IS­LAND RE­TREATS

Motorboat & Yachting - - CONTENTS - WORDS Peter Cum­ber­lidge

The best is­land hol­i­day rental houses with their own boats or berths in­cluded

There’s some­thing en­dur in­gly ent ic­ing about ex­plor ing a se­cluded isle – whether on foot or by boat. Peter Cum­ber­lidge hand­picks the best is­land hol­i­day rental prop­ert ies in which to drop an­chor for a few days...

When cruis­ing, I am al­ways drawn to­wards small is­lands, where the feel­ing of be­ing en­tirely sur­rounded by wa­ter is ob­vi­ous as you glimpse the sea in all direc­tions. Per­haps this at­trac­tion harks back to a child­hood spent read­ing Enid Bly­ton’s Fa­mous Five or Ran­some’s Swal­lows and Ama­zons. In any case, it is now in­grained and I can’t see an is­land on a chart with­out want­ing to step ashore. Lawrence Dur­rell de­scribed a con­di­tion he called ‘is­lo­ma­nia’, ex­pe­ri­enced by those who find is­lands ir­re­sistible. The sen­sa­tion of in­hab­it­ing a tiny self-con­tained world adrift at sea fills ‘is­lo­manes’ with heady in­tox­i­ca­tion. Surely there is no bet­ter way to es­cape the stress of modern life than by spend­ing a week in such a place. I have there­fore cho­sen ten spe­cial is­land idylls, some with moor­ings for your own boat, oth­ers with a craft wait­ing for you or the op­tion to hire one...

BRYHER, ISLES OF SCILLY

CHAFFORD Just over the hori­zon from Land’s End, Scilly is a fan­tas­tic ar­chi­pel­ago of shel­tered sounds, sandy la­goons and pierc­ingly clear wa­ter. Bryher is one of my favourites, its west coast faces the At­lantic, the east looks across a shal­low strait to­wards neigh­bour­ing Tresco. At low wa­ter the Tresco chan­nel gleams turquoise over the shoals and when the tide is more than half way up, boats can reach New Grimsby haven to the north.

Chafford is a com­fort­able, el­e­gantly fur­nished fam­ily house on Bryher’s east shore, with a large gar­den and mag­i­cal sea views. Nearby is the in­ter-is­land ferry land­ing and a toe-scrunch­ing white beach, all the in­gre­di­ents for nos­tal­gic sum­mer hols. LO­CAL BOAT­ING: If you ar­rive with your own boat there are visi­tors’ buoys in New Grimsby Sound, a short dinghy ride from Chafford. Al­ter­na­tively you can hire small mo­tor boats, power cats or RIBS from Bryher Boat­yard and spend lazy days ex­plor­ing. Rushy Bay is a heav­enly beach on Bryher’s south coast. Ad­dress: Chafford, Bryher, Isles of Scilly TR23 0PR Sleeps: Up to 8 Book­ings: Moya and David Tosh (own­ers). Tel: + 44 (0)7803 905098; www.chaf­for­don­scilly.co.uk or email stay@chaf­for­don­scilly.co.uk Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from £1,200–£4,600. GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Flights to St Mary’s from Ex­eter, Newquay, Land’s End, or ferry from Pen­zance, then lo­cal boats to Bryher. By boat: Cruis­ing to Scilly, most boats leave from Fal­mouth, per­haps stop­ping a night at Pen­zance or New­lyn. Fal­mouth di­rect to Scilly is about 60 miles.

Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 1148, 34.

ANTI PA X OS, GREECE

VILLA ONEIRO An­tipaxos is an Io­nian jewel just south of the larger is­land of Paxos. Only two miles long, this haven of tran­quil­ity has no shops, cars or proper roads. There are sev­eral tav­er­nas but few in­hab­i­tants. The beaches have stun­ningly clear wa­ter over soft white sand and the hills are lush with olive groves and vine­yards.

