For many European sailors, the word “winter” announces the time to get the yacht out of the water and do some repairs ashore. With temperatures dropping, days becoming shorter and low pressure systems crossing frequently these latitudes, the sailing season comes to its end forcing the enthusiastic cruising sailor to remain for a couple of months on dry land. Those who wish to escape the winter usually head south to the Canaries or sail even further to reach the Caribbean
However, there is no need to fear the end of the “sailing season” or even to navigate away from Europe across the Atlantic!
Portugal, and especially the Algarve coast in the south, offers a unique all-year sailing spot! It is simply fantastic to hop along its coastline taking advantage of the mild climate during the winter months. Temperatures rarely drop below +12°C and the high pressure weather patterns between November and March bring clear blue skies, very comfortable 20°C and a light breeze during the day – just perfect to set sails!
Daily sailing distances can be kept short which is an important aspect to consider, especially during winter and its reduced daylight hours. The towns Lagos, Portimao, Albufeira, Vilamoura as well as Vila Real de Santo António just at the Spanish border, offer excellent marina installations and facilities. So, it is very comfortable to hop along the coast sailing from one port to another. The reduced berthing fees during the winter period or at “low season”, as the Portuguese say, should not be forgotten at this point.
Sailing from marina to marina, however, might be a bit too “comfortable” for some sailors and nature lovers. The Algarve offers some of the best anchorages in Europe: “Ria de Alvor” as well as “Ponta de Joao de Arens” between Lagos and Portimao, and the worldwide unique “Ria Formosa” area to the south of Faro. There is nothing better than experiencing a beautiful sunset at one of these anchor spots while sitting in the cockpit on a warm “winter” day!
So, if you travel to Portugal during winter don’t miss the opportunity to set sails and get to know this year-round extraordinary sailing area!
Yannick (21) has been sailing along the Algarve coast since his childhood and has recently passed the renowned RYA Yachtmaster qualification. LIKE and follow his multilingual facebook page “Sailing Pinboard” with daily updates on the subject of sailing and watersports!