It’s National Cruise Month, so we’re taking you on a 14-day virtual cruise to our top destinations, giving you the lowdown on everything you can do. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a history buff or a cocktail-enthusiast, we’ve got it covered. Today’s port of call is Portugal…
When the Thomson Cruises dock in the port of Portimao, dive into the top five experiences that make a brilliant day in the golden Algarve a #ShoreThing. Boa viagem!
In the 15th century, people traversing the wind-buffeted cliffs of the Sagres Peninsula believed they were standing on the edge of the earth as they gazed across the Atlantic stretching everywhere into the distance. At the Cape of St Vincent, you might feel the same as you take in the endless camel-coloured bluffs jutting into the deep blue waters along the stunning coastline. The towering cliffs host a variety of nesting birds, which will mesmerise you as they swoop and glide into their rocky homes. Presiding over one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent is a powerful beacon familiar to ships heading to and from the mouth of the Mediterranean.
Of all the iconic images of the Algarve, perhaps the most enchanting are the charming shots of pretty whitewashed villages perched on tiny harbours dotted with colourful skiffs. Experience these photogenic spots first-hand with a jaunt to the traditional fishing villages of Ferragudo and Alvor. Traipsing through steep cobbled alleys in Ferragudo will work up an appetite worthy of the freshest seafood, grilled to succulent smokiness on the grelha.
Jump into a tough 4×4 and ditch the roads to forge your own way inland. Challenging tracks will take you along dried riverbeds and through fragrant orchards of lemons and almonds, alongside a rich variety of fruit fields and rustic farms. Once you’ve left the beaten path far behind, stop in a small town for a truly unique local experience – an invigorating splash of firewater. Take a peek into the production of this traditional speciality, which is a fruit brandy called Aguardente de Medronhos.
Get your fill of bracing natural scenery with a side of intriguing history by venturing up to the Serra de Monchique mountains. In the tranquil town of Silves, admire the red sandstone castle that attests to the Moorish heritage of the former capital of the Algarve. Delve deeper into the rolling mountains to discover other captivating cultural gems hidden in the pines.
Of course, no trip to the Algarve would be complete without thoroughly revelling in the sandy charms of its sun-drenched coastline. Hop on a bike and breeze along Portimao’s picturesque promenade before setting off along the seaside track to Alvor. Wind along the curving coves carved into the Algarve’s famed sandstone cliffs and stop for breather on the golden sand of Praia da Rocha beach – and recharge with a dip in the aquamarine waters.
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Author: Thomson Holidays
Published: September 26, 2015
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