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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

39O 35'.5N

NAZARE, PORTUGAL

9O 4'.6W
Passage Notes

We sailed overnight to Nazare from Povoa de Varzim, a distance of aproximately 110nm. It's a practical 24 hour hop, with the guarantee that you will be able to get into harbour at the end as Nazare is one of the few ports on this coast that can be entered safely in strong onshore winds. If you are motoring however be aware that you may encounter fishing markers up to ten miles offshore, and that the approach to Nazare may be littered with them almost to the harbour entrance.

We also encountered fog on this passage. We were inside the main Finisterre - Lisbon shipping route, but did encounter vessels en-route from Leixoes to the TSZ around Cabo Carveiro and vice versa. We plan to install an AIS before we sail this coast again.

Alternatives en-route are Leixoes, Aveiro and Figuera de Foz. Both Aveiro and Figuera de Foz can be dangerous to enter in strong onshore winds.

Entrance

Totally straightforward between the moles. Once through the outer basin turn right at the control tower (at the red arrow on the photo above). The small marina is straight ahead of you, with finger pontoons and two hammerheads. Yachts are asked to call up on Channel 9 on approaching the marina. Entrance would also be easy at night, when it might be easiest to spend the night on the fuel berth if neither hammerhead is available. (The fuel berth is on the opposite side of the harbour from the marina, just below the BP garage and beside the Club Nautico marina)

Formalities

The marina is run by Mike and Sally Hadley, one of whom will usually welcome you then when you are sorted and tied up they will take you to see the necessary officials where you will have to fill in the usual details. Mile and Sally are extrememly helpful and have been there for a long time - they can help organise flights, advise on excursions or hire you a very cheap bicycle.

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 are also included (againwith key access to the marina admin block outwith hours) and the facilities are of a reasonable standard. There is a washer-dryer operated by very expensive tokens available from the office. Charges per night are average - I think we paid about 11 Euros for an 8.25m boat, but can't find the receipt -- and discounts are available for longer stays.

The marina is a long walk from town, but there is a mini-mercado come cafe on site where you can get essentials such as bread, beer and a limited supply of general provisions. There are regular buses (every two hours or so) into the town; a one-way ticket is 50 cents. There is a restaurant catering to the fishmarket workers at the end of the fish wharf which serves excellent basic food - the plato de dia, either meat or fish, with a litre of house red in a jug, bread and coffee afterwards was about 17 Euros for two. The restaurant is open both lunchtmes and evenings.

Communications

There is no internet access on site, but the marina office will help with flight enquiries or similar. If you need your email then there is an internet cafe opposite the beach near the Southern end of the boulevard. Charges are reasonable and you can plug a pen drive into most - but not all - of the machines.

Cheap flights to the UK are available from both Porto and Lisbon. Kathy and I had to fly back separately while we were there. Kathy flew back Monarch from Lisbon, and a week later I flew back from the same airport to Luton with Easyjet. There are regular comfortable long-distance buses to Lisbon from Nazare for about 11 Euros, but you will need a flight leaving after lunch to get a bus the same day and have time to check in. Take a taxi from the bus station to the airport - trying to do it on the metro is a nightmare, and the short taxi ride is cheap.

Coming back we flew from Dublin to Porto with Ryanair. The bus ride back to Nazare from Porto is longer but not much more expensive. To get into town from Porto airport take the metro, not the bus . . . ask at the tourist office which bus station you need and which is the nearest metro station.

Things to Do

Nazare has a wonderful beach, and good surf if you like that. Just walking downtown along the beach front is interesting. The old town of Sitio up on the cliff can be reached by a modern funicular (80 cents one way) and the view from the pavement on the overhanging cliff edge is spectacular - ther is a little bar just ot the right when you come out of the funicular with tables right on the edge and wonderfully cold beer. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants; my recommendation would be octopus salad as a starter followed by a plate of grilled sardines.

Out of town it is worth taking a bus trip to the spectacular monasteries at Batalha and Obodos. The marina office will be able to give you bus times.

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