|The Luxury port of Puerto Banus.|
Boating and Yachting
For a country whose border is largely shored up by water, Spain is a relative latecomer to the sport of boating. Particularly in Andalucía, the sea was, to a great extent, the province of working fishermen. The feudal economy which marks Spain's largest autonomous region has a history of land-locked pursuits, such as hunting and horse riding. Yet, in the past two decades, the Spanish have taken to the sea with a will. The only frontiers that are not sea bound are those to the west with Portugal and to the north with France. Apart from these, Spain's coastline is washed in varying degrees of ferocity by the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Both now offer a wonderful variety of opportunities for leisure and pleasure on the high seas.
The massive upsurge in the popularity of water-borne activity has also been fuelled by the huge influx of foreigners. A quick glance at the boats moored at any of the marinas shows an international array of registration marks. Not only is the internationalism of boating so evident in Andalucía, so is the range of craft. Luxury marinas like Marbella's Puerto Banús are home to many hugely-expensive motor vessels, some of which rarely leave their berths. Other marinas are favoured by yacht owners, and many more are the chosen haven for smaller sport boats.
The beauty of boating is that the variety of craft and of possibilities for having fun is immense. From enormous boats costing many millions of dollars to the most humble outboard-powered dinghy, there is,literally, something for everyone. And, for those who don't wish to buy, the option is open to hire a boat by the hour, day or week. Fishing trips are available, and dolphin viewing excursions, water-skiing and, on inland rivers, rowing and canoeing are also on offer.