Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Its oceanside location influences many aspects of its culture ? salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve's beaches are a major tourist destination and much of the nation?s architecture dates to the 1500s-1800s, when Portugal had a maritime empire.

"Portugal (Portuguese: [puɾtuˈɣal]), officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa [ʁɛˈpuβlikɐ puɾtuˈɣezɐ]), is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Portugal is the oldest nation state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Suebi and Visigothic Germanic peoples. After the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, most of its territory was part of Al-Andalus. Portugal as a country was established during the early Christian Reconquista. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede (1128). The Kingdom of Portugal was later proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique (1139), and independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora (1143).In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global maritime and commercial empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope (1488), Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India (1497–98) and the European discovery of what would become Brazil (1500). During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castile, and the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of Brazil (1822) erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence.After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the Estado Novo authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution (1974), ending the Portuguese Colonial War. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories. The handover of Macau to China (1999) marked the end of what can be considered one of the longest-lived colonial empires.

Portugal has left a profound cultural, architectural and linguistic influence across the globe, with a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, and many Portuguese-based creoles. It is a developed country with an advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is highly placed in rankings of moral freedom (2nd), peacefulness (3rd), democracy (7th), press freedom (10th), stability (15th), social progress (18th), and prosperity (26th). A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was also one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries." Wikipedia

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Faro is well known with sailors around the world as a great place to safely anchor while waiting for the right weather to transit down to the Canary Isles or into the Med. It also has a great DIY boatyard and good prices if you need to come out of the water.

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Top Marinas, Harbours and Anchorages

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Enseada da Abra
1 . Enseada da Abra

A sandy anchorage on the eastern tip of Madeira island.

Viana do Castelo
2 . Viana do Castelo

A small marina on the northern bank of the river Limia before the road bridge. Four pontoons behind a lifting pedestrian bridge with good facilities. Good access 20min walk to town to the west beyo...

3 . Viana

A commercial port and fishing harbour with no facilities for visiting vessel.

Povoa de Varzim
4 . Povoa de Varzim

A small marina with six pontoons and a dry-dock storage area within a larger harbour shared with a fishing port. A number of restaurants and two supermarkets nearby.

5 . Leixoes

An association of three clubs at this marina in the northern corner of the larger commercial and fishing port. Generally good facilities but no diesel. Supermarket 20min walk north-east. Many resta...

6 . Douro

Four long pontoons behind a breakwater on the southern bank of the Duoro river. A collection of restaurants to the east and a taxi ride east to the nearest supermarket.

Boca da Barra
7 . Boca da Barra

A fishing harbour south along the Aveiro Lagoon with an additional small harbour and dry-dock behind the low bridge.

8 . Lavrador

A small marina with basic facilities in a small small channel off the Aveiro Lagoon next west of the large commercial port. Limited facilities.

Antiga Lota Pontoon
9 . Antiga Lota Pontoon

A single long pontoon in a remote area north of Aveiro. Basic facilities.

10 . Figueira

A marina a short way inside the mouth of the river Mondego on the northern bank. Good access to town and the large white sandy beach. Good facilities. Supermarket 20min walk north.

11 . Cabadelo

A fishing harbour with no facilities for visiting yachts.

Nazare Pontoons
12 . Nazare Pontoons

Three small pontoons inside a large fishing harbour, basic facilities. Restaurants on the beach 30min walk around the harbour and north. Supermarket a further 30min walk.

Sao Martinho Bay
13 . Sao Martinho Bay

A popular anchorage for local fishing boats in the north-eastern corner of a large natural semi-circular sandy cove.

14 . Ericeira

A harbour with a popular sandy beach behind a solid man-made harbour wall. Small quay on the inside of the harbour wall leading to a ramp and dry-dock of local fishing vessels.

15 . Cascais

A large and popular marina with good facilities and access to a many restaurants 10 min walk north. Supermarket 25min north.

16 . Oeiras

A busy marina on the northern bank of the mouth of the river Tagus close to a large popular sandy beach and the smaller but equally busy Torre beach. A handful of restaurants around the marina and ...

17 . Alacantra

A busy marina in a basin with seven pontoons and two jetties behind a busy container ship loading dock. Some restaurants 20min walk north across the motorway. Two supermarkets 15min walk north-west.

Santo Amaro
18 . Santo Amaro

A small marina under the suspension bridge on the northern bank of the Tagus river. Some restaurants north across the motorway or west along the riverwalk.

19 . Belem

A small marina on the northern bank of the Targus river with a lift and dry-dock. Situated within a number of gardens and near cultural sites and museums. A handful of restaurants north towards the...

Bom Sucesso
20 . Bom Sucesso

A small marina with two pontoons on the northern bank of the river Targus. A supermarket and a collection of restaurants 15min walk across the pedestrian motorway bridge.

Parques das Nacoes
21 . Parques das Nacoes

Seven partially used pontoons in this marina with a narrow entrance. Good access to nearby shops, restaurants and a supermarkets.

22 . Pedroucos

An unused harbour with two unused pontoons.

23 . Sesimbra

Two long jetties and three pontoons within a sturdy harbour shared with a fishing port. A long 45min walk around the bay to the supermarket in town past the busy sandy beach, a few restaurants alon...

24 . Troia

A marina part of a bigger resort and next to a small ferry point to Setubal. Two long and two short pontoons behind a modest breakwater with good access to restaurants and a supermarket.

