Review On The Marinas Of Our Baltic Tour

We sailed the route Sinbad –  Lähteelä – Lohusalu – Rohuküla – Abruka – Mõntu – Fårösund – Herrvik – Liepaja – Ventspils – Kuressaare – Kuivastu – Dirhami – Tallinna – Sindbad. Here’s a brief review on the marinas on our route.

Lohusalu Marina

Lohusalun satama
The depth in front of the refueling wharf in Lohusalu Marina was only 1,5 meters.

Lohusalu was the first marina we visited in Estonia. Lohusalu Marina was very well protected and there were enough space in the docks (buoys). There was more space than the 10 mentioned in the Estonia Cruising Guide. Harbourmaster came to show us our spot as we arrived. The service building was modern and offered good facilities including the showers and the sauna. Right beside the service building was a restaurant held by the local sailing club, which offered decent meals for reasonable prices.

The services included also rental bikes. Also a local bus stops close to the marina and takes you to the shops a few kilometers away from the marina. All in all, very calm and protected marina. The only minus was the refueling wharf, that was only 1,5 meters deep. Next time we come here, we have to pop by Rummu, which was closer than we thought.

Rohuküla Marina

Rohukülan satama
Rohuküla marina in the sunset looking more idyllic than it actually was…

We actually visited Rohuküla more or less by accident as we happened to sail later in the evening than expected. There was going to be 150 boats in Haapsalu as the Muhu Väina regatta was starting at the same time. We decided to  avoid the traffic and we ended up in Rohuküla.

The choice of harbor was a mistake. The threat “exposed to SW winds” in the Estonian Cruising Guide was not exaggerated at all! The wind was blowing right in and as we went for the buoy for the first time, our speed was no less than four knots! We had to make a few rounds to slow us down, but still the wind pushed us heavily, pulling the buoys under the water. The wind was about 8-9 m/s. So, do avoid going to the harbor on SW-W winds.

The harbor itself offered modern facilities with showers. The sauna could be booked separately. Otherwise toilets and other facilities were aimed at the ferry passengers. (ferries leaving right next to the marina) So, the marina was not cozy in any way. A short taxi trip takes you to Haapsalu, so you can enjoy the stay, even though the marina itself is merely for sleeping over.

Abruka Marina

Abrukan satama
The new harbour of Abruka

Abruka seemed like an interesting place. Nature Conservation Area with its trails would have been worth a visit. Our visit was a brief stop as we arrived right before dark and continued our way in the morning.

The marina seemed sheltered with new finger pontoons. There was well enough space when we visited, but the number of spaces was less than it stood in the Cruising Guide. The lights were excellent for driving in at dark. The service building was tidy and new. This was an island we are keen on visiting with time someday. 

Mõntu Harbour

Montun satama
Mõntun ankeat vierasvenepaikat mutaisessa rannassa.

Mõntu harbor selected as a place to visit due to its location. It was on a good spot for continuing the journey over to Gotland. The harbor itself was a dull place made for bigger fishing ships. The guest marina was the inside of the concrete wharf seen in the picture. The harbor smelled like a fart as there was smelly mud bubbling up from the bottom. In that sense, the 16€ per night fee seemed expensive. A few hundred meters away was a service building with toilets and 90’s showers. The sauna was not in use either. So as a tourist attraction it was not worth a visit.

Even visit Estonia has a hard time finding things worth mentioning: “Interesting facts: The radio call sign ‘Mõntu Harbour’ can be found on VHF channel 72 and 16.” 🙂

Fårösund Marina

Fårösund Marina
Enjoying the sunset at the Fårösund marina.

Docking in Fårösund Marina was different from the description in the Guidebook. Old mooring ropes were (partially) replaced with buoys. Otherwise berthing alongside the quay. We arrived just when it got dark and were able to get the boat alongside the quay with less than a meter to the neighbor boats on both sides. After 20 hours of sailing it felt like a heroic effort in our tired minds… 🙂

The marina had new owners, who didn’t seem to have a lot of knowledge about the rental bikes or cars or anything. Also the washing machines were not in use, which was not a pleasant surprise after a week on the sea. Otherwise, showers were ok. But compared with the price, 300 SEK, the services were pretty lame.

Rental bikes can be found near the ferry going over to Fårö. The place was a bit hidden, but well worth looking for, as we strongly recommend cycling around the beautiful Fårö! There are also cars to be found. Not too easily found site, but from Carina we rented a car that took us around Gotland.

If Fårösund marina is full, a local boat club offers space for guest boats. We went by with bikes and the free spots are easily marked with green/red tags.

Herrvik Marina

Herrvikin satama
Beautiful view from the rocks beside the Herrvik Marina.

