Marinas, Moorings & Anchorages
We choose to stop at anchorages and moorings, but occasionally we stay at marinas.
We know how valuable information can be in terms of best location for anchoring, how much mooring costs are (if anything) and what the facilities are like at marinas. So each time we stop somewhere, we'll put useful notes here as reference for you.
If you have extra information, we'd love to hear from you.
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Puerto Marina de las Salinas
The marina is situated at San Pedro del Pinatar. It has been awarded the Blue Flag for compliance with water quality standards, security, provision of general services and environmental management. The marineros are friendly, helpful and efficient. Mooring prices include fresh water, electricity and WIFI.
There are several chandleries, a scuba dive shop, one clothes shop and several eateries. The corner restaurant serves a very reasonable daily menu, simple Spanish food specialising in open grilled meats. There is a laundrette which has one washing machine (5 Euros per wash) and dryer (10 minutes per 1 Euro). The washing machine cost does include its own laundry detergent supply, but we are not too sure if the soap actually makes it to the machine!
Shower/toilet blocks are regularly cleaned and in good condition. The showers are hot and strong.
There is also a boat yard with two different sized travel lifts to accommodate most sizes of boats.
We purchased our yacht from Marina Estrella Murcia which is based here. This company also does boat work, and has an extensive network of boat services - from electrical to mechanical, mast work to stainless steel manufacturing (we had stainless steel davits and solar arch custom made and fitted).
There are two beaches nearby. The marina also backs onto Las Salinas (salt flats and natural park).
The main downside is that the marina is several kilometres away from the shops with no regular transport. The marineros will however call a taxi whenever you need one.
Just north of Benidorm around a promontory is the lovely bay of L'Albir. The first mooring spot is at Raco del Pallares and this offers protection from wind from the W/SW/S/SE. Anchoring is not permitted due to strict protection of marine grass (Poseidonia) but there are several free mooring buoys available. We chose to moor on a set of buoys closer to the shore.
We most boats moored left towards the evening and we were one of only about 3 yachts overnight.
We took the dinghy to shore after the first night to provision and left it on the beach. Returning to the marina, we were told by an 'official' that this was not allowed. Apparently there was a place for dinghys further north along the long beach. At that time, we hadn't put the new outboard onto the dinghy, and we didn't fancy the row - it was already a way from where we were moored to the beach - so we do not have this information avabailable for you. You can watch our video on L'Albir here.
Due to rolly swell, we only stayed a couple of nights.
L'Albir itself is a nice little holiday town with various shops nearby, and lots of restaurants and bars. The beach is well maintained.
Both times we have stayed at Javea, we have encountered swells and this is a fairly unprotected bay.
At the southern end of this large bay is an extensive free mooring spot which offers protection from wind from the SW/S/SE/E. Only mooring is allowed and when we moored in summer there were a lot of the seasonal yellow buoys, which we moored to for one night. It was very windy (NE wind) that night and there was a constant swell so we left after one night.
At the northern end of this large bay is Puerto de Javea and the marina is only available to Club Nautica members. This part of the bay outside the marina offers protection from the SW/W/NW/N
Outside the marina wall near the northern cliffs, are five old white mooring balls. Again, anchoring is strictly prohibited to protect the Poseidonia sea grass. The lines on these mooring balls are very old. As we moored in summer, there were also about six new yellow seasonal mooring buoys, one of which we attached to for the night. All of these balls are free to use.
It was very windy during the day but the boat held firm. However that night even though the wind was dying down, the mooring buoy line (not our lines) sheered through and we drifted onto the marina wall. It was a very scary experience and you can read our account in our blogs (Aannsha's blog #39 and Barry's blog #41). You can also watch our video account of that night and how we got off the rocks.
BALEARIC ISLANDS, SPAIN
Formantera - Raco des Palo
Formantera is the southern most island in the Balearics, which are situated in the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 60nM west of Javea on mainland Spain. This bay provides protection against swell and wind from NE/E/SE/S.
We anchored in the busy bay of Raco des Palo on the western side of the thin northern strip, opposite the restaurant Es Moli del Sal. We were there at the end of July/beginning of August 2018 and this being the main tourist season meant the anchorage was incredibly busy. Think big city January Sales shopping stampede - crazy busy! Be aware that people will anchor uncomfortably close to your yacht, so you may be on alert during the day. After the sun goes down though, day trippers leave and you will find the yachts thin out considerably.
There are Poseidonia sea grass 'police' who politely ensure the protected sea grass is not disturbed so make sure you anchor in bare sand. The anchorage is powdery sand, and our anchor dug in well.
