Month: June 2024

5 of the best coolcation holidays on the water

Humla guests on beach in Lofoten Islands Norway

Not everyone is a fan of the sunshine, and with temperatures rising, many are now searching for cooler holiday destinations, with an increase in the popularity of ‘coolcation’ holidays. Across the Baltic and Nordic countries, you’ll still find long sunny days, yet with temperatures cool enough to enjoy the surrounding scenery. Exploring far from the beaten track, our sailing coolcation holidays are perfect for discovering some of Europe’s best-hidden gems. Time on the water also allows you to enjoy a constant steady breeze as you sail through sheltered coastal waters and fjords. Beat the heat this summer and experience the best of Europe from the water with our coolcation holidays.

Fairytale island hopping: South Denmark

The South Funen archipelago boasts stunning sailing grounds with gentle waves and moderate winds, making it undoubtedly one of the finest sailing destinations in Denmark. A sailing holiday here offers a hands-on experience perfect for beginners and seasoned sailors alike. Venture to Lyø, covered in pine forests, where hiking trails wind through picturesque islets and serene, bird-filled marshes. Strynø offers a glimpse into the region’s rich maritime history with its iconic half-timbered houses and traditional boat museum. For nature lovers, the tranquil island of Drejø features peaceful walking trails and sightings of graceful white fallow deer. Across the islands you’ll find charming thatched cottages, making it a beautiful spot to anchor, swim off the stern, and explore on foot. Sailing holidays in South Funen offer a unique, sustainable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty and maritime heritage.

Average temperatures in July and August: 20-26°C


Lofoten island adventures in Norway

The Lofoten Islands are a haven of dramatic landscapes and pristine beaches. Sailing around these islands reveals breathtaking panoramas at every turn. Activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching providing endless adventures for nature lovers. Explore charming fishing villages with iconic red cabins that add vibrant splashes of colour to the rugged surroundings. Under sail, discover inlets and fjords accessible only from the water, and end your days with a beach bonfire on a remote island, watching the Midnight Sun float on the horizon. Aside from the breathtaking natural landscapes on offer, you’ll also be treated to an endless display of wildlife. From otters, foxes and moose ashore to whales, dolphins and puffin colonies at sea, keep your binoculars at the ready!

Average temperatures in July and August: 18 – 25°C


Sailing Stockholm’s idyllic archipelago

The Stockholm archipelago is an exquisite cluster of over 30,000 islands, islets, and skerries extending into the Baltic Sea. This stunning maritime landscape offers a mix of natural beauty and charming fishing villages. The Stockholm archipelago is a sailor’s paradise, offering lush, forested islands, rocky outcrops, and sandy beaches. As you sail, you’ll visit islands steeped in history and culture, each with its own unique story, from ancient Viking settlements to historic fishing communities. Indulge in fresh seafood and traditional Swedish cuisine, both onboard and at charming island restaurants and cafes. Wake up each day surrounded by the serene beauty of the Baltic Sea, with the sound of gentle waves lapping against the hull, and explore a diverse landscape that changes with every nautical mile.

Average temperatures in July and August: 18 – 22°C


Scottish summer staycations

A Coolcation holiday doesn’t have to mean flights abroad—a staycation in Scotland can offer just as much in the way of dramatic landscapes and adventures far from the beaten track. Boasting more than 10,000 miles of stunning coastline, Scotland and its islands provide something for everyone; a unique land rich with history, wildlife, jaw-dropping beauty, and world-leading whiskies. The Hebrides, considered the jewel in the crown of Scotland’s coastline, feature remote islets, secluded sea lochs, and sheltered coves. Enjoy long, warm sunny days in the Western Isles, with ideal sailing conditions and sheltered bays for continued adventures when the Atlantic winds blow. Wildlife enthusiasts can look forward to visiting puffin colonies, spotting birds of prey, and experiencing unforgettable encounters with dolphins and whales, including the resident pod of Orca gliding elegantly through the waters.

