Portugal is a country of vivid contrasts that are evident in everything. Architectural styles of historical buildings compete with each other, quiet resorts smoothly flow into noisy, monumental historical buildings are replaced by no less majestic nature, and even the two main cities – Lisbon and Porto – are in many ways opposite to each other. But only by mixing all this, you can get a unique symbiosis – Portugal. You can truly understand Portuguese culture on a boat trip. It remains only to choose a suitable Portugal route for traveling.
Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, sharing more than 90% of the entire Iberian Peninsula with Spain. Spain is the only country with which Portugal borders, and the rest of its border is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Cape ROCA, located in Portugal, is the westernmost geographical point in Europe. The largest cities in Portugal are city of Porto resort and Lisbon (the capital). To visit these and other cities in the country, you will need to get a local currency (Euro) and a dictionary of the Portuguese language.
The season when you need to visit Portugal starts in May and lasts until September inclusive. During this period, the air temperature rises to +20-28°C. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of +27°C. This is the best time to organize a yacht vacation, as this period is marked by the largest number of Sunny days, and the water is the warmest – more than +20°C degrees. In Porto Portugal weather and other resorts is observed all summer. You can visit Portugal for shopping or exploring the historical and cultural heritage all year round, it is not uncomfortable because of the subtropical climate.
Building a route
Since a large part of Portugal is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and most of the interesting cities are located on the coast, there are many places to rent yachts here. All yacht marinas have a wide variety of vessels. The most suitable form of transport for a long trip in Portugal is a sailing yacht. Sailboats are offered most often, this is confirmed by the Porto reviews of rest.
The route will depend on which point in the country is selected as the starting point. If you want to take a short trip, it is best to book a yacht in Lisbon. Then you can go north to the beaches in Porto, or South to Lagos. The trip along the entire coast of Portugal will be very long. To capture all the interesting places, you should start with the small town of Albufeira or Faro in the South or Viana do Castelo in the North.
Required route points
There will only be two major cities on the way – Lisbon and Porto. But making just two stops will not be very interesting, so when building a route, you should take into account such resort cities as:
- Faro-paved streets and medieval cathedrals
- Albufeira – one of the best resort infrastructure
- Lagos is a city full of natural and historical attractions
- Sines-Vasco da Gama's hometown
- Sintra is a fabulous city with villas and palaces, the main one being Pena
- Cape Rock-the edge of the Old World
- Cascais-the best beaches in the country
- Peniche is the perfect place to surf
- Nazare – only surf professionals will conquer waves of 25-30 meters
- Figueira da Foz is a quiet and secluded resort
- Viana do Castelo-it is worth coming here for the sake of the Sanctuary of Saint Lucia
Lisbon is the capital of the country, its heart, face and great pride of every Portuguese. In terms of friendliness to tourists and comfort of rest, this city has no equal. The rich history has given Lisbon a large historical center with Gothic monasteries, castles and Torri di Belen. Modernity has provided the city with a magnificent resort infrastructure, making Lisbon one of the best cities in Europe. Between Lisbon and Porto is Portugal Coimbra, the former capital of the country. It is not located on the ocean coast, but it is worth visiting for sightseeing.
Porto is one of the main cities of Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. The rich historical heritage has left its mark on the appearance of the city and its inhabitants – they are the most temperamental. Porto travel has many Gothic cathedrals and churches, the oldest Botanical garden, the Clerigos tower, and several UNESCO-protected historical centers.
For tourists, there are many restaurants, beaches with fine sand and great opportunities for active recreation. Reviews of Portugal say that is the best places in Porto for lovers of hiking, as the stairs on the streets are not counted.
Between Porto and the final destination, you can stop at povua di varzin, a resort and Porto tourist attraction related to the city.
Beaches in Portugal
There will always be beaches between stops along the way, and you can go ashore at each of them, as private beaches are not allowed in Portugal. The peculiarity of the beaches of Portugal is that there are a lot of them, but most of them are accessible exclusively from the sea. Therefore, only those who have water transport can visit and appreciate their beauty.
