Europa Holidays RYA dinghy sailing courses

RYA dinghy sailing courses land element

Europa Holidays dinghy sailing courses on Lake Garda

Dinghy sailing courses

rya logo for dinghy sailing courses
vdws logo for dinghy sailing courses
vdws and rya logos

RYA dinghy sailing courses

– for beginners, improvers and experts

We offer formal RYA sailing courses from beginner to expert, wind conditions permitting, either intensive – over two full days – or holiday-oriented spread over 4 or 5 days. Our ESS Intro 6-hour course is based upon two three or three sessions and is aimed at introducing you to sailing safely but does not offer a certificate.

We can provide courses over longer periods for regular visitors or those on longer holidays. For customers who prefer a VDWS certificate we run similar courses to the RYA syllabus but the reduced theory element means that these typically take 12 – 14 hours.

We aim to fit our training to your holiday – not your holiday to our training!


RYA dinghy sailing school

– instructor-led, small groups

You will be able to learn in a wide variety of boats and can develop skills ranging from single-handed sailing to trapeze and gennaker use and racing techniques. Most of our instruction is personal with one instructor teaching a family or small group who have booked together. When we have large numbers of clients we sometimes group together sailors of similar standards and requirements but group sizes do not exceed 6 people per instructor. Whether you pre-book or book when you get here, everything you need is included in the price and is at the beach. For RYA courses there is an RYA logbook (a separate RYA publication “Start Sailing” can be purchased for €10). Buoyancy aids, wetsuits (shorty wetsuits are advised in all but the hottest weather), boots and gloves come with the package, along with a friendly smile.

Funsail, ESS and RYA sailing courses

Funsail 1

Sail with an instructor
£45/person
  • One hour sailing with an instructor experiencing a modern, fast sailing dinghy or a relaxing cruise
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary

Funsail 2

Sail with an instructor
£60/person
  • Two hours sailing with an instructor experiencing a modern, fast sailing dinghy or a relaxing cruise
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary

ESS Intro

Learn the basics
£145/person
  • Two 3-hour or three 2-hour sessions which will show you how to steer and tack a boat
  • all equipment is provided
  • no experience necessary
  • students should be confident in and around water

RYA Level 1

Start Sailing
£245/person
  • Two-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 2 days
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA Level 2

Better Sailing
£245/person
  • Two-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 2 days
  • all equipment included
  • ! requires RYA Level 1 or similar experience
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA Level 3

Advanced Sailing
£245/person
  • Two-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 2 days
  • all equipment included
  • ! requires RYA Level 2
  • ! Students must be confident in water
  • We can also offer:  RYA Seamanship and RYA Day Sailing

Specialized and RYA Junior courses

RYA Stage 1

Start Sailing
£245/person
  • Two-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 2 days + all equipment included
  • no experience necessary
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA Stage 2

Basic Skills
£245/person
  • Two-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 2 days
  • all equipment included
  • RYA Stage 1
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA S3 or S4

Better Sailing
£245/person
  • Two-day course, usually in single-handers, improving sailing skills and learning new ones.
  • Course duration: 2 days
  • all equipment included
  • previous RYA Stage
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA S1 & S2

Combined course
£365/person
  • Junior three-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 3 days
  • Reduces the overlapping theory elements between stages 1 and 2 but relies on continuous learning to reduce total time so is intensive
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary
  • ! Students must be confident in water

RYA L1 & L2

Combined course
£365/person
  • Adult three-day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 3 days
  • Reduces the overlapping theory elements between levels 1 and 2 but relies on continuous learning to reduce total time so is intensive
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary
  • ! Students must be confident in water

VDWS Basic

German Sailing Federation
£365/person
  • Two day course in multi-person dinghy with instructor on-board
  • Course duration: 12 – 14 hours
  • Leads to a VDWS certificate, recognized throughout Europe and useful where RYA is not well known.
  • Fewer theory elements but we include the separate Capsize and Recovery module in our standard course.
  • all equipment included
  • no experience necessary
  • ! Students must be confident in water

  • Go to our catamaran courses

dinghy instructors and assistants

Our instructors are English, German or Italian but all speak excellent English. They are trained by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), the Italian FIV (Federazione Italiana Vela) or the German VDWS.


Our wide range of equipment means that we have dinghies and sails (which can be dacron school sails or mylar race sails and full or reefed) to suit the young, old, fit, not-so-fit, brave and not-so-brave, ensuring that everyone can progress at their own speed. Most of our boats are available with gennakers and trapeze and some can be changed from school to race configuration to suit different courses or rental requirements.

Fleet ready for dinghy sailing courses

If you want to mix windsurfing and catamaran sailing with your dinghy sailing, we can arrange that. Talk to Alison or Charles on +39 338 6053096 or email info@europaholidays.com to discuss your requirements. Visit kayak and bike pages to see the full range of activities and options available at the beach.


Course packages

– for you and your family

We can tailor courses to suit your needs, providing all of the required syllabus activities are completed (if you want a certificate). We can also offer discounts to families or groups booking together and for combinations of courses not shown here e.g. RYA Level 2 Dinghy combined with a Level 2 Catamaran certificate.


Our advice to all potential sailors interested in keelboats, single-handers and catamarans is to first complete a dinghy sailing course in double-handers before embarking on a different type of boat. Our experience is that the boat handling and sail setting in a dinghy gives you a better understanding of “why” and better skills in handling a boat. The transition to a catamaran or to a single hander is then much easier and your skill level will be much higher.