This August I embarked on a sailing trip from Spain to Portugal with my husband and his family. The journey took four days and three nights—we traveled from Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain to Albufeira, Portugal and back. We sailed for 36 hours total and spent each night on our 37 foot sailboat.
I hope our experience can help you plan your voyage through this area—Spain’s Costa de la Luz and Portugal’s Algarve region are beautiful and well worth a visit!
- During high season you should book moorage in advance—some of the ports and marinas will be completely full! You can reserve a spot online (through the port/marina’s website) or over the phone. It cost around €30 per night (including water and power hookups for the boat).
- For inexperienced sailors (like me) make sure to grab a box of Biodramina from the pharmacy and take a pill before cast off to help prevent seasickness.
- I’d recommend bringing ear plugs, a sleep mask, bug spray, and a few good books for your trip too.
Day 1: Puerto de Santa Maria to Mazagón
We left Puerto Sherry (located in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain) and sailed along the coast for 7 – 8 hours until we reached the Puerto Deportivo de Mazagón—located in Huelva, Spain. My father-in-law reserved mooring at the port online in advance. If you stay there make sure that your spot is on the side of the port that has easy access to the restaurants and bars close by.
Once the boat was secured we headed to Hotel Mazagonia for dinner and drinks. The hotel is owned by family friends and it’s only a 20 – 30 minute walk from the port. Dinner was delicious and the hotel is the perfect place to watch the sunset. You’ll also find an awesome open-air bar with live music here too!
Day 2: Mazagón to Albufeira
Our second day at sea was an adventure to say the least. After sailing for seven hours we arrived at Faro. We expected to find a marina where we could moor the boat for the night…but alas…Faro’s marina can only accommodate small boats. Also in order to reach the marina you have to sail up the channel which is very shallow—our boat actually got stuck in the mud at one point! We called Porto Recreio De Olhão (the closest port nearby) but they were completely full for the night. Luckily Albufeira Marina had space and could accommodate us. Despite the additional three hours of travel time from Faro to Albufeira, it was a great place to stay for the night. The marina is lively in summer and there are lots of cool bars and restaurant options located there.
Day 3: Albufeira to Mazagón
Our third day at sea was all smooth sailing (hehe). That night we moored the boat at the Port of Mazagón again and ate dinner at the famous Restaurante Las Dunas.
Day 4: Mazagón to Puerto de Santa Maria
We reached Puerto Sherry without incident and ended our four day adventure exhausted but happy. This sailing trip was the perfect way to disconnect for a few days and see new destinations along Spain and Portugal’s coast. If you’re planning to take the same trip I would recommend giving yourself an extra night in Portugal if possible. Mazagón is small so two nights was the perfect amount of time to visit, but one night is not enough to see Albufeira.