The secret island
Only during a yacht trip along the coast of Portugal can you reach the small Berlengas archipelago. The only inhabited island here is Berlengas Grande, which is worth visiting during a short historical tour. To get to the island of Berlengas Grande, you need to swim 10 kilometers West of Peniche. In addition to Berlengas Grande, the archipelago includes two groups of small uninhabited Islands. Next to the main island Estelas, further Farilhoes-Forcados.
Historical significance of Berlengas Grande
Fort San Juan Batista is what everyone goes to Berlengas Grande for. This is a large octagonal defensive fortress of the XVII century, which stands not on the Berlengas Grande itself, but on an island near it, with which they are connected by a bridge. Previously, there was a monastery on the site of the Fort, which was created to help victims of shipwrecks near Farilhoes Forcados or Estelas. They decided to build a military structure here after the monastery was almost completely destroyed by pirates. In the XIX century, it was a prison for political prisoners.
The best landscapes for beautiful photos can be found on the viewing platforms Melreu and Buzinas. And you can arrange a quest, and find a rock in the form of an elephant in the South of the island — Pedra do elefante. The only beach on the island is Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro. To get to Berlengas Grande only in the summer, during the tourist season. The rest of the time the island is open only to scientists, all the land here is a large reserve, primarily ornithological. Fishing and scuba diving are prohibited here. Berlengas Grande with all the Islands was the first in the world to receive the status of a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
It is very difficult to talk about Portugal, it needs to be considered, tried, touched and studied. But a few details that reveal the secret of the Portuguese soul can be noted. Because of the similarity of languages, Portuguese and Spanish are often compared to each other. But in both countries, these comparisons are resented. Speaking Spanish in Portugal, as well as Portuguese in Spain, is considered indecent.
The Portuguese are very friendly and hospitable people, a little more calm and unhurried than the Spaniards. When you move from Spain to Portugal, you can easily see how the atmosphere and attitude to time changes – it slows down here. But this is only one common feature, otherwise the Portuguese often differ from region to region, which is very rare in other European countries.
Traditions and cuisine
Cooking and eating is a special ritual. You can't just sit down and eat, while eating, issues of various scales are discussed, rumors and opinions are exchanged, so all Lunches and dinners here can last for hours. The kitchen is full of seafood, which they like to experiment with even more than with meat, which makes them rich and delicious dishes. The main drink is port. For non – drinkers-coffee.
Striving for the beautiful
The Portuguese have successfully tried themselves in all kinds of art, which is easy to understand in modern Portugal: in small restaurants they perform Fado, on the coasts they organize music festivals, libraries are full of works of Portuguese prose writers and poets, galleries-paintings, museums-sculptures. Art is manifested in everything – in language, national dress, music, and lifestyle. Portugal itself, as a work of art.
Unity with nature
Contrasts are also visible here. Despite the fact that Portugal is a seismically active zone, the landscapes here are very rich and diverse. There are many protected areas in the country that anyone can enjoy. In Portugal, there is a place of "Cultural landscape" — the city of Sintra, whose palaces are so subtly intertwined with the natural environment that they create a unique landscape. This shows all the attitude of the Portuguese to their native places.
Final tips before departure
When going on a yacht trip, it is important to take summer clothes and a swimsuit, a warm jacket and a sports waterproof jacket. It will be cool on the water, even if the air temperature is high. It is important to take care of sunglasses, hats and comfortable shoes-you must take sneakers, preferably 2 pairs (one for walking around the city, the second-for a boat). Do not forget about sun protection, as it is very easy to get burned at sea.
The yacht is best selected and booked in advance, so you can weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of the model, as well as consult with specialists. If you have doubts about the route, you should rent a yacht with the captain – he can give valuable advice and tell you a lot about Portugal. Moreover, the view of a local is always more interesting than that of a guide.
Do not forget to buy something delicious or beautiful to remember, for example, a product made of copper, ceramics, embroidery, sweets or port. You can learn a few simple phrases and polite words in Portuguese.
A yacht trip to Portugal will always be imbued with a special spirit of adventure, because this country is the birthplace of great navigators. You can experience the true Portugal only during a long yacht cruise through the most interesting parts of the country.