Welcome to the beautiful Portuguese coast which opens up to the waters of the East Atlantic. Beautiful areas such as the Algarve offer miles upon miles of sandy beaches, lots of accommodation and sunshine all year round. It is simply a pristine location for motor or sailing yacht charter. Take the time to explore the numerous fishing villages with their Moorish architecture and spend your holiday at any of the numerous golf courses scattered along the coast.
The seaside of Portugal is split into two distinct parts when it comes to sailing - The West and the South. The West is characterized by ports and rivers, such as the capital city of Lisbon which sits on the Tagus River that you can cruise right up to the city centre. On the other side, the South is more suited for yacht charter vacations since it’s full of small fishing villages sitting in estuaries that provide adequate shelter for boats.
The Algarve in particular is great for sailing holidays because of its fine weather and even finer beaches. This 150 km stretch of coast has mild weather all year round, making the sailing season much longer than in other places. The countryside is full of villages and towns with lots of history, forts and churches.
The geography of the country consists of a mainly mountainous North and a lower relief towards the South which is made up of plateaus indented by river valleys. The biggest river is the Tagus that flows from Spain into the Atlantic through an estuary. When you come here for a skippered or bareboat yacht charter you can also make trips to the two Portuguese archipelagos in the Atlantic, the Azores and Madeira.
As far as the vegetation in Portugal is concerned, there are quite a few protected areas in the country: 12 natural parks, 9 natural reserves, 5 natural monuments and 7 protected landscapes. On your yacht charter holiday you can encounter numerous varieties of pine, chestnut, cork oak and holm oak. What’s special to the Portuguese landscape is the Laurissilva, a subtropical rainforest, which can be found particularly on the island of Madeira in the Azores.
The climate in Portugal is classified as Mediterranean but there is a slight difference between the higher North and the lower South. Average temperatures range between 13 degrees Celsius in the North and 18 in the South. There are up to 3,200 hours of sunshine a year and little precipitation, which constitute the best conditions for a long yacht charter season.
Law & Order
Upon arrival in Portuguese waters, all boats must contact a port of entry with a set of documents that should include the yacht’s registration papers in original, an insurance policy and the ship’s radio license. All members of the crew must present their passports and at least one of the crew other than the skipper must have a radio operator license.
Most Europeans do not require a visa to enter the country and only a small number of non-European nationals require an entry visa for Portugal. Non-European yachts will receive a transit-log which is issued for a fee and stamped upon entry in the country as well as when leaving. This, together with the receipt for payment of the annual lights and buoy tax should be kept on board while in Portuguese waters.
The marinas and harbours that have port of entry services for visitors on a boat rental are Viana do Castelo, Povoa do Varzim, Leixoes, Nazare, Peniche, Cascais, Lisbon and Vilamoura. Exit procedures do not have to be carried out if your boat is heading out to the Azores or Madeira.