Nowadays, sailing is not an experience that is exclusive to the very rich or the very experienced sea-faring individual. Anyone can indeed enjoy a sailing holiday. Whether you are single, married, have a family, or just want to enjoy the holiday with a group of friends; a sailing holiday may just be the one experience that you can enjoy at least once in your lifetime.
The Western Algarve offers you a choice of two marinas, Lagos and Portimão, and there are various sailing chartering companies offering a variety of options designed to suit your sailing skills and your holiday budget.
The sailing season in the Western Algarve starts in March and goes right through to early November. During the spring months, the weather during the day varies from cool to hot but it is usually cool during the night. There are also some very good winds at this time of the year. The sea temperature is not usually suitable for swimming until the middle of May and then you can swim right through to the middle of October, early November.
The months of May, June, September and October usually have warm to hot daytime temperatures and pleasant temperatures at night, while July and August tends to be quite hot and the area is buzzing with visitors enjoying the European summer break.
How should you select the best charter for you? There are many options to choose from, and when you are planning your trip you should consider the following questions.
If you require a bareboat (i.e. you intend to do the sailing yourself, without a skipper or other professional crew aboard), what size of yacht are you experienced in handling?
Keep in mind that European regulations, require that two qualified people be onboard.
In order to get the most out of a yacht charter, the minimum length of trip should be about 3 days. As for the maximum amount of time, that is up to you. Good charter companies will have lots of local knowledge on the best routes and places to visit, and will work with you to agree an itinerary, which suits your needs.
Keep in mind that you do not have to spend your entire holiday break aboard the boat. You could arrange a couple of days at the beginning or end of your charter to explore Lagos and the rest of the Western Algarve.
To sail anywhere you like at any time you desire (within your sailing area and charter period limitations). Another advantage is your privacy, the luxury to be with your family or close friends only.
The nature of the boat means that the yacht will be as simple as possible for "ease of use", as well as to minimize the chances of a problem occurring. As far as electronic equipment goes - a VHF, an echo sounder and a GPS - are the basic instruments that you will find on all bareboat vessels.
The price for a charter/week will vary and will be subject to the size of the yacht, and the package offerings. But it can range from 50 euros per person for a half-day, or it could cost up to 2.000 euros (or more) per week- for 10 people. You can reduce the cost if you choose a cheaper boat, or a half-day/one-way trip, or if you choose your sailing holiday out of the peak seasons. Another thing to do is to look out for special offers by the charter providers.