Cruise the West Coast of the Iberian Peninsula with us.
This coastal sailing adventure is available for charter! Sail with us in Portugal from Galicia to Gibraltar. Short trips will be combined with time ashore for some exploring. Join us for any leg or all of these trips between beautiful seaside towns.
Since the final destination for the autumn is to go into the Mediterranian Sea, we will be moving from one town to another down the west coast of Portugal over a period of about three weeks in August.
Portugal has several picturesque anchorages, marinas and villages that we will visit as we make our way south. The list of below gives the distance between each destination and a tidbit of information about the place. Our intent is to target the most sailor-friendly anchorages and villages which can allow for a more pleasurable visit of the attractions ashore. Of course several hours before and after each transit is required to take care of our needs and preparing the boat for the next trip. Most of the journeys between destinations will be day sails, meaning we plan to arrive with plenty of daylight left to secure the vessel and get ashore for a tapas and wine. The days we sail to these destinations will be determined based on distance, weather and crew abilities. The predominant wind direction is from the north-northwest around 10 knots, with a 38% chance it will be 11-16 knots, which is a very nice direction and speed for us since it will be to our backs. If the wind is strong from any direction in front of us, we will probably take an excursion to see something on land, rather than sail to the next destination.
Lindsay will be in charge of the cooking aboard, so we will have delicious meals without you having to spend a lot of time in the galley. You are encouraged but not required to help keep watch at the helm and occasionally assist in serving meals or cleaning up a bit if one of us is sleeping during one of the longer sailing trips.
These are some of the ports we will be visiting. Some of these locations may be skipped if we are running low on time or trying to reach a locations where we have sold a charter.
This is our starting point. There is an island nearby to explore. We chose this marina because of its proximity to Santiago de Compostela.
Vilanova de Arousa is a far more attractive town than its similarly named neighbour and as you drive through it you realise that the north of the town is comprised primarily of small hotels and restaurants, all within a whisker of the little beaches that line the coast. It has an up market feel, but in an informal way and the beaches, whist small and with a coarse yellow sand, look very appealing. This part of the Arousa bay is also very picturesque and you get views looking out to the more open ocean as well as in to the estuary mouth and across to Vilagarcia.
2. Monte Real Club de Yates de Baiona, Galicia
Arousa to Baiona: 40 nm / 6 knots = 7 hours
Baiona has a lot of charm with a quaint fishing port, a number of small but appealing beaches, plus an old town that sits just behind the main seafront area. There are also many small beaches along the coastline within close proximity to Baiona and this is one of the reasons why it is so popular with summer visitors.
Within Baiona’s old district there are a number of narrow corridor like streets with typical Galician terraced houses lining them. This area is pleasant to walk around and it gets you away from the busier seafront zone which is more commercialised. There are bars, cafes and restaurants hidden away in this area and most are superior to, and often cheaper than, the ones found on the ocean front drive.
Baiona to Povoa de Varzin: 50 nm / 6 knots = 8 hours
Historically a fishing port and ship-building centre during the Age of Discoveries, Póvoa de Varzim is now a popular ocean resort with a casino, 12km of good beaches for swimming and surfing and many hotels. People have been coming to Póvoa de Varzim to bathe in the iodine-rich waters (from the local seaweed) since the late 19th century.
Places of historic interest in Póvoa de Varzim include the Castelo da Póvoa, built between 1701 and 1740 to protect the town from pirates, the Praça Velha (Old Square) with the nearby Igreja Matriz and the House of António Cardia, a 16th century Portuguese seafarer active in Brazil.
Povoa de Varzin to Porto: 15 nm / 6 knots = 3 hours
Porto is a historic and varied city, from the warren of narrow streets that make up the ancient Ribeira district through to the grand plazas of the Avenida dos Aliados. The region is famed for the production of Port, which is still stored in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the mighty Douro River.
The Ribeira district is the oldest district of the city which is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars.
Porto to Sao Jacinto: 40 nm / 6 knots = 6 hours
We intend to anchor in the town of Sao Jacinto, but the biggest attraction is the nearby town of Aveiro.
The town of Aveiro is a unique, and largely undiscovered, treasure along the northern Portuguese Coastline. Most guides refer to Aveiro as ‘Portugal’s Venice’ but the comparison can be misleading and much of Aveiro’s real charm is based on its diverse architectural heritage and natural wonders.
Surrounded by the stunning Silver Coastline, a lagoon and at the mouth of an estuary, Aveiro is a bold Art Nouveau and Romanesque construction, with man-made canals dissecting the town into quarters. The colourful Moliceiros that glide along the serene waters give a comical nod to the traditional Aveiro way of life and were originally unglamorous seaweed harvesting vessels.