There are taxis that you can hail from your yacht, and a travelling Mojito boat where two musos make up fresh cocktails for 10 Euros each. (You can see these guys here and check out how busy the anchorage is on our YouTube video!)
Provisioning can be done in the nearby town of La Savina. We took our tender around to Estany des Peix, which is a little shallow inland waterway approached through a marked channel. This is situated just south of the very busy port, Puerto Formantera. Watch out for ferries - there are 90 ferries collectively per day during the high season.
There are a lot of delightful bays to discover, some of which you can leave your tender at, and La Savina itself has hussle of activity with many tourists using scooters and small cars. There is a reasonable variety of eateries and shops and a small clothes/accessories market along the dock side.
Fuel can be obtained within the port. Be prepared to queue. The attendants are very helpful with the mooring to the dock.
Ibiza - Cala Tarida
Ibiza is situated north of Formantera - around 17nM from Formantera's northern tip. Cala Tarida bay provides good protection from swell and wind from NW/N/NE/E/SE and is a delightfully pretty cove in the beautiful Balearic island of pines.
It has a sandy bottom which is good for anchoring, but it is best to anchor either north or south of the bay, as there are rocks hidden under the sand in the middle of the bay (we had to help a fellow untangle his anchor after it got caught up overnight. You can watch this on YouTube here).
There is access to the beach by dinghy but be prepared to get wet from the waist down as there is a half metre drop from the beach to where the dinghy can be tied/anchored.
There are a few eateries and up a steepish hill there is a small town with a hotel, a few restaurant/bars and a Spar that has an amazingly good selection of fairly priced provisions for its size. If you want to watch the sunset over this bay, there are a few restaurants to choose from for differing budgets.
The water is crystal clear, and shades of aquamarine. It has plenty of great areas around the rocky cliffs for snorkelling. The bay does get busy (we were there in summer - early August), but not as crazy busy as Formantera. Great views can be had from the cliff top.
Alicante - Cap de l'Horte (north of bay)
Alicante bay is huge and took us one hour to motor at 6 knots from the north to the southern end! We anchored close to Cala Almadraba beach in sand/mud.
There are a couple of sea walls and depending on where you anchor, you may find protection from swell and wind from N/NE/E.
Accessing the mainland from the yacht proved challenging. We followed the red/green marked channel through the yellow swimming area to the beach but the police told us we weren't allowed to leave the dinghy on the beach. They suggested the area just north where there were small boats/tenders anchored/moored in front of a rocky wall. We headed in there and had to anchor. Returning from the shop with provisions, as we left the small anchorage towards our yacht, we were approached by "Beach Vigilantes" who make sure everyone is following the rules. They told us we weren't allowed to leave our dinghy in the little anchorage. We told them (in Spanish) about the police making us go there and they said the police didn't know what they were talking about (only not as politely lol). We asked where we were supposed to access the beach and they told us the channels were to 'stop, drop and go'. If we wanted to get to shore, we would have to organise that with the marina.
So to leave your dinghy and go ashore, you must moor in the marina. The marina can be contacted on VHF channel 9.
This is a pleasant, quite large bay north of Benidorm on the Spanish mainland. It has a hilly promontary to the north which provides protection against wind and swell from N/NE/E/SE. We had a few very sheltered night's sleep in this bay, where the anchor held well in the sand.
Access to beaches, shops, restaurants, the old town, mountain Penan de Ifach, can be made by docking your tender at the marina in front of the yacht club. The second time we docked we were asked by the marinero to notify them ahead of time on VHF Channel 9, to ensure there was a mooring available. The marinero was pleasant and allowed us to stay for a couple of hours though.
There is also a dock for refuelling in this marina.
If you like fresh seafood, you will be well catered for as there is a large fresh seafood market on close to the marina, along with a few touristy shops and stalls. The main old town is about a half hour walk from the marina, but it was well worth it as there are lots of shops and things to see. There are remains of Roman baths near the marina, the old medieval village ruins are being escavated and remains of the a Phonecian wall - a lot to see in this ancient fishing village.
Torrevieja is a city in Spain's southeastern Alicante province, on the Costa Blanca. It has large port consisting of 3 marinas where you can also anchor, and which provide protection against wind and swell from most directions.
Anchorage is also available outside the southern wall, which we chose as the marinas were very busy due to it being the height of the season. Protection can be had against wind and swell from W/NW/N/NE The sea bed is sand/mud.