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Old 20-06-2012, 05:53   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sant Carles, S Spain
Boat: 30ft Catalac 900 "Rubessa"
Posts: 876
S Spain, Gibraltar to Denia, a review of all the ports visited

We're at our final port in Southern Spain before making the crossing over to the Baleric Islands so I thought it may be usefull to share my impressions and a few pics of each port i've visited so far. I'll tell you the basic services and the price I paid, based on my boat. Note, as she is a catamaran, i'm usually charged the same rate you'd expect to pay for a 12m monohull as at 4.2m wide, that's the size berth I take up. All prices are in Euros (except Gibraltar) and are high season.

We start our journey in Gibraltar. The main marina near to the airport's runway is split into two, Ocean village and Marina Bay. This picture taken on the Ocean Village side,

And a view here of Marina Bay. The main differences being Ocean Village offers floating pontoons, better security with gates and satalite TV hook-up as well.

General: NOTE, the marina is on CH# 71, not the usual Ch9 and you'll need to call them as there is no official waiting quay. Being next to the runway, the marina is basically open to to the bay and can be very uncomfortable if there is a swell comming from the West. Gib' is a tax free zone and is a VERY good place to fuel up, I paid £0.90 ppl for diesel, about 20% cheaper than Spain.

Plenty of bars, restaurants and shops all within the marina or a short walk into the old town. Also a good place to buy expensive items for the boat from Shephards Chandlery as there is no VAT to pay.

Services: Reasonable shower block located under the main control tower at the entrance, good pressure and plenty of hot water. A bit of a walk if you're on the Ocean Village side, I used my tender to go over there! Mains electric requires 32amp plug.

WIFI: Free and reasonable speed

Staff: Staff all speak English and Spanish and are very helpfull.

Price: £22.50 p night + metered electric.

Puerto De La Duquesa

General: This was my home port for two years so I know it well. A small and friendly marina with a nice Spanish feel but still plenty of ex'pats so English well spoken. Lots of bars and restaurants around the marina, including a good laundry that is cheaper than using the coin op' machines in the marina itself. The main town, Sabinillas, has all the shops you could want including supermarkets and is about a 10 min walk. Well protected from all but the worst winter swells, entry to the port can be 'fun' if there is an easterly blowing.

Services: 16amp plug for electric, toilet/shower block is excellent, always clean and little used. Added bonus of UK sat' TV hook up on many berths. Main pantalans (pontoons) have security gates.

WIFI: Free and reasonable speed, most of the bars offer free wifi also.

Staff: Very friendly and helpfull, always on hand to help you tie up and security make their rounds every hour at night.

Price: 43 Euros p night, elec on meter. Alot cheaper off peak or upto 30% discount offered for long term.


General: Similar in style and feel to Duquesa, just a bit larger and with a bigger town with more of a 'Spanish feel' to the port. Not recommended for long term stay though as it has a large fishing fleet and the seagulls make a right mess! Well shealtered and TV hookup available in a limited number of berths. 16amp plug for elec'.

Services: Oh dear, the toilet and shower block is AWFULL! Think of the kind of thing that builders would use on a construction site, use the one on the boat! All pantalans have security gates.

WIFI: Free and reasonable speed.

Staff: All good, english well spoken.

Price: Was only charged 20 euros here for one night, I think they just charged me for 9 meters by mistake. I didn't argue! Generaly though, a bit cheaper than Duquesa overall.

Marina Del Este

General: WOW! You HAVE to visit this place, its simply beautifull! A cute little marina huddled into a natural harbour that has crystal clear water. Not many shops but a few nice bars/restaurants and a short walk to a quiet beach as seen in the above picture. The surrounding area is also great for spotting Dolphines, we saw loads about half a mile from the marina.

Services: EXCELLENT toilet/showers. Hard to believe it's the same company as Estepona! Electric is on a meter. No security gates but small enough not to worry, staff always visable anyway.

WIFI: Free, good speed.