25 . Setubal

A fishing harbour with no facilities for visiting yachts.

26 . Recreio

A small harbour busy with local boats and a large dry-dock storage. No facilities for visiting yachts.

27 . Fontainhas

Three pontoons on the left side and a set of buoys for local boats on the right. Basic facilities, many restaurants within 10min walk.

Albarquel Bay
28 . Albarquel Bay

A set of buoys in a rural bay to the west of Setubal on the northern bank of the Sado river close to a popular sandy beach.

De Sines
29 . De Sines

Four pontoons behind the eastern breakwater of the sandy bay opposite the fishing port. The bay is itself with a much larger commercial port. Basic facilities. A 25min walk north into town and a fu...

30 . Baleeira

A harbour with a large number of buoys used by local boats and visiting yachts. Two long jetties provide access to the holiday village and a handful of restaurants 10min walk west followed by a su...

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See the top 100 marinas and harbours

Top Towns

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1 . Faro

A tourist city on the southern coast of Portugal set back from the sea by the large lagoon-nature park bordered by a long peripheral sandy beach stretching several kilometres.

2 . Lisbon

The capital and largest city in Portugal near the mouth of the river Tagus set back from the relentless Atlantic Ocean. A stunning bustling city with plenty districts to visit by day and night.

Viana do Castelo
3 . Viana do Castelo

Built on the northern bank of the the river Lima this large port town is home to a shipyard for naval construction, car-parts and a green energy industry.

4 . Esposende

A small city on the western coast of Portugal sheltered behind a rocky bank between which the river Cavado runs and up which a couple of marinas can be found.

Povoa de Varzim
5 . Povoa de Varzim

A small popular resort and city on the western coast of Portugal with centuries of history with sandy beaches and a marina a short walk from many shops and restaurants.

6 . Matosinhos

A city on the western coast of Portugal is home to a cruise terminal and a large oil refinery. A marina is tucked into northern corner of the large harbour.

7 . Porto

A large surprisingly green city on the western coast of Portugal along the river Douro. A former outpost of the Roman Empire. The city is inaccessible by yacht due to the motorway bridges.

8 . Espinho

A small city and beach resort on the western coast of Portugal, no moorings or harbour.

9 . Aveiro

A city on the western coast of Portugal. Popular to tourists for the colourful art nouveau buildings and the Venetian style canal boats.

Figueira da Foz
10 . Figueira da Foz

A touristic city on the western coast of Portugal at the mouth of the river Mondego with a huge wide and deep sandy beach with a backdrop of tall apartment blocks.

11 . Nazare

Built around a huge sandy bay the large town is a busy seaside resort with historical religious connections.

Sao Martinho do Porto
12 . Sao Martinho do Porto

A small but busy touristy town on the western coast of Portugal with a natural perfectly semi-circular bay sheltered by the rocky shoreline broken by a small cut.

13 . Peniche

Built on a rocky headland almost disconnected from the mainland. Peniche is a small city home to fishing and popular with sporty tourists due to the long beaches and windy recreations.

Santa Cruz
14 . Santa Cruz

A small town on the western coast of Portugal with a long sandy beach.

15 . Ericeira

A popular summer attraction given its' numerous beaches and short distance north from Lisbon.

16 . Cascais

An affluent and historical Portuguese city and home to America's cup. Cascais attracts tourists and has been a seaside attraction for the Portuguese royal family.

17 . Oeiras

A short distance from Lisbon on the mouth of the Tagus river this prestige location is home to multinational technology, commerce and industry. The coastline faces south-east away from the Atlantic...

18 . Almada

Almada is a city overlooking Lisbon on the opposite bank of the river Tagus. The eastern coastline is dominated by a commercial and naval harbour.

19 . Seixal

A large town near Lisbon supported by the shipbuilding industry.

20 . Montijo

A small city near Lisbon.

21 . Sesimbra

The town faces south but sits on the western coast of Portugal and is built up into the surrounding green hills. The bay is home to a marina a fishing harbour and a busy beach attracting local and ...

22 . Setubal

This city was built at the mouth of the river Sado a short distance from Lisbon and faces south despite being on the western coast of Portugal. Historically a fishing port but now a commercial port...

23 . Sines

An industrial town with a large commercial port. A small beach and port is found within the main port.

Vila Nova de Milfontes
24 . Vila Nova de Milfontes

A small town near the mouth of the river Mira along which a sandy beach has formed. Home to a small fishing community and attracting a sporty tourist with its horse riding, diving and land based sp...

25 . Palmeirinha

A small tourist commune set back from the coastline but accessible from the Arrifana beach.

Vila de Sagres
26 . Vila de Sagres

The village is found at the south-western Cape St Vincent of Portugal and was historically home to a nautical school.

27 . Lagos

A beautiful small city on the southern coast of Portugal with long sandy beaches lined with palm trees. A major attraction for tourism by land and sea given the security of the large marina from Th...

28 . Portimao

On the western bank of the river Arade and a very popular tourist destination. Home to a cluster of hotels along the coastline and also a large marina at the river mouth.

29 . Albufeira

A small pretty city of white buildings in winding streets with a large tourist attraction. The town accommodates a large number of hotel clusters but into the rocky coastline and a large marina acc...

30 . Olhao

Olhao shares the sea-front nature park with Faro. Home to a sardine fishing port and two marinas.

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See the top 100 towns