further north along the coast is Split, another UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with stimulating attractions. Diocletian's Palace is one of the main draws here, along with Prokurative Square and its Renaissance buildings. Don't miss other sights such as the 13th century St Francis Monastery, the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery and the bustling marketplace near the palace for a fascinating insight into local history and culture.
Turkey's Lycian Coast is renowned as a particularly picturesque, historic part of the country, making it the perfect destination for anyone on a luxury sailing holiday. One potential itinerary could take you from Gocek to Fethiye via Kapi Creek and Ekincik Limani.
Fethiye has some wonderful cultural sights that simply shouldn't be missed, including the colourful bazaar in Paspatour, mysterious rock tombs, a Roman theatre and several Lycian sarcophagi. The area is also famous for its spectacular beaches, so you should be able to enjoy a great combination of educational sightseeing and seaside relaxation during your visit.
Alternatively, you could consider exploring the attractions of the Carian Coast by sailing from Bencik to Orhaniye, stopping at several scenic locations along the way. Bozukkale is home to some ancient ruins at Loryma that were once part of the nearby island of Rhodes, with several well-preserved structures to see.
Stop in Datca, meanwhile, and you could make the 38 km journey to Knidos, an ancient Carian city. Here, you can take a look at the ruins of a temple dedicated to Aphrodite - see if you can spot the remains of the heart-shaped columns that once lined the arcaded walkway at the site.