Staff: Helpfull and good English spoken

Price: Paid 36euros inc electric.


General: Hmm, what can I say, it'll be nice when it's finished maybe? This port could be GREAT but unfortunately has a dead and empty feel to it. It's due to the fact that at least 80% of the marina side shop units and appartments are empty due to the developer going bust just as the property market collapsed anyway. Having said that, there are a great many liveaboards and we manged to make several friends in our 3 day stay. The lack of marina 'life' actualy helps this as people tend to stay on their boats so it's not all bad. The port itself is pretty big and has a wide variety of boats of all shapes and sizes. A good sized Mercadonna supermarket is only a 10 min walk.

Services: 32amp plug for elec', good water and security gates on the HUGE pantalans (you can drive a car up and down them so great for a quayside BBQ). Toilet/showers are basic to say the least. The dark brown tiles don't help and you need to bring you own toilet paper!

WIFI: 3 euros for 1 day, 15 for the week but free if moored longterm.

Staff: Excellent, VERY friendly and helpfull, reasonable English spoken.

Price: This is why there are so many liveaboards here, it's CHEAP! Off peak price per day for my Cat' was 8.71 + elec + wifi, rising to 20 euros p day peak.


General: A large port with 2 marinas (go in the one on the right), a container port, small ferry terminal and Spanish Naval port as well. The marina has floating pontoons and is well shealtered. The town is a wonderfull mix of old and new with loads of history, a very poular tourist spot mainly for the Spanish. Enjoyed my stay here, quite a few liveaboards and the whole place has a very good feel to it. Lots to see and do with even the odd warship comming and going.

Services: 32amp plug, good toilet/shower block and self service fuel for boats.

WIFI: Paid 5 euros for 24hrs, free if here longterm, reasonable speed.

Staff: VERY good. Arrived on a Sunday when there was just one guy on duty but he couldn't have done more to help.

Price: Here's the winner, NO EXTRA charge for multihulls! I paid 25euros + elec' PEAK season. Deffinately a contender for a winter base.

Mar Menor

General: Ok, not a marina but had to include it as it's a great place to stop. It's a huge salt lake that is accessed from the sea by going under a lifting bridge (opens ever 2 hours, 10am to 8pm). Once inside, you could spend days here exploring or just enjoying sailing with little or no swells to upset the passengers. We ended up anchoring just off one of the small islands in the southern end and had a very comfortable night, waking to have our own empty beach to goto in the tender in the morning. Word of caution however, there are THOUSANDS of jellyfish in here so don't swim unless you are in the shallows where you can see them better. Many of the beaches around the outer edge do have nets deployed though.

Services: Private island, er, thats it.

WIFI: If you have a 3g dongle, you'll get good reception. I managed to find a 'pay as you go' hotspot that gives a 30 min free trial so was able to check the weather.

Staff: Mainly of the feathered, fish eating varity. English not spoken.

Price: FREE!!!

Santa Pola

General: Either pretty new or just been re developed, this marina is really trying to attract the higher end of the market. Stopped here one night to investigate problem with autopilot and was not impressed. The marina is bang on, great facilities and staff but the town is a work in progress and not very pretty. The fact that I didn't even bother to take a picture here shows how non impressed I was.

Services: Great toilets/showers, with your own private cubicle for changing etc. Pantalans have finger pontoons so stern-to mooring is an absolute doddle, no dirty bowlines to worry about.

WIFI: 10 euroes for 12 hours, WOW! Free if long term but still a rip off. Speed only average.

Staff: Good and broken Engish spoken.

Price: STEEP! You really are paying for the new security gates and nice shower block here, just over 50 euros for one night including the wifi.... er, goodbye!


General: Came here to get my autopilot fixed so spent the weekend here. As you'd expect, a large port and very 'touristy'. Cheaper than Santa Pola above and a much nicer place to be with LOADS to do with bars, restaurants (good prices too) and a great beach all close. The old town is worth exploring as well. We were placed on the waiting quay as they were pretty busy but because we were side on, were only charged by our length with no penalty for being a multihull, more than fair. Be warned, if you do stop here, keep valuables out of sight. Some friends of ours on another boat had a few items stolen in the night.

