Sailing Expedition to the Guadiana River

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Sailing Expedition to the Guadiana River – São Domingos Mine


Sailing Expedition Guadiana: Sail the east coast of the Algarve towards Vila Real de Santo Antonio (30 miles) and came enter into the Guadiana river with high water. Overnight in Vila Real or Ayamonte and the next day sail upon the river towards Alcoutim. The river is a natural boarder.

The river empties into the Gulf of Cadiz between Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo António, the two highly touristic regions of the Algarve and the sea-side of Andalusia. There it forms a saltmarsh estuary.

Sailors from far away have been visiting the Guadiana for thousands of years, the first to arrive were probably the Phoenicians from the eastern Mediterranean, who arrived about 1000 BC, not as conquerors but as merchants bringing with them dyes, fabrics, ceramics, glass, metals, wine, seeds for crops and olive oil to trade with the locals. They established a fishing port at Vila Real de Santo Antonio and ports at Alcoutim and Mértola further up the river.

This scenic trip upon the Guadiana River takes 4-5 hours and we need to go with the flow. Once we arrive to Alcoutim we´ll land in the quite vilagge to taste the local food and learn old stories about the village, fisheries and tradicional economy.

Find more about sailing in the Algarve>>

CHECK IN 10:00
6 nights onboard 6 lunches
2 evening meals
Breakfast (around 3 euros ashore coffee and toast)
4 evening meals ashore

Typical Itinerary

Olhão-Culatra-Vila Real Santo António-Alcoutim-Ayamonte-Olhão



Day 1: Check in / Olhão Marina

Check in at Marina de Olhão at 10:00 on day 1. After a safety briefing we'll be sailing towards Vila Real de Santo António. On the way maybe we'll catch some tunas. This is a 30 NM passage so the ETA is 7 hours after departure..


Day 2: Eastern Algarve Sailing

Sail in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and get familiar with the sailing ground and the boat. Anchor in Culatra island and lunch aboard. In the afternoon there will be time to practice boat handling under motor and sail.


Day 3-4: Upon the river

Breakfast and visit the city and take the tide flow to go upon the river Guadiana. The river has a scenic view. Get ready your camera and land in the hidden Algarve. Visit local museums and find out the smuggling was such an important activity in the times of the Spanish civil war.


Day 5: Sail downriver 

Sail back to Ayamonte (Spain) and enjoy a nice dinner ashore.


Day 6: Sail back to Olhão

Passage sailing back to Olhão Marina. You are welcome to sleep onboard in the Marina of Olhão. Check out will be day 7 at 9:30.


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