Spain - Profile
- The most attractive natural cruising areas of Spain are situated at its extremes, the north-west Atlantic coast and the Balearics - these islands being one of the Mediterranean's prime yachting centres.
- In the last decade, Spain's Mediterranean coast and islands have seen a tremendous development in yachting facilities with new marinas being built everywhere, so that one is never more than a few hours' sail away from the next harbour.
- Good repair facilities can now be found in the majority of Spanish ports, with the most comprehensive, but almost most expensive, being in the prime yachting centres (such as Palma de Mallorca).
- Facilities are also good in Barcelona and the surrounding area, where berthing and boatyard charges are surprisingly economical.
- The holding of the America's Cup in Valencia, and the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, have meant both these ports now have greatly improved yachting facilities.
- Cruising the Atlantic coast of Spain can be much more rewarding as nature has rewarded this coastline with an abundance of natural harbours and inlets.
- Facilities in Atlantic Spain tend to be more basic, with boatyards catering to both yachts and commercial boats. On the Atlantic coast there are good facilities at the new Puerto Sherry near Cadiz. On the North West coast the best range is to be found at La Coruña, where the yacht club can be particularly helpful, and in Vigo.
- There are chandleries with a good selection in the main sailing centres, but in smaller ports and marinas the availability of spares is limited.
- Most Spanish yacht clubs are exclusive social clubs, where visitors are not particularly welcome. Those which have docking facilities operate on a commercial basis charging visitors marina fees. Dress etiquette is strict and a sloppy appearance is frowned upon.
- If heading into Portugal from Spain, be sure to top up your tanks before departure as diesel is cheaper in Spain than in Portugal. Note also that diesel is even cheaper in Gibraltar, and cheaper still in Morocco.
The climate varies greatly from the Atlantic north coast, which is wet and cool, to the Mediterranean south and east, where summers are very hot and winters mild. The winds are just as varied, the north coast coming under the influence of Atlantic weather systems, with south-westerly to north-westerly winds predominating in winter and northerly winds in summer, although land and sea breezes can be experienced inshore. This is also the case along the south-western coast during summer, while the rest of the year, winds are either easterly or westerly. Alternating sea and land breezes are also characteristic of the Mediterranean coast. The eastern coast and Balearics are occasionally affected by the mistral, a N or NW wind which can rapidly reach gale force.
Weather information is broadcast by:- Radio Nacional de Espana at 1000 and 1300 LT via - La Coruna 639kHz, Seville 684kHz Sociedad Espana de Radio - a programme containing information for commercial fishing operations, plus weather forecasts and sea conditions, is broadcast between 0600 and 0700 LT and again in condensed form at 2205 from La Coruna 1080kHz, Vigo 1026kHz, Huelva 100.5MHz, Cadiz 1485kHz, Seville 792kHz
Spanish weather forecasts:
Spanish Met Office: www.inm.es
Galicia Weather: http://www.meteogalicia.es/
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.
Because of the large numbers of ports of entry as well as marinas which have customs offices where entry formalities can be completed, only the main ports and marinas are listed which are close to Spain's frontiers and are more commonly used by foreign yachts to clear in.
Balearics: Andraitx (Mallorca) * , Cabrera , Formentera , Fornelells (Menorca) , Ibiza * , La Rapita (Mallorca) , Mahon (Minorca) * , Palma de Mallorca * , Porto Colom (Mallorca) , Porto Cristo (Mallorca) , Puerto Pollenca (Mallorca) , Puerto de Alcudia (Mallorca) , Puerto de Soller (Mallorca) , Santa Ponsa (Mallorca)
Mediterranean coast: Aguilas (Murcia) , Alicante * , Almeria * , Almerimar , Altea , Barcelona * , Blanes , Cartagena (Murcia) * , Denia * , Estepona , Fuengirola , La Duquesa , La Herradura , La Linea * , Llanca , Malaga * , Mar Menor , Motril , Oliva , Orpesa , Palamos , Portbou , Puerto Banus & Marbella * , Sant Carles de la Rapita , Santa Pola * , Tarragona , Torrevieja , Valencia *
North West Spain: A Guarda , Aviles , Bilbao * , Burela , Corcubion , Ensenada de Santa Marta , Finisterre , Gijon * , Guetaria , Hondarribia * , La Coruna * , Ria De Cedeira , Ria De Ribadeo , Ria De Viveiro , Ria de Arousa , Ria de Camarinas , Ria de Muros , Ria de Pontevedra , Ria de Vigo * , San Sebastian , Santander *
* indicates port of entry