The Ionian islands of Paxos, Zante, Corfu and Kefelonia personify the ancient charm of Greece but in the Cyclades nothing beats the spectacle of Santorini, the vibe of Mykonos, or the history of Delos. Combine the archeological marvels of Athens with a cruise to Hydra, a no-car island that is increasingly part of the new contemporary scene. The windmills, whitewashed villages and simple beach tavernas remain but now, cool new restaurants and clubs are opening and Greece is very focused on making the most of combining classic and contemporary.
Turkey is a changing scene. Make straight for the dazzling new Bodrum resorts, spas and beach clubs. If you want to cruise elsewhere, avoid the crowds by going in the shoulder seasons – late May or the end of September. The turquoise coast from Fethiye to Antalya is one of the most beautiful, dramatic cruising areas anywhere. The nature reserves and rivers are ideal to take tenders out on a mini-expedition to explore inland while the coast offers so many idyllic places to flyboard, jetski, windsurf, paraglide, sail, scuba and just exhaust yourself.
A few years ago Croatia was very much the new place to go for the summer yachting holiday. It was beautiful, the water was crystal clear, the weather was superb and it was a change from the usual places everyone knew. Now, things are even better. Places that were new have matured and better infrastructure, resources and expectations mean that Croatia delivers what it promises and that is a lot. You will find everything from a deserted island you can take for the day, to a high octane cosmopolitan scene that runs 24 hours a day.