OCC Forums

Over Wintering in the Algarve


By Pelagia - 16 Dec 2014

In an attempt to escape from the recent run of windy, wet winters in Southern England I have it in mind to sail Southwards next autumn. One area I have been considering is the Algarve in Southern Portugal. I am, however, concerned that maybe the winter weather factor is not that much better than UK. I would plan on visiting the Algarve for several short trips during the winter and then return to UK in springtime (I am aware this is not so easy as it sounds). Could anyone that has done this please offer advice and any recommendations of suitable marinas for the winter.
Alternatively, recommendations on better locations within 1000 miles of Southern UK would be most welcome.
Tony Diment
Pelagia of Poole
Najad 373
By David.Tyler - 19 Dec 2014

Why not contact the OCC Port officers directly, for first hand info? I know that Lagos is much used by overwintering yachts.
Terry O 'Brien, Rua de Santo Amaro, 7A-2C, Lagos, Algarve, 8600-708, Portugal.
Tel. Home: +351 282 769 495, Mobile: +351 964 872 962,
Email: tmob@sapo.pt
Ingrid Fortunato, Marina de Lagos, Edificio da Administracao, Sitio da Ponte, Lagos, 8600-315, Portugal.
Tel. Office: +351 282 770 210, Fax: +351 282 770 219
Email: ifortunato@marlagos.pt

How about the small marina, Puerto Gelves, way up the River Guadalquivir in Seville? A great city to spend time in, and transport to/from UK should be easy. Check out Noonsite

The River Guadiana is much used for overwintering, too, but there have been flash floods, and I 'd be a bit concerned about that.
By Pelagia - 22 Dec 2014

Thank you for the prompt David. I will certainly contact Terry O 'Brien prior to my recce in early February.
By canpyran - 31 Dec 2014

Sylvia and I spent the winter of 94/95 at the marina in Lagos. It was then extremely good. I have no more up to date info, but would expect it still to be good. Lagos is an interesting town and on the railway.

The weather won 't be brilliant, but better than at home.

Alvor close by is a good anchorage as long as you don 't draw too much. You would need to be on board.

Far better just to stay on the Algarve for the winter rather than popping backwards and forwards. You 'll for ever not quite be in either one place or the other.

Easiest (only?) way to come back is by the Azores. We managed it just fine in a Nic26. You probably have something a little faster and more comfortable.

Go for it.

Peter Bonsey (Can Pyran)
By Pelagia - 3 Jan 2015

Thank you Peter. You have confirmed my thoughts about the return trip from the Algarve. I have sailed to the Azores twice and although the islands are lovely, I didn 't really want to make the substantial `tack ' out there from the Algarve to get home. I have heard that it is sometimes possible to `sneek ' Northwards early in spring by doing night passages when the Northerly wind often reduces but I 'm sure this is no picnic and could become a slog.
Thanks again for your input.
Tony Diment
`Pelagia '
By djolliff - 20 Jan 2015

Hi Tony. We 're halfway through our third winter at Marina de Lagos. It 's a very friendly, sociable place; highly recommended. Good local sailing and as you probably know, well placed as a departure port, E,W,N or S.

Several friends sailed N to UK or Ireland last year without too much trouble. In 2014 there were several significant periods of Wly/SWly winds between late March and mid - late June.

We once sailed back to Fowey via the Canaux du Midi, but would not recommend it to any boat with a draught of more than 1.4m.

Hope this helps a little
Dave & Liz J.
By Pelagia - 21 Jan 2015

Thank you Dave and Liz. You confirm the very favourable reports of Lagos and it is good to hear that some of your friends managed to return to UK without undue hardship. I have read that early in the season, it is often preferable to depart around 0400am and sail until around midday after which the Northerly breeze really sets in.
Christine and I are visiting the Algarve on a recce between 4th and 6th February 2015, so if you by any chance you are likely to be there at that time it would be great to meet up.
Tony & Christine
`Pelagia of Poole '
By Selene - 23 Jan 2015

Hi There,

We have just returned after 14 years in Lagos, in the Algarve - and can highly recommend it. Sailing down is fine - but the return journey by sea is a real pain. Easy Jet, Ryan Air etc. all fly to Faro, which is the easy way to do it, of course! And we do have a few OCC members living there at the moment - so you won 't be lonely!

For an overview, I 'd recommend visiting www.lagosnavigators.net - most of which was written by me! It is mainly about living in Lagos, - where we still have a boat - but it includes a section called The Algarve, covering the Cruising Options. Try this link to start with - [url=http://liveinfo.lagosnavigators.net/httpdocs/the-algarve/when-to-visit/]

Good luck, Terry
By Pelagia - 23 Jan 2015

Hi Terry,
Thanks for your reply. Judging by your website you 're obviously well organised down there in Lagos!
Christine and I are flying out to Portugal on 3rd February for a recce and will be in Lagos on the 4th and 5th departing on 6th. I understand that you are the OCC Port Officer for Lagos and it would be good to meet up sometime if you were around. We are staying at the Hotel Marina Rio and will have a rental car.
Thanks very much for your advice.
If we decide to pop down for next winter I 'm trying to convince myself that the sail back to UK in spring 2016 will not be a back breaker!
By Selene - 24 Jan 2015

No problem - but as I am now living in UK, I have passed the baton of PO on to Ingrid Fortunato, the Marina Manager. If you plan to stay over winter, mention you have been recommended by me (Lagos Navigators) and you will get significant benefits - and I get a donation for the Children 's Home - our pet charity. See the notes under Marina Loyalty Scheme for details. Good luck!

And for the return trip, a dog-leg out to the Azores and up to UK on the south-westerlies, is a recommended option - as the Azores are well worth a visit, anyway.

Regards, Terry
By Pelagia - 9 Feb 2015

Just to round off this topic, Christine and I visited Lagos last week and were very impressed. Maybe we were spoilt by the weather in that we did not see a cloud in the sky for the entire 4 day vist and temps reached 16 deg C (not bad when UK was shivering in frosts etc). The cost for our 38ft yacht will be just over £1800(inc tax) for 6 months next winter. We were impressed by the local cruising area which included pleasant anchorages at Alvor, Faro and Ohlao. We also drove out to Cape St Vincent when it was blowing a stiff Force 7 Northerly - impressive!