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Old 15-12-2009, 21:06   #1
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Advice on Spanish Ports Requested

We are transiting from Palma de Mallorca to Gibraltar and on to the Caribbean in February. Given the weather we are looking at a mix of day trips & overnights, but are looking for advice as to the best stops along the Spanish coast. We are more interested in interesting cities and fishing villages than upscale mega marinas. Our boat draws 2.7m(9 ft). Any information on the best places to provision for the TransAtlantic would also be appreciated. Thanks much. Bruce B
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Old 15-12-2009, 22:36   #2
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I don't know about Marinas or the Spanish Coast but my kids went to Portugal this past spring and visited the Algarve. Specifically Lagos. They loved it. It's on the south coast of Portugal. About 200 miles from Gibraltar. There's a great scenic hiking trail along the ocean. Miles and miles of cliffs and grottos. They hear it's a fishing town. Spectacular coastline, beautiful town- worth checking out.
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Old 16-12-2009, 00:37   #3
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Provision for Transat in Canaries. Las Palmas is biggest city and marina berthing is cheap. Big chandlers, markets and even Spanish version of Macys at El Corte Ingles with big below ground food store which has facility to cryovac meat at no extra charge. You can then hop over to smaller islands further west for more atmosphere before jumping off.

Cannot really give recommendations on fishing ports down the Spanish east coast. Not many marinas are huge anyway - and most have character plus fishing fleets anyway.

If it were me I'd do Mallorca to Ibiza (park in a cala), Ibiza to Javea (small but a marina), Javea to Categena (marina but an interesting place), Cartegena to Almerimar (boring but good services), Almerimar to Gibraltar (rubbish but cheap grog and fuel), Gibraltar to Cadiz (superb atmosphere), Cadiz to Lagos (nicer still with best services in Sopromar Yard before the crossing), then Lagos down to Canary Islands.

Go check our blog for 2007 as we did this route then, albeit most in one hop.

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Old 16-12-2009, 16:36   #4
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I was hoping that many others would post their suggestions as mine are 25 years out of date. Never the less from your personal data it would seem that you are from the USA and would be generally unfamiliar with the area… so lacking other responses here goes.

At the southern tip of Ibiza lies a small clump of islands called Es Vedra (it was the island of Bahli Hi in the musical film South Pacific a little north west is a cove called Cala Vadella Beach. Some large and small yachts used to anchor there.

I am assuming that you don’t have a lots of time, however Spain (especially old/roman Spain) is extremely beautiful. So if you could then visit Valencia if not then as Swagman states to Almeria. Here I would leave the boat for a few days. Hire a car and drive to Grenada ( A few hours trip). Beautiful trip and fine destination. Continue to Rhonda equally fine trip and interesting destination. If you can afford the time travel to Jerez de la frontier and on into the Algarve and drive to Cabo St Vincient (south west tip of Portugal just past Henry the Navigators fort.

Assuming you can do the trip then returning look in at Sagres, Lagos, Ferraguda (South of Portimao ....recommended) and East of Praia de Rocha. The next possibiliy east is quite a new harbour and marina just west of Albuferia. Next is Villamora and Quateria to Faro. Nearly all have out harbours or retaining walls/ protected outer harbours and you will have to select those with sufficient depth. 25 years ago all would have accommodated you.

Cadiz is worth the trip even Huelva located before…Gibraltar yes if only for the historical aspects steak and kidney pies and fish and chips the British way.

If only a few days car trip can be arranged then cut south from Rhonda to Marbella. Between Marbella and Gib is La Duquesa and its nearby marina. After Checking it out travel back north passing through Banus and Marbella (Don't stop). And at Fuengerola , Bellamada costa are cheaper older marina .

In Spain visit the nearest Carrafour or Supermecado Europa they exist in Portugal too for provisioning all reasonable sized town have them.

In Spain, buy Marquis de Caceres and /or Riscal red wine. White Marquis de Murrieto or Lan. Reasonably priced and very good. Carlos 1 Brandy.

In Portugal buy Brandy Miel (Honey Brandy) and any young Alentejano wine. Tinta de Talia-good cheap or Esperao excellent and a little dearer, but any garrafeira particular will do the trick.

