We have been to four marinas
along the Straits of Gibraltar
: Marina Smir, Morocco
; Queensway, Gibraltar
; Estepona (Deportiva) Spain
; Bajadilla (Marbella) Spain
Of these we find Smir the least expensive and haul out
facilities at the marina itself. The quality of work is good on wood and having to be watched on engines, but hospitable and a good, safe place to stay. We were there over five months restoring our ketch
and enjoyed the workers, being invited to tea constantly but wanting beer
, as it is a Moslem country. Smir is isolated, so you have to consider that and during the Summer months is full of jet skiers and crowds from the other parts
because the climate is better around this area than a very hot Morocco.
Queensway is a good stopping off place but we were disappointed at the lack of marine
materials on hand to do small jobs and the lack of marine
reading materials. But, Morrisons is there for our English
tastes and for a while or a moment that makes up for it. We were there more than a week because of the weather
and found the marina staff helpful and friendly, mostly from Canada
Estepona was our first taste of Spanish marinas
and we were lucky enough to stay at the checking in dock
for about a week, meaning we could side tie and with a 3 year old aboard it is just a lot easier to go on and off the boat. The staff was helpful and volunteered information about the town and the surroundings. The marina was a bit too glitzy for our tastes but we were able to get things at the small chandlery
that we were not in Gibraltar and we ate well at the variety of restaurants at the marina. The fishermen across the way were a fine sight and only left for the fishing
grounds late in the morning.
Marina Bajadilla at Marbella is the best one of the bunch. Though Marbella is not a cheap
place to visit the marina is. We were surprized at the low rate during the start of the high season. The marina is accepting bids on a massive renovation
and the rates will rise I am sure, but if you are thinking of passing it by or stopping before, it would be a good one to consider. The transportation is right at the marina entrance and shops are right there also, including two supermarkets within three city blocks. The facilities are good and clean and the staff very hospitable. There are hardware
and wood sales stores within walking distance, and nobody hassles you. The people on the streets are amiable and give good directions, and surprizingly a lot of people speak English
better than a lot of English speakers. It is centrally located both in terms of the town itself and the attractions along the coast and in the mountains. Marbella surprized us and we did think it was going to be gross but turned out to be comfortable.
We are staying here, in Marbella, now to sell Domingo and to acquaint her new owners with what we think is the best place along the Costa del Sol.