Average temperatures in July and August: 15 – 23°C


Discover the dramatic Norwegian fjords

Embark on an unforgettable sailing adventure through Norway’s stunning fjords, where majestic mountains, picturesque villages, and rugged snow-capped peaks await. These pristine landscapes, carved during the ice age, are home to breathtaking backdrops of steep, forested mountain slopes and deep, emerald waters. The fjords feature dramatic scenery and charming villages, where each stop offers opportunities for sightseeing and scenic walks in the untouched beauty of Norway’s coastline. Enjoy activities such as hiking, kayaking, or simply relaxing onboard as you sail through the tranquil waters. Conclude your adventure in one of Norway’s picturesque coastal towns, where you can explore historic sites and enjoy local cuisine. Our coolcation holidays to the Norwegian fjords are perfect for those seeking to explore Norway’s natural wonders away from the tourist crowds.

Average temperatures in July and August: 13 – 18°C


Ready to set sail on a coolcation?

Embarking on a coolcation holiday under sail offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of Europe’s most stunning and lesser-known destinations from the water. Whether you’re navigating the serene fjords of Norway, the enchanting Stockholm archipelago, the magical Scottish islands, or the idyllic shores of South Funen, each journey promises unique landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unforgettable adventures. Escape the summer heat, embrace the cool breezes, and experience the magic of Europe’s waters like never before.

Stockholm Archipelago Island Hopping Holidays

Sweden stockholm archipelago island hopping

The Stockholm archipelago is an exquisite cluster of over 30,000 islands, islets, and skerries that extend into the Baltic Sea from the city of Stockholm. This stunning maritime landscape offers a mix of natural beauty, charming fishing villages, and abundant opportunities for sailing, kayaking, and exploring the unique island communities under sail.

Stockholm archipelago island hopping holidays offer a truly unique experience, and there’s no better way to explore than under sail. Reach areas only accessible by boat as you sail these sheltered waters with the historic ship Iris. The experienced crew onboard have spent years sailing here and know all the best spots far from the tourist hustle and bustle.

Sailing holidays in the Stockholm archipelago

Wake up each day surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the Baltic Sea, with the sound of gentle waves lapping against the hull. The Stockholm archipelago is a sailor’s paradise, offering a diverse and enchanting landscape that changes with every nautical mile. From lush, forested islands to rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, the scenery here is nothing short of breathtaking.

Sailing aboard Iris, a classic sailing ship, you’ll have the chance to explore hidden gems and secluded anchorages that larger vessels cannot reach. Whilst onboard a Stockholm archipelago island hopping holiday, discover the archipelago’s secret coves and idyllic bays. Here you can swim in crystal-clear waters, kayak along pristine shorelines, and stroll through picturesque villages untouched by time.

The islands of of the Stockholm archipelago

The islands of the Stockholm archipelago are undoubtedly steeped in history and culture. Each island has its own unique story to tell, from ancient Viking settlements to historic fishing communities. As you set sail on your Stockholm archipelago island hopping holiday, the crew will share fascinating tales and local legends, enriching your understanding of this remarkable region.

Visit the island of Sandhamn, particularly known for its vibrant sailing culture and charming wooden houses. Wander through the cobbled streets of Vaxholm, the gateway to the archipelago, and explore its well-preserved fortress. In Utö, you can tour one of Sweden’s oldest iron mines and enjoy a delicious meal at a traditional island inn.

Culinary delights in the Stockholm archipelago

A Stockholm archipelago island hopping holiday is also undeniably a culinary adventure. The region’s islands are known for their fresh seafood and traditional Swedish cuisine. Enjoy meals prepared onboard with locally-sourced ingredients, including freshly caught fish, smoked salmon, and delicious shrimp. Savour a traditional Swedish fika with coffee and pastries as you relax on deck, surrounded by stunning island vistas.

Many islands host charming restaurants and cafes where you can sample local delicacies and experience the archipelago’s warm hospitality. Whether dining onboard or ashore, each meal is certainly a celebration of Sweden’s rich culinary heritage.

Adventure and tranquility in the Stockholm archipelago

Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a novice, a sailing holiday in the Stockholm archipelago offers the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. The sheltered waters are ideal for leisurely sailing, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty around you. Take the helm under the guidance of the experienced crew, or simply relax on deck with a good book as the world drifts by.

Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities, offering a closer look at the archipelago’s diverse wildlife and pristine landscapes. Anchor in a quiet bay for a refreshing swim or explore on foot, hiking the trails that crisscross the larger islands. Each day brings a new adventure, tailored to your interests and pace.

Set sail on a Stockholm archipelago island hopping holiday

A sailing holiday with Iris through the Stockholm archipelago is an unforgettable journey into one of Europe’s most enchanting maritime regions. With its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, the archipelago offers a sailing experience like no other.

Join us for a week of exploration, relaxation, and adventure on the waters of the Baltic Sea. Discover the hidden gems of the archipelago, enjoy the warm hospitality of the island communities, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Why sailing Spain’s Atlantic coast should be on your travel wish list!

Spain Vigo iles cies, Rias Baixas

Sailing Spain’s Atlantic coast is the most unique and immersive way to explore this stunning region. The flexibility of a Spanish sailing holiday to stop at various locations, dictated by the wind and weather, allows for a truly personalized adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to discover hidden gems, from secluded beaches to charming coastal towns, all while enjoying the comfort and luxury of your chosen vessel. Spain’s Atlantic coast is not just about breathtaking scenery; it’s also a culinary delight. The seafood and shellfish in this region are among the finest in the world!

Sailing Spain’s Atlantic coast allows you to experience the region’s natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights in a way that no other form of travel can match. From the historic streets of La Coruña to the pristine beaches of the Iles Cies, and the vibrant culture of the Rias Baixas region, a sailing holiday is the ultimate way to discover the best that Spain’s Atlantic coast has to offer.

La Coruña

Start your adventure sailing Spain in La Coruña, a coastal city in Galicia boasting a rich history intertwined with its fishing and trading port. The historic part of town, situated on a peninsula, features a fascinating Romanesque road network filled with charming squares and medieval churches. A must-see landmark is the Hercules Tower, the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses works by Goya and other notable artists.

While in La Coruña, don’t miss the chance to visit the San Carlos Garden. Here you’ll find a serene retreat with beautiful views of the ocean and the city. La Coruña’s vibrant culinary scene is another highlight, with numerous seafood restaurants offering fresh catches of the day.

Rias Baixas

As you sail south from La Coruña you’ll head towards the enchanting Rias Baixas region of Spain, a hidden gem, home to stunning natural beauty and a vibrant culture. This area consists of four main inlets with small island clusters dotting the estuaries and bays. The white sandy beaches, fringed with granite boulders, are reminiscent of the Outer Hebrides but with warmer waters. The entire region is a designated National Park, making it a perfect spot for anchoring under star-lit skies. After a morning of sailing, explore the islands’ trails and discover hidden coves and picturesque landscapes.

In the Rias Baixas, the town of Cambados is known as the capital of Albariño wine, and visiting its wineries for tastings is a delightful experience. The picturesque village of Combarro is another highlight, famous for its traditional hórreos (granaries) and charming waterfront. For history buffs, the Castle of Soutomaior, nestled in the hills, offers stunning views and a glimpse into the region’s medieval past. Read more about the Rias Baixas region of Spain in our in-depth travel guide here.

Iles Cies

Within the Rias Baixas region lie the charming Iles Cies. The Iles Cies are often referred to as the “Galician Caribbean” due to their unspoiled beauty and pristine beaches, such as Playa de Rodas, which has been ranked among the best beaches in the world. 

The islands are also a haven for nature lovers, with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Additionally, the underwater ecosystem is equally impressive, making the area popular for snorkelling and diving. On land, the islands are crisscrossed with well-marked trails, including routes up to Mount Faro where you can explore ancient Roman ruins and take in sweeping ocean views.  


Vigo, the largest city in Galicia, is a vibrant blend of tradition and modernity. Its old town, Casco Vello, is a charming area with narrow, winding streets lined with historic buildings, traditional tapas bars, and local shops. The heart of this district is the Plaza de la Constitución, a lively square perfect for enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine while soaking up the local atmosphere. Vigo is also home to the bustling Mercado da Pedra, where visitors can sample fresh oysters and other seafood delicacies straight from the market stalls.

