Star Clippers Cruises from Blue Water Holidays

Western Mediterranean Sailing Cruises

Cruise Collection 2024 / 2025

About Western Med Cruises

Explore the scenic coastlines of the French Riviera and Italian Riviera on these romantic tall ship voyages under sail. Visit world famous destinations such as exclusive Monte Carlo, glitzy St Tropez, Cannes, Capri and pretty Sorrento, and see idyllic port villages such as Portofino and Porquerolles on the Hyeres islands and the beautiful, historic islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Elba.

Sail from glamorous Monte Carlo to south of France, Corsica and Portofino. Other sailing cruise choices in the Western Med take you on Royal Clipper to the Amalfi coast of Italy and the scenic Aeolian Islands, visiting the highlights of Sicily.

A very popular route is the longer route between Rome and Venice on Royal Clipper. Sail along the Italian coast to Ponza, Capri and then to Sicily. Rounding the foot of Italy, cross to the fascinating Greek island of Corfu – still with its cricket pitch in the centre of town – before sailing into fabulous Kotor Bay in Montenegro, and the ancient walled town of Kotor.

Continuing up the Croatian coast visit historic Dubrovnik and the unspoilt islands of Korcula and Hvar before reaching the unique sights of Venice. Perhaps add a stay at each end of the cruise to explore Rome and Venice.

  • Casino at Monte Carlo
    Casino at Monte Carlo
  • Star Clipper
    Star Clipper
  • Portofino, Italy
    Portofino, Italy
  • Presidential Palace, Monaco
    Presidential Palace, Monaco
  • Colosseum, Rome
    Colosseum, Rome
  • Cruising along the coast
    Cruising along the coast
  • Star Clipper in Monte Carlo
    Star Clipper in Monte Carlo
  • St Peter's, Rome
    St Peter's, Rome
  • Royal Clipper
    Royal Clipper
  • French market at St Tropez
    French market at St Tropez

Book any Star Clippers cruise and save an extra £50pp with our exclusive Blue Water Holidays discount!

Western Med Highlights

Highlights of a Western Mediterranean Sailing Cruise

  • Amalfi

    Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts along the famous Amalfi coast. It has a superb setting beneath the mountains, and a great deal of charm. The Duomo is a marvel of ancient Arab-Moorish architecture and dominates the lively central piazza, and narrow lanes and steep terraces of brightly-painted houses lead down to the sea, restaurants and fashionable cafes.

  • Bastia

    Bastia on the island of Corsica has gracious Italianate buildings and in the old quarter of Terra Vecchia, there are old churches, the house where Balzac stayed on Rue General-Carbuccia, and the elegant Maison de Caraffa. Restaurants in the old port serve the traditional Corsican dish of  'aziminu'.

  • Bonifacio

    Bonifacio, a spectacular sight from the sea, an ancient citadel town perched on top of white granite cliffs. From the port, there are boat trips available to the grottos and caves along the coast, and a train up to the Haute Ville.  The citadel contains the old town and its fascinating old buildings. Rue du Palais de Garde is a pretty street with arcades and arches, and the town has several up-market boutiques.

  • Cannes

    Well-known as the glamorous setting for the famous film festival, Cannes has much to offer. Stroll the palm-lined promenade of La Croisette, the little alleys of Le Vieux Port and Le Suquet, and visit the art and crafts galleries along Le Cannet-Rocheville. For shopping, head to Le Centre-Ville district, and Notre-Dame d'Esperance is a 14th-century wooden Gothic church in the pretty hill-side district of Le Suquet.

  • Calvi

    The 13th century fortress citadel of Calvi is a compact area of narrow cobbled streets, overlooked by the Cathedral Saint Jean-Baptiste. Down below is the palm-fringed harbour and main town, with a promenade and bustling cafés. To explore along the coast, take the train towards I'lle Rousse, stopping at one of the pretty beaches en route. The Grottes des Veaux Marins offer excellent diving opportunities.

  • Capri

    Capri is situated in the Bay of Naples and is a heady mix of glamour and natural beauty, with chic boutiques and charming squares. The views from the beautiful, cliff-top gardens of Villa San Michele in the upper town of Anacapri are breathtaking. In the lower town is a lovely square, the Piazetta, charming lanes and wonderful views across the sea.

