Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool

Navigation

You are here: Home / Countries / Spain
By No owner — last modified Aug 19, 2018 11:28 AM

 Spain - Profile

Facts

  • 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.
  • Slowly but surely however, anchoring in the Balearics is becoming more difficult, with the protection of seagrass prohibiting anchoring in most places and the expansion of mooring fields.
  • 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.

Islas Baleares 10th Edition
Available at a discount through Imray & Bluewater Books
The only fully comprehensive pilot guide in English to Spain's Balearic Islands - Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, Cabrera and Menorca. Published in 2015 with updates via the RCCPF in 2017.
For more titles see Spain Publications.

Security

On 17/18 August 2017, there were 2 terrorist-related incidents where vehicles were driven directly at pedestrians, resulting in injuries and loss of life. These were in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona and Cambrils, near Salou (100km southwest of Barcelona).

In the aftermath of the Barcelona attacks, public attention has focused on immigrants coming into Spain from Morocco. Melilla and its smaller sister city of Ceuta are the only land borders between Europe and Africa making them a convenient route for migrants into Spain. Border controls may well be more onerous here than in mainland Spain.

Thousands of tourists visit Spain every year and most visits are trouble-free.

See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for up to date Foreign Office advice.

Weather

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 of Spain. Winds in the main blow from the west, northwest, north and east but are influenced greatly by local topography.

The north eastern coast (north of Barcelona) and the Balearics are occasionally affected in the summer by the Tramontana (Mistral), a strong, dry N or NW wind (cold in winter) which blows from southern France. The danger with this wind is that it can arrive with little warning on a calm sunny day and reach gale force in just 15 minutes. It normally blows for at least 3 days but can last up to a week or longer and is much more frequent in the winter months.

The Balearics also experience an atmospheric pressure phenomena during the summer months called a Rissaga or meteotsunami. Whilst not a regular occurrence, it is very difficult to predict and can (if extreme) cause chaos. During a Rissaga, the sea level can increase and decrease dramatically in a  matter of minutes. They are “atmospherically generated waves that amplify as they shoal and then resonate in bays and harbours” and can cause flooding and damage to vessels in port and at anchor.

Other Mediterranean winds that affect Spain are the Vendaval (a strong SW to W wind that blows late Autumn to early Spring through the Straits of Gibraltar and along the south coast), the Levante (from Gib to Valencia) and the Sirocco (a hot wind blowing off the N African coast bringing haze, cloud and red/brown dust, common in Summer).

Weather Information

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:  http://www.aemet.es/en/portada

Galicia Weather: http://www.meteogalicia.es/

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

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 , Ciutadella (Menorca) , 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 , Calpe , Cartagena (Murcia) * , Denia * , Estepona , Fuengirola , Gandia , Garrucha , L'Escala - Girona , La Duquesa , La Herradura , La Linea * , Llanca , Malaga * , Mar Menor , Motril , Oliva , Orpesa , Palamos , Portbou , Puerto Banus & Marbella * , San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia) , Sant Carles de la Rapita , Santa Pola * , Tarragona , Torrevieja , Valencia * , Vinaros

North West Spain: A Guarda , Aviles , Bilbao * , Burela , Corcubion , Ensenada de Santa Marta , Finisterre , Gijon * , Guetaria , Hondarribia * , La Coruna * , Mutriku , Ria De Cedeira , Ria De Ribadeo , Ria De Viveiro , Ria de Arousa , Ria de Camarinas , Ria de Muros , Ria de Pontevedra , Ria de Vigo and Baiona * , San Sebastian , Santander *

South West coast: Algeciras , Ayamonte (River Guandiana) * , Barbate , Cadiz * , Chipiona , Isla Canela , Isla Cristina , Mazagon , Rota , Sanlucar (River Guandiana) , Sevilla *

Spanish North Africa: Ceuta * , Melilla *

* indicates port of entry

Spain
South West coast
Balearics
Mediterranean coast
North West Spain
Spanish North Africa
Profile
Facts
Security
Weather
Main Ports
Formalities
Clearance
Immigration
Customs
Health
Documents
Fees
Restrictions
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
Pets
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Money
Communications
Transport
Diplomatic Missions
Events
Emergencies
Publications
Links
Update History
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Platinum Sponsors
Related Reports
Valencia: Two Months in Valencia Yacht Port

Valencia: Two Months in Valencia Yacht Port (29 Aug 2018)

Wintering in the Mediterranean

Wintering in the Mediterranean (13 Jul 2018)

Report Icon

Spain & Portugal - Marina Prices (12 Jul 2018)

La Linea de la Conception, Marina Alcaidesa: Reports from Cruisers

La Linea de la Conception, Marina Alcaidesa: Reports from Cruisers (07 Feb 2018)

A Review of RCCPF Pilot - Mediterranean Spain

A Review of RCCPF Pilot - Mediterranean Spain (04 Oct 2017)

Report Icon

Balearic Islands: Be Aware of the Posidonia LIFE Project if wanting to anchor. (27 Aug 2017)