For a taste of Vigo’s maritime heritage, visit the Museo do Mar de Galicia, which explores the city’s long-standing connection with the sea. The city’s modern side is evident in the contemporary art museum, MARCO, which hosts rotating exhibitions of modern art. The waterfront promenade, with its beautiful views of the harbor and numerous seafood restaurants, is ideal for a leisurely stroll. With its dynamic blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Vigo is certainly a must-visit destination on Spain’s Atlantic coast.

Sailing Spain’s Atlantic coastline 

 From the historic streets and landmarks of La Coruña to the vibrant cultural life of Vigo and the pristine beaches of the Iles Cies, each stop along the way provides a unique glimpse into the region’s rich heritage and stunning landscapes. A sailing holiday not only allows you to discover hidden gems and enjoy the diverse scenery but also immerses you in the local culture and culinary delights. Whether you are an avid sailor or simply a curious traveller, sailing Spain’s Atlantic coast promises an unforgettable journey filled with adventure, relaxation, and discovery.

Greenland holidays Under Sail

Greenland Disko Bay

A country of majestic fjords, towering mountains and impressive glaciers, Greenland is fast becoming a must-see destination for the adventurous traveller. This rise in popularity of Greenland holidays has opened up travel to this arctic land with sailing the ultimate way to explore.

Why sailing is the best way to have a Greenland holiday

Despite its name, Greenland is actually predominantly a land of vast tundras and huge glaciers. The world’s largest island, Greenland is surrounded by nutrient-rich waters. These waters lure an astonishing array of marine life which are best seen from the deck of a boat. Lucky travellers may spot with multiple whale species including minke, humpback, fin, sperm, beluga and blue. The mystical-looking narwhal is also resident to the coastline here, making for incredible wildlife-watching memories. 

Aside from teeming with whales, Greenland is also home to polar bears, walrus, musk oxen and reindeer. These magnificent species enjoy the freedom to roam in Greenland National Park – the world’s largest. Whilst the landscape here may pose geographical challenges to humans, it doesn’t to animals and the result is a thriving ecosystem which is only exposed to a handful of visitors. Travelling under sail is undoubtedly the best way to experience the wildlife here. Our small boats can reach areas inaccessible to larger boats, with guests stepping ashore far from any road network. 

Any guest visiting is advised that the Arctic is a vulnerable area under increasing pressure so we ensure that every care is taken with the environment. Our smaller boats offer less impactful Greenland holidays than larger boats or cruise ships, leaving nothing in our wake. Sailing across deep fjords dotted with icebergs is an experience to behold, travelling in silence with no motors running is truly unforgettable, taking in the surreal landscapes as we glide along. 

Experience Inuit culture with our Greenland holidays

The Inuit culture is embedded in Greenland’s roots. Their language – Kalaallisut – is the country’s official one with Inuit traditions shaping the cultural heritage. Despite the extreme arctic conditions in Greenland, the Inuits thrived, hunting for whales and seals using dog sleds and kayaks to venture into far-flung areas. 

Greenland holidays under sail provide the chance to visit these remote communities, and learn how people carved a life in this arctic tundra. Travelling by boat also emphasises the rugged, vast wilderness of Greenland, allowing guests to connect with nature.

Why Greenland holidays are so special

Joining our Greenland holidays offers unforgettable experiences and those who choose these polar ventures will be spellbound. With expert skippers at the helm, you will be in safe hands as we explore rugged coastlines and icy fjords. 

The south and west coasts of Greenland is where we spend much of our time, visiting Inuit settlements who forged communities in this unforgiving environment. Crossing the Arctic Circle, experience Ilulissat, Greenland’s third-largest town on the shores of Disko Bay. A UNESCO-protected ice fjord, spend some time here climbing the various trails which offer jaw-dropping views across the ice. We also highly recommend taking the chance to join a dog sled excursion – Ilulissat is home to thousands of dogs who are all used for sledding and always keen to take visitors out for a spin!

