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  #1  
Old 12-09-2006
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Spain and Portugal

I was hoping that friend Guilietta might be of asssistance here but anyone else free to proffer advice.
If cruising Portugal and Spain would one be better off starting in the Basque Country and working down to the Med or other way round?
I'd have thought that down to the Med makes the most sense but would like some second opinions.
We are planning on a loop from Sydney up the East Coast of Oz , through New Caledonia and New Zealand before back to Oz sometime next year.
Beyond that we both have a desire to cruise parts of Europe, idea being to buy a boat over there, cruise for a year or two then who knows.

Cheers

Andrew
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Last edited by tdw; 12-11-2006 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 12-12-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw
I was hoping that friend Guilietta might be of asssistance here but anyone else free to proffer advice.
If cruising Portugal and Spain would one be better off starting in the Basque Country and working down to the Med or other way round?
I'd have thought that down to the Med makes the most sense but would like some second opinions.
We are planning on a loop from Sydney up the East Coast of Oz , through New Caledonia and New Zealand before back to Oz sometime next year.
Beyond that we both have a desire to cruise parts of Europe, idea being to buy a boat over there, cruise for a year or two then who knows.

Cheers

Andrew
TD

I think you have made a very good choice. The waters over here, are wonderfull and the winds are allways blowing. But sometimes, specially in the Biscaia Golf can be tricky.

I couldn't understand if you wish to do a trip say starting in Vigo and go down to the south of Portugal, then sell, or will you be returning to the starting point.

Please specify. The reason is that are time frames where it is good and bad. The seas north of Lisbon all the way to Galicia, can be tricky.
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Old 12-13-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta
TD

I think you have made a very good choice. The waters over here, are wonderfull and the winds are allways blowing. But sometimes, specially in the Biscaia Golf can be tricky.

I couldn't understand if you wish to do a trip say starting in Vigo and go down to the south of Portugal, then sell, or will you be returning to the starting point.

Please specify. The reason is that are time frames where it is good and bad. The seas north of Lisbon all the way to Galicia, can be tricky.
No specific plan on selling. My preferred option would be to buy boat in the UK or thereabouts then sail down to the Basque Country before rock hopping the Biscay coast to Galicia and then down to the Med, rock hopping again. I know the area can be a horror but it stirs something in me big time. The Atlantic is power with a capital POW so there will be no rushing, we will wait for the right weather windows.

If it all comes together this will be a cruise of more than a year, probably two. Want to get across to Greece and the Baltic states in the long run but Iberia is the main area I want to hang in. Whether we then turn around and sail back to Oz or sell and fly back is in the lap of the gods.

My question was mainly to find out if there was a particular set of prevailing winds that made one way or the other the best bet. Time will not be an issue.

Regards

Andrew
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Old 12-13-2006
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TD

Your post should be PORTUGAL and Spain, not the other way around!!!

I am preparing a long write up on sailing over here, where to go, etc.

For now, lets assume you start in La Coruña, in Spain, and sail down the coast of Portugal, into the Med (be carefull because most people think that the South of Portugal is in the Med already, it is still Atlantic, so not warm waters), and spend a lot of time in the Algarve, the south of Portugal, that is absolutely gorgeous, then proceed to Spain, Cadiz, Barcelona, Ibiza maybe??, I would spend one day at each town evry day, and jump from marina (town) to marina in 50 to 100 mile jumps still in Spain (there is nothing to see there and the food is lousy. Their wine is worst then my dishwasher!!), till you reach Portugal.

Then in Portugal count on at least 2 to 3 days in each town. Portugal is a very gastronomical Country (even better than France and Italy, but little known because we keep to ourselves and are too small to export, to give you an idea, we think that Italian food is bad and has little variety!!), being one of the oldest countries in the World, each town (sometimes appart by one inch, as towns merge into others) has its own Cod fish dish, beef dish, pork dish (sorry pigslo), fish dish, its own dessert, white wine and red wine, and cheese. (Remember that most of the cakes and sweet desserts in the medieval times were only afforded by the monasteries, who only them could buy sugar. Portugal has thousands of monasteries, therefore THOUSANDS of desserts). Therefore in each town you will be eating different food, drinking different wine and different pastry!!!

Stay 2 days in Viana do Castelo, sail to Porto 3 days there to see all, sail to Figueira da Foz, stay 2 days, then a 130 miles to my home town CASCAIS.
We have one of the best marinas in here (expensive but I can get you a discount!!!).
I would stay 5 days, and use the train to go to Lisbon (15 minutes). We have a castle, still standing up right, Lisbon downtown, built in year 800 AC !! The Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery (where all the soilors are buried), the discoveries monument, etc. Its crazy beautiful, and rich in history, too. One of the oldest cities in the World, still very well preserved and clean. the food.... well, come on over. Cascais marina is like a shooping town. You can also find overnight in Lisbon marinas.