Villa Oneiro stands high above the sea with dreamy panoramic views. The owner picks you up at Paxos and fer­ries you across in his own boat. Guests can use a jeep free of charge, though you can eas­ily walk to the tav­er­nas and beaches. LO­CAL BOAT­ING: You can hire a mo­tor boat for ex­plor­ing the coast and pop­ping over to Paxos for any shop­ping or pro­vi­sions. Pretty Gaios har­bour is hid­den be­hind a tiny wooded is­land on the south-east shore of Paxos. Ad­dress: Villa Oneiro, Voutoumi, An­tipaxos 490 82,

Greece. Sleeps: Up to 6. Ideal for two cou­ples or a fam­ily. Book­ings: The Think­ing Trav­eller, Tel: +44 (0)20 7377 8518, www.the­think­ing­trav­eller.com or email info@the­think­ing­trav­eller.com Prop­erty Ref: Oneiro. Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from £2,092–£4,895.

GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Fly to Corfu, tran­sit to port, then hy­dro­foil to Gaios on Paxos where the villa owner meets you with his boat. By boat: If you have your own boat in the Io­nian, the villa owner may find you a berth in Gaios. Other beau­ti­ful is­lands are nearby, but most folk opt to stay on sleepy An­tipaxos. Charts: Im­ray Mediter­ranean chart G11.

Î LE MOLÈNE,W EST BRIT­TANY GÎTE DE MOLÈNE

Île Molène lies five miles west of the Chenal du Four, part of a fas­ci­nat­ing chain of is­lands and reefs shel­ter­ing this much-used pas­sage be­tween the Chan­nel and the Brest ap­proaches. In fair weather, Molène har­bour is eas­ily reached by fol­low­ing a lead­ing line west­wards from op­po­site Pointe de Corsen.

Molène vil­lage hud­dles on the east side of the is­land, with a small su­per­mar­ket and a café-tabac that sells bread. Gîte de Molène is near the Mairie and looks across the har­bour, a view you could watch all day from the ter­race. The house is at­trac­tively fur­nished and has a gar­den. LO­CAL BOAT­ING: Avoid dead springs if you come with your own boat. The har­bour has sev­eral visi­tors’ buoys which have greater low tide depths to­wards neaps. There are amaz­ing channels to ex­plore and Molène has some fab­u­lous beaches. Ad­dress: Gîte de Molène, 29259 Île Molène, France. Sleeps: Up to 4 Book­ings: Jean-jves and Mar­i­anne Le Gall (own­ers). Tel: +33 (0)2.98.07.37.18 or +33 (0)9.84.26.02.62; www.mo­lene.net or email: jle­gall@mo­lene.net Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from 335-495€. GET­TING THERE By road/ferry: Brit­tany Fer­ries to Roscoff or St Malo, drive to Le Con­quet Gare Mar­i­time, then Penn Ar Bed pas­sen­ger ferry to Molène. By boat: Cruise down the Chenal du Four from L’aber Wrac’h as far as Pointe de Corsen. Then head just south of west from a po­si­tion half a mile north-east of Pourceaux north-car­di­nal buoy. Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 3345, French SHOM 7123.

STORHOLMEN, NOR­WAY LAKE­SIDE VILLA

When cruis­ing in Nor­way we love the sense of space in the com­plex lay­ers of is­lands fring­ing the coasts of this spec­tac­u­lar coun­try. For a first Nor­we­gian ex­pe­ri­ence I have cho­sen a house on Storholmen, which is not far from Ber­gen yet feels way out in the wilds in a beau­ti­ful boat­ing area. An out­board run­about is moored at the jetty so you can pot­ter to your heart’s con­tent.

This lux­u­ri­ous wa­ter­side villa looks across low sker­ries to­wards gen­tle wooded shores. There are spa­cious ter­races and you can swim in crys­tal clear wa­ter or just soak up the peace on a lounger. LO­CAL BOAT­ING: Storholmen lies in a shel­tered sound with other small is­lands nearby. The larger is­land of Huf­tarøy has an en­tic­ing in­let, also dot­ted with tiny is­lands and sker­ries, where you can spend hal­cyon hours nos­ing about in a small boat.

Ad­dress: Storholmen, Austevoll, Nor­way Sleeps: 12. Ideal for two fam­i­lies with young­sters. Book­ings: No­va­sol Tel: +44 (0)333 012 4926; www.no­va­sol.co.uk or email no­va­sol@no­va­sol.co.uk Prop­erty Ref: N18885 Price guide per

week: From £1,989. GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Fly to Ber­gen, pick up a hire car and drive 15km south to Krokeide. Car ferry to Hufthamar on Huf­tarøy is­land. Then 6km drive to Storholmen, linked to Huf­tarøy by a bridge.