  • Cartagena

    Cartagena is a rewarding city to explore, with Art Nouveau buildings and a Moorish, Phoenician and Roman heritage. Its impressive Roman theatre was only discovered in the 1980s during re-development of the city centre. Get around by using the city's free bike loan service, or board the narrow-gauge train to the small fishing village of Los Nietos. The best shopping area is Calle Mayor.

  • Civitavecchia

    The busy port of Civitavecchia has a baroque cathedral and the large Forte Michelangelo built in the 16th-century, but is primarily the entry point for visits to Rome 80 kilometres and roughly 90-minutes journey away. Rome is full of wonderful sights, including St Peter’s and Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

  • Corfu

    Corfu Town is an elegant and interesting port, with a multitude of cafes and restaurants, squares, cobbled streetsand great views across the Ionian Sea. The landmark of Corfu is the Old Fortress, a World Heritage Site built by the Venetians and now housing a complex of museums and Corfu’s Public Library. The Liston is a lovely arcade running alongside the green spaces of Corfu Town’s grand Esplanade. Beaches can be found at Paleokastritsa and Glyfada, and in Gastouri is the 19th-century Achilleion Palace.

  • Costa Smeralda

    This long stretch of coastline comprising eighty sand beaches is one of the most beautiful regions of Sardinia. The area was developed sympathetically by the Aga Khan in the 1960s and has been a favourite haunt of the well-heeled ever since. Across the sea is La Maddalena archipelago, a national park rich in wildlife, with shops and restaurants in the island town.

  • Dubrovnik

    The red-roofed city of Dubrovnik can be admired from the walkway along its 10th century walls, crowned by the Minceta Tower. Below, the elegant, marble-paved Stradun leads to colourful cafés, St Blaise’s church, Sponza Palace and the cloistered Franciscan Monastery housing a pharmacy which has been in use since 1316.

  • Formentera

    Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands covering just 32 square miles.  It is famous for its white sand beaches, dunes, spectacular cliffs and the tranquility which contrasts with its busier neighbours, the island having no airport. Nude sunbathing and watersports are the favourite activities for visitors.

  • Giglio

    This small island in the Tuscan Archipelago has several good beaches, hidden coves and three pretty towns overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The lovely interior is mountainous and covered with pines and vineyards and its coastline is no less picturesque. Giglio Porto has charming coloured houses and glamorous boutiques, and up the hill is the walled town of Giglio Castello. Walkers will see plentiful bird and wildlife, chestnut trees and Aleppo pines.

  • Hamammet

    Hammamet was the first town to become a tourist destination in Tunisia, attracting visitors with excellent beaches, its 16th-century  medina and the scent of jasmine from the surrounding countryside. It offers a good range of watersports on a long stretch of pristine shore.

  • Hvar

    Hvar is a picturesque island on the Dalmatian Riviera, with good bathing beaches and a harbour backed by a hillside of terracotta-tiled houses. There are views of the sea and surrounding islets from the Fortica fortress, and the Franciscan monastery houses a museum exhibiting 16th-century paintings.  Also in the town is the Cathedral of St Stephan, the unfinished Gothic palace of Hekrotivic, and a waterfront of palms and seafood restaurants.

  • Ibiza

    Ibiza is the third-largest of the Balearics, recently popular for its music events and nightlife. Ibiza town is attractive, divided into the old upper town and the lower seaside area. Places of interest include the 14th-century cathedral of Santa Maria d’Eivissa and the Phoenician necropolis of Puig des Molins.  Away from the town are secluded bays, villages, and hillsides planted with fig and olive trees.

  • Korcula

    Korcula is a forested island with a charming old walled town of Venetian and Renaissance buildings. Enter through one of the city gates to see delightful squares and narrow alleys, which lead to the house where Marco Polo is said to have been born and the Cathedral of St Mark. Cafés along the city walls look out across the blue Adriatic

  • Katakolon

    The small seaside town of Katakolon has a beach at the end of the pier, and tavernas and bars along the waterfront. It is used as the gateway to the ancient site of Olympia, 35 kilometers away, which is where the Olympic Games began.  The substantial ruins are situated in a lovely valley overlooked by Kronos Hill and include the temples of Zeus and Hera, and the Olympic Stadium with its still-visible starting line.

