Planning the route
Until today we have sailed between Italy and France, making base in the Tuscan Archipelago. We started to sail between the Island of Elba, Argentario and Giglio up to Corsica or Sardinia. Many years spent sailing in this beautiful area of the Mediterranean we began to feel the need to explore new places, bringing Dogaressa into new waters, which we had not yet known.
Let’s start! … but for where?
Having planned to stay at least a year in our new destination, because of the weather conditions, the choice of destination has been restricted to places that are close enough. Moreover, as our idea was to live on board during the whole winter, our ideal destination should have had a climate that was not too harsh in the winter months. Last variable – but not least – the port prices, to allow us a permanent stay near a town and live even in winter without spending too much.
Greece or Spain?
Therefore, we have reduced the options to two countries: Greece or Spain. In our ideal ranking Athens was in first place, Thessaloniki on the second and Valencia on the third. We imagined already among the wonderful Greek islands to eat Souvlaki and visit historical sites. We put Greece in first place because it was seemed in some way a cross between Italian culture and Turkish culture. Also it would have been convenient for both of us to visit the family during the year, we would both be close to our countries, not need to mention that Greece is perfect for sailing in the summer!
Why are not we in Greece?!
We started writing to the Navy around Athens to Thessaloniki but big surprise was waiting for us. In Athens, although there are various tourist ports these are all occupied by private places. It is not possible to dock if you are not a member within the various nautical circles. The only port that offered us a six-month contract for a berth was that of Zea Marina, in the Piraeus district, at the price of about € 600 a month plus water and electricity consumption … The response from the port of Thessaloniki was around € 350 per month, except electricity and water, was more affordable. Given the prices of Athens and 200 more miles that we would have to travel to get to Thessaloniki, we started to move away from the idea of Greece.
The Valencian surprise
With the calculation of the miles to do, comparison of the route of Thessaloniki showed us Valencia was much closer so we have begun to investigate Spanish port prices. Although we were not very optimistic, Valencia port was really affordable. € 300 per month including all expenses of water and electricity, for people who want to live on board, means a big savings. Valencia also had all the characteristics that we had in mind as our ideal destination: the Marina of Valencia is a new port and well sheltered from all winds, located practically within the city center, with bike paths that arrive from the port to the historic center. Besides it is close to Balearics and in front of Ibiza! This offers us an incredible opportunity to work in the summer with sailing holidays in the Balearic Islands.
The route is decided. We would have spent the whole year in Valencia, in Spain!