On the east coast of Gotland you can find the marina of Herrvik, which we strongly recommend! The harbor is on a magnificent place surrounded by the limestone rocks. The new guest pier is right beside the entrance. The buoys on the pier are more convenient than the space offered by the boat club deeper inside the marina or berthing alongside the quay as the facilities are closer to the new pier. There’s an overpriced restaurant (aimed at the Stockholm tourists) in the harbor. For guest boats the service building offers toilets, showers and washing machines. The harbourmaster Mats lives nearby, so call him up as you get there and he fixed the access cards to the facilities. From Mats you can also rent bikes to get to see the beautiful nature nearby of visit the store a few kilometers away.

There are nature trails going in both directions from the marina, which are worth visiting. The views are just amazing!

Views from the trails near the Herrvik Marina.

Liepaja Marina

Liepajan satama
At the Liepaja marina

The guest boat marina is the heart of Liepaja. In order to get to the marina you have to drive among the freight and war ships for a while. The marina is well protected from the elements. The quay is right next to the walking street, but there wasn’t much disturbance coming from the restaurants close by. The toilets in the hotel next to the marina are in use of the guest boats. Showers and access to the spa are available for an extra fee of one euro.

The looks of the hotel aroused the interest in the vastness of the services provided… The showers were a bit too moisty and thus not too tempting. But they worked.

The location of the marina was excellent. A rental car was easy to take close by and we visited also Riga and Jurmala. In the tourist info at the city center you’ll find information about cheaper car rentals. With some 20 euros you’ll find a car to drive around Latvia. Also the restaurants in Liepaja and the long sand beaches are well worth seeing. Although this time the cold weather couldn’t lure us out swimming.

Liepaja beach
The fine sand beach in Liepaja was 8 km long!

Ventspils Marina

Ventspilsin satama
Ventspils marina

Like Liepaja, Ventspils marina was at the back of an industrial area. The harbor was very well protected and offered the basic services, bathrooms, showers and a washing machine. The service building was easily located right in front of the pier. From the docks you can also rent bikes, which was again good way to see the city and to haul in all the groceries.

Also in Ventspils there were fine sand beaches as long as the eye could see. The summer of 2017 wasn’t good for swimming. Especially for families with children there were water parks to swim at if the sea water isn’t tempting. Ventspils was an OK place to visit with its castles and good restaurants.

Kuressaare Marina

Kuressaare marina is at end of an unusually long dredged channel. The tight channel is well marked with spar buoys and the marina is easy to access. There was a lot of berths, pontoons with buoys, and there was plenty of room also at the peak of the season. The harbor was very well protected and offered good new facilities with bathrooms, showers and washing machines. The sauna was to be reserved separately.

The harbor is located only a short distance away from the castle and the city. When we arrived the last night of the opera festival was beginning and we got to enjoy some of it also in the harbor. There was a nice view to the castle from the harbor. The city was nice small old town, definitely worth visiting.

Kuivastu Sadam, Muhu

Kuivastun satama
Kuivastu marina was located besides the ferry marina

The location of the Kuivastu Marina right beside the ferries was by no means nice. The harbourmaster was nice and eager to help all arriving guests. The services in the marina were good with new facilities, including the saunas. There was also much needed fuel available.

You can also rent a car from the marina and we did a trip around Muhu and the whole Saaremaa. Theres a horse farm in Muhu where we went riding. Also the captain got his arse massaged on the back of a horse. 🙂

It pays off to go walking the trails along the beach. Nice pastures were close by with beautiful views. The pictures above were taken on an evening walk close to the marina.

Dirhami Marina

Dirhamin satama
The well protected dock at Dirhami.

From Dirhami we were merely looking for a place to stay over and that it offered. The harbor was well protected and there was enough space even though the buoys were all taken. There was plenty of room for berthing alongside the breakwater.

The facilities were new. The sauna could be rented separately and we took offer provided. There was enough heat in the sauna. As there were in all the saunas tried in Estonia.

Otherwise the area didn’t provide much to see. There was a small shop along the evening walk, but not much else. But the harbor was good in terms of the services we were looking for that night.

Tallinn, Pirita Marina

Piritan satama
Pirita Marina has become a haven for campers.

The services in the Pirita marina had weakened since our last visit (long ago). The services for the guest boats were poor! Bathrooms were to be used with the campers, which ment especially on the womens side that it was a laundry room for the Chinese campers. Also the showers were located in a temporary building and they weren’t too attractive.

The harbor itself is good and well protected. The wind was blowing some 14 m/s plus gusts when we arrived, but still everything went OK, especially considering the weather. The city is not too far driving with a cab. But still, next time we will go somewhere else.

The coziest marina on our route was definitely Herrvik. It offered not only a very well sheltered harbor, but also spectacular views right at the marina!


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