By boat: Few UK boats cruise to Nor­way, ex­cept hardy crews from Scot­land and Orkney. We have sam­pled the is­lands on yacht de­liv­er­ies and thor­oughly rec­om­mend them for hol­i­days.

Charts: Nor­we­gian chart 21, Sel­b­jørns­fjor­den to Ber­gen.

BANTRY B AY, SW IRE­LAND BERE IS­LAND HOL­I­DAY HOMES

Bantry Bay is one of south-west Ire­land’s grand­est in­lets, pen­e­trat­ing 16 miles in­land to Bantry har­bour and peace­ful an­chor­ages at Adrigole and Glen­gar­riff. The north shore is backed by moun­tains ris­ing well above 600m. Bere Is­land lies just in­side Bantry Bay to port with its own rolling hills, and the ma­rina at Lawrence Cove is a de­light­ful base with good fa­cil­i­ties. Three com­fort­able de­tached hol­i­day houses stand just above the ma­rina, look­ing up the bay to­wards the rugged slopes of Hun­gry Hill. Ar­chi­tect-de­signed with light in­te­ri­ors, th­ese mag­nif­i­cently sited prop­er­ties have large gar­dens and su­perb views. LO­CAL BOAT­ING Lawrence Cove is a per­fect bil­let if you come with your own boat. For those ar­riv­ing by road and ferry, Barry Han­ley, owner of the houses, can or­gan­ise RIB hire for ex­plor­ing the dra­matic reaches of Bantry Bay.

Ad­dress: Bere Is­land Hol­i­day Homes, Ardagh, Bere Is­land, Beara, County Cork Sleeps: Each house sleeps up to 8.

Book­ings: Barry Han­ley (owner). Tel: +353 (0)27 75995/ +353 (0)86 8845709; www.bereis­land­hol­i­day­homes.com or email info@bereis­land­hol­i­day­homes.com Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from 500–800€.

GET­TING THERE By ferry: Ro-ro fer­ries from Pem­broke Dock or Fish­guard to Ross­lare, then a five-hour drive to Castle­town Bere. Small ‘land­ing-craft’ car ferry to Bere Is­land.

By boat: Cruis­ing along Ire­land’s south coast to Bantry Bay is a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence. Lawrence Cove ma­rina is com­pletely snug for a short stay, a sea­son or over-win­ter­ing.

Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 2424, 1838, 1840.

S ARK, CHAN­NEL IS­LANDS CLOS DE SAIGNIE

Sark is the most mys­te­ri­ous Chan­nel Is­land seen from off­shore. Its high cliffs show few signs of habi­ta­tion and Sark can look rather aloof, even in fine weather. The pic­turesque vil­lage is a sur­prise when you climb to the plateau and wan­der in­land to the Av­enue, the slightly Wild West main street where lo­cals go shop­ping on bikes.

Clos de Saignie is a mod­ernised sin­gle-storey house above Saignie Bay on Sark’s se­cluded north-west edge. A field runs down to the cliffs with fab­u­lous views to­wards Guernsey and Herm. This is a true Is­lo­mane’s re­treat you’ll be reluc­tant to leave. LO­CAL BOAT­ING There are visi­tors’ buoys at Havre Gos­selin on the west coast and Grève de la Ville on the north-east, so ar­riv­ing with your own boat you can moor in quiet weather. Sark has some glo­ri­ous an­chor­age bays for long sum­mer days. Ad­dress: Clos de Saignie, Sark, Guernsey GY10 1SF. Sleeps: Up to 8. Ideal for two cou­ples or a lar­gish fam­ily. Book­ings: Wil­liam and Annabel Ray­mond (own­ers). Tel: +44 (0)1481 832440; www.sark.co.uk/clos-de­saig­nie-7769 or email: will­a­bel@cwgsy.net Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from £600–£2,000. GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Nu­mer­ous flights to Guernsey from Southamp­ton or Gatwick. Fast fer­ries from Poole, daily Ro-ro ferry from Portsmouth. Then Sark ferry from St Peter Port, Guernsey By boat: Sark lies six miles ESE of Guernsey. Grève de la Ville is 22 miles SW of Cap de la Hague and 19 miles from Diélette. Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 2669 and 808.

