Portimao, Portugal

Introduction to Portimao, Portugal

One of the major resorts on the craggy Atlantic shores of Portugal's sunny Algarve.

Portimao – the centre of the Algarve sardine fishing and canning industry – is a pretty, interesting town that’s famous for the grilled sardines and other locally sourced seafood that is served in its many restaurants. Despite there being no museums to visit or many noteworthy monuments, there is still plenty to see and do in Portimao.

The town’s pretty streets are perfect for a relaxing stroll and many feature traditional architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The town centre is packed full of shops selling both local produce and branded goods from around the world. There are many lively bars, restaurants and charming cafes to enjoy too, perfect if you want to relax, take the weight off of your feet and indulge in a little people-watching.

Praia da Rocha – the bustling waterfront area of Portimao – is a fantastic place to relax and soak up the sunshine. Here you will find a beautiful stretch of beach with golden sands, rocky cliffs and glorious waters. Running along the top of the beach is Tomas Cabreira Avenue, a lively pedestrianised stretch with pretty landscapes and a variety of bars, cafes and places to eat. Nearby is the marina with multi-coloured buildings and gorgeous scenery.

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Lagos, Portugal

LAGOS & CARVOEIRO - YOU CHOOSE YOUR CRUISE

  • Uncover the delightful hideaway of Carvoeiro
  • Enjoy this leisurely tour with a glimpse into historic Lagos
  • Discover the unusual formation of the Algar Seco caves & wells
Price£45.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

In this tour you will follow along the coastline to the exclusive area of charming Carvoeiro, where you can enjoy some free time to browse the shops or admire the stunning ocean view and cliffs, prior to visiting the beautiful town of Lagos.

Depart the quayside for an approximate 30-minute drive to Lagos, which played an important role in the story of discovery. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve from 1578 until 1756, and several ancient buildings remain that testify to its historic glory. Upon arrival, you will see the city’s central highlights, including the main square fronting the Town Hall, St Anthony Church and the new marina. Enjoy a guided walk through the town before having some free time to explore the quaint narrow streets.

Your tour continues back on your coach as you wind your way along the coastline to the exclusive area of charming Carvoeiro, perched dramatically on the cliff tops. At its most southern point is the lighthouse which was built on a square tower 58 metres high and covers a range of 20 miles. It is the second highest lighthouse in the Algarve after the lighthouse of St Vincent. Surrounded by small and beautiful beaches, such as Paraíso, Vale de Areia, Vale da Cova and Vale Centianes, Carvoeiro offers you some of the most beautiful scenery of the Algarve, a mixture of steep rocks, sea and sand.

Leaving Carvoeiro, and on your return to Portimao, you will visit Algar Seco, a group of wells and caves, which are reached by a flight of stone steps. Here you will find arches and labyrinths, which lead to open grottoes where it is possible to see birds nesting inside the cracks of these enormous rocks. You will see the boats that play hide and seek like children, slipping in and out of the shadows of the caverns and grottoes. A unique place which not to be missed!

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour includes a moderate amount of walking and steps to negotiate. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. It is considered suitable for wheelchair users, as long as guests can board the coach unaided.

SYMBOLS: Freetime, shopping, moderate walking, steps, toilets


Cape St Vincent, Portugal

LAGOS, CAPE ST VINCENT & SAGRES - YOU CHOOSE YOUR CRUISE

  • Discover some of Portimao’s memorable highlights
  • Explore the beautiful port town of Lagos, that was instrumental in many Portuguese discoveries
    • Visit Cape Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Portugal, to enjoy some fine views of the bay
    • Enjoy some time in Sagres, a small port which is steeped in history
    Price£45.00
    DurationApproximately 4 1/2 Hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Free time includedFree time included

    On this tour you can discover the extreme south of Portugal, where the Moorish presence is still seen in its unique terraces, chimneys and whitewashed houses.

    Departing Portimao, you will head to Cape St Vincent, which is where Nelson defeated the French in 1797. With its coastline of rugged cliffs constantly beaten by the relentless breakers of the Atlantic, this is a formidable area. There is a lighthouse situated on top of the cliffs, providing the guiding beam that safely directs the hundreds of ships that pass the Cape every year. You may be lucky enough to see local fishermen, wedged in dramatic perches on the cliffs with the thundering sea many feet below.

    Your tour then continues on to Sagres, a small port where Prince Henry (1394–1460) is thought to have had his headquarters – his so-called ‘school of navigation’ – although the exact location is not known. You will also see the old Hermitage, dating back to the 17th century, where the Royal Prince Dom Henrique occasionally prayed. There is also a giant compass, which has been laid out in stones – the Rosa dos Ventos.

    You then drive to Lagos, the departure port for the first Caravels. Here you will see the statue dedicated to Prince Henry the Navigator, and the arcades where slaves were first auctioned in Europe. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve until 1756, however, when an earthquake in 1755 destroyed a large part of its infrastructure and architectural legacy, the capital was transferred to Faro. Today, Lagos retains the atmosphere of its great cosmopolitan heritage, and there is a wealth of architecture and monuments to see here. A guided walk will be offered before you can enjoy some free time to further enjoy the beautiful town of Lagos, prior to returning to Portimao.  

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour includes a moderate amount of walking. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. It is considered suitable for wheelchair users, as long as guests can board the coach unaided.

