The southern Portuguese coast is becoming more and more attractive to UK sailors

The number of marinas along the Portuguese coast has expanded rapidly in recent years. There is now a wide choice of places to stop while on passage to the Mediterranean or the Canaries, but many of them have only basic maintenance facilities.

If you need to have some work done en route then head for Marina Vilamoura. This holiday town is located between Faro and Lagos on the Algarve coast and has a boatyard with 60 and 30 tonne travel hoists. There is room for 200 boats on the hard and a comprehensive range of engineers and craftsmen. Sailing conditions are often ideal: the Portuguese Olympic squad use Vilamoura as their training base, as did the EF teams in the last Whitbread race.

With temperatures around 20 C throughout the winter, and annual berthing for a 33ft yacht of GBP2,100, it may not be long before many more British yachtsmen join the thousands of golfers who head for the Algarve all year round.

Tel: Marina Vilamoura 00 351 289 310 560 Portuguese Tourism 0207 494 1441