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On a Horta yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of the Azores within an easy sail either with your family or friend. Whatever you want from an Azores sailing trip, from the whale watching to the volcanoes, a Horta boat rental is going to be an unforgettable experience.
Many sailors who have sailed the Atlantic, north or south, east to west, will know Horta Marina. Why? This is the main stopping point for those who are crossing the ocean. With Horta's university and regular flights from Portugal, this in turn makes the Horta Old Town one of the best places to party in the Azores.
If students and sailors socialising isn't your bag, Horta has other things on offer. It was until recently a major whaling port as whaling ships came to unload and process their catches. You will find scrimshaw from that time, including at the Peter Cafe Sport (where it's almost compulsory to buy a gin & tonic on your sojourn!).
Miradouro de Nossa Senhora da Conceição - a viewpoint in true Portugal style overlooks the city, and this is one of many walking treks you should take on an Azores sailing holiday. Others include the 145 metre high Monte de Guia extinct volcano, and for those who wish to see some newer rock, Capelinhos on the western edge of Faial is an extension to the island that emerged with an eruption in 1957. For a beefy climb, take on the 1,000m high Caldeira that is the main caldera of the island. Weather permitting the views can hardly be beaten!
Faial island sits in the Central Group of the nine Azores islands. Where else to go on your sailboat or motor yacht? There are five islands in the central group of the Azores that are within easy reach of the yacht charterer. On your cruise out of Faial, you can then explore the other islands in the group - Santa Cruz de Graciosa, Pico Island, Terceira, and Sao Jorge make for an excellent week-long Azores yacht charter holiday. All of these have a great mix of beautiful coastlines, volcanic terrain and settlements that reach back to the dawn of European exploration.
To the SE is the most populous island in the archipelago, Sao Miguel with its geysers and lakes and further south you will find the island of Santa Maria with its beautiful beaches.
Whale watching is something almost inevitable on your Horta yacht charter - in many cases they will come to see you! A population of sperm whales live in the region - the biggest carnivores in the world and given the size of the brains, possibly the most intelligent beings in the world...
This is a regional airport with flights direct from Portugal. From the UK or US you should fly to Lisbon and connect to flight to the island from there. You can also fly direct to nearby Sao Miguel and take a ferry to Horta but this takes a bit longer.
Marina da Horta
An important staging post for transatlantic yacht journeys including the ARC Race, Marina da Horta has a tradition of every arriving yacht leaving a written tag on its jetties! As such it is a colourful and fun yachting centre for all those who arrive. Do be aware that while it states it has the capacity of 300 yachts, this number includes those rafted up alongside. There is also ample anchoring space, offered at 50% standard berthing fees.
This is a yacht charter hub with boat owners offering crewed yacht charter as well as bareboat catamaran charter, monohull sailing yacht charter, luxury yacht charter, superyacht charter and motorboat charter.
Max Length 90m (295 Feet)
Max Draught 3.5m (20 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, restaurant.
Whether on a sailboat or motor boat on a bareboat charter or crewed luxury yacht charter you can explore Faial and the Central Azores islands on your Horta charter yacht. Let's look at what such an itinerary will involve.
7 Days - Central Azores and Sao Miguel: Your first leg is a shakedown cruise to Velas on Sao Jorge where you can explore the beautiful mountains of the island. After an early start the next day you've a long leg SE to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, the capital of the Azores. Spend the next day exploring the island, perhaps heading to the geysers and fumeroles of Furnas and enjoying a Portuguese stew cooked in the superheated rocks. After a second night in Ponta Delgada, return NW, this time to Angra do Heroismo on Terceira where you can take in the pretty city and perhaps descend into the caves of Algar do Carvão. Pico Island will be your next stop - get your walking boots on and prepare for a four hour hike up the biggest volcano in the Azores. Those less inclined can explore the Gruta Torres (towers cave) instead - or possibly as well! Perhaps a little stiff from your walk, pack up and return your charter yacht across the strait to the charter company in Horta the next day.
The hottest time - and the most expensive time of year are the school holiday months of July and August. If you are limited to these months then be prepared to pay a premium on the boatyou are hiring and in the marinas you visit.
The sailing season in the Azores runs from April to October so it may pay to go earlier or later in the year. The weather is still a lot warmer than in Northern Europe - be prepared to smile in your tee shirt as you see locals bundled up in their winter jackets - but you will find the locals warmer toward you, the marinas cheaper and to have parted with less cash on the holiday in the first place. As a tip? October is better than April as the Atlantic Ocean is still warm from the summer months.
This dominates the weather in the region. For you the sailor you will find the temperatures around 23 degrees C between April and October and a bit cooler at night. Generally speaking you can expect F4-5 winds from the west between April and August then it coming from the NE - E and building in September and October as the high pressure moves north.
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a paid captain, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip. Address any questions you have to the boat owner via our team through the website.
The legendary Marina da Horta is the biggest marina in the Azores with a capacity of 300 yachts. It can take superyachts of up to 90m in length.
The sailing season runs from April to October thanks to the temperature and winds. This is a subtropical Atlantic archipelago with some of the best sailing conditions close to Portugal. If you want a quiet, more authentic sailing holiday, do try to visit outside school holidays - October is often the best with the sea still warm and the heat nowhere as fierce.
You will typically pay 50% of the final price up front on making your reservation for the yacht rental on our website and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card to the staff on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Dress for warm weather but do have something for tropical rains - light but waterproof. If you have a paid captain don't forget the tip at the end! Do address any questions to the owner orcompany through our website or by phone - they will be happy to help. Review your holiday after you return.
If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skippered yacht charter you typically don't require licences - just board the boat and off you go!
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.