Services: Reasonable toilet/shower block, although water was only slightly warm at best. good water supply and elec' included in the price.

WIFI: None. Well, free wifi in the main office reception but not available in the main marina. Seems very odd in this day and age but at least I could pick it up from the waiting quay next to the office myself.

Staff: Very good. English spoken well and helpfull.

Price: 36 euros INC water and elec p night.

Marina Moraira

General: Had only intended to anchor in the bay outside Moraira before making the crossing to Ibiza the next morning, however, another fault on the boat ment we had to go inside to investigate. REALLY glad we did! Wonderfull marina, town, people, everything. It's a private marina but they take visitors who want to stay a day or two, usually putting you on the far wall as the marina pontoons are generaly full. However, it is close to the shower block. The town is charming, right on the marina's doorstep with alot of bars, restaurants on pedestrian streets and loads to explore. The marina itself has the 'Club Nautica' which is a wonderfull place to chill out, huge sofas overlooking the marina and the bay from the 1st floor terrace. Life is tough!

Services: Nice clean toilets/showers, close to the far wall. 32amp plug for electric. NOTE- the water on the far wall is NOT DRINKING WATER! We only found out by accident but fortunately had plenty on board and had not topped up.

WIFI: Free, reasonable speed but signal can be weak on the far wall.

Staff: Private marina so very good.

Price: 36 euros per night inc elec, reasonable for the area certainly.

Puerto Denia, Marina El Portet

General: HUGE industrial port, it's nearly a 2 miles to walk round it! There are three marinas, a fishing port and a large ferry terminal. We went into 'El Portet', a private marina, on the far right as you enter, that is pretty new with a nice new office/shower block and a nice private bar with a floating terrace to relax on. Very well sheltered as the port is so big with no swells and the main town (city?) of Denia is a 10 min walk with all the bars/shops you could want.

Services: 32 amp plug for metered elec, showers clean and lots of hot water. Pantalans gated but easy to climb over, mainly there as a deterant to passing tourists.

WIFI: Free and EXCELLENT. The best i've found so far, easily able to stream live TV etc.

Staff: Poor English but VERY friendly and helpfull.

Price: 39 euros + elec p night. Reasonable for peak season.

Well, next stop is Ibiza in the Baleric islands when the wind changes so i'll say goodbye to mainland Spain. Hope you've found this usefull, happy cruising!

Previous owner of a 1994 Catalac 900, now sadly SOLD
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Old 20-06-2012, 06:14   #2
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Re: S Spain, Gibraltar to Denia, a review of all the ports visited

great info thanks simon,your boat is looking good as well after all the improvements !

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Old 20-06-2012, 07:05   #3
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Re: S Spain, Gibraltar to Denia, a review of all the ports visited

Great post , sitting in gib just now, heading up towards mar menor, then ballearics, great info.

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Old 09-07-2012, 06:20   #4
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Re: S Spain, Gibraltar to Denia, a review of all the ports visited

I would like to make a small remark on Marina Del Este, having had fire in the boat I sought refuge and was warmly welcomed by a splendid looking and charming girl. At that time it was named Puenta de Mona del Este, and just not finished.
They gave me ample time to fix the failing electrical system and on top of that they refused to accept payment for the stay (2 nights).
One of the better experiences sailing along the Spanish coast. Club Nautico at Denia was good but horrendous expensive.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:02   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sant Carles, S Spain
Boat: 30ft Catalac 900 "Rubessa"
Posts: 876
Re: S Spain, Gibraltar to Denia, a review of all the ports visited

Great to hear stories like that and Marina Del Este hasn't lost it's friendly aproach. Deffinately my favorite marina on that stretch of coast for sure.
Previous owner of a 1994 Catalac 900, now sadly SOLD
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Gibraltar, Spain, reviews

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