My only additional suggestion is buy in Portimao if doing so in Portugal. If stopping somewhere in the west Algarve area ,then pop into a travel agent or hotel and book a trip to Monchique mountains for the trip and also chicken piri piri. Take lots of pictures, keep some of the wine and brandy and I shall come visit you in the Caribbean and you can tell me all about it, while I drink a few glasses with you.

Please remember that my info if out of date as to depth, but you can have a few days travelling which will bring you the needed possibilities that you desire. It certainly will astound you with the beauty and history although nearly all of the area between mid Algarve to Malaga is an overbuilt concrete jungle. Never the less about 10km inland are interesting jewels to be found.

Sorry I can't up give to date specifics to marinas and anchoring points, but some other posters more current can add their 2 cents

Let me know if I can help you further

Regards

Alan
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Old 01-01-2010, 16:01   #5
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there are too many good stops in your way in sapnish coast, i live in spain, i sail in spain, atlantic coast, i know quite good mediterranean spanish cost, if you have about on month, i´ll recomended to you:
palma-ibiza
ibiza-formentera
formentera-javea
javea-calpe
calpe-alicante
alicante-cartagena
cartagena-manga del mar menor
manga del mar menor-cabo gata before pass the cap there are one pretty beach for anchorage with west winds.
cabo gata-almerimar with strong west winds no recomended go to marina in the west of almeria in the same gulf.
rent a car and go to granada, cordoba and sevilla
almerimar-marbella
marbella-gibraltar (fuel)
gibraltar-ceuta
ceuta-puerto de santa maría or cadiz visit both.
puerto de santa maria go to guadiana river, there i have a very good friend he lives in a boat there and know all about, if you wont go there tell me and i give to you your phone number.
after guadiana with problems with depth, algarve, i think in the other notes is all i can talk about algarve, after that go straigth to canary islands dont go to any marocco port.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:58   #6
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Lots of good advice on the above two posts, and I would echo trying to stop long enough to visit Grenada. We did this by coach from Cartagena.

Couple of addtions - if you have the time visit Seville. By boat it's 50nM up the Guadalquivir river which is very easy. Either anchor off Gelves for a 1euro bus ride into town (beware that your air draft gets you under the power cables) or go through the lock and into the Yacht Club marina.

The other one is Tangier, in northern Morocco. Fine YC, very secure, intersting city. Godd trains to visit Fez or Marrakesh. Excellent souk for provisioning with all sorts of spices, meats, vegetables and wonderful olive oil black soap. It's just 30 miles from Gib (which frankly isn't worth visiting unless you have friends flying in to meet you).
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:55   #7
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Tangier IS NOT SECURE TOWN.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:56   #8
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We spent over a week in Tangier in 2007. The YC runs a small area for visiting yachts, which despite its proximity to the access area for cross-Straits freight vessels, is very well guarded and secure. (There are many people trying to smuggle themselves into Europe via these freighters.)

We explored Tangier quite a bit, and despite our initial concerns (being two women) had no real trouble. (Of course we were careful about area and about night times.) It is the developing world and there is a huge amount of pressure to buy stuff, much of which is not necessarily a good bargain by Moroccan standards, though it may still be very cheap for Europeans or Americans.

We found it secure enough that we left RG for three days and went by train to Fez, which was a wonderful trip. The boat was absolutely fine.

That's the basis of my comment that we found it a secure and interesting stop.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:28   #9
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Tangier

