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Cruising in the Algarve waters

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Cruising in the Algarve waters


Written by  Staff Writer
Saturday, 05 August 2017 01:24

If you have been enjoying cruising along the Spanish coast, why not go further and enjoy the Algarve. If you head west from Spain there are plenty of interesting ports, rivers and anchorages to visit. The Algarve may just grab you to the point that you do not want to leave. You are warned :-)

Vila Real de Santo António – 26 miles to Culatra

At the mouth of  the River Guadiana, it has an historic town centre with typical Algarve sty;e building. It is a public harbour so  prices are lower but occupancy is higher. Close to the border with Spain (Ayamonte)

River Guadiana

Navigable as far as Alcoutim, 20 miles from Vila Real Santo António. Keep to the outside of river bends as channel meanders. Anchorage options next to small riverside villages and discover some of traditional Portugal

Culatra and Ria Formosa – 26 miles from Vila Real De Santo António, 20 miles to Vilamoura

This is a popular and safe anchorage. Follow the channel from 2nm out to avoid sand banks west of entrance. Watch out for the very strong current in lagoon entrance. Vessels with drafts above 2.50m should get local advice before navigating the marked channels.  Visit Olhão town visitor’s pontoon to go shopping for supplies and get water. No visiting boats allowed in Olhão public harbour and it gets very busy in July and August, but peaceful off-season 

Marina de Vilamoura – 20 miles from Culatra, 6 miles to Albufeira

Well known marina in a resort town, with hotels, restaurants, and a casino. Does get very busy in summer, but much slower in winter. Close to Faro airport, and surrounded by sandy beaches and low rise coastline. Marina has a well-equipped boat yard. 

Marina de Albufeira – 6 miles from Vilamoura, 14 miles to Portimão

Well positioned with a 20 minute walk in to town center. Popular so often very busy in summer. Good access to Faro airport. Nice low sandy beaches to the east, set within cliffs to west. There is a small boat yard

Ferragudo and Portimão – 14 miles from Albufeira, 4 miles to Alvor

A very safe harbour entrance with anchorage inside East harbour wall, but look out for commercial and fishing traffic in river. Waterfront restaurants accessible by dinghy, but can be busy in peak-season.

Marina de Portimão - 14 miles from Albufeira, 4 miles to Alvor

Easy access (20 minutes walk) to town center and surrounded by beautiful coastline and small fishing villages.  Fine for deep draft boats. Full service boat yard across river. Busy in mid-summer. 

Alvor – 4 miles from Portimão, 2 miles to Lagos

This is a typical fishing village and very peaceful off-season. The harbour entrance can be risky in SE swell. The lagoon has a tricky channel that shifts and silts. Anchorage is after entrance to lagoon: drafts up to 2.30m OK.

Lagos – 2 miles from Alvor, 15 miles to Sagres

A charming historic town. Safe to sail close to the cliffs and enjoy empty beaches and coves even in mid-summer. Seabed is sandy with some rocks normally exposed. Bay of Lagos is protected from N winds, but exposed to S and SE. 

Sagres and Baleeira – 15 miles from Lagos

Last anchorage before Cape St. Vincent for passage north. Provides shelter from strong northerly wind. Anchorage has sandy bottom. Dinghy ashore to explore the small, but isolated town.




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