Report Icon

Impressions of Torrevieja (15 Aug 2017)

Mallorca: Marinas and services in and around Andraitx

Mallorca: Marinas and services in and around Andraitx (12 Jul 2017)

Report Icon

Schengen Visas and VAT: Reports on Cruisers' Understanding (09 Dec 2016)

Valencia: A Good Option for Repair Work

Valencia: A Good Option for Repair Work (03 Sep 2016)

EU VAT Update: Information Affecting Non-EU Boats Visiting Europe

EU VAT Update: Information Affecting Non-EU Boats Visiting Europe (03 Sep 2016)

Atlantic Spain & Portugal - Galicia to Gibraltar

Atlantic Spain & Portugal - Galicia to Gibraltar (21 Jul 2015)

Report Icon

Mediterranean Spain: Cruising North from Torrevieja (19 Jul 2015)

Balearics 2015: Costa Dorada to Ibiza, Espalmador and Formentera

Balearics 2015: Costa Dorada to Ibiza, Espalmador and Formentera (19 Jul 2015)

Atlantic Coast: Sailing the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain and Portugal

Atlantic Coast: Sailing the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain and Portugal (01 May 2015)

Summer 2014 Cruising Mediterranean Spain from Lagos, Portugal

Summer 2014 Cruising Mediterranean Spain from Lagos, Portugal (16 Jan 2015)

Report Icon

Spanish Taxes applied to Foreign Registered Boats (14 Jan 2015)

Report Icon

Impressions of Almerimar (03 Nov 2014)

Report Icon

Netherlands to Spain - Marina Prices 2014 (28 Oct 2014)

Report Icon

Balearics: Notes and Updates relating to the Imray RCC Pilot Book (11 Oct 2014)

Report Icon

Mediterranean: SSB Net - MedNet (23 Sep 2014)

Report Icon

Mainland Spain marina information - Lagos, Portugal to Sant Carles de la Rapita (13 Aug 2014)

Cruising Cataluña: France to Barcelona

Cruising Cataluña: France to Barcelona (24 Jun 2014)

Barcelona, Badalona: Cruisers report on winter storage and berthing

Barcelona, Badalona: Cruisers report on winter storage and berthing (15 May 2014)

Report Icon

Impressions of Marbella (22 Apr 2014)

Report Icon

Impressions of Denia (22 Apr 2014)

Report Icon

Malaga: A visit to Puerto Deportivo Caleta de Velez (21 Apr 2014)

Report Icon

Impressions of Benalmadena / Malaga (16 Apr 2014)

SW Spain & Southern Portugal: Marina Updates 2014

SW Spain & Southern Portugal: Marina Updates 2014 (17 Mar 2014)

Circumnavigating Europe: 11 years of great cruising

Circumnavigating Europe: 11 years of great cruising (07 Feb 2014)

Cruising Portugal (Lisbon south) and SW Spain - Summer 2013

Cruising Portugal (Lisbon south) and SW Spain - Summer 2013 (31 Jan 2014)

Balearics: An update on anchoring

Balearics: An update on anchoring (06 Nov 2013)

Report Icon

Malta to Gibraltar: Concern that direct course is close to Algeria (10 Oct 2013)

North Sails: How their new sailcloth Radian can work for cruisers

North Sails: How their new sailcloth Radian can work for cruisers (01 Sep 2013)

Report Icon

Proposal for extending ‘mat tax exemption’ to EU flagged charter yachts operating in Spanish waters (30 Aug 2013)

Report Icon

Spain - Boatyard Reviews (14 Jul 2013)

Spain, Balearics: Good experience at Marina Mahon, Minorca

Spain, Balearics: Good experience at Marina Mahon, Minorca (26 May 2013)

Report Icon

Balearics, Ibiza: A warm welcome at Club Nautic de San Antoni (08 May 2013)

Report Icon

Tax inspections on foreign boats (21 Feb 2013)

Report Icon

Spanish Wealth Tax Re-Introduced (08 Feb 2013)

Report Icon

Cruising Western France to Lisbon - Summer 2012 (28 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Almeria, San Jose: Not to be recommended for any length of stay (08 Nov 2012)

Report Icon

Warning: New Tuna Nets South of Faro (02 Nov 2012)

Report Icon

Menorca, Mahon: Cruisers Beware (27 Sep 2012)

Report Icon

NW Spain: Our Experiences in Five Marinas (16 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

We can all help Clean up the Med! (20 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Spain: Recommendations from Cruisers (10 May 2012)

Report Icon

Fuengirola for Engine Repairs (14 Feb 2012)

Report Icon

Gibraltar: Turned Away (16 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Wintering in Sevilla (09 Dec 2011)

Report Icon

Proof of Competency for European Countries (04 Nov 2011)

Report Icon

Cruising Southern Spain (27 Sep 2011)

Report Icon

Spanish North Africa - Big Changes in Ceuta (27 Sep 2011)

