Why hello there everybody, I hope you're all doing really well indeed.
Today I have one almighty huge blog post featuring the in's and out's of The Yacht Week, the 411, what it's all about, what we really thought about it and everything you need to know about booking your next, rather luxurious trip.
A few weeks ago now, George and I set sail on a 5 day sailing trip around beautiful Sicily. We were invited as the guests of InStyle Magazine and it was a huge honour to say the least. We arrived on the Monday, 2 days into the usually 7 day sailing experience.
So what is it all about, I hear you ask!? Well, The Yacht Week is a week long sailing trip around 1 of 5 European routes, or across the globe in the Caribbean over Christmas and New Year. You basically grab your gal pals (a group of up to 12) or opt for sailing with another group to make memories and friends that will last a lifetime, then select your route, Croatia, Sicily, Greece, Montenegro, The Caribbean or Spain. We were on the Sicilian route, which was truly perfect for us, with a fleet of just six yachts in tow, it was the smaller of The Yacht Weeks with some, such as Croatia, having up to 70 yachts in a fleet... BONKERS!
Each yacht has a Skipper and a Hostess onboard and I have to say, we really did have the best team in the fleet.
Our wonderful skipper, Ben, truly made us feel at ease, he sailed us from island to island wonderfully and was a barrel of laughs to boot. We also had the beautiful Mulvina onboard who quickly, super calmly and deliciously prepared our breakfast and lunch each and every day. I say quickly and calmly as the kitchen on board the yacht was TINY and the dishes she knocked up every single day really did blow my mind! It was the perfect team to sail with for 5 days.
I was so thrilled to have been invited along to experience The Yacht Week myself, and to have George by my side too. It was set to be the trip of a lifetime and something I don't think I'd ever experience otherwise. A once in a lifetime opportunity, however, having never suffered from claustrophobia or motion sickness before, I was truly gutted when I stepped inside my cabin...
Once we were on board and shown around the yacht thats when the panic set in.
With a rather snug cabin, the Sicilian heat and of course the inevitable swaying of the boat, it was a huge struggle to do anything inside the yacht, and yes that even applied when sleeping too, it was impossible. We had a tough few days and a tough few nights onboard the yacht, I have to be honest here, but after our second night, we had finally overcome our sea sickness and were ready to truly embrace yacht life!
So I thought the best way to structure this post was to do it day by day, a play by play of what we did, the islands we visited and our thoughts throughout, that of course, with some holiday outfit inspiration thrown in for good measure.
We joined The Yacht Week two days into the sail so for more information about the two days we missed, you can check out the website here.
Our first day was mostly taken up with travel. A short plane journey to Sicily followed by a car to the port and a rather exhilarating speed boat to join the fleet of yachts. We were shown around the yacht, introduced to our wonderful Skipper and Hostess and given a safety talk for best practice when onboard the yacht. It was then time to quickly get ready for an evening in beautiful Panarea.
Panarea is the trendiest and somewhat the most exclusive island of the Aeolian route, the must visit place for many young Italians. It was truly breathtaking with cobbled streets and white wash buildings alongside the port, the views were simply stunning. We met the rest of The Yacht Week guests over an Aperol Spritz (or two) before dining at a truly beautiful and oh-so authentic Italian restaurant. The beauty of The Yacht Week is that you explore each town and island with the other Yacht Week guests, meaning tonnes of friendships are to be made. It was a truly perfect evening and the most wonderful way to kick off our trip. Panarea was such a gorgeous island and somewhere I'd really love to visit and explore some more in the future.
Now for the outfits.
So bikini wise, as always I opted for the good ole high-waisters, It's just a style of bikini that I feel most comfortable in and the two I took away with me did me proud.
I chose this rather funky and oh so psychedelic print bikini from Warehouse, mainly due to it's sixties style print but also due to the extreme high waist of the bottoms. The bra is a simple triangle shape so was perfect for my smaller bosom's and meant that the strap lines were pretty minimal indeed. I felt great in it and of course styled it up with my much loved Vero Moda straw hat, RayBan Round Metal sunglasses and my age old vintage Levi's shorts.
For an evening in Lipari I went for this super cute gingham dress that I bagged at ASOS. It's actually listed as a beach dress, but I found it to be a little too put together for a beach cover up so decided to stye it up for the evening with my new Prada baby and some lace up pom pom shoes (unfortunately now sold out) The theme for our night in Lipari was "Riviera" so the blue shade was perfect for ticking that box, a colour the majority of The Yacht Week goers went for that night too.
A number of the nights during The Yacht Week are themed, which is so fun. But with that, be sure to check the website before you pack to ensure that you won't stick out like a sore thumb.
Our second day was when I really took to Yacht Life. Sailing from Lipari to Stromboli and stopping at beautiful bays for a dip along the way. It was an incredible experience and something I am oh so totally grateful for.
The bays and ports of Sicily are truly breathtaking with some of the most crystal clear and blue waters I have ever seen.
We spent our day swimming and relaxing onboard the yacht; sunbathing on a yacht is one of my new favourite things to do (who the heck am I!?), however it can be pretty lethal indeed, as poor George found out. The breeze meant that you can't really feel the heat and strength of the sun so lets just say George got a touch of sun burn (understatement of the year... He looked like a drumstick lolly...ha!)
For our second evening we docked up in Stromboli a beautiful island and home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
The plan for tonight was to hike up Volcano Stromboli, an evening four hour hike to the top to view the explosions of glowing lava... CRAZY RIGHT!?