Whether you’re ready for an adventure, keen to travel to somewhere totally different or want to experience incredible wildlife watching, Greenland holidays under sail have it all. The climate and environment may be challenging, but travelling with us on board our expedition boats will keep you warm as you traverse this astonishingly magnificent country.

Sailing Denmark with National Geographic Traveller

Aron skipper sailing

We had the pleasure of welcoming National Geographic Traveller onboard traditional schooner Aron of Svendborg as she sailed the Danish archipelago. Journalist Angela Locatelli embarked on a six-day adventure on the 98-foot, two-mast schooner built in 1906, guided by liveaboard family Helene and Gorm. Helene’s encouraging command, “Keep pulling!” echoes as the group hoists the 90-meter mainsail, marking the beginning of an exhilarating journey where “the sail catches the wind, billowing full like surging swells. We’re on our way, fast and proud.”


Life on board Aron

Life on board Aron sailing Denmark is an immersive blend of hands-on learning and relaxation. Guests, regardless of their sailing expertise, are encouraged to participate actively in the ship’s operations. “Even for a beginner like me, there’s always a line to coil, a knot to fasten,” notes Angela. The historical significance of the Aron, built in Marstal, a prominent maritime hub, adds depth to the experience. These schooners, known for their speed and agility, were once pivotal to Danish maritime trade. Today, only a handful of these vessels remain operational, making a voyage on Aron a rare and treasured experience. 

The South Funen Archipelago, comprising around 55 islands in the Baltic Sea, serves as the backdrop for this journey. These islands are known for their picturesque towns and compact size, some small enough to traverse on foot in an hour. Despite the charming landscape, it’s the sailing experience that takes centre stage. Helene emphasises the spontaneity of their voyage, noting, “Promising we’ll go here or there limits the sailing experience.” Instead, they let the wind dictate their course, creating an authentic and unpredictable maritime adventure.

Sailing on the beautifully maintained Marstal schooner, Aron of Svendborg, offers a unique and sustainable holiday experience in Denmark. Built in 1906, this traditional wooden boat provides a sheltered and hands-on sailing adventure. Guests can immerse themselves in the authentic maritime life of over a century ago. Owners and skippers Gorm and Helene are passionate about preserving the heritage of traditional sailing, which is reflected in their commitment to prioritising ecology, sustainability, and local produce while offering guests an unforgettable sailing experience.


If you’d like to experience this for yourself, take a look at some of our sailing holidays with Aron below. 

Unique Walking Holidays in Scotland: Hike and Sail

Hiker walking on the isle of Skye, Hebrides, walking holidays in Scotland

Walking holidays in Scotland offer an unparalleled blend of rugged landscapes, serene seascapes, and vibrant wildlife.  The west coast of Scotland provides the perfect backdrop to combine the tranquillity of hiking with the adventure of sailing. Travelling under sail means reaching the most remote areas of the Hebrides, with your accommodation never more than a stone’s throw away. All meals are prepared by an onboard cook and included in your ticket price, meaning there’s nothing to worry about apart from the next day’s adventure! With no sailing experience required, start your next adventure with our sailing and walking holidays in Scotland.

Self-guided walking holidays in Scotland

Our Scottish fleet ranges from historic tall ships to modern yachts, all offering excellent accommodation for self-guided walking holidays in Scotland. Each day you can explore a new island ashore independently, or as part of a group of like-minded guests. Depending on the weather and your itinerary, the skipper and crew can point you in the right direction for the best self-guided walks.


Guided walking holidays in Scotland

Our guided hike and sail experiences onboard yacht Steady are ideal for experienced walkers looking to discover the most remote locations in Scotland. Skippers and owners Marielle and Jan-Willem have been sailing and hiking the Hebrides for over a decade. Their wealth of local knowledge ensures you’ll venture far from the beaten track. Whilst onboard Steady, guests are encouraged to participate in all aspects of sailing, from helming to setting sails, in a supportive environment. Steady’s comfortable accommodation is perfect to unwind after a long day of hiking. Her spacious main deck and an undercover cockpit provide panoramic views and shelter from the elements. Below deck, you’ll find a well-appointed kitchen and a generous saloon, with four twin bunk cabins.


