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UK Sailing, Sail Cruising
and Yachting Guide

Atlantic Spain
and Portugal
Atlantic Spain and Portugal: La Coruna to Gibraltar
Martin Walker
& Anne Hammick
South Biscay
Covers the coasts of France and Spain from the Gironde to La Coruna in Galicia
RCC Pilotage Foundation

BlueMoment Harbour and Marina Guide

43O 22'N


8O 23'W
Darsens Deportiva La Coruna
Passage Notes

Biscay was kind to us and we crossed the 403 miles from Tresco in the Scillies in just 90 hours. Most of the time we were able to steer a direct course, and when we did lose some of our westing we made it all up easily in the last 24 hours when the wind turned north-easterly. Really it is just your luck with Biscay, and many recommend making more Westing and rounding Finisterre before stopping, while others say Camarinas is a good target. We say La Coruna is a wonderful first foreign landfall, a dynamic and amazing city. We will go again. If you make a shorter 'bay hop' and have slogged along the Northern Spanish coast then it is a fine stopping place before turning the corner. Watch out for shipping, both fishing and commercial, as you close the Spanish coast.


After rounding the breakwater continue past the yacht club marina and the fort, heading NW and leaving the main commercial docks to port. The entrance to the marina is on your starboard bow near the end. We arrived early in the morning, but were met by one of the marina staff in a rib who directed us to a berth.


Just go up to the office (a portacabin) with your SSR certificate, passports and insurance. Remember to ask for a Passaporte (5 euros) which will give you discount in all seven marinas in the Marinas de Galicia group.

Facilities and Charges

Access to the pontoons is by key and security is good. There is water and electricity on the pontoons at no extra charge. Showers and toilets are in another portacabin and there is a washing machine (strangely situated in the Gents . . .) Charges per night are average - I think we paid about 11 Euros for an 8.25m boat, but can't find the receipt. It certainly seemed like a bargain compared to Kilmore Quay and the Scillies.

The marina is right in the centre of the city and shopping is not a problem. Entertainment-wise this is a lively place - we were there at the end of August, and there was always something going on. We watched two free concerts, visited an art gallery, saw a motorcylce display and spent hours just sitting in pavement cafes people-watching.


The marina office will let you use their own computer for internet access for ten minutes or so a day, but it is a slow dial-up conection. We didn't check out internet cafes, preferring to connect using our Spanish mobile phone for a quick e-mail check.

You can get a bus or a train to Santiago de Compostela from here, but we took a shorter train ride from Vilagarcia further down the coast - there is plenty to do and see in La Coruna itself.

Things to Do

Walk round the old city then stroll down the ultra-modern waterfront for a contrast. Stop off at the yacht club for a cold beer on the terrace and watch boats going past. Visit the galleries and museums. Walk across the city to the big beach on the other side, or take a tram ride up to the Torre Hercules, an ancient but still functioning lighthouse. Cool yourself off with fabulous ice creams. There are hundreds of cafes and restaurants - sit and enjoy a cold beer or an expresso and watch the world go by. In August the streets were thronged until the small hours.

For a detailed account of Fairwinds' time in Galicia see HERE