Costa Verde: The Atlantic Coast of Portugal
Gorgeous adventure sailing holiday down Portugal's less visited Atlantic Coast
The Algarve on Portugal's south coast may get all the attention, but that is to miss out on this wonderful stretch of coast that is far more authentic and less affected by mass tourism. Beautiful islands, ancient forts, fresh fish and famous towns make for a superb trip and this is one of our real favourites. Come and discover a part of Portugal you will surely fall in love with.
These are the available dates and routes. To book your place, please select the dates from the drop-down above the ‘Add to Cart’ button.
TRIP CODE: MTV12102021
- Start date / place: October 12 2021. Muros, Spain
- End date / place: October 23 2021. Vilamoura, Portugal
- Full price: £1,899
- Deposit: £760
TRIP CODE: MTV19102021
- Start date / place: October 19 2021. Muros, Spain
- End date / place: October 30 2021. Vilamoura, Portugal
- Full price: £1,899
- Deposit: £760
Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.
All crew must produce a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours before the start date.
This is 40% of the trip price and is non-refundable. On making payment, your berth is guaranteed.
Paying the balance
The balance of the invoice can be paid at any time. It must be received by Rubicon 3 90 days before the trip start date or your place will automatically be cancelled. We will remind you of the date nearer the time.
Cancellations and moving trips
Our expedition sailing yachts only have between 7 and 10 berths on them. When you book, you are committing to take one of these places. Due to these very limited numbers, we will often have turned away someone else who would have liked the berth. Unlike many other holidays, please understand this gives us little if any flexibility to make changes or to move trips. We will always endeavour to assist you (& the earlier you tell us the better), but unless we can find someone else to take your place, we usually cannot move your booking.
This is a typical itinerary. What makes this type of sailing adventure so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.
You need to join the boat promptly at 0900hrs on the start day. We will have a cup of tea and get to know each other and the skipper and mate will talk you through what to expect, find you your berth, help you get your kit packed away and issue you with oilskins, lifejacket and immersion/abandon ship survival suit.
The Atlantic swells and weather can make the detail of this itinerary a hard one to predict. There are many options along the coast and we will pick the best of these as we go. Expect to stop at 4 or 5 of these.
This beautiful old fortified town is around 50nm south of Muros, so it’s a full day of sailing south in the warm sun. It has its own key place in history: on 1 March 1493, one of Columbus’ small fleet, the Pinta, stopped in for supplies, bearing the extraordinary news that the explorer had made it to the West Indies. There’s still a hefty reminder of this town’s former importance in the shape of the stout defensive walls, towers and gun batteries of Monte Boi promontory jutting out from the town’s waterfront.
VIANA DO CASTELO
This old sailing town is probably one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal and there is a complete change of culture in this beautiful area after Muros. Known as the jewel of the Costa Verde, the town has a wonderful medieval centre, a lovely riverfront and great beaches just outside the city. The old quarter has leafy 19th-century boulevards and narrow lanes crowded with Manueline manors and rococo palaces, all dramatically presided over by the pearly white, neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia church on the hilltop high above town.
On the banks of the Rio Douro, Porto is an exhilarating mix of old world charm and new money. It has a lovely historic centre and is famous for its sumptuous food and wine.
With a warren of narrow, cobbled lanes running down to a wide, cliff-backed beach, Nazaré is Estremadura’s most picturesque coastal resort. This town in Portugal retains the more colourful fishing traditions, and it’s not uncommon to encounter fishmongers who still wear the traditional seven skirts. At the end of the afternoon on Saturdays during the summer months, don’t miss sitting on the seawall to watch the fascinating “Arte Xávega” (Drag Nets) spectacle, in which nets laden with fish arrive from the sea and the women scream out their wares for sale.
THE BERLENGA ISLANDS
Jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean, 10km west of the fishing town of Peniche, are the craggy and windswept Berlengas Islands. The Berlengas Islands are frequently savaged by powerful storms, and historically the rocky islands were notorious for shipwrecks. A 16th-century monastery was even constructed on the largest island, Berlenga Grande, to rescue shipwrecked sailors, but was soon abandoned due to pirate raids.
Cascais (kush-kaish) has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village to a favourite beach town of the lisboêtas ever since King Luís I went for a swim here in 1870. It has three golden bays looking out onto the Atlantic and is a very charming town.
Lisbon is the gorgeous capital city of Portugal, and is one of the most charismatic and lively cities in Europe. Its sea views, colourful tiled facades and many red roofs are a delight. A vast 12th-century Moorish castle dominates the skyline while the city also boasts the magnificent 16th-century Manueline monastery of Jerónimos.
This lovely town, just around Cape St Vincent was founded by the Phoenicians. The Moors made it an important trading town before being recaptured by christian armies in 1241. It was then used by Henry the Navigator as a base for African trade and remnants of the first slave market in Europe can be found alongside the old custom house. We will also try and spend a day anchoring off the amazing network of coves with their grottos and tunnels which extend from the town to the Ponta de Piedade.
A delightful anchorage near the old fishing village with white washed houses, narrow streets and lovely views over the estuary. The swimming at the entrance is excellent with the water being warmed as it comes over the sands of the shallow lagoon. On the north side of the river is a nature reserve and over twenty two species of wading bird have been counted enjoying the salt marches and sandy banks.
- Join the boat promptly at 0900hrs on the start day.
It is important you are not late as the pre-trip briefing will start promptly at that time. You will probably need to arrive at your start point the day before your trip begins and get a hotel or B&B.
- Disembark by 1200hrs on the end day.
We ask you to stay on board until then if possible to help with packing away the boat but recognise sometimes due to flights you may need to leave earlier that day. Please just let the skipper know in advance.
INFORMATION TO HELP GET TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
The nearest airport to Muros is Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ). This is your best option and MonBus operates a bus from Santiago de Compostela to Muros every 4 hours. Tickets cost £4 – £9 and the journey takes 1h 27m. You could also fly into A Coruna (IATA code: LCG) taking about 4 hours to get a train and bus to Muros. Finally, you could fly into Vigo (IATA code: VGO) and get a five hour bus to Muros
- The closest airport is Faro (IATA code: FAO)
- Public transport from the airport to Vilamoura is very time consuming and we strongly recommend that you pre-book a one way taxi (c.€27). If you do not pre book, the taxi at the airport will be very expensive.
- A private hire company is here.
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
FITNESS TO SAIL
We believe that as many people as possible should be able to head out to sea and have a great adventure. However, it is essential for everyone’s safety that you are in a fit enough state to be on board. Ability to complete the five exercises below is a pre-requisite for joining as a crew member. They are not designed to be physically taxing and almost everyone should be able to complete them. Rather they are in place to check that you have the stability and basic physical condition to be on-board. If when you join the vessel the skipper believes you are not capable of completing these exercises, you will probably not be allowed to embark. If you have any doubts at all about your ability to complete these exercises safely, you must contact your doctor before attempting them.
Four weeks before your trip start date, you will be sent final joining instructions. At this time you will be asked to complete our medical declaration. At the time of booking, it is your responsibility to be sure that you will be able to pass all the criteria at the start date of your trip. If you cannot pass the criteria you will probably be refused permission to board.
- All crew must have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance as soon as you book. This ideally will cover you for any mishaps, medical or otherwise, in the build-up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim your fees.
- Please note we will not refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues that disqualify you from joining your trip.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: COASTAL SAILING
For a full explanation of what to expect with the various trip ratings please click here.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
- Any meals you eat ashore.
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.