E LGÖ, STOCK­HOLM AR­CHI­PEL­AGO SWEDISH SUM­MER HOUSE

The Stock­holm ar­chi­pel­ago is a boat­ing par­adise, with countless is­lands and sker­ries fan­ning out in a maze of linked channels. The outer reaches are wild and re­mote, but the shel­tered in­ner is­lands are wooded and some have hol­i­day homes to rent. Elgö is 15 miles north-east of Stock­holm and we passed it once while cruis­ing here and saw this en­vi­able sum­mer house right on the shore with its pri­vate jetty.

Per­fectly se­cluded with glo­ri­ous views, the house is fur­nished in de­light­ful Scan­di­na­vian style, a Swedish home from home in idyl­lic sur­round­ings for sim­ply mess­ing around in boats. LO­CAL BOAT­ING An out­board run­about is pro­vided and the channels around Elgö are en­chant­ing. The mid­sum­mer days are long and time slows right down as you hop into the boat on a whim and head off to scout an­other wooded shore or se­cret in­let.

Ad­dress: Elgö, Österåker, Stock­holm, Swe­den. Sleeps: Up to 6. Book­ings: Yvonne Skan­lert at Skärgårdsstu­gor AB, Tel: +46 73 655 6700; www.bokaskar­gardsstu­gor.se or email: info@bokaskar­gardsstu­gor.se/yvonne.skan­lert.werner @gmail.com Prop­erty Ref: LJ-108101 Price guide per week: From 7,959kr–11,016kr (about £700–to £950).

GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Fly to Stock­holm Ar­landa, bus shut­tle to city cen­tre, then is­land ferry to Elgö brygga. 20 mins walk to the hol­i­day house.

By boat: The 15-mile pas­sage be­tween Stock­holm and Elgö is an un­for­get­table trip through in­tri­cate channels be­tween wooded is­lands.

Charts: Swedish chart ‘Stock­holms skärgård’.

Î L E D E B R É H AT, NORT H B R I T TANY TY RADEN

Brit­tany’s north cor­ner be­tween Paim­pol and Les Héaux light­house is of­ten the first des­ti­na­tion for boats cruis­ing down from Guernsey. Cen­tre­piece of the rocky Trieux es­tu­ary, Île de Bréhat is an ex­quis­ite prospect of neat Bre­ton cot­tages, sooth­ing pines and lux­u­ri­ant gar­dens.

Ty Raden is a tucked away six-bed­room house in a large gar­den on Bréhat’s south-west coast, look­ing across the Ker­pont Pas­sage near an old lifeboat slip. There’s a small sandy beach be­low the house and you can stroll along coun­try lanes to the is­land vil­lage. Sheer bliss for Brit­tany lovers. LO­CAL BOAT­ING Ar­riv­ing with your own boat, you can berth at Lézardrieux ma­rina and whizz to and from Bréhat by dinghy, land­ing at the Ty Raden beach or fur­ther north at Port de la Corderie. The is­land channels are great to ex­plore in calm weather. Ad­dress: Ty Raden, 22870 Île de Bréhat, France. Sleeps: Up to 17 in prin­ci­ple, but just right for a two-fam­ily sum­mer party. Book­ings: David and In­grid Sa­clier (own­ers). Tel: +33 (0)1.30.30.58.59/+33 (0)6.86.751.451; www.bre­hat-in­fos.fr, click on ‘Se loger’, then click map on Bréhat’s south-west tip. Price guide per week: Avail­able April to Oc­to­ber, 1,400–1,600€. GET­TING THERE By ferry: Brit­tany Fer­ries to Roscoff or St Malo, then a two-hour drive from ei­ther to Plouba­zlanec ferry ter­mi­nal for Bréhat, 7km north of Paim­pol. By boat: Bréhat is 42 miles from Guernsey west-about Roches Dou­vres. Lézardrieux ma­rina is five miles up­river. Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 2669, 3673.

