Portimao Cruises, Portugal
- Wander along the promenade on Praia da Rocha’s cliff-top, which leads to the Fortress of Santa Catarina. It was built in 1621 to defend Portimao against opposing fleets but these days you’ll find a great al fresco café and sea views that’ll make you go weak at the knees.
- If water could talk, the sea surrounding the Sagres Peninsula would have some stories to tell. It’s hosted battles by both Lord Nelson and Sir Francis Drake. Plus, centuries ago, people believed that it was the place where the flat earth ended.
- Pull up a ringside seat in Portimao’s harbour and order a dish of the famous chargrilled sardines, washed down with a fruity white.
- Take a trip to nearby Silves, a sleepy castle-crowned town lying in the foothills of the Serra de Monchique mountains.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
The windswept cliffs of the Sagres Peninsula by any other name would be World’s End – or at least that’s what they thought in the 15th century. Until Henry the Navigator began exploring, it was thought the ocean horizon was the edge of the earth. And the first stop on this trip is the 16th-century, cliff-top fortress where Henry planned his adventures. Back then, the fort was his training school for the sailing elite. Next you’ll head to the Cape of St Vincent where Lord Nelson and Sir Francis Drake both battled the Spanish during their naval careers. From here you can see miles of bright blue sea and the rugged cliffs of the coastline - it’s nothing short of spectacular. And the final photo-stop of the day comes in Lagos, which is regarded as one of the "must see" towns of the Algarve due to its rustic charm and nine beautiful beaches. Here you’ll visit the building where the first ever slave market was held.
The Algarve’s whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and boat-filled harbours feature on many a postcard. And on this tour you get to see them for yourself as you explore two of the fishing villages freckling the coast. First there’s Ferragudo. With its beautiful bay and waterfront cafés, this tiny town’s still holding tight to tradition. Next up is Alvor with its old quay where fishermen still bring in their catches. Finally, you'll head back via a stop in Praia da Rocha with its famous sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches. Here you’ll stop for a drink at the 16th Century cliff-top fortress.
Dirt tracks. Mountain roads. Dusty river beds. You’ll leave no path un-travelled on this off-road adventure. Your day begins when you climb into a sturdy 4x4 and set off through the Algarve’s countryside. Race through peaceful valleys. Trundle along narrow village streets. And meander up tiny twisting roads, admiring the scenery as you go. You’ll pass orchards of almond trees, lemon groves, fruit fields and farms, so there’s plenty to fill your camera. Afterwards you’ll stop in one of the towns to learn how the local honey and firewater – ‘medronho’ – are made.