South West coast of Spain

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WorldNorth AtlanticSpainSouth West coast of Spain
South West coast of Spain
36°36.272'N, 006°21.824'W Chart icon.png
lat=36.60453 | lon=-6.36373 | zoom=8 | y
Sunset in the Doñana National Park

The South West coast of Spain extends from Ayamonte on the east bank of the Rio Guadiana at the border with Portugal to the resort area of La Linea next to Gibraltar. Known as the Costa de la Luz, this coastal region of Andalusia offers a wide range of cruising experiences, with none of its 15 coastal harbours and marinas more than 30 miles from its nearest neighbour. Famous for its beach resorts and historic port of Cadiz, the region also includes the renowned, World Heritage-listed Doñana National Park in the delta of the Guadaliquivir River, where rare species such as the Iberian lynx and Imperial eagle are sometimes sighted. From the many safe harbours or marinas along the coast, it is also possible to make inland trips to the magical cities of Seville, Granada and Cordoba with their historic palaces, gardens and cathedrals. Seville can even be accessed by yacht 50 miles up the Guadalquivir River, although a lot of hard motoring is involved. History buffs can also visit the small river port of Santa Maria five miles NE of Cadiz, from where Christopher Columbus is said to have departed on his voyage to discover the New World, or reflect on the momentous sea battle of 21 October 1805 while rounding Cape Trafalgar five miles west of Barbate. Finally, the area around Cadiz is the heart of the sherry country, and the famous sherry towns of Jerez and Sanlucar de Barrameda are within easy reach for those who wish to sample this typically Spanish aperitif.

There are numerous options for cruising yachts seeking a sheltered berth along this coast, ranging from the smaller marinas in the sandy river estuaries of the Rio Guadiana (Ayamonte); Rio Carreras (Isla Canela and Isla Cristina); Rio Piedros (El Rompido); Rio Punta Umbria (Punta Umbria); Rio Odiel (Mazagon), and Rio Guadalete (Santa Maria) to the modern, purpose-built yacht harbours of Puerto Sherry and Chipiona and the commercial harbours of Barbate and Algeciras. Shortly due to join the list is a new 800-berth marina under construction at the town of La Linea a few hundred metres north of Gibraltar airport.


See Spain.


Give weather conditions in the region or refer to another page (a country?) that covers these conditions.

Sources for weather information:

Currents & Tides

Give information on tides & currents.


Cruising along the coast of SW Spain is usually relatively trouble-free until a yacht rounds Cape Trafalgar in the approach to Barbate, where careful attention to forecast winds and tidal currents is needed. Until this point, a yacht sailing around a mile offshore will encounter few hazards unless planning to anchor or seek a marina berth in one of the rivers, when shifting sandbanks and shallow channels call for careful navigation and up-to-date charts. From Barbate to Tarifa a yacht will often encounter a gradual strengthening in the wind as it approaches the Strait of Gibraltar at Tarifa. The 15 mile sail from Tarifa to Gibraltar is often accompanied by fresh to strong winds and rough seas, especially with an easterly wind against the prevailing east-going current. Not for nothing is Tarifa often described as the windsurfing capital of Europe. During the summer months (May to September) the winds here are either the westerly poniente, which usually blows at around force 4-5 (although it can reach gale force in winter and early spring, when it is known locally as the vendaval) or the easterly levanter, which normally blows in summer at force 4-5, but has been known on occasion to funnel through the Strait at anything up to force 8 or 9 and render it all but impassible to smaller yachts.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


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Ports, Anchorages, and Islands

Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina ||
Ports Anchorages Islands
Algeciras Algeciras /wiki/Algeciras Marina icon – marina |
Ayamonte Ayamonte /wiki/Ayamonte Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |
Barbate Barbate /wiki/Barbate Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Cadiz Cadiz /wiki/Cadiz Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |
Chipiona Chipiona /wiki/Chipiona Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
El Rompido El Rompido /wiki/El_Rompido Marina icon – marina |Needs data icon – needs data |
Huelva Huelva /wiki/Huelva Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |
Marina Canela Marina Canela /wiki/Marina_Canela Marina icon – marina |Needs data icon – needs data |
Mazagon Mazagon /wiki/Mazagon Marina icon – marina |
La Linea La Linea /wiki/La_Linea Marina icon – marina |
Puerto de Santa Maria Puerto de Santa Maria /wiki/Puerto_de_Santa_Maria Marina icon – marina |
Puerto Sherry Puerto Sherry /wiki/Puerto_Sherry Marina icon – marina |Needs data icon – needs data |
Punta Umbria Punta Umbria /wiki/Punta_Umbria Marina icon – marina |
Rota Rota /wiki/Rota Marina icon – marina |
Sevilla Sevilla /wiki/Sevilla Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |
Tarifa Tarifa /wiki/Tarifa Needs data icon – needs data |
Algeciras Algeciras /wiki/Algeciras
Ayamonte Ayamonte/wiki/Ayamonte
Barbate Barbate /wiki/Barbate
Cadiz Cadiz /wiki/Cadiz
Chipiona Chipiona /wiki/Chipiona
El Rompido El Rompido /wiki/El_Rompido Needs data icon – needs data |
Mazagon Mazagon /wiki/Mazagon
La Linea La Linea /wiki/La_Linea
Puerto de Santa Maria Puerto de Santa Maria/wiki/Puerto_de_Santa_Maria
Puerto Sherry Puerto Sherry /wiki/Puerto_Sherry Needs data icon – needs data |
Punta Umbria Punta Umbria/wiki/Punta_Umbria
Rota Rota/wiki/Rota
Tarifa Tarifa /wiki/Tarifa Needs data icon – needs data |
Isla Canela Isla Canela /wiki/Isla_Canela Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Isla Cristina Isla Cristina /wiki/Isla_Cristina Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |

Things to do Ashore

See individual ports, pnchorages, and islands.


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)


List links external to the wiki such as in Wikipedia.


See Spain.


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