Keep reading to discover the best locations for walking holidays in Scotland, what to expect onboard a guided hike and sail adventure, and the rich wildlife you might be lucky enough to encounter!

The Best Locations for Walking Holidays in Scotland

The Hebrides: A Remote and Magical Archipelago

The Hebrides, located off the west coast of Scotland, are renowned for their stunning beauty and diverse landscapes. These islands are a haven for adventure lovers, offering a mix of lush meadows, wild moors, dramatic cliffs, and ancient woodlands. Here are some must-visit locations for your walking holidays in Scotland:


Canna is the most remote of the Small Isles, hidden from the mainland by the great mountains of Rum. Key highlights include two fascinating churches and an ancient cross. The historic Canna House is high on the list too, and was once home to folklorist John Lorne Campbell. A walk along the coastline provides the chance to see the ever-friendly puffins nesting on the cliffs before sailing onwards to Rum.


Rum is the largest of the Small Isles, known for its rugged landscapes and the towering mountains of the Rum Cuillin. This island offers a blend of natural beauty and local culture, with the area around Kinloch Village being locally owned. Hiking through Rum, you’ll experience wild, untouched terrain and perhaps encounter some of the island’s wildlife, from red deer to golden eagles.


Eigg, dominated by the striking An Sgurr, is the second largest and most populated of the Small Isles. The magnificent An Sgurr towers over the islands, and a hike here provides panoramic views over the entirety of the Small Isles.


Kerrera, located near Oban, is a green paradise perfect for a peaceful hike. The island is quiet and offers stunning views of the surrounding coastal areas. With no cars allowed except for a few local vehicles, Kerrera is truly a walker’s paradise!


Lismore, meaning “the great garden” in Gaelic, is a beautiful green island at the mouth of Loch Linnhe. Its rolling and rocky landscape provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains of Argyll, Ardnamurchan, and Mull. A walk through Lismore’s coniferous forests and hills is a serene experience, with the chance to spot otters, dippers, and birds of prey.

What to Expect on a Hike and Sail Walking Holiday in Scotland

A hike and sail holiday in Scotland undoubtedly combines the best of both worlds: the adventure of sailing and the serenity of hiking. Here’s what you can expect:

Guided and Independent Hikes
Each day, you have the option to join a guided hike or explore independently. This flexibility allows you to tailor your adventure to your preferences.

Comfortable Accommodation
One of the benefits of a sailing holiday is the convenience of having your accommodation always nearby, ensuring you can relax after a day of exploring.

Unique Experiences
Sailing allows access to remote locations that are often inaccessible by other means. This means you can explore hidden gems and avoid tourist hotspots, enjoying nature trails through mountains, rolling hills, and untouched coastlines from a unique perspective.

Wildlife and Walking Holidays in Scotland

Scotland’s west coast and the Hebrides are teeming with wildlife that’s sure to be the highlight of any walking holiday in Scotland. As you hike and sail, keep an eye out for the rich biodiversity that makes these locations special.

Seabirds and Birds of Prey
The cliffs and coastal areas of the Hebrides are home to colonies of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Black guillemots can be seen in their hundreds, while white-tailed eagles soar along the rugged coastline. Whilst onboard your chosen sailing vessel, you might also spot buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks, peregrines, and the diminutive merlin.

Marine Wildlife
The waters around the Hebrides are rich with marine life. Common, bottlenose, and white-beaked dolphins are frequently sighted, with occasional appearances by Risso’s and white-sided dolphins. Whale sightings are common, particularly minke whales, and occasionally humpback whales. The real stars are the resident pod of orcas, which are a thrilling sight if you’re lucky enough to encounter them!

Ready to set sail on a walking holiday in Scotland?

Walking holidays in Scotland offer an extraordinary blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure. The combination of hiking and sailing in the Hebrides provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re navigating the dramatic landscapes of Rum, exploring the historic sites on Canna, or spotting wildlife along the rugged coastline, a walking holiday in Scotland promises an adventure like no other.