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NW Spain: Our Experiences in Five Marinas

By Val Ellis last modified Sep 28, 2012 08:39 PM

Published: 2012-08-16 14:30:00
Countries: Spain

Our thanks to Deyan for passing on his experiences of these marinas. Please note that the "facilities" comments do not cover cranes or boatyards.

Portosin Marina (Ria de Muros)
After the fourth try the marinero acknowledged our call on channel 9 , "No problem". Sounded great. Although the marina has a reception pontoon, generally boats are discouraged to berth there  - apparently to save the hassle - and immediately upon entry are directed to a berth by one or two of the staff. We were given an ample berth with the finger extending well beyond our boat. As opposed to some of the other marinas we visited later on, the marineros here knew where and how a boat would fit.

The marina is relatively small which is welcome in the sense that the office is not miles away. It has a calm, pleasant  and easygoing atmosphere. This impression was reinforced by the fact that upon asking we were told it's not a problem to leave anytime of the day, without additional charges, and we did so at 9 p.m. the following day.

Laundry and showers are clean and pleasant to use. The office building has a good restaurant on the top floor - based on hearsay. No chandlery. Beside this in the town itself there's nothing special - I couldn't even find a hardware store. There's a reasonably stocked supermarket, albeit on the steepish hill above the marina. I did not check for fuel. There are easy to catch buses that run both ways - to Noia and Ribeira, although the former is entirely not worth visiting. For Ribeira see below.

Vilagarcia Marina (Ria de Arousa)
It's a good idea to really make an effort to contact this marina on channel 9 in advance, especially right before you make entry. This is important because the reception pontoon, which is dead ahead of the entrance, is usually full and there probably won't be a marinero in sight to greet you - this is most likely due to the longish walk from the office.

What happened to us was that we called and confirmed our arrival twice at one hour ETA and again 10 minutes before entry. The result was that we entered the marina, and for the lack of any other options had to berth in someone's private spot, as we learned several minutes later. We were directed to the reception pontoon where, together with one more boat, we took up all the space. The next two or three days we witnessed: one boat being directed to an entirely unfeasable berth - at least it seems the skipper seemed to think that way as he had to back a longish way; a boat hanging around for several minutes in the entrance and wondering what to do with the lack of marineros and obvious options - they turned around and left; and several other similar cases. Despite their occasional absence, the staff were very polite. The marina does not have the most pleasant atmosphere, mainly because of it's location inside the concrete industrial harbour. The town does offer easy shopping and a lot of dining opportunities, but the town itself did not seem at all a great place.

Nice and clean showers, laundry. Dining at the top floor of the marina building. Relatively well stocked chandlery. Exchange of Camping Gaz bottles in one of the hardware stores in town - 10 minutes walk. NO FUEL.

Pobra de Caraminal (Ria de Arousa)
Not much is said about this marina - I have no idea why since it is definitely worth mentioning. It is relatively new with ample space for manouevering and free space to berth. The reception pontoon does have space for many boats. Contact on channel 9 was acknowledged immediately and we were greeted by a waving marinero in a bright yellow vest. The marina is clean with a minimum of staff - we saw only two - who manage to do a great job. Although the fingers are for 16m. boats max, berthing is easy because of the widely spaced apart pontoons. The marineros have a clear idea of what is happening during the process. It is worth mentioning that this marina is by far the cheapest of all the ones visited in Spain. The town, although small, is quite pleasant with lots of dining opportunities.

Anchoring is possible just south of the marina opposite the beach - but beware of what appears to be an unmarked concrete column hundred to two hundred meters south-east of the marina entrance, barely sticking out of the water on springs.

Ok showers in the club nautico building. No chandlery. Exchange of Camping Gaz bottles in the town hardware store. No fuel. Two supermarkets of medium size with quite low prices 10 minutes away by foot.

Marina de Ribeira (Ria de Arousa)
For myself I can’t see any real reason to go to Ribeira, which is quite close to Pobra de Caraminal, apart for refueling. Consult the tide charts before going to the fuel column. The marina is a bit dirty, and charges almost twice as much as the one in Pobra. Berthing on the inner side of the reception pontoon is stern or bow to, with pick-up lines. The town itself is grubby and nothing much, a bit run down.

I can’t think of anything special. Showers, laundry, a modest diving shop in the marina building. There are some chandlers close by in the warehouses surrounding the fishing harbor, as well as engine repairs etc, mainly geared towards the fishing fleet.

Puerto Deportivo de Baiona (Ria de Vigo)
Of all the marinas visited in France, Spain and Portugal, this was the most expensive, with basically no facilities (3 "showers" in plastic boxes with only cold water), internet was paid for - 24 Euro for 24 hours and was very bad. The power sockets were non standard (oversized). This being the case one would expect the common practice of the marina providing an adapter for a certain deposit, but no.They were selling the adapters in the chandlery next door to the office - 29 Euro a piece. So, to use the facilities one would expect of any normal marina it actually cost us 50+24+29=103 Euro. And, on top of that when we complained about all this at the desk, the lady there said that she was totally aware of everything and that everyone was complaining but "the owners would not hear any of it". All in all, a very weird experience for us.

Sadly this marina and the equally expensive next door marina of Monte Real Club de Yates are the last possible stops when going south to Portugal.

Facilities: Small and expensive chandlery. Fuel at the neighbouring marina (Monte Real).