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Old 24-10-2021, 08:56   #1
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Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Hi,

at last we finished our refit for this year and after another month or two we are hopeful to cast off long-term next year.

Our current location is close to Nantes in France.

We aim for a good weather window early July to cross the bay of Biskay before casually sailing down towards the south of Portugal or Spain.

Zero time pressure, which means we want to visit many places along the way, provided there are good anchorages close by.
Our aim is really not to progress fast, but rather to see things, shore based trips by bus or train as well.

The boat is a 35ft deep vee sailing catamaran.

Initially we wanted to go to Gijon and head west from there, as this area is a bit of a less congested cruising area, but I was advised that to head for a Coruna is less troublesome meaning less windward work.

We'll see.

While I will do more research myself,
I'd appreciate any suggestions of well protected anchorages and/or usable fair priced fishing/industrial ports we could use.
Generally we do not like marinas very much, partly due to being on a budget, partly due to atmosphere.
I have lived onboard in Hamburgs industrial port and took that as an interesting experience. Save anchorages are preferable though.

Any suggestions of nice places to see are appreciated too.
The usual suspects like Bilbao, Santiago, Porto and Lisbon are on the list already.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 24-10-2021, 09:06   #2
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Imray have several excellent pilot books for this area. I'd suggest the following:

* South Biscay, covering La Gironde to A Coruña:

https://www.imray.com/Publications/Imray+Pilots/IB0188/

* Atlantic Spain and Portugal, covering Cabo Ortegal to Gibraltar:

https://www.imray.com/Publications/I...lots/IB0237-1/

They also have a Cruising Galicia guide that covers Galicia in more detail, but this book hasn't been updated since around 2007, and talks about marinas due to be constructed in 2008 and 2009 in the future tense.
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Old 24-10-2021, 10:27   #3
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Google 'Orca attacks on small boats' and take advice as these huge toothed whales have attacked 50 plus and disabled 25 boats recently off Atlantic Spain and Portugal.


There is information from the Spanish Coastguard on the best way to transit the area and how to deal if attacked.
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Old 24-10-2021, 10:47   #4
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
Google 'Orca attacks on small boats' and take advice as these huge toothed whales have attacked 50 plus and disabled 25 boats recently off Atlantic Spain and Portugal.


There is information from the Spanish Coastguard on the best way to transit the area and how to deal if attacked.
Thanks, I am already aware of this.
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Old 24-10-2021, 10:48   #5
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acunningham View Post
Imray have several excellent pilot books for this area. I'd suggest the following:

* South Biscay, covering La Gironde to A Coruña:

https://www.imray.com/Publications/Imray+Pilots/IB0188/

* Atlantic Spain and Portugal, covering Cabo Ortegal to Gibraltar:

https://www.imray.com/Publications/I...lots/IB0237-1/

They also have a Cruising Galicia guide that covers Galicia in more detail, but this book hasn't been updated since around 2007, and talks about marinas due to be constructed in 2008 and 2009 in the future tense.
Thanks, that's a good start. Still I appreciate any input not focusing on marinas too.
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Old 25-10-2021, 09:55   #6
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

we sailed from Ile de Yeux to Santander, and absolutely loved the northern coast of Spain. Yes, its potentially hostile; not many marinas, although lots of little fishing ports with a few visitor places. The seafood is fabulous, the welcome warm and genuine. We stopped (not in order!) in Ribadesella, Llanes, Gijon, and various other places. Get a good pilot book, and choose your weather. Some of the ports are untenable in anything but good conditions. Santander, Gijon, Coruna, and a few others are approachable in almost anything. Cannot recommend this under-visited coast highly enough.
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Old 25-10-2021, 12:30   #7
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

I had the Imray book and found it not so good wrt anchorages. I mostly checked the hints for the approach, but referred to Navily for the anchoring-spots.

The Spanish Atlantic coast is great, you can spend a lot of time in great anchorages between Gijon and the Portuguese border. IMHO Portugal is great for anchoring in the Algarve, on the Atlantic coast not so much.

Paul
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Old 25-10-2021, 12:33   #8
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

We crossed Biscay from "Île de Ouessant" (good anchorage) to "Lastres" (small affordable port). The stretch up to La Coruna was so beautiful that I wondered if there was any point in going any further. I went on, but whether I had seen more beautiful ...?

This map shows the anchorages and harbours up to La Coruna:

https://perspectiev.jimdofree.com/2016-1/spanje-2016/


And here the rest of the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic coast:

https://perspectiev2017.jimdofree.com/2017-1/
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Old 25-10-2021, 14:17   #9
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Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Can reccomend Gijon, Coruna , Santander , Byona , didn’t like Porto ( very dirty marina )
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Old 25-10-2021, 14:55   #10
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

I wouldn't skip the N coast of Spain.
Selection of lovely anchorage with great walks little towns to explore.
I don't remember it being hard sailing west from Gijon.
Liked Ria Ferol as well just east of Coruna, we anchored under the castle.
Further south the CIES islands off vigo were great. (Permission needed, we were late in the season so had them to ourselves).
If you don't want to go all the way into Porto you can (4 years ago) anchor in Lexois just outside the marina and take the train in. We really loved Porto as a city to visit.

Enjoy your trip, slow is the best way.
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Old 25-10-2021, 14:56   #11
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pirate Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

Before you go over the hump and down toward Coruna call into Viveiro, you can anchor off the beach at the river mouth if you don't want the marina and ride to the marina in your dinghy.
Nice town.. another nice stop is Baiona, last stop before Portugal.. anchor inside the breakwater in the E corner past the marina.
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Old 25-10-2021, 14:58   #12
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

For the latest information on the Orcas, and the related restrictions in place for sailing boats, see this Facebook page:


https://www.facebook.com/OrcaIberica
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Old 26-10-2021, 16:22   #13
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Re: Heading down the Spanish and Portuguese coast next year. Best anchorages?

As a resource I would recommend the app Navily which shows anchorages as well as marinas and usually has a bit of commentary from users. You will have a great time. Cheers
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