Explore the best of sailing in Portugal

A holiday spent on a yacht charter in Portugal is every sailor’s dream. With excellent sailing conditions in the summer, exploring the length of the coastline is a breeze and allows you to discover varied landscapes, coastal towns and enjoy excellent food and wine in this picturesque corner of Europe.

Highlights
  • The bustling capital of Lisbon
  • The blue lagoons of Ria Formosa
  • Excellent local cuisine
Quick Info

Airports
Porto (OPO), Lisbon Portela (LIS), Faro (FAO)

Boat base locations
Porto, Cascais, Lisbon, Portimão, Faro

Tips
The Algarve, Azores Islands, Water Sports at Peniche

Best time to sail
June – September

Currency
Euro

Language spoken
Portuguese

Things to do and see when sailing in Portugal

panoramic view near lagos algarve

Portugal has a long maritime history, as a nation built by explorers. Enjoy learning about its fascinating history in the great coastal cities, such as the capital of Lisbon while on your sailing holiday in Portugal. Lisbon is honoured with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites right on the river; the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery- both worth exploring. 

After discovering the local sites, it’s time to satisfy your hunger. Cascais, near the capital of Lisbon, is a seaside town with well-regarded restaurants around the port such as Hemingway and Mar do Inferno. Baluarte and Skipper Cascais Bar are just two of the many great nearby bars where you can enjoy excellent local wines. Cascais Beach and nearby Estoril are among the many beaches along the coast of the capital region, and Porto and Faro are also popular spots for swimming and sunbathing.

Activities:

  • surf in central Peniche
  • lounge on the superb beaches of the Algarve
  • go kitesurfing
  • go diving
  • visit the Sportágua Water Park in Peniche
  • go hiking in the small Berlengas archipelago among the grottoes and visit the spectacular Fortress of São João Baptista. The archipelago, with its unspoiled nature reserve, a short distance from Peniche, is one of many sites only accessible by those taking sailing holidays.
  • Faro is a popular spot for sailors, offering stunning blue waters and some of the country’s best weather. The small archipelago of Berlengas, with its unspoiled nature reserve, a short distance from Peniche, is one of many sites only accessible by those taking sailing holidays. Here you can go hiking among the grottoes and visit the spectacular Fortress of São João Baptista.
portugal by boat

Boats in Portugal

Rent a Sailboat in Portugal
Rent a Catamaran in Portugal
Rent a Motorboat in Portugal

Sailing conditions

temp
Average temperatures in the south of Portugal
temp
Average temperatures in the south of Portugal
Sailing Conditions
  • Greece is an ideal location to charter yachts thanks to its pleasant weather conditions and winds that make sailing a breeze
  • Go island hopping in the early or late summer (end of April to around mid-October) for the finest weather with sea temperatures in the low to mid 20’s
  • Taking a sailing holiday in Greece in the summer also means you’ll experience vibrant nightlife, bustling yacht parties, and inspiring landscapes full of blossoming wildflowers, olive trees and grapevines
  • While the sun can beat down pretty heavily on summer days, the “meltemi” sea winds will likely bring a cool breeze whether you are onboard or exploring a coastal village.

Suggested sailing route

azores portugal

As the Atlantic Ocean provides a different sailing experience as compared to the neighboring Mediterranean Sea, it is recommended for novice sailors to sail along the coast of mainland Portugal, rather than a sailing trip to the offshore volcanic island chain of the Azores. Although it’s possible to start at the south and head north, you’ll have an easier time starting up around Porto and heading down along the coast to the Algarve via Lisbon.

Sail around some of the world’s most popular cruising ground such as Cascais bay, near Lisbon, and Lagos bay in the Algarve, which host several important regattas. Take in Portugal’s striking coastline which is defined by golden cliffs and long stretches of alluring beaches. The Algarve offers over 150 km of beautiful coastline where you’ll find calmer waters in the east. 

The Azores Islands to the west of the mainland are a particularly attractive sailing destination for more experienced sailors. The volcanic landscapes and rainforests of the Azores and historic cities such as Horta and Angra do Heroísmo are particularly worth seeing when choosing Portugal for your sailing holiday. 

PortoCascais and Lagos will be your main mooring locations, as well as Terceira and a number of other harbors on the beautiful Azores Islands. This is a country that begs to be toured by sea, with the best sites and superb island locales to be explored with your Portugal sailing holiday. You’ll land right on the best beaches, with many areas of historic and cultural interest to see as well.

Read helpful articles for your next sailing holiday