Sailing South of Spain
From Girona twords Barcelona, than to Walencja and next up to Gibraltar. Spanish sea coast is not only long (Mediterranean Sea coast 1,670 kilometers) but also extremely beautiful. Stunning views, small towns with bays next to cliffs or amazing white sand beaches. Sea full of life, corals and ancient underwater ruins, hidden beaches and lots of amazing places where you can get only by a boat. This and even more are waiting for you in South Spanish.
My Spanish sailing experience started in one of the most beautiful ports in Spain, Palamos, and we continued along sea coast.
Since I did not have any experience sailing on this water, I decided to go for a few days certificated course to increase my sailing skills but also to get more familiar with this coast. I found a company called Blue Oyster Sailing, based in Gibraltar but also sailing through whole south sea coast. And it was a perfect choice. I not only increased my skills but also met a group of other young people who came with the same reason.
Bays full of boats, people snorkeling, sailing or just enjoying the day at the sea is what you expect to see. Although I do not find Spain as a cheap destination, it definitely is one of the most beautiful.
What to Pack
Packing for sailing Spain is pretty similar to what you might need in Italy, Croatia or other Mediterranean places. Well maybe except some Spanish dictionary.
– lets start from bag. Suitcases are not going to be useful and while sailing this will cause lots of problems. A good backpack would be much better choice. I would however suggest to get a comfortable backpack, for clothes and anything that can get wet and dry easily and a dry bag, for all the important things, documents and electronics. I already learned how useful a bag like that is in the hard way when my laptop drawn in marina with a backpack I had.
– a hat, sunglasses and sun cream! Believe or not but even over winter you might get some sun burn, or if not a nice tan. Especially on very south regions.
– wind/rain jacket, the more water resistant the better. Rain jacket is a must!
– comfortable, short clothes and something nice for evening. Night life is so colorful and big in Spain you would not want to miss it, as almost everyone is going out over evenings and local pubs, restaurants are full of life
– waterproof case for you camera and for your phone
– swimming or diving suit, snorkeling mask. Yes, better have it with you, as there are lots of places where you would like to try it here.
– European socket adapter. A universal adapter or adapter to European socket is something you would not want to forget as in smaller ports it might be quite hard to get a suitable adapter. I recently got myself one of thees adapters made by Milool, as this is not just an adapter but also a USB charger. Very useful to have.
– what else? Why not to take some toys. Inflatable toys, water guns, body paint, some games and a country flag, or even some small candles for a romantic evening on the beach
What to buy
A fan, a dress, a wine and a sangria ! And anything that your eye will find interesting.
Comparing to other European countries, I consider Spain as middle expensive. Of course, the more out from touristic places you go the cheaper it gets and since Spain is beautiful and have so much to offer, it might be not a bad idea to spend some time and sneak through tiny streets, beautiful small markets or even supermarkets and try products you have never tried yet. You have to try tapas as different places offer a variety of kinds. Ask locals where do they go, and what do they like the most! Sangria is a great choice too.
Watch out !
Better learn some Spanish before coming to Spain! As in some places it might be hard to persuade people to use English with you or they simply wont understand you at all.
Cafe is served here in a very small cups. If you love cafe, order 2 of them straight away or try to find some more western places.
Sangria is great, but is also a silent killer! It might knock you down after few glasses, better to be aware before you start drinking 🙂
Siesta! Is very common in Spain, a Lunch break over the time when the sun is in the highers place. Some places can be closed over that time especially if you are planning some shopping.
Driving as crazy, speed limits and parking everywhere. Driving in Spain is great, but might be a bit frustrating. There are lots of speed cameras on motorways and in the bigger cities.
Although it is a very hated topic, I do, and I will always do recommend to get one. Especially for a very active trips. Just imagine you are sailing to some beautiful small bay, where you can only get by boat, you have a great evening, some alcohol you slip and hurt yourself. Please do not! But if you will, getting a coast guard or a helicopter might be pretty expensive and might take the fun part out from the trip.
All in all note :
4 / 5
Although I do consider Spanish coast as a great travelling and sailing destination, some marinas might be quite expensive or overbooked and greatest spots are full of private sport, which in some cases you might have to pay to stay on. This might be a bit annoying especially in anchoring or snorkeling areas.