  • Kotor

    The lovely fortified town of Kotor sits in a dramatic bay surrounded by limestone massifs in a magnificent region of Montenegro. Kotor's city walls enclose a well-preserved medieval centre, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St Tryphon's Cathedral is decorated with 14th-century frescoes.

  • Lerici

    Lerici is best-known as the last home of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was living at the Villa Magni when he drowned in the Bay of Spezia in 1822. The are subsequently became known as the Bay of Poets.  The town has a splendid castle, grand villas and gardens. There are excellent restaurants in the town; perhaps try the local dish of spaghetti à la Lericina, or take the ferry to the Cinque Terre town of Portovenere.

  • Lipari and Stromboli

    Lipari is the largest of the volcanic Aeolian Islands. The small fishing town of Porticello has a lovely beach and views of the archipelago, with a trail to the spa and thermal pools of Terme di San Calogero. Narrow streets include the café-lined Vittorio Emanuele, and lead to a medieval castello and an ancient Greek theatre. A pass is often made by the volcano on Stromboli island, which frequently spurts small but spectacular plumes of ash and lava.

  • Lisbon

    Spread across the right bank of the Tagus, Portugal’s capital city has a long history and has been occupied by Moors, Romans, Phoenicians and Carthiginians.  Alfama and hill-top Barrio Alto are its historic districts, crossed by narrow cobbled streets and Moorish buildings decorated with flower-filled balconies. There are many cafes and eateries around its leafy squares, and shops in the elegant district of Chiado.

  • Monte Carlo

    Monte Carlo’s famous casino has featured in three James Bond films and ‘To Catch a Thief’, which starred the future Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. Other places of interest include the Prince’s Palace, which has been occupied by the Grimaldi’s for 700 years and was formerly a Genoese fortress and the cathedral where Princess Grace is buried.  There are panoramic views of the principality, the sea and the Grand Prix course from the top of Mount Agel.

  • Pantalleria

    This Italian island in the Strait of Sicily has no beaches, but has been associated with several glamorous public figures including Aldous Huxley and Georgio Armani. Attractions include marine grottos, hot springs at Favara Grande and Neolithic burial mounds constructed from lava rock dotted on the hillsides. Myrtle and wild fennel grow freely in the countryside, and traditional dome-topped houses can be seen in the fishing village of Gadir.

  • Pollensa

    Pollensa occupies the quieter, north-west corner of Mallorca. The old town has a lovely square, the Placa Major, and the 365 steps of Calvario leading up past elegant houses and the occasional shop to a small chapel. The new town is a short distance away on the coast and caters well for visitors with many restaurants and bars, and boat trips to the picturesque headland of Formentor.

  • Ponza

    The small island of Ponza in the Tyrrhenian Sea is much loved by the Italians for its tranquillity and untamed natural beauty. It is a taste of the real Italy, and the town rises up from the harbour in tiers of pink, blue and lemon cube houses and has excellent restaurants. Boats from the harbour set off for small coves and the caves of the Grotte di Pilato, and local buses take in villages and Roman ruins.

  • Porquerolles, Hyeres Islands

    One of the beautiful islands of Hyeres, Porquerolles is a nature-lover’s paradise, protected by strictly-enforced codes of conservation. In the north are white sand beaches, pine forests and hills covered in sage and myrtle, and to the south, rocky inlets and coves.  Porquerolles itself is a sleepy village spreading out from the port, which has a choice of open-air cafes.

  • Porto Empedocle

    Porto Empedocle is a town on Sicily’s south-west coast.  Its most important building is the huge tower built by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V which is now used as a cultural centre. The town’s main claim to fame is its proximity to the magnificent Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the best-preserved being the Temple of Concord built in 440BC.

  • Portoferraio

    On the Tuscan island of Elba, Portoferraio old town sits inside a Medicean fortress with imposing city walls. Aside from the beauty of the town, there are botanic gardens at Giardini Ottome and the 1st-century BC Villa Romana Della Grotta. Villa dei Mulini was the house of Napoleon when he began his exile in 1814, and was built next to the training camp for his army.

