Wintering in the Mediterranean
If you are currently cruising the Mediterranean and considering where to winter your boat, these comments from the cruising community – accumulated over the last 5+ years – should give you a good idea as to where the majority are spending the colder months. Additional recent feedback can be found in user comments via the speech bubble icon, at the top and bottom of the article. Do post your own feedback if you want to recommend a place you spent the winter in the Med.
Published 5 years ago, updated 4 months ago
Alanya is a seaside resort located on the eastern side of the Gulf of Antalya. It is 120 kms (74.5 miles) from the city of Antalya. It is attractive all year, with a castle and many historical sites in the vicinity. Wade and Diane Alarie arrived in Alanya after passing through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in June 2020. See their Report – Three Years Based at Alanya Marina – May 2023.
We are wintering on the hard in Setur Antalya (2018). Price was the big attraction as we wanted to leave the boat out of the water for 9 months. The marina staff are by far the most helpful we have ever encountered. However, the facilities and availability of supplies are extremely limited. All shopping requires a bus trip, which is not a problem if the bus arrives – no guarantee it will run and no set timetable. There is a very small chandlery in the marina and items can be ordered in within a few days. Most of the boats in the marina are local Turkish owned. We are one of the very few cruisers in the marina this winter. We will not be wintering again in Antalya.
Reports from cruisers who have stayed in Levent Marina, Izmir, for the winter can be found in the comments section. It is a small marina and is located next to the auto ferry stop on the South side of Izmir Bay in Uçkuyular. The staff is small but reported to be genuinely helpful and obliging. Excellent protection.
See comment posted at bottom of this report dated 2019 about wintering in Kas Harbor and another dated 2015/16 re. wintering in Setur Marina, Kas. Other user feedback about this port can be found here.
Located on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon is not a typical cruising destination. Italian sailor Giorgio Clerici of SY Laurora spent winter 2022/23 there and reports on fees, protocols and his impressions of this country that is suffering an economic crisis. While winter cruising outside of Beirut is not to be recommended, in the Summer there are some interesting places to visit and lovely anchorages along the coast. See Lebanon comments (speech bubble icon).
Aghios Nikolaos, NE Crete. Very nice and welcoming city, close to Heraklion Airport, very well sheltered, cheap and a winter temperature around 20 degrees C. There are people swimming all year round.
Early booking essential for winter berths (2016).
We are wintering in “Boat Club” in the Evia Channel (2018), Halkoutsi, about 1hr from Athens. It’s good value, comes well recommended and is a nice safe place to be. The owner lives inside the boatyard.
We are staying in Kalamata,
Greece. Unlike in Turkey, there is a lack of officialdom in Greece.
There’s too many rules, regulations for yachts in Turkey. See comments from cruisers who have visited Kalamata.
I will be away for 6 months (2019) and my boat will be in Leros Boatyard for 6 months. My boat had been in Yacht Marina for over 10 years, but this year I ran out of my 90 days visa and Lero’s boatyard in Greece is 900 Euros cheaper for laying up my boat on the hard for 6 months.
Feedback from 2017 at the bottom of this report under user comments by cruisers that spent the winter in Porto Cheli, Peloponnese.
Mixed reviews for Preveza as a wintering/long-term stay option. See Cruisers Comments. The yards here do insist on clients using their on-site technicians. Good advice is to agree with the yard up front that you can use outsiders to carry out the works during layup and get this in writing. There are some very good service people outside the yards, but the yards won’t let them work unless you have agreed on this in advance.
Lefkas Marina [Facebook] have an activity programme for winter liveaboards.
Cyprus actually is a good cruising destination with many anchorages. Although none are all weather anchorages, most are good in the prevailing weather.
Karpaz Gate Marina:
Karpaz Gate Marina has 5* facilities at 3* prices yet so few boats! A wonderful place to relax. The rural location is a benefit and a drawback but the marina organise regular shopping expeditions to the towns at little or no cost. Email for prices, you may find them better than their website. (2018).
At Larnaca Marina haul out is charged by the square meter (length (LOA) x max. beam) – 2018. The price is 6 euro per square meter lifting and same price launching. If people have an extended stay in mind then hauling out is maybe a good option as it avoids berthing problems. See more at Cruisers Comments.
Many sailors might know that Cyprus is another option to escape from Schengen, the winter weather is superb and the marina (Limassol) is very safe. However, Cyprus is not known for many places to anchor, marinas can be expensive, especially in the summer, and there are not many of them. Marina costs where we are now will be going up by 50 per cent (discount reduced to 25 per cent), that puts the cost for a 6-month contract in winter for a 12 to 15-meter boat around 6,000 euro including VAT, but extra for water and power. There are many nice places in the Med with much more reasonable rates.