ISLE OF COLL, SCOT­LAND WHITE HOUSE LODGE

Ro­man­tic Coll feels far-flung but is only 17 miles out from Tober­mory. Long and low with few houses or trees, Coll is a refuge from modern life, with big skies and some of the finest white beaches in the world. Ari­nagour vil­lage has a few small shops, the Is­land Café and the Coll Ho­tel with a good restau­rant.

White House Lodge is an imag­i­na­tively con­verted farm worker’s cot­tage near the At­lantic side of Coll, out on its own with sea and moor­land views. This award-win­ning house has a light con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior im­pec­ca­bly pre­sented. Ari­nagour is about 20mins bike ride. LO­CAL BOAT­ING This is ideal trailer RIB coun­try and on a quiet day Coll is an easy run from Tober­mory. Loch Eatharna is Coll’s main har­bour, fun­nel­ing into the east coast with Ari­nagour vil­lage at its head. In set­tled weather a RIB can use a moor­ing here, or dry out near the in­ner pier.

Ad­dress: White House Lodge, Gr­i­shipol, Isle of Coll PA78 6TE. Sleeps: Up to 8. Book­ings: Lauch­lan Ma­clean-bris­tol (owner). Tel: +44 (0)1253 542658/+44 (0)7787 541384; www.white­house­lodge.co.uk or email: info@white­house­lodge. co.uk Price guide per week: Avail­able all year, from £600. GET­TING THERE

By air/ferry: He­bridean Air Ser­vices small plane flights or Cale­do­nian Macbrayne fer­ries from Oban to Coll.

By boat: From Tober­mory, leave the Sound of Mull round Ard­more Point and track about 257°T to Loch Eatharna en­trance. Slack wa­ter is best for the pas­sage.

Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 2171, 2474.

FAVIGNANA, SI­CILY VILLA ZU NILLU

A few miles off Si­cily’s west tip, Favignana is my largest is­land, yet feels suf­fi­ciently cosy for Is­lo­manes. Its his­tory lies with tunny fish­ing and the har­bour has im­pres­sive vaulted ware­houses where nets and tuna boats were stored. Favignana’s beaches are gor­geous with translu­cent blue shal­lows. Its hills are dot­ted with pale stone houses, which com­ple­ment the land­scape per­fectly.

Zu Nillu is also a homage to na­tive stone, perched above a Ro­man quarry near Cala Rossa, a stun­ning cove on the north­east coast. Built on sev­eral lay­ers, Zu Nillu looks like a fairy­tale monastery, its gar­den and pool en­closed by an­cient sand­stone. LO­CAL BOAT­ING The agents can ar­range boat hire, and cruis­ing round Favignana is rav­ish­ing. Cala Ro­tunda is a daz­zling in­let and swim­ming beach on the west coast. You can take a skip­pered boat trip with Cle­mente Ven­trone, a re­tired tuna fish­er­man and is­land leg­end. Ad­dress: Zu Nillu, Favignana, Egadi Is­lands, Si­cily. Sleeps: Up to 8. Not ideal for young chil­dren. Book­ings: The Think­ing Trav­eller. Tel: +44 (0)20 7377 8518; www.the­think­ing­trav­eller.com or email in­fo­the­think­ing trav­eller.com Prop­erty Ref: Si­cily, Zu Nillu Price guide per week: From £4,452–£9,630. GET­TING THERE By air/ferry: Fly to Palermo or Tra­pani on Si­cily, then ferry or hy­dro­foil to Favignana. The lo­cal agent can drive you to Zu Nillu. By boat: Any­one with a boat in Italy can reach Favignana via Si­cily’s won­der­ful coast­line. You might find a berth in Favignana, or use Marsala ma­rina on Si­cily.

Charts: Ad­mi­ralty 964.

This stun­ning wa­ter­side villa in Nor­way has a run­about moored at the jetty – ideal for ex­plor­ing nearby is­lands

One of the many peace­ful in­lets in the outer sker­ries of the Stock­holm ar­chi­pel­ago

Low wa­ter at Port de la Corderie on Île de Bréhat Bantry Bay in Ire­land is a mag­i­cal cruis­ing ground

An idyl­lic an­chor­age near Favignana, Si­cily Fab­u­lous Feall Bay beach on Coll’s north-west coast Villa Zu Nillu is built next to an old Ro­man sand­stone quarry

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