  • Portimao

    One of the Algarve’s best shopping destinations,  Portimao is close to the well-known resort of Praia da Rocha and is situated on the banks of the Arade River.  Bars and fish restaurants are numerous, and the most peaceful area is by the riverside Manuel Bivar gardens. Beyond the town is the nature reserve of Ria de Alvor with its estuary, dunes and salt-pans.

  • Portofino

    The former fishing village of Portofino is a glamorous holiday destination visited by large yachts and home to elegant villas, good restaurants and expensive boutiques.  The harbour is fringed with brightly-painted houses and sea taxis depart for the gorgeous towns of the Cinque Terre. Walk up to Castello Brown for views of the coast and the town or through olive groves in the Portofino National Park.

  • Rovinj

    The first view of Rovinj from the sea is the much-photographed Riva waterfront and its brightly-painted houses, and the bell-tower of Saint Eufemia’s Church which can be climbed for wonderful views of the town and the picturesque islands along the coast. Narrow cobbled streets lead up to the old town from the harbour, where three ancient defensive gates survive. Red Island and its beaches can be reached in 15 minutes by boat from Rovinj.

  • Sanary-sur-Mer

    Situated on the Cote d’Azur, Sanary-sur-Mer is a quiet Provencal town with a picture-perfect waterfront of pink and ochre houses.  There is a flower market in the square each morning. In the 1930s it was a refuge for English and German intellectuals including Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, Bertold Brecht, and visited by D H Lawrence and Jean Cocteau.

  • Sorrento

    The authentically-Italian town of Sorrento has an unhurried charm, perched on a hillside with views across the Bay of Naples.  Piazza Tasso is the place to go for coffee or to sample the local Limoncello liqueur. Sorrento is also a good stepping-off point for visiting the Amalfi coast, Pompei and Paestum.

  • St Florent / L’Ile Rousse

    The Corsican resort of St Florent is situated below the mountains, a charming town with weaving passageways and good seafood restaurants.  Outdoor cafes can be found in the Place des Portes, and there is a coastal path to the ruined Genoese Mortella Tower.  Colourful L’Ile Rousse has a flavour of the French Riviera, with a palm-lined seafront, smart shops and good beaches.

  • St Tropez

    St Tropez is a by-word for decadence and glamour, and a paradise for shoppers. There is a lot more to this former fishing village and 15th-century stronghold however, with several historic sites including a citadel, fountains and a castle, and a beautiful coastal path leading to small beaches and ancient ruins.

  • Stromboli

    Residents on the island of Stromboli live alongside the spectacular emissions of its simmering volcano. It has been continuously active for the last 20,000 years, and itineraries may include a sail by the island in the hop of seeing it in action.

  • Taormina

    Taormina is full of medieval charm and romance.  It stands on a hill above Mazzaro Bay which is connected to the city by cable car, and has up-market boutiques along the cobbled Corso Umberto, the historic hotel San Domenico with a terrace and interior converted from a Dominican Monastery, and a well-preserved ancient Greek amphitheatre with a perfect view of Mount Etna.

  • Valetta

    Arriving in Valletta, the site of its magnificent Grand Harbour is memorable.  The old warehouses of the harbour area now contain a string of elegant restaurants and bars. Uphill is the impressive City Gate, leafy squares and some fine buildings including St John's Cathedral which displays a painting by Caravaggio. Traffic-free Republic Street is the main shopping area, and from the ramparts of Hastings Gardens there are wonderful sea views and a café.

  • Venice

    The glorious buildings along the Grand Canal are a breathtaking sight - the ornate façades of 15th century Palazzo Dario and Ca' d'Oro, the Rialto and St Mark's Square and Basilica. Venice is renowned for its Murano glass and for its exclusive shops. The best shops and boutiques run from Piazza San Marco to the Accademia Bridge and more unusual wares are available in Frezzeria.

Bonifacio Bonifacio Ponza Ponza Porquerolles Porquerolles Portofino Portofino Sorrento Sorrento Valetta Valetta Venice Venice