Our first venture sees us heading to The Guadiana River, the dramatic waterway that marks the border between Spain and Portugal. Radiating the best of both nations, this voyage exudes historic and cultural richness. The Guadiana has much to offer, its banks carpeted with untamed countryside teaming with wildlife, sleepy riverside villages, and an oasis of opportunity for fishing, hiking and watersport.

The Guadiana offers 20 miles of easily navigable meandering river, perfectly suited for all levels of experience and boat type with calm, sheltered waters and a clearly marked channel, we have identified some of the must-see and do highlights to whet the appetite of all age ranges for a typical boating family.

VRSA and Grand House Hotel Algarve

Situated on Portuguese banks of the Guadiana estuary, a simple 50 nautical mile cruise east from Vilamoura Marina, you can find yourself at the bordering town of Vila Real de Santo António. Constructed in 1774 this town has a truly unique appearance with numerous decorative Pombaline-styled buildings and a grand central plaza reminiscent of Lisbon, this unique enclave is sure to impress. The friendly Deportivo Del Guadiana Marina provides visitor berths and is a perfect base for you to go exploring.

Step out of the marina and into the fabulous Grand House Hotel. Transporting you back to the 1920’s with its Belle Époque inspired decor, this boutique hotel has effortlessly triumphed its Five Star status. Benefiting from views of the harbour and beyond, it is well worth treating yourselves to a night in the Algarve’s oldest hotel.

Visit the Speakeasy-style Salon Bar or dine in the Grand Salon Restaurant where five-star service caters to unshowy crowds. Make memories from the terrace overlooking the marina below and get to know GRAND, the youngest full-time butler at the property, who happens to be an exceedingly handsome Portuguese Water Dog (the breed much loved by the Obamas).

Grand Beach Club

A short transfer in the hotel’s Range Rover will deliver you to the Grand Beach Club, nestled in an exquisite waterfront location or a few moments from the marina this exclusive club also offers a convenient anchorage spot for your boat where subject to the state of tide, you can transfer guests ashore to the venue.

Grand Beach Club is a place where Portuguese delicacies fuse with home-style cooking. Serving only the finest, local land and sea produce, the ‘Algarvian Classic’ of Sea Cataplana with Coriander and the ‘Grand Bife à Portuguesa’, come highly recommended.

This tranquil oasis also features a turquoise infinity pool, stretching out to the Guadiana River where boat owners can look out on their pride and joy anchored in this beautiful location.

Ayamonte / LPA The Culinary Bar

When you imagine the tedium of motorways, navigating your way through unfamiliar back streets, tolls and parking, by comparison is there anything more civilised than arriving by boat? Gliding into any marina with the sunlit buildings standing to attention to greet you is always the most impressive way to visit any water fronted town or city.

Arriving to the Spanish municipality of Ayamonte by boat will make the air taste sweeter and the light dance off the water as you find a visitor berth at the town’s marina - Puerto Deportivo.

Immerse yourself in the full Andalusian experience and dive into one of the town’s many established tapas eateries. Soak in the classical architecture, Roman ruins and the palm lined Coronation Square.

Our dinner recommendation is the highly acclaimed LPA Culinary Bar, which turns eating extraordinary food into a multi-sensory experience. Owned and run by Italian husband and Irish wife team Fabio and Cliodhna, this stylish eatery is rammed with Instagram worthy design touches. The plates announce a reimagined dynamic of flavours and cuisines. ‘Fois Gras Ice cream’, ‘Tandori gilt-head bream’ and ‘Calamari, black ink and blue seaweed, alioli’ speak of Chef Fabio’s undeniable brilliance.


A delightful 20 nautical mile cruise upstream, takes you under the stunningly engineered International Bridge and towards the pretty Algarvian town of Alcoutim. From the easily accessible docking pontoon, amble your way into this historic labyrinthian town with its flowing terracotta roofs splaying before the 14th Century Alcoutim Castle.

O Contrabandista is a modest restaurant boasting unrivalled vantage points across the Guadiana River to the twinning Spanish town of Sanlúcar del Guadiana. Our pick for lunch and the simple fayre of fresh fish and local wines set the tone for a lazy afternoon soaking up the heavenly vista from back on board the boat.

Sanlúcar de Guadiana

Our next port of call is the charming Sanlúcar de Guadiana, on the opposing Spanish bank to Alcoutim. Tie up on the pontoons and go explore this town at sunset, mingle with the friendly locals in a handful of authentic bars or buy yourself a handmade pair of leather chaps – you know you have always wanted to. As dusk turns to night the view from the boat of these two towns, in two different countries mirrored onto the Guadiana is magical. Lay back, enjoy a nightcap and marvel that stargazing, is most definitely better on a boat.

Limit Zero (Zip Wire)

To awaken those senses on a fresh morning, we suggest really grabbing the adventure by the cohones and booking the Limit Zero zipwire across from Spain to Portugal! Yes you heard us right. Zoom across from Sanlúcar to Alcoutim, travelling quite literally back in time and across a time zone.

Both towns offer a variety of watersports from kayaking up nearby tributaries, exploring on jetskis or try flyboarding with qualified instructors.

Now print off all those snaps and make an album to treasure your memories of The Guadiana River forever.


Be sure to pick up next weeks’ edition of The Portugal News when another part of the Algarve will be showcased by Sunseeker Portugal, or contact their friendly team today for more information or to discuss your boat requirements no matter how large or small. Their experienced team specialise in providing a full all-encompassing service for buyers of pre-owned motor boats of any size, brand or cost and as the exclusive seller of the Sunseeker, Axopar or Brabus Marine products they can discuss the benefits of owning these outstanding brands chosen by their experienced Portugal based team specifically to suit the conditions of the Atlantic coastline and the diverse and rewarding boating available.

Quote: Portugalnewsguadiana to a member of the team when purchasing or chartering in September 2022 to receive a complimentary membership to the Sunseeker Deck Lounge in Vilamoura Marina. T & C’s apply and are provided on request.

Visit the Sunseeker Portugal website

(www.sunseeker.pt ) to view videos of these outstanding boating locations.

Get in touch with the Sunseeker Portugal Team +351 289 090 200 or email: info@sunseeker.pt