Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-07-2009, 13:37   #1
Registered User
Sten's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark, pt Southern Spain
Boat: Southerly 110
Posts: 9
Send a message via Skype™ to Sten
Winter in Northern Spain?

My wife and I are presently preparing for a multi year cruise, sailing during summer and each year staying more permanently at one place during the winter (early November- mid March). The first year we plan to go (from Copenhagen) via North and South Brittany to Northern Spain. The question is weather it will be possible to find a place in the Rias (Vigo, Bayona or somewhere else) where we could realistically lay up for the winter.

Most people continue further down along the coast and stay at the Algarve coast in which case we have considered to stay in either Sevilla or somewhere else on the Spanish South coast west of Gibraltar (we want to keep our options open for the following year). However, we are in no hurry and I'm a bit afraid that we will not have enough time to explore Brittany and Galicia if we have to continue that far before laying up for the winter.

Ideally we need a place where they are used to yachts and where we can safely leave the boat unattended when we for instance go back to Denmark for Christmas (ie. is there have to be somebody in the marina who will and can look after it in case of severe weather). We also would like to be at a place where there are a nice town close by so that we may enjoy that during our stay and where we might find a place to take a language course to improve our (presently rudimentary) Spanish.

I'm sure that this is possible, but I am concerned about the weather. In have heard that climate changes quite a lot once you are south of Capo Finis terre but honestly: What is the temperature during the coldest month, how much rain do you get and is there a lot of fog. Also how often do you encounter stormy conditions.

All points of view and suggestions will be greatly appreceated.

Sten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2009, 04:56   #2
Registered User
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Hi Sten,
I read an article about six months back in a UK sailing magazine about a couple who found a good spot on the Spanish north west coast where they had their yacht hauled and stored for the winter. Great value I recall.
Trouble is I can't recall the name of the place - so guess this is not much help to you unless you've a stock of last years Brit sailing mags to check out....
But clearly it is possible.
We've come down that coast twice in May - once was super sun and good Northerly winds. Two years later light south westerlies and fog almost the whole way.
Good luck

Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2009, 05:29   #3
Moderator Emeritus
GordMay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 29,337
Images: 240
Greetings and welcome aboard Sten.
It sounds like you and your wife are embarking upon a wondderful adventure.

Check out Jim Baerselman’s “Cruising in North Spain”
Cruising in North Spain

Also see the Noonsite entries for Spain:

Including North West Spain:
Noonsite: Spain
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2009, 07:34   #4
Registered User
neilpride's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in the world
Boat: csy 44 tall rig.
Posts: 2,679
Hello sten, after some down trips across Biscay Bay to the Med and Caribbean , i dont recommend stay in any harbour in winter from La Coruña Up to the North Coast of Spain,this include Gijon , Santander .
I made a mistake one time sailing from La Rochelle France to Bayona and in the end of the trip make a stop in Gijon with rigging problems, surfing down to gijon ok, but try to leave the north coast of spain in winter is a suicide, we have for 42 days seas in the entrance of the harbour between 10 to 40 ft breaking in the entrance, very long wait for weather, off course not all the winters all the same , and some people dont have this kind of weather all the time.
Ok iff i want to leave the boat in a safe place with a boatyard nearby, this is my choices, 1 Sada Marina in Bayona , nice marina and nice boatyard , lots of fun ashore but in winter not to many people, close to Cap Finisterre.
2, Cascais Harbour Lisboa in Portugal, another nice marina with a i think 40 ton travelift, chandlerys and boats services in the same marina , very good protection from weather, nice staff and close to Lisboa, not soo cold in winter.
I have bad experiences in Oporto with Customs and Inmigrations, and the marina is in poor condition.
3 Cadiz in Spain , Nice and funy people, a boatyard with good services include a sailmaker, good protection from W and E in winter , best food .
4 La coruña , nice town , nice marina staff , excelent food, but winter gales is a isue in winter.
5 Bayona , the same to Sada, one off the best places close to finisterre .
In all this places is posible leave the boat and fly back home , the more south you hare the better weather in winter, Vigo Rias is a wonderfull place and the food is really excelent.
And for weather ??
Many people say that crossing Biscay Bay is finish when you reach Spanis Coast ,
I tell you that Crossing Biscay Bay in winter is finish when you round Cape Finisterre, and after Finisterre the weather usually improve.
And wacht to sail close to Portuguese Coast, lots of fishing vessels and a infested fishing traps waters close to the coast, i made the trip down always 30 to 40 miles off the coast.
Hey enjoy the trip and have wonderfull time .
neilpride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2009, 05:24   #5
Nearly an old salt
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
I's second the previous poster on wintering north of Finnisterre, The spainish Austrian coastline is a no no. The inner harbour in La Coruna might be possible, it does suffer from swell , but its right in the city. ( and theres good air connections etc)

Even Bayona I wouldnt reccomend, though the Yacht club there is very welcoming.

My tuppence would be Lagos in Portugal, right beside the town, cheap out of season accomadation ( good boatyard), restaurants etc.

Other wise its east of GIB really
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2009, 01:09   #6
Registered User
Sten's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark, pt Southern Spain
Boat: Southerly 110
Posts: 9
Send a message via Skype™ to Sten
Thank you for your comments even if I'm not sure that they makes things easyer for me :-) From what I read, Sada or Bayona are both realistic possibilities and Bayona should be preferred as weather in general is better. I do take the point about going further south however, our Spanish language capabilities (even if rudimentary) does make Spain more attractive alternative to us (i.e. for a longer stay).... and we would like to explore the 'Rias Bajas' in the spring.

PS: anybody have any experiences with Vigo?
Sten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2009, 02:18   #7
Registered User
Hampus's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sweden
Boat: Between boats
Posts: 463
Images: 6
Send a message via MSN to Hampus
Read this thread!

Boat Seized in Spain by Police
On the way back to Sweden.
Hampus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2009, 03:22   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Winters: UK, Southampton. Summers, Greece, Finikounda.
Boat: Oyster 406, 12.3m, RAPAZ
Posts: 39
My first recommendation would be the excellently sheltered Villa-Garcia marina in Ria De Arosa. Good rail connections to the airport at Santiago de Compostela. But yacht support in Villa-Garcia, if you need work, is limited, and the town is quiet.

My second recommendation, if there's space, would be the town marina in A Coruna. Yacht support is good, and the city is delightful, a pleasure to live in. But the weather factor is a little worse than in Villa-Garcia. There's good rail connection to Santiago de Compostela.

Winter temperatures are some 7C average warmer than the Danish west coast, frost is rare. Big swells affect the entrances to all north coast ports from time to time.

You'll find that the Cruising Association in UK is a great source of help if you're travelling south to the Mediterranean, with some 500 or so members who have travelled the routes to share experiences with.


JimB is offline   Reply With Quote

galicia, winter, Spain

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Northern Chesapeake cosmosmariner Other 1 12-07-2009 16:58
Cheap Place to Winter in Southern Spain tankardtrev Meets & Greets 2 07-05-2009 13:22
Northern lights Gen S/V Antares Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 01-09-2008 20:57
Cat Haulout in Northern Spain switchcat Multihull Sailboats 1 04-10-2006 13:21
Northern lights BC Mike Polar Regions 10 25-01-2006 13:01

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:06.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.