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Old 02-11-2010, 10:19   #1
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Portugal and the SW Atlantic Coast of Spain

We have family just outside of Cadiz, Spain in a little town called Puerto Santa Maria. For this reason this is our destination after crossing the Atlantic this summer. We plan on picking up my nephew there and then cruising the coast. From what little I could find on the net there are ports every 30 miles or so. Does anyone have any experience in this area? We are looking for good places to anchor, dive swim and surf. Also want to see the architecture of the area. Any help as to cruising guides and or blogs would be helpful.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:26   #2
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Hi Charlie

We're currently in Lagos, Portugal, before heading along the coast (we have just had a lot of work done on our boat and need to shake it all down before heading further S).

There are lots of straightforward day sails, either to Marinas (Lagos, Portimao, Chipiona etc.) anchorages (Sagres, Alvor, Faro etc.) and two big rivers, the Guardiana and the Guadalquivir that are navigable for considerable distances. Depending on wind direction there are numerous surf beaches (Atlantic Coast of Portugal, too) and in settled conditions some good diving (I'm told). Sea is warm on the Algarve coast.

Weather is generally pretty good, and the Algarve coast and beyond are fairly well sheltered in the prevailing N winds, and so swell is not such an issue as the Atlantic coast.

I can't as yet say too much about the Spanish ports, but although the Algarve is built up in some areas, there are still the old towns at their heart. Lagos, for example is modern in many ways, but is still a nice place.

I'm sure you and your family will enjoy it.

Excellent Pilot is the RCC Atlantic Spain and Portugal guide, which covers the stretch from La Coruna to Gibraltar, published by Imray. Currently in its fifth edition it is really comprehensive and annual updates are available over the web.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:14   #3
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Hi Charlie,

We've cruised in and past the region four times in the past five years and its good. You'll love Cadiz itself, it has so much atmosphere and the architecture is stunning. It has several marinas by the city or close by, but Puerto Sherry is just close by your home town and worth checking into for the pick up. We've stopped in Puerto Americas which is a 5 minute walk for Cadiz city centre and just across the bay.

And yes you can cruise the coast of both Spain and Portugal in 30 mile legs and find a safe haven each night. As the other poster has said - some of the anchorages up rivers or in lagoons are well worth experiencing.

I also vote for the Imray pilot books, but if you want something that covers a much wider area (especially if you aim to go up the Portuguese coast to N Europe) then also check out a Reeds Almanac. It covers Germany to Gibraltar.

Have a safe sail over and enjoy europe!

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Old 03-11-2010, 15:06   #4
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Sharkman and Swagman thanks for the info on the Atlantic coast of Spain. Sounds like a wonderful place to spend the summer. Now I have to get the boat ready and go. LOL if it were only that easy.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 03-11-2010, 15:57   #5
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Hi Charlie... your headed for a great area with some lovely coastline... both in Spain and the Algarve...
Puerto Sherry is a nice marina but you can anchor just outside the entrance as well... alternatively... head across the bay to the southern corner near Porto Real and its a peaceful anchorage there.... you'll have to leave the channel but the depths are 5-8 metres till about 500 metres from the beach... we picked a spot just right of the last apartment block before the reserve and beach... nice and quiet and the only boat for the 2 nights we were there.
El Rompido is also a nice spot just need to be wary going over the bar... shifts around a bit and if you've a deep draft I'd call ahead and check the current depths with the marina there...
Past the Guadiana your into Portugal and the anchorages there are Tavira, Faro/Olhau lagoon, Portimao, Alvor and Sagres.. with marinas like Villamoura, Albufiera, Portimao and Lagos all squeesed into about 90 miles of coast..
You'll have a ball...
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