(2018) I know that wintering at Limassol is expensive compared to many other places in the Med, but in our opinion, it is one of the nicest marinas in the Mediterranean we have wintered in, 5 stars, safe in all wind and weather, great people and still outside the Schengen area.
Other Limassol comments by users at bottom of this report.
When US Sailors Cindy and Michael Hanson arrived in the Mediterannean in December 2022 after sailing from the Seychelles, they wanted somewhere warm to spend the winter. The new Ayia Napa Marina in Cyprus turned out to be the ideal location as they outline in this report.
ITALY – SICILY
Licata on Sicily is another very nice place. We’ve spent winter 2018/19 here, where it was nearly fully booked. The marina is excellent. Staff are friendly and competent. Facilities are well maintained and clean. Read more at Cruisers Comments.
Lots of great feedback about the marina/boatyard here for winter storage, however a report received this year (2021) states that the yard don’t offer a dry storage service. They only keep boats in the yard for the time needed to complete commissioned works. Read past comments about wintering in Ragusa here.
We left the boat in Palermo, Sicily for the last winter (2018/19), in Galizzi marina – 300 Euros per month. Very well protected and secured, they provide all facilities: water; electricity; responsible staff (if needed they add more ropes when you are not there). Had peace of mind during last winter!
Additional to a well managed Marina, Nautica Galizzi has a small but very efficient boatyard the which can handle small and large repairs. All chandlers and more mechanical workshops are just around the corner which should make this the ideal place to resolve basically any issue on any type of boat (2019).
Hi, I stayed at Fratelli Galizzi from April until October 2015. One can only recommend this place. Good service and very helpful in all means. Had some works done by the family very accurate and good. 10 minutes walk to the centre of the city. All facilities close, Airport about 30-40 mins. I will return! Palermo is always worth a visit!
ITALY – MAINLAND
Cantieri Nautica Ranieri is a private marina/boatyard on the north side of Bari harbour with winter berths available. Good rate, excellent security and spaces available (2018).
Nautica Ranieri in Bari (2018): we chose this marina because we were going to be leaving our boat for several weeks of land travel on mainland Europe. We chose it because it was conveniently located for us, having just sailed over from Dubrovnik (a straight shot across the Adriatic), and it was by far the most reasonably priced (45 euros a night), and also very secure marina on our intended course down the southern Adriatic, around the “boot” of Italy and westward. The marina puts a big premium on security. The boatyard is directly adjacent to the coast guard and is behind large walls with secure doors. When we arrived by taxi fully laden with our provisions from shopping, the marina opened its auto doors and allowed the taxi to drive up to the boat, and we entered and exited via a key-card accessible door. Otherwise, no open entries to the boatyard or marina are possible.
I have now (2018) for the last 4 years used Brindisi for my Winter storage of my yacht a Moody 422. The name of the yard in Brindisi is: Cantiere Navale Danese, Danese Yacht Service [email protected]. This yard is the most secure and professionally run yard I have visited for many years. The infrastructure is perfect for reaching Brindisi in the Winter month.
Gaeta (halfway between Rome and Naples) – Base Nautica Flavio Gioia – Popular marina for wintering for cruising yachts with good shelter.
We put the boat on the hard at Marina Hannibal for the winter 2016-17 (East coast, Adriatic, Monfalcone). Exceptional friendly and helpful staff. Nice yard and somewhat protected from the Bora winds. Price was reasonable, and both the marina and yard are well maintained. The only complaint was that our outboard was stolen while we were on the hard in the marina.
Roccella and its port have always been one of our favourites in the Med. We have spent the past winter (2018/19) here and have thoroughly enjoyed being here. We lacked for nothing. The plan is to return here again this winter. The liveaboard community this year was very small, but we expect it only to grow. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and the marina is actively soliciting winter liveaboards.
We spent the winter of 2017-18 (Oct-Apr) here and can’t sing their praises enough. The marina may not be the prettiest around, but it is definitely value for money; they have raised their prices this year (2019) but are still, I believe, the cheapest in Italy. As a wintering location, Roccella is ideal. Inexpensive, protected and a good location on the way to or from Greece or the Adriatic and Albania is within easy reach for non-EU visitors needing to leave the EU temporarily. We’re returning for 2018-19 as are a number of others. Well worth considering – read more in comments at bottom of report.
We spent the winter 2016/17 in Roccella Ionica – well sheltered, very helpful and friendly staff, excellent winter rates, free bikes to go to town. Great markets close by (Saturday and Tuesday). Would certainly stay there again, best rates in the Med! 1100 Euros for a winter package for a 53-foot boat including vat, water and electricity!