Unfortunately George and I had to opt out of the hike as George was pretty dehydrated from his sunburn and to be perfectly honest, I was quite thankful for it. Sicily is one of the hottest places I've ever visited, even in the evenings the temperatures remained at 30 degrees up until 8pm.
Instead, George and I took the opportunity to hydrate and set out to explore the totally adorable winding streets of Stromboli. It really reminded me of Santorini with it's white wash buildings and blue accents throughout, it was a truly gorgeous town and one I am thankful to have seen.
Whilst I was totally envious of the achievement of the other Yacht Weekers, and the INSANE videos and boomerangs from the top of the erupting volcano, I think the hike would have most definitely have killed us both.
Although many things are planned in and scheduled during Yacht Week, it is somewhat flexible and if there is something that doesn't quite tickle your fancy, you can stay on land or on the yacht whilst the other guests get their fix. We simply met the hikers at 10pm (they hiked from 6pm-10pm) at a Neapolitan style pizzeria up in the hills. It was truly delicious, I opted for my favourite, a Siciliana pizza, which, of course, in Sicily had to be the best pizza I have EVER had.
My outfits for day two involved an insane bikini by All Saints, not a brand I would have ever thought of for swimwear but my goodness did this beauty fit like a little dream.
Again the bottoms are super high waisted which was perfect for sucking in the old tum, whilst the lace up detailing at the side of them added a touch of femininity to the look. I also really ADORE the feather print of the bottoms, contrasted with the simple black colour of the top, a bikini that will be coming on many a vacation from now on.
For my evening of *hiking* I went for this totally adorable gingham playsuit, originally bought from ASOS last year but never, ever worn before. It was the perfect, lightweight piece to wear for a warm evening in Stromboli as it was made from a really breathable linen material. Styled, of course with the same straw panama hat, Saint Laurent white sunglasses, H&M netted bag and these super cute flat espadrilles with beautiful beaded eye detailing from ASOS.
We kicked off day three with an action packed morning of paddle boarding, something I've never done before and something I really bloody enjoyed. It was actually surprisingly easy to do and I found myself stood, upright almost instantly. Unfortunately as we were all out at sea we didn't manage to get any snaps from it, but trust me, we did it and I was excellent at it (LOL)
From there we joined the rest of the fleet for a raft party; a party The Yacht Week is known for and a party which means that all the yachts are tied together in a circle, meaning you can easily hop from one boat to another. Unfortunately for us this didn't last long as the wind was too strong so instead we turned up the music and had our own Yacht Party instead.
After the party we sailed on to Lipari a lively pastel-coloured town known as the cultural hub of the Aeolian route and the largest island along the route. It was truly breathtaking with cobbled streets and the most gorgeous of brightly colourful architecture, the views were simply stunning. The whole town was extremely charming and totally laid back in vibe.
From there we left the other Yacht Weeker's and opted for wine tasting at the Tanuta Di Castellaro Vineyard. I've done wine tasting before but never something like this. The wine cellar and estate was state of the art and like nothing I have ever seen before. We drank both red and white wine whilst in the vines overlooking the most insane of views and I have to say both were truly delicious indeed. I'm more of a red kinda gal but my goodness was the Bianco Pomice White Wine to die for!
Wine tasting done, we headed back to the centre of Lipari where we joined the rest of the fleet for dinner at Filippinos a restaurant that is part of Lipari's history having been in the town for 110years. Fed and watered it was onto the next party at Turmalin Club, not really to mine and George's taste but after a few glasses of prosecco we were able to embrace the *terrible* music for what it was...ha.
Our final full day and night on the yacht went by in a beautiful, sun bathing and swimming blur. It was another wonderful day in paradise until we docked in Vulcano, an island that boasted black sandy beaches made from the volcanic rocks of the island.
It was a truly breathtakingly beautiful island, however due to the volcanic rocks the smell of sulphur was strong, and if you've ever smelt sulphur before, you'll know all too well about the gross eggy odour (ha!)
Our last night was spent at a white party, not something I've ever been to before and tbh, I didn't take my own advice and check the itinerary beforehand so had to hastily grab something from the Accessorize at Luton airport... LOL!
The whole fleet was dressed in white and ready to party and a few tequilla shots later we were all on the dance floor celebrating a truly incredible trip with our new friends!
The Yacht Week was unlike anything I've ever been to before and honestly, unlike what I was expecting. It was hard, in parts, adapting to life on board a yacht, but it was an absolutely incredible experience and an opportunity I don't think I'll get ever again. George and I had the best week and it is a week I will remember for the rest of my life. Sicily is also one of the most gorgeous places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting and I only wish we had more time on each island to explore a little more, perhaps that's something to note, you won't get the chance to see much of each island by day as that's ample yachting time.
A few tips for life on a yacht would be;
- A handheld fan- It gets VERY hot at night
- Don't over pack- I packed way too much and in reality the whole Yacht Week experience is extremely relaxed indeed. Plus, you'll want to get ready as quick as possible due to how hot it is so simple, throw on clothes is essential.
- Do pack sea sickness tablets
- Wear a LOT of suncream
- Do check the itinerary before you leave home, Luton Airport ain't all that great for shopping...
I really hope you enjoyed this post and learning a little more about The Yacht Week. HUGE thanks to The Yacht Week and InStyle for having George and I along for the ride. I'd love to know if you can see yourself having a Yacht Week holiday or if you've done anything similar before!? Lets Chat!