This stage is, first, about Portugal, with its two major cities and magnificent places along the way. And, second, about stunning Spanish Galicia
Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, Portuguese fishing towns and the island national park Berlengas, Porto, beaches, islands and waterfalls of Galicia, and famous Cape Finisterre.
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Lisbon → Cascais, 15nm
Our main direction is north, but first we need to go a little west. The first warm up crossing is to Cascais.
Historically, Cascais is the main port of Sintra Castles. Right by the harbor docks are museums and a citadel from the Age of Discovery, once defending the capital. And now it is Lisbon's main resort with nightclubs, bars and the most expensive real estate in Portugal.
Cascais → Cabo da Roca → Peniche, 50nm
This crossing involves circling Cape Cabo da Roca, or simply Cape Rock. This is the most western point of continental Europe. Until the late 14th century this place most often was referred to as 'the edge of the world'.
Here there is only a windswept lighthouse on a 140 m rock above sea level, and a run-down souvenir shop. So we won't make a stop here, but we'll take a look at it from the sea and head further north to Peniche.
In 1557 King João III built the Peniche Fortress to protect the city from pirate attacks from Africa. The thickness of the walls of the fortress is about 4 meters.
Peniche is located on a peninsula - the ocean on three sides, impregnable cliffs and sandy beaches, surfing and fishing are quite popular here. And it is also the westernmost settlement in Europe.
Peniche → Berlengas → Nazaré, 40nm
From Peniche we go to a small archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, the Berlengas National Park.
There are three groups of rocky islands: Berlenga Grande, Estelas and Farilhões.
Boats from Peniche go to the largest island, Berlenga Grande. It has a lighthouse and an old fortress. And we can approach the island by our own route and when we want. And then we'll go further north, to Nazare, the city that many call the soul of Portugal.
Nazare is the Mecca of surfing: this is where Praia do Norte, the beach with the biggest waves in the world, is located. Because of the location of the underwater ridge, which reaches all the way to the cape, they can reach up to 30 meters. Not getting close to it on the boat, but we can walk to the lighthouse, the observation deck there offers a great view of these waves. Inside the lighthouse itself is a surf museum.
Nazare → Aveiro, 80nm
The city of Aveiro is regarded as the Portuguese Venice. It is crossed by the Vouga River, which forms a lagoon and delta with many channels before the ocean.
The city is crossed by canals, and instead of gondolas, Moliceiros, local peculiar-shaped boats, cruise on them. They used to carry salt and seaweed, but now they are used for trips.
Aveiro has a beautiful old town part and a Jesuit monastery built in the 15th century.
Aveiro → Porto, 40nm
Porto is an important milestone on our way. This city has incredible color and energy, and the views from the rocky banks of the Douro River are simply postcard-perfect.
We'll taste tripe soup and the world's best port, stop by the river and maybe even parade our boat through the city.
Porto → Viana do Castelo, 40nm
We leave Porto and head to the port city of Viana do Castelo. This is one of the most picturesque areas on the banks of the Lima River and our last stop in Portugal at this stage.
King Alfonso III of Portugal founded the city in 1253 and the most notable buildings in the city date back to this era. And the local folklore is also among the richest in the country.
Viana do Castelo → Vigo, 45nm
The next stop is port Vigo on the coast of a fascinating bay, the largest city of Galicia, and the sunniest part of it.
The Cíes Islands are at the entrance to the bay - opposite to the coast of Pontevedra and the mouth of the Vigo River. It is not only a fantastic place to rest, but also a nature conservation area where cormorants, gulls and gray herons nest.
Vigo → Combarro, 25nm
The next bay on our way is the Bay of Pontevedra, with many picturesque towns scattered along its shores.
One of them is Combarro, it has a well-equipped marina. Traditional architecture of fishermen's houses is stunning and one of a kind "orreos" - special coastal food storages. The food is delicious here as well!
Combarro → Pobra do Caramiñal, 30nm
Aruza is another bay in Galicia. After passing numerous coves and islands, we can stop by in the town of Ribeira, or in Pobra do Caramiñal.
There are waterfalls and natural pools worth seeing, just three kilometers from the shore. These are the most wonderful places of 'Green Spain’. At this point the relaxed part of the route is over and we make a mighty dash to La Coruña.
Pobra do Caramiñal → Cape Finisterre → A Coruña, 100nm
Our next task is to circle Cape Finisterre, in Spanish it literally means: ‘The End of the Earth’. Due to its legendary reputation of harsh weather conditions, it’s very appealing area for sailors around the world. But there are many bays along the way where we can wait in case of bad weather.
Then we head to the east, enter the Bay of Biscay and approach the final point of the stage, La Coruña.
La Coruña, or A Coruña, is one of Spain's most important port rich in Galician history and resort on the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The city center is on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.
And this is the final point of this stage. Those who are ready for a serious challenge are invited to the next one.
🛬 Lisbon [LIS]
🛫 A Coruña [LCG]