Report Icon

Minorca - Port of Mahon, Cruisers Beware (24 Aug 2011)

Report Icon

A Word of Advice about Spanish Mooring Costs (21 Jul 2011)

Report Icon

Balearics: Changes in Menorca over the last 10 years (30 May 2011)

Report Icon

Wintering in Cartagena (18 May 2011)

Report Icon

Mediterranean Marinas we have experienced (20 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

British sailors unite to save their Spanish berths (06 Jul 2010)

Report Icon

SW Spain - Warning about Mazagon Marina (15 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Spain's 'Law of the Coast' (03 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Spanish for Cruisers - 2nd Edition (03 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Cruisers Comments on Rota, near Cadiz (13 Dec 2009)

Report Icon

European Regulations Regarding Insurance Cover and AIS Equipment (13 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

NW Spain - Marina a Coruna Comes Recommended (08 Aug 2009)

Report Icon

Complaints about work done in Puerto Sotogrande (11 Jun 2009)

Report Icon

ISDMT Tax Crackdown for Liveaboards Begins in 2009 (12 Feb 2009)

Report Icon

The Latest on Duquesa, Estepona & Sotogrande (08 Sep 2008)

Report Icon

In Defence of Estepona (19 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Marinas Puerto Deportivo Estepona, and Duquesa (27 Jan 2008)

Report Icon

Improvement In Facilities At Melilla, Spanish North Africa (07 May 2007)

Report Icon

Can You Re-Start Your Temporary Importation Period By Visiting Gibraltar? (27 Mar 2007)

Report Icon

More Information On Spanish Port Fees (05 Jan 2007)

Report Icon

Islas Baleares (06 Dec 2006)

Report Icon

New Marina near Barcelona (19 Jul 2006)

Report Icon

ARGONAUTA I's Passage Notes Spain to Gibraltar (26 Apr 2006)

Report Icon

Questions of VAT: Mallorca (19 Aug 2002)

Related News
Spain, Balearics: Meteotsunami (rissaga) floods islands of Mallorca and Menorca

Spain, Balearics: Meteotsunami (rissaga) floods islands of Mallorca and Menorca  (19 Jul 2018)

ARC Portugal 2018 comes to an end at Marina de Lagos

ARC Portugal 2018 comes to an end at Marina de Lagos  (28 Jun 2018)

Report Icon

Atlantic, Azores: Italian Sailors Missing  (05 May 2018)

Storm Emma sinks boats from Wales to Cadiz

Storm Emma sinks boats from Wales to Cadiz  (05 Mar 2018)

Cruising Europe: EU scraps mobile roaming charges

Cruising Europe: EU scraps mobile roaming charges   (26 Apr 2017)

TeamSurv Chart Improvements: Help make our seas safer

TeamSurv Chart Improvements: Help make our seas safer  (10 Mar 2017)

Cruising Europe: ICC Course Now Available to All (A Clarification)

Cruising Europe: ICC Course Now Available to All (A Clarification)  (28 Nov 2016)

UK & Med: Imray Digital Charts now available on Raymarine chartplotters

UK & Med: Imray Digital Charts now available on Raymarine chartplotters  (05 Jul 2016)

Western Mediterranean Cruising: Potentially bad news for the Balearic Islands

Western Mediterranean Cruising: Potentially bad news for the Balearic Islands  (15 Jun 2016)

Oyster Yacht sank and five crew rescued after ‘incident that compromised hull integrity’

Oyster Yacht sank and five crew rescued after ‘incident that compromised hull integrity’  (14 Aug 2015)

Spanish Maritime & Navigation rates affecting cruisers in the Canaries - revised for 2015 - updated

Spanish Maritime & Navigation rates affecting cruisers in the Canaries - revised for 2015 - updated   (19 Jan 2015)

Spain: Matriculation tax exemption extended to all charter boats

Spain: Matriculation tax exemption extended to all charter boats  (28 Oct 2013)

Mediterranean Anchoring Restrictions

Mediterranean Anchoring Restrictions  (22 Jul 2013)

Spain removes tax on charter boats

Spain removes tax on charter boats  (01 Jul 2013)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

Report Icon

Spain and the Canary Islands: Anchoring Restrictions  (11 Oct 2012)

Report Icon

Mallorca, Port Soller: Crackdown on Anchoring - Update  (14 May 2012)

Report Icon

Some Good News Regarding the International Certificate of Competence  (07 Mar 2012)

Report Icon

The Cruising Association Share the Secrets of Sailing the Bay of Biscay  (02 Dec 2011)

Report Icon

Spain: More Tax for Spanish Boat Owners  (02 Nov 2011)

Report Icon

Spain: Yachting Protest over Matriculation Tax in Palma de Mallorca  (02 May 2011)

Report Icon

European Black Water Regulations  (22 Nov 2009)

Report Icon

ISDMT Tax Crackdown Begins in Torrevieja, Alicante, Spain  (09 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Boater fined €150,000 after delaying ship  (22 Aug 2007)