You can visit SINTRA (check on the web), patrimony of the World, another castle built in 1100 ac by the Mours. Then sail south, stay in Sines one night (guaranteed the best fish in the world, not that soggy hot water stuff they call fish in the Caribbean), then, it gets "tricky".
You have to sail past the Sagres Cape. (where they say Infante Henry had is sailing school in the 1500's but that is BS, it was in Lisbon, but because the was the "count" of Sagres and they needed tourism...) You have to pass in the am between 3 am and 8 am, otherwise 40kt winds (every single day) and 10'> waves. After you pass, then its smooth sailing .

You are now in the ALGARVE. Welcome!!

Spend several days in Lagos, the marina is right in the middle of the city, and as you enter it, you can see the cars around you, etc.

Sail for 1 hour visit Portimão. Brand new marina (not too expensive). Here you can anchor opposite the marina and stay as long as you want. We do that, and at night cross the mouth of the river into the marina, and dock at the restaurant's dock!!! just like you do with a car!!! really cool. Eat, then go bach to the other side and anchor again.!!!!

From here visit VILAMOURA (a marina built inside a MALL), stay at least 5 days and move around in relatively cheap small cars, such as the SMART (see one on the Wii commercial).

Then, my favorite, THE CULATRA ISLAND, a natural reserve, known as the place with the richest fish variety and also a bird sanctuary.

Go to google earth and type 37º00'07".50N - 7º48'56.50" W.

This is heaven, a few boats (no "smokeys" here, or few), desert sand islands, good fishing warm water. I spendt 15 days there in August with my wife and the 2 boys.

Then from here you can go to Spain, Cadiz, etc. but its not wortth it!! Its full of Spaniards!!!!

Then you can hop from marina to marina in small 50mile jumps.

As for the dates. Start in early June, and plan on returning to La Coruña (starting point) in September. After September is hard to climb the coast.

I doubt that after being in Portugal you will stay long in Spain (even them and the French come to Portugal for sailing holidays, and we NEVER go to their countries, there must be a reason!!).

If you plan on leaving the boat here, the Algarve is a paradise, and around 3000 to 4000 Euros per year to keep the boat there with all included.

The winds here are Southwest 10 to 20 kts, most of the time, but in the afternoon on 50% of the days, turns to north winds with a cool 30kts to 35kts to sail fast. (thats when we go out over here).

Mainly we sayhere, if the wind "follows" the Sun, its going to be steady 15kts, good for some wine and a visit to Lisbon (where the enterprise was, remember?).

If the Sun moves, but the wind is not "following", then the NORTADA (north winds) comes and its fast sailing as it bloows from 5pm till 8pm at steady 30kts, all the time. Waves are sometimes 3 to 6 feet, but VERY VERY VERY wide appart.

Have questions?? lets go from here.

Enjoy. I will soon post all the coordinates and teh write up on where to go etc. just need time.

Last edited by Giulietta; 12-13-2006 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 12-13-2006
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Great post Giu...

TDW...given what you are considering you should really take a look at Jack Tylers "whoosh" site as he really covers all the bases, from buying a boat in Europe to propane tank adapters!
The SV/Sarah link describes a run down the Portuguese coast and through Gibralter to the med that I thought you also might find interesting....if you ever leave Portugal's enchanted harbors for the dessicated coast of Spain and their bad wine and food!
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/Whoosh%20Main%20Page.htm
http://www.svsarah.com/Atlantic%20Ci...og2006Main.htm
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Old 12-13-2006
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Hey, these two sites are wonderfull, thaks Cam.

I am reading and reading, as I am sure I saw these people over here. The boat does not seem strange to me.

BTW, I copied this statement from his web page:

"Also, Portugal offers enough interesting ports that 90 days would not provide sufficient time even if I were sailing regularly from one port to the next."

That is exactly what I meant, there is so much to be seen here. You don't need to go into Spain, and get bored!!!

Thank you Cam
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Old 12-14-2006
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Portugal and a few other less important places !

I did change the text to P then S but not allowed to change the title I'm
afraid. Food , Drink, Scenery and Culture are what I crave. (Sex, Drugs
and Rock n Roll are not appropriate to the thread , nor I fear to my age, alas.)

Portugal is for me a must visit as is the Biscay coast of Spain and France.
Meditteranean is pretty and all that but apart from the Balearics it doesn't
really appeal until you get further across to Greece and the Baltic area.

If I were to sail into the Med I'd head straight for Valencia (presuming the
America's Cup is long gone) , then over to Formentara, then Menorca and on to Barcelona. Then I'd rock hop to the French border before heading straight across to Greece.

However , it is the sights and sounds and foods and drinks of
Portugal and Spain that attract me. The best food in Spain is along the Biscay Coast, even the Catalans will admit that the Basques are the best cooks in Spain while the Galicians are not far behind and of course Portugese cuisine is highly rated indeed. I reckon that from the French Basque Country to Galicia then down along the Portugese coast would be one fine cruise and if it took me eighteen months I would not mind at all. Have to figure out where to winter of course but we can come to that bridge in due course. I wonder what Northern Africa is like !

Cheers and thanks Alex.

Andrew
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Old 12-14-2006
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Slight correction, it would be dumb to enter the med and head for Valencia first. make much more sense to vo to Formentera then to Valencia.
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