Marina de Lagos is the first marina encountered after rounding Cape St. Vincent. It is a safe and secure location, free from swell, and lies up-river of the fishing-harbour.
The marina has the full range of services and shore facilities and it has the convenience of a bustling town right on the door-step – with the railway station and bus depot within a short walk.
It is complemented by the local, family-run boatyard, Sopromar, with their first-class hard-standing and technical support. Their plush new shower block, with some accommodation, is now complete, enabling owners to live aboard whilst their boats are out of the water in the yard. Owners are also allowed to work on their boats, but experienced trades are close at hand if you do not wish to carry out the work yourself.
Portimao Marina has good pontoons and shore facilities and it is usually safe from swell – but it is subject to wake from passing fishing boats. The marina is next to the tourist centre of Praia de Rocha, which can be noisy in summer and is a few miles from the town centre and train station.
There is a boatyard c.1.5 miles up-river run by Bluewater Services, with access to a VERY large hoist (350 tons!) and there are live-aboard facilities in the yard.
Albufeira Marina is the most recent marina on the Algarve and it has very modern pontoon facilities.
Unfortunately, swell can be very bad at the reception pontoon and it is dangerous in strong SE winds. If you do enter in such conditions, call ahead on VHF to be allocated a berth and walk back to register
The railway is a taxi ride away and it is a couple of miles from the town centre and the main shopping areas. It does have some local bars and restaurants.
There are good and well maintained showers and toilets. The “lift-out” space and technical facilities are limited and live-aboard is not possible in the yard.
Marine de Vilamoura was the first Marina on the Algarve, and it is part of a major, golf and leisure centre. There are excellent toilet facilities, and all shops etc are within the Vilamoura complex, though both can be some way from your berth. Please be aware of the pontoon fingers, they are very narrow, and tapered!
There is a limited chandlery but the yard is reasonably sized.
You will need a taxi ride to/from the airport.
First, please see the cautions under Culatra, in the “Anchorages” section. To reach the town requires about 45 minute’s motoring from the sea – and the channel requires care. Yachts cannot use the marina, as the low railway bridge only allows access to small motor boats.
There are moorings at reasonable rates – please see “Our Contacts” for details of one supplier. In addition, anchoring is possible off Nave Pegos, though neither option is secure if you are leaving your yacht unattended.
The boatyard Nave Pegos, commonly known as Bruce’s Boatyard, is a very clean and well organised boatyard, and all boats are tied down. It is located very close to a big shopping centre, which is in easy walking distance and the railway station is also close by. New toilet facilities have been installed and live-aboard is possible. Getting to the lift out pontoon requires careful navigation, and a boat from the yard will come out to meet you and guide you in. All ways pre-book before you turn up. There are no on site trades available.
Again, please see the cautions under Culatra. This busy fishing shares the estuary with Faro and also requires about 45 minute’s careful motoring – as the channel varies. Short cuts are not advised!
Don’t be misled by the good pontoon facility next to the town centre – visitors are not allowed to berth there, as there are no toilets or showers. If keen to visit Olhão, the best advice is to anchor at Culatra and catch a ferry.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio (VRSA)
Vila Real marina is on the Guadiana River and it is a pleasant town with the marina right on the front street. It has good toilets and pontoons but there are limited berths for visitors. There is virtually no on-shore winter storage space or meaningful boatyard. If visiting, beware of strong cross-currents when the tide is in full flood and ebb.
An alternative to VRSA is Ayamonte Marina, just across the river in Spain. It is a popular stop off for those heading up the Guadiana River. There is some evidence of silting at the entrance. The Ayamar Chandlery is nearby and they deliver to the other Algarve Marinas, including Lagos.
Isla Christina and Mazagon have had good reports from cruisers and are reasonably priced. Further afield lie Chipiona, Rota, Puerto Sherry and Cadiz. Barbate marina is a handy stop off for those awaiting a westerly wind for passage to Gibraltar.