Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Vila Franca do Campo
Yacht Charter Vila Franca do Campo
On a Vila Franca do Campo yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of the Azores within an easy sail. Whatever you want from an Azores yacht charter, from the whale watching to the volcanoes, a Vila Franca boat rental is going to be an unforgettable experience.
In Portuguese, Vila Franca do Campo is just a description - the 'economic town on a fertile plain', where a 'franca' town's residents were exempt from taxes in the good old days! Like economics, the town has had its ups and downs - in 1552 when it was the capital of Sao Miguel it was destroyed by an earthquake and 4,000 people are believed to have been killed.
Though a 500+ year old town, Vila Franca doesn't have anything standing from before then. It has recovered well thanks to the fertile plain it is named after - everything from pineapples to bananas and sugar cane have played a role in its emergence from the tragedy so long ago. As to be expected in a Portuguese town, one of its main attractions is a church - the Shrine of Senhora da Paz sits on the hillside overlooking the town and is a must-visit on your boat rental holiday there.
Another important place to visit is the Ilha Vila Franca do Campo just offshore. This is an extinct volcano whose crater is a lake that is protected from the Atlantic Ocean to the south by its wall, but is open to the sea to the north. This makes for great snorkeling and for those brave enough, cliff diving with the Red Bull Cliff Diving world championship once held there!
Explore Vila Franca do Campo By Renting A Yacht
On your Vila Franca sailing holiday you may wish to have a nose around Sao Miguel Island itself. Part of the Mid Atlantic Ridge sub-sea mountain range that reaches all the way north to Iceland, it is a volcanic island that would dwarf Everest from valley floor to peak. Thanks to the volcanoes you can visit Furnas to the east where you can indulge in geyser watching and perhaps eat a stew cooked in the superheated steam in the rocks. To the west is Sete Cidades with its equally famous miradouro overlooking the Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul - sitting right next to one another, the green (verde) and azul (blue) lakes are quite a picture in the right light.
On your Vila Franca do Campo yacht charter you will want to see whales. Whale watching can be done on a paid tour where the captain will know the best places to see the population of resident sperm whales and dolphins, though it is estimated that a third of all whales pass through the Azores islands every year thanks to its fertile feeding grounds - you're almost guaranteed to see a biggie out there!
Where else to go? You've come for the sailing after all! For the beaches, head south to Santa Maria that has little volcanic activity but is great for mountain biking and walking. To the north however are the 'Ilhas Triangulo' - a misnomer as there are actually five islands in the central group of the Azores. Almost certainly first landing at Angra do Heroismo on Terciera for your first port, you can then explore the other islands in the group - Santa Cruz de Graciosa, Pico, Faial, and Sao Jorge make for an excellent week-long Azores yacht charter holiday.
How To Get To Vila Franca do Campo
Ponta Delgada Airport
Flights from the US, Portugal, the UK and much of Europe fly into nearby Ponta Delgada airport through the year. It is an easy bus or taxi ride to your charter yacht.
Marina In Vila Franca
Marina de Vila Franca do Campo
This is a yacht charter hub with boat owners offering crewed superyacht charter and luxury yacht charter as well as bareboat monohull sailing yacht charter, catamaran charter, fishing boat charter and motorboat charter.
Max Length 15m (49 Feet)
Max Draught 3.5m (11 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, restaurant.
Suggested Sailing Routes From Vila Franca do Campo
Whether on a sailing boat or motor boat on a bareboat charter or skippered charter you can explore Sao Miguel and the Central Azores islands on your Vila Franca do Campo yacht charter. Let's look at what such an itinerary will involve.
7 Days - Ilhas Triangulo: Your first port of call will be Angra do Heroismo on Terciera to the NW of Sao Miguel. Visit the underground cave system here and enjoy what was the first capital of the Azores. Your next sail is to Santa Cruz de Graciosa where you should get your hiking boots on and explore inland again. The relatively untouched island of Sao Jorge will be your next stop - well away from the tourist trail. You then head to Horta on Faial for your next evening and morning. A very short sail across the strait to Pico will be your next trip, perhaps taking in the caldera on the island. The next day's sailing will be longer as you head SE back to Sao Miguel to hand over your charter yacht.
Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Vila Franca
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.
What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?
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.
What are the Marinas in Vila Franca do Campo?
Vila Franca do Campo has one small marina with around 100 berths and is capable of taking yachts of up to 15 metres in length.
When are the best times to hire a boat in Vila Franca?
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 sailingholiday, do try to visit outside school holidays - October is often the best with the sea still warm and the heat nowhere as fierce.
Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Vila Franca do Campo?
You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card 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.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
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.
What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Vila Franca do Campo?
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.
What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?
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 crewed yacht charter you typically don't require licences.