The pleasures of messing about on the water are hard to beat. But while the gleaming superyachts moored up in Port Hercule for the annual Monaco Yacht Show may offer the ultimate in glamorous lifestyles, for many would-be mariners an added goal is a base in or close to a marina: year-round living on dry land with ample opportunities for leisurely days afloat.
And if you are looking for locations where you can combine a home with a place to berth your yacht (or superyacht) there a plenty of options, from Antigua’s historic English Harbour, formerly a British naval base, to Eden Island in the Seychelles, where a deep-water harbour provides Indian Ocean berths for superyachts up to 110ft.
In Monaco, marinas at Port Hercule and Fontvieille give instant access to the principality’s glamorous shopping and dining options, and properties with harbour views command impressive prices. “Mareterra, a new development that completes at the end of 2024, will add a private marina to Monaco’s port offering with 30 berths available to residents,” says Irene Luke, co-head of Savills Monaco. “Other sought-after marinas and ports nearby include Cap-d’Ail, Antibes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the new Italian marina at Cala del Forte in Ventimiglia, which is owned by Monaco and offers 178 berths in a unique circular configuration.”
These established Mediterranean marinas remain highly sought after but have been joined by smart new names including Montenegro on the Adriatic. Deep-water marinas there offer immediate access to the Bay of Kotor, one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines. Alongside the spectacular mountains and low-level stone villages, there’s also the alluring prospect of tax-free fuel for yachts.
Porto Montenegro in Tivat is the largest superyacht home port in the Mediterranean, and the first marina in the world to win elite 5 Gold Anchor Platinum accreditation from the Marina Industries Association. It has 461 berths, with plans for a further 390; a five-star hotel, the Regent; a high-end maze of boutiques, restaurants and bars; and contemporary homes for sale.
“Tivat is now the hottest location, thanks to the Porto Montenegro effect,” says Kieran Kelleher of Savills associate Dream Estates Montenegro. “Property prices there, once the lowest on the Adriatic 10 years ago, are now the highest on average in Montenegro. In Porto Montenegro, apartments start from €4,000 per square metre.”
In the calm, clear waters of the Caribbean, choices for yachties continue to grow. “We’ve seen new marinas in Canouan and St Kitts in the past couple of years,” says James Burdess, head of Caribbean sales. “Antigua is long established as a sailing destination, hosting numerous world-class regattas including the prestigious Sailing Week in late April, and the communities surrounding English Harbour and Falmouth continue to thrive.”
With so many options to choose from, what more could the world’s sailors ask for?
Pictures from top: Cap Ferrat; the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro (Getty Images); dusk view of Port Hercule and the principality of Monaco (Alamy); view from Mount Copolia to Eden Island in Mahe, Seychelles (Alamy); Ocean Grand, Antigua