Sao Jacinto to Figueira da Foz: 35 nm / 6 knots = 6 hours
Figueira da Foz is more than just beach days. The seashore is the city’s ex-libris, but there is another milestone which is just as popular: the Figueira da Foz Casino. It was inaugurated in the final years of the 19th century with the name Theatro-Circo Saraiva de Carvalho, and it added a cosmopolitan touch to Figueira which still lives on until today. Nowadays, it has daily shows, game rooms, bars and traditional Portuguese food restaurants and is still one the greatest entertainment centres in Figueira da Foz at night, along with its wide variety of bars, clubs and terraces. If you prefer a quiet night, you should try a stroll along the seashore.
Figueira da Foz to Sao Martinho do Porto: 54 nm / 6 knots = 9 hours
São Martinho do Porto is a nice village at a beautiful and calm bay. This bay is a shell-shaped lagoon. It is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a small passage between the hills. Around the bay is a wide sandy beach, and next to the beach hills and dunes. During summer season there are many blue-white tents on the beach, you can rent them to store your beach gear or relax in the shade. The port is at the northside of the bay, all the boats are located around this area.
There are many good seafood restaurants, not only at the seaside but also in the village centre. The local market is open all week.
Sao Martinho do Porto to Cascais: 70 nm / 6 knots = 12 hours
Cascais is situated on the western edge of the Tagus estuary, between the Sintra mountains and the Atlantic Ocean; the territory occupied by the municipality is limited in the north by the municipality of Sintra, south and west by the ocean, and east by the municipality of Oeiras.
Today, there is a large yacht harbour and several small sand beaches in and around town. Cascais is easily reached from Lisbon. It has the ruins of a castle, an art and sea museum, as well as parks and the charming cobbled streets of the historic centre.
9. Porto de Sines, Portugal
Cascais to Sines: 60 nm / 6 knots = 10 hours
This is a commercial port with a power plant. It is not scenic. We will most likely only stop to sleep here while on anchor.
Sines to Albufeira: 90 nm / 6 knots = 15 hours
Albufeira is the oldest, largest, liveliest and most energetic of all of the resort towns that line southern Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. Albufeira provides stunning beaches, a glorious climate, a vast selection of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife; there is so much to love about Albufeira and this has transformed the once peaceful fishing village into the Algarve’s most popular holiday destinations.
Albufuera to Vila Real de Santo António: 70 nm / 6 knots = 12 hours
Vila Real de Santo Antonio is a delightful town, which is situated on the mighty Rio Guadiana, at the very eastern edge of the Algarve. The town has a peaceful, unhurried ambience but has a truly unique appearance, resembling more Lisbon than its close neighbours, with a grand central plaza and decorative Pombaline architecture.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio is located in a very scenic region of the Algarve. The town overlooks the cooling waters of the Rio Guadiana, to the north are the salt marshes of the Sapal de Castro Marim, while to the south are the pristine beaches of the eastern Monte Gordo coastline.
Vila Real de Santo António to Rota, Spain: 60 nm / 6 knots = 10 hours
Rota is not a major tourist centre but it does boast some very fine beaches. In all there are sixteen kilometres of beach. Cadiz is within a taxi ride from here.
Walking through the centre of the town you will come across many interesting shops. A visit to the fish market at the harbour of Pesquero Astaroth is a must. Here you’ll see the shellfish and fish catches of the day at what is known as the most famous fish market on the Cádiz coast.
Typical fare today is barbecued meats, sauces flavoured with cumin or saffron and sweets made from crushed almonds. The region is famous for its grilled fish, especially sardines, deep fried calamares (squid) and fish baked in salt. Quality ham and pork are used widely in sausages. Tapas were invented in Andalusia and a wide variety of them is still served in Andalusia. Some of the best jamon Serrano (cured ham) comes from the mountains of Andalusia, in particular from Jabugo.
Rota to Gibraltar: 90 nm / 6 knots = 15 hours
Gibraltar, colloquially known as The Rock, (or simply ‘Gib’), is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom sitting at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north and the people of Gibraltar are ferociously loyal British citizens despite being bilingual in English and Spanish.
Gibraltar is a unique place for the curious traveler. Take time to explore the caves and tunnels especially those not meant for tourists! The inside of the rock is an absolute labyrinth with secret internal roads and tunnels four times longer than those on the surface. Military presence and security in this otherwise deserted area is strong but almost invisible.
Please see our calendar for the dates in August when we plan to be in these locations.
The cost to sail the Iberian Pennisula is the same as our advertised “sleep aboard” rates. We will be staying in a marina if they are available. Many of the harbours are best for anchoring and using the dinghy to come ashore.
Contact us to get started by asking questions before making a reservation.