OTHER MED COUNTRIES
We spent the winter 2016-2017 in Almeria – Puerto Deportivo Aguadulce. Very attractive pricing, good service, charming and helpful harbour peoples and good protection. The bar and cafés can be noisy during the weekend though. Well equipped ‘Varadero’, we had new antifouling applied there.
Useful feedback from cruisers in various facilities in and around Barcelona.
User comments at bottom of this report about Port Roda de Bará near to Barcelona (in particular for catamarans) and Club Nàutic de Vilanova, 50km WSW of Barcelona.
I spent the winter 2016/17 in Yacht Port Cartagena. Good facilities, friendly staff and a great community. The town is also worth visiting. It’s a well-protected marina, except in strong Southerly swells. The prices are very reasonable. During my stay, there was a special offer for catamarans to pay the same price as monohulls. Consequently, there were a lot of cats with liveaboards. The marina is also great at recommending people and suppliers for jobs on boats. I didn’t use the nearby boatyard but heard good things about it.
See this video for a glimpse at winter life for liveaboards in Cartagena (2017).
Wintering in Cartagena (2011)
Good feedback from cruisers that have visited and spent time in Cartagena in cruisers comments.
Club Nautico de Sevilla – Prices reported to be reasonable for wintering.
SPAIN – NORTH AFRICA
South of France, Gruissan: Winter Storage at Nautiland (2013-14)
More recent reports from cruisers in Gruissan in comments.
I spent 2 winters in Marsamxett Harbour Marina in Malta on the breakwater. I liked it. Very European community. Lots of good social get-togethers. Quite a few people have started to go to Ragusa in Sicily. It was still very reasonably priced when we left in 2011.
I heard many boaters put their boat on the hard on Gozo island, just north of Malta for the winter.
A popular option for winter in the Me. Excellent position, with easy access to Greece and Croatia in the east or Sardinia and the Balearics in the west. The weather is warm and generally moderate with pleasant winter cruising in the south as depressions tend to stay further north. The infrastructure for yachting is well established and varied with many harbours, small fishing ports and marinas to enjoy not to mention the rich history and culture on shore. See more details in Tunisia comments (speech bubble icon).
For winter time (2018) my sailing boat is in Bizerte. The marina team is very good. If you need to repair something ask Mourad the captain of the Marina. He is also a famous skipper in Tunisia, he will do the best for you and is very helpful. There are electricity and water, and the toilet and shower are new and 5-star quality. Bizerte has a very big market with fish, vegetables, meat .. great and cheap. The Tunisian people are very friendly, they are happy to see tourists coming back.
There are many more recent favourable comments about Bizerte.
JUST OUTSIDE THE MED BUT WORTH CONSIDERING
(posted by Bon Accord): We spent the winter 2018/19 in Portimao, which gave us time to visit the other marinas on the Algarve. Our boat is 54′ on deck and 62′ LOA, full length keel.
- Lagos: very popular but cramped, we would not have had fun manoeuvring in there. Supermarket just across the road. Most expensive offer for a 9 months stay.
- Portimao: outside of town, bus service, not so many live aboards. Facilities good, plenty of space as well as sufficient water for the boats. Boatyard on other side of river, several English speaking. Middle price offer.
- Vilamora: rather shallow harbour, manoeuvring space on the small side, but good marineros. Lots of rather expensive restaurants and bars along the quays, tourists only, no traditional town or even supermarket ( 10 km to closest one). Hotels and golf courses galore. Expensive for a one night stop, but cheapest winter offer.
- For other wintering articles on Noonsite follow this link
- See Comments from Noonsite Users with more feedback at bottom of report.
- Wintering: Dangers of Storing With The Mast Stepped
- Wintering: Leave and Return with Peace-of-Mind
If you are currently considering wintering in the Mediterranean, or indeed have discovered a place worth recommending, please post a comment below with useful information on your findings.
Related to following destinations: Aegean Sea, Alanya, Almeria, Antalya, Atlantic Coast (Morocco), Ayios Nikolaos, Barcelona, Bari, Bodrum, Cartagena (Murcia), Crete, Cyprus, East Coast (Adriatic Coast), Eastern Med, Finike, France, Gaeta, Gozo, Greece, Ionian, Italy, Izmir, Kalamata, Kusadasi, Lefkas, Licata, Limassol, Malta, Malta, Marina di Ragusa, Marmaris, Marsamxett Harbour, Mediterranean Coast (Spain), Monastir, Monfalcone, Montenegro, Morocco, Peloponnese, Preveza, Rabat, Riposto, Roccella Ionica, Sevilla, Sicily, South Coast (Ionian Sea), South West Coast (Spain), Southern Cyprus, Spain, Tarragona, Tivat, Tunisia, Turkey, West Coast (Italy), Western Med, Yasmine Hammamet