This stage is, first, about Portugal, with its two major cities and magnificent places along the way. And, second, about going against one of the 5 greatest ocean gyres in the world.
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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This could look as a short and simple journey along the coast, and it might be so. But also might be not the case. The reason is the North Atlantic Gyre: the combination of winds and currents, that at this place generally go South, against us. We may need some mother wit to understand how to come with less efforts.
That means we are still not sure which exact places we’ll manage to visit. It would be an interesting game with the weather: when it allows you to go easily, you go.
Let us, anyway, describe some places that we may visit.
Our main direction is north, but first we need to go a little west. The first warm up crossing is to Cascais, 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.
The way to Peniche
This crossing involves circling Cape Cabo da Roca, or simply Cape Rock. This is the most western point of continental Europe. This should bring to ecstasy any lover of ticking the boxes (we hope you’re not out of these type of persons, anyway).
Let us tell a couple of words about Peniche, then. One can see a 500-years-old fortress with very thick walls, the ocean on three sides of the peninsula, impregnable cliffs and sandy beaches. Our team definitely wants to spend some time here.
Berlengas and Nazaré, 40nm
We’ll also try not to miss a small archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, the Berlengas National Park.
There are three groups of rocky islands, and touristic boats from Peniche go to the largest one, with a lighthouse and an old fortress. But we can approach the island by our own route and when we want.
Google it. We’ll talk about big waves and underwater ridge later on. But, no worries, wouldn’t go directly into them.
The old town of Aveiro is crossed by the Vouga River, which forms a lagoon and delta with many channels before the ocean. They are famous Moliceiros, local peculiar-shaped boats, so if we’re lucky to visit the town, one can load some salt and seaweed on them, as in good old times (no).
Have you even been there? Most of us did, but never entered the city by boat. Let us parade on a red yacht and see if it’s the same postcard-perfect as from the cliffs of both banks of Douro river.
- Lisbon → Cascais, 15nm
- Cascais → Peniche, 45nm
- Peniche → Berlengas → Nazare, 40nm
- Nazare → Figueira da Foz, 40nm
- Figueira da Foz → Aveiro, 40nm
- Aveiro → Porto, 40nm
🛬 Lisbon [LIS]
🛫 Porto [OPO]