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Tangier IS NOT SECURE TOWN.
Nope, it`s not, whatever that means. But I suspect it`s more likely to get mugged in Lisbon or Barcelona or London. Conmen, well that`s a different matter..... Marina seemed secure though, always someone around.
If you want to see some of Morocco but get freaked out taking the boat there then Ceuta might be a better bet. Much nicer than Gib and easy to take a cheap taxi to Tetouan for a souk visit.
Agree with the other posts about the nicer places. Cadiz, Rio Guadiana, Lagos was nice. And La Gomera in Canaries.
Enjoy the trip!
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Old 03-01-2010, 18:38   #10
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you are coach to visit granada from almeria too and is less far, you have coach too from granada to cordoba and to sevilla too, and train cordoba sevilla, sevilla in boat i dont recomended because is 50 miles up river and 50 miles down river, but.....
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Old 04-01-2010, 14:45   #11
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Portugal, last stop might be Albufeira, west of Faro. Faro is a good bolt hole, sand islands and friendly natives.
Albufeira is a busy town with a new marina and maintenance sheds. Plenty of local stores in the old town, a quarter mile or so on foot.
Great night life, busy tourist town too, so lively evenings.
Car hire cheap. Then it's away, well offshore, a lee shore in the wrong winds, and into the Atlantic. Fare thee well.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:14   #12
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Hi Bruce... have not had cause to enter the Med since 2000 but am familiar with the eastern side having cruised the Balearics and Spanish coast 96 to 99. I'm also assuming that at that time of year you'll be wanting to cover some distances as an Atlantic crossing after mid April can be uncomfortable
If you head out late afternoon you should make San Antonio, Ibiza by next afternoon/evening.. its a good anchorage and off season you won't have the 'Brit' lager louts to put up with. From there its a 24hr or so run to Torrevieja where one used to be able to anchor, or, if you carry on just round the corner is Cartagena.
Lovely city and submarine base for the Spanish Navy, good Marina run by the council,
no chance of anchoring as the depths are awesome.
From here its a days run to Cabo de Gato then across the bay to Agua Dulce... nice marina and easy distance to Almeria by car or bus.
Next good stop is Fuengirola, past Malaga, good train service to Malaga(15mins) and if you have time a good base to visit the "White Towns" from.
From here I would suggest a non stop to Gib where you can prep your dry/canned stores for the crossing at very cheap prices/duty free and fill up with fuel. I would also recommend a walk round to the desalination plant where you can/could pick up strong 25litre plastic containers for free, a quick rinse and they're great for spare fuel... used them often when doing deliveries to the UK. Fresh veg etc I recommend a walk over the border into La Linea which has an excellent indoor market, all fresh veg, fish, meats and cheeses. Any exploring can also be done from there, Seville, Granada etc; if you have to wait for the wind to shift to Easterly. I used to anchor on the Spanish side and enter Gib in my dinghy but have heard reports the last couple of years of thefts while people are ashore, shame, its a very sheltered spot with sand bottom giving excellent holding
Once through the Straits its either st8 for the Canaries or 24-36hrs up to Faro... its a narrow entrance which needs some care as sand bars build and shift fairly often but there is a good channel and if you keep in it all should be fine... once in the Lagoon turn to stbd at the head of the channel and travel easterly past 3 piers and past a channel leading of to your port and Olhau. This will bring you to Culatra, excellent safe anchorage and fishing village... just lay extra cable as the run is quite strong. Olhau and Faro are easy to get to by dinghy/outboard from there, or use the regular ferry service or many water taxi's. Next is half a days sail to Portimao/Ferragudo, on entering the breakwater turn to stbd if you want to anchor or, if the weathers bad the Marina is 1/4 mile in to port.. nice marina, lovely people... and the perfect spot for heading to the Canaries from....
Safe Journey Folks and Enjoy..
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:57   #13
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PS; Stop at Tangiers and you may find your boat being 'turned over' by customs at your next port in Portugal or the Canaries... both have serious smuggling problems....
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:20   #14
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tangiers

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PS; Stop at Tangiers and you may find your boat being 'turned over' by customs at your next port in Portugal or the Canaries... both have serious smuggling problems....
First I`ve heard of that. Not met anyone who had a problem. Though the authorities did seem strict in Tangier but the impression i got was they were more interested in people smuggling than drugs. But they can`t be that successful as we can still nip down to sainsburys for a cheap salad.....
http://bachlab.balbach.net/coolreadi...eatAndFear.txt
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:11   #15
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pirate Tangiers

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First I`ve heard of that. Not met anyone who had a problem. Though the authorities did seem strict in Tangier but the impression i got was they were more interested in people smuggling than drugs. But they can`t be that successful as we can still nip down to sainsburys for a cheap salad.....
http://bachlab.balbach.net/coolreadi...eatAndFear.txt
Hi Cona.... I'm guessing your in Gib by your "Sainsburys' comment....lol
Don't they have the fast inflatables coming out of Morocco then scattering at full speed across the Straits anymore....lol
A few boats have been 'tugged' entering Portugal after a Moroccan stop the last couple of years... drugs are a serious problem here and very much effort is taken to stop the flow with regular Naval Patrols and Guardia Civil fast launches zooming out of nowhere.... all ports are tied into an Central EU computer base so they know where you've been and where your headed...
a change of mind as to destination once your at sea can be seen as a 'suspicious move'.
Enjoy the Salads...
Phil
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