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Barbate, Spain

36°10.91′N, 5°55.82′W Chart icon.png
Barbate harbour from the west

Barbate lies about six miles east of Cape Trafalgar and 23 miles NW of Tarifa. It has been an important fishing port since Roman times. During the Franco era, the town was known as Barbate de Franco in view of the dictator’s fondness for taking regular summer breaks here. Although the town itself is not one of Andalusia’s most picturesque, there are some attractive landscapes around the town, including lushly forested cliffs, long dune-backed beaches and river marshes with important wildlife reserves. The western end of the harbour has been converted into a 314-berth marina, which offers a convenient stop-off point for yachts sailing towards or returning from the Straits of Gibraltar.


BA Admiralty


Weather conditions at Barbate are strongly influenced by conditions in the Straits of Gibraltar, although not to the same extent as at Tarifa. Consequently winds are generally less strong here than at Tarifa. However, from Barbate eastwards tidal currents play a significant role in determining sea state, and fresh winds against the current can whip up very unpleasant seas.

Sources for Weather forecasts:


  • Barbate to Gibraltar (crossing from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean)

Barbate is a common waiting port for boats crossing into the Med coming from the west. This is considered to be "the easy" direction but is not quite without danger and the waters of the strait should really not be underestimated. Clear and coherent information regarding currents is not that easy to find so hopefully the following information will help those attempting to cross the strait on smaller yachts without a powerful engine which can not get away with sloppy or careless navigation.

In our case, on a 32ft Contessa whose cruising speed under motor is just under 4kts on a good day, just waiting for a no wind day is not an option cause it would take more than 10 hours to make the trip and thus missing the favorable tide window. The strategy which worked for us was waiting in Barbate for a day with a wind forecast of westerlies force 4 to 5 and 6 locally to the east of the strait. We left Barbate 5 hours before HW Gibraltar on what turned out to be fairly light winds (maybe force 3) so motor sailed about 2.5 hours until south of Punta Camarinal which seems to support the fact that the east setting current starts a bit earlier closer to the coast and farther to the northwest around Trafalgar... we estimated to have had somewhere from slack to 0.5 knots in our favour at the beginning. A bit after Camarinal we picked up a bit more current in favor until at some point after Tarifa we were making occasionally 8 knots over the ground(!). After Tarifa wind did pick up as expected but given the strong current in favour and our downwind course it was a fairly nice and swift passage. Even after losing around 1 hour because of some problems with our boom (which meant we had to take down the main completely) we still made it to Gibraltar at the end of our tide window at HW+3 with the last 1.5 hours or so motoring having the wind drop quite a bit due to the shading effect of the bay of Gibraltar.

Traffic in the north inshore traffic zone outside the TSS was limited to other sail yachts so fairly uneventful until one reaches the bay of gibraltar where high speed ferries and container ships demand a sharp lookout and caution.




Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Be aware of the possibility of tunny nets which can extend up to two miles offshore in the approaches. A narrow passage is left at the shore end for vessels entering the harbour. The harbour entrance faces east and is entered along the southern breakwater. Yachts are normally berthed in the outer of the two basins which form the marina on the west side of the harbour, close to the marina office which lies to port on entering the basins. The channel up to the marina is buoyed. A long wavebreak pontoon protects the marina basins from easterly winds.


Go to the marina. Alternatively tie up on the arrivals pontoon to port just inside the entrance.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Puerto Deportivo Barbate - has a total of 314 berths. Maximum length 32 metres. Maximum draught 3.4 metres. Yachts normally berth alongside the pontoons in the outer basin, where depths are at least 3.4 metres. Water and electricity on the pontoons. Card access to pontoons. Toilets and showers. Laundrette. Fuel station. Bar and restaurant.

The marina is in an industrial port continuing the theme of so many andalusian marinas.. a bit of a walk to town and not really a "nice" place to hang out. It serves just as a means to a purpose really.

Puerto Deportivo Barbate
VHF: 09
Phone: +34 956 431 907
Fax: ??
Web: [?? ??]
Address: post office address?
Working hours: 10.00 - 13.30 and 16.00 - 17.30 in summe


In settled weather only, it is possible to anchor off the beaches to east or west of the harbour. Threre is, however, a more or less constant swell here.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


There is a small boatyard on the north side of the marina entrance. Travel hoist (45T) and hard standing. Most mechanical, electrical and electronic repairs. Chandlery.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel station in the marina. Water and electricity at all berths.

Things to do Ashore


The town of Barbate is not especially attractive. Even the tourist office prefers to draw attention to the protected areas of pine forest to the north and west of the town and the marshlands of the grandly titled Parque Natural de la Brena y Marismas del Barbate to the SE.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Provisions shops in the town about 15 minutes walk away. Good Supersol supermarket on the outskirts of town.


Restaurant in the marina. Better selection in the town.




In the marina.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins in the marina.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Spain.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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