     

     


    Shore Tours in Portimao

    LAGOS, CAPE ST VINCENT & SAGRES (TOUR A)

    • Discover some of Portimao’s memorable highlights
    • Explore the beautiful town of Lagos, which was instrumental in many Portuguese discoveries
    • Visit Cape Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Portugal, to enjoy some fine views of the bay
    • Enjoy some time in Sagres, a small port steeped in history 
    Activity Tour
    Price£40.00-£50.00
    DurationApproximately 4.5 Hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Free time includedFree time included

    Departing Portimao, you will head to Cape St Vincent, which is where Nelson defeated the French in 1797. With its coastline of rugged cliffs constantly beaten by the relentless breakers of the Atlantic, this is a formidable area. There is a lighthouse situated on top of the cliffs, providing the guiding beam that safely directs the hundreds of ships that pass the Cape every year. You may be lucky enough to see local fishermen, wedged in dramatic perches on the cliffs with the thundering sea many feet below.

    Your tour then continues on to Sagres, a small port where Prince Henry (1394–1460) is thought to have had his headquarters – his so-called School of Navigation – although the exact location is not known. You will also see the old Hermitage, dating back to the 17th century, where the Royal Prince Dom Henrique occasionally prayed. There is also a giant compass, which has been laid out in stones – the Rosa dos Ventos.

    From here you then drive to Lagos, the departure port for the first Caravels. Here you will see the statue dedicated to Prince Henry the Navigator, and the arcades where slaves were first auctioned in Europe. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve until 1756, however, when an earthquake in 1755 destroyed a large part of its infrastructure and architectural legacy, the capital was transferred to Faro. Today, Lagos retains the atmosphere of its great cosmopolitan heritage, and there is a wealth of architecture and monuments to see here. You can enjoy some time to enjoy the beautiful town of Lagos at leisure, before your return to Portimao. 

    DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 IBERIA, CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE HOLIDAYS.

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. This tour is considered suitable for wheelchair users, providing guests can board the coach unaided. 


    Shore Tours in Portimao

    PONTA DA PIEDADE COASTLINE & CARVOEIRO (TOUR B)

    • Discover the magnificent Ponta da Piedade coastline
    • Uncover the delightful hideaway of Carvoeiro
    • Enjoy this leisurely tour with a glimpse into historic Lagos
    Activity Tour
    Price£30.00-£50.00
    DurationApproximately 4 hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Free time includedFree time included
    Shopping time includedShopping time included

    Depart the quayside for an approximate 30 minute drive to Lagos, which played an important role in the story of discovery. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve from 1578 until 1756, and several ancient buildings remain that testify to its historic glory. Upon arrival, you will see the city’s central highlights, including the main square fronting the Town Hall and the new marina. Enjoy some time to explore the city at leisure.

    Your tour continues to the rocky coastline of Ponta da Piedade. The rugged cliffs overlooking the sea contain numerous grottoes and some of the most photogenic rock formations of the entire Algarve. From Ponta da Piedade, your coach will wind its way along the coastline to the exclusive area of charming Carvoeiro, perched dramatically on the cliff tops. Here you can enjoy some time to browse the shops or admire the stunning ocean view and cliffs, prior to returning to the quayside.

    DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 IBERIA, CANARIES & MED CRUISE HOLIDAYS.

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves some walking and a few steps, however it is considered to be suitable for guests with limited mobility, providing individuals can board the coach unaided. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual.


    Alvor Harbour, Portugal

    QUINTA DO MORGADO DA TORRE ESTATE & ALVOR (TOUR D)

    • Admire the favoured summer resort of the Portuguese
    • Explore the quaint town of Alvor
    • Sample some of Portugal’s award winning wines
    Price£60.00-£70.00
    DurationApproximately 3 1/2 hrs
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Refreshments includedRefreshments included
    Free time includedFree time included
    Shopping time includedShopping time included

    Your tour commences with a drive through Praia da Rocha, Portimão’s famous beach area which has been the favoured summer resort of families from, the rest of the Algarve and Andalusia since the end of the 19th century.

    After a short drive you reach the little fishing village of Alvor, situated on the estuary of the Rio Alvor. It is believed the Carthaginians founded the city, which dates back to the Classical era, and its importance is confirmed by the ruins of a wealthy Roman villa located slightly inland from the present village. In the time of the Moors, who first occupied the area in 716, the village was named “Albur” and it passed through Portuguese and Moorish hands several times until 1250 when the Christians conquered it for the final time. Today Alvor is a charming blend of a popular modern-day resort and quaint old-world village, with traces of its history in places such as the 16th century Igreja Matriz Church with its beautiful Manueline arches and pillars.

    Enjoy some time at leisure in Alvor, during which you can explore its narrow cobbled streets or stroll along the riverfront lined with palm trees and beach bars and watch the fishing boats come and go. Following your free time, you make your way to the Quinta do Morgado da Torre.

    Quinta do Morgado da Torre sits between the Ria de Alvor wetlands and the hills of Monchique and produces some of Portugal’s finest wines. Upon arrival here you will embark on a guided visit of the wine lodge followed by a tasting session of the produced wines, accompanied by a selection of Portuguese snacks in the garden of the manor house, facing the estate’s vineyards and the orange trees. The wines produced in this estate have received several accolades in international wine contests.

    Feeling refreshed, you re-board your coach for your return journey back to your awaiting ship in Portimão.

    DESCRIPTIONS CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES AND MED CRUISES

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves moderate walking and a few steps, however it is considered to be suitable for guests with limited mobility, providing individuals can board the coach unaided. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual.


    QUINTA DOS VALES ESTATE & ALVOR

    • Admire the favoured summer resort of the Portuguese
    • Explore the quaint town of Alvor
    • Sample some of Portugal’s award winning wines

     

    Price£60.00 - £65.00
    DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Refreshments includedRefreshments included
    Shopping time includedShopping time included

    Your tour commences with a drive through Praia da Rocha, Portimão’s famous beach area which has been the favoured summer resort of families from, the rest of the Algarve and Andalusia since the end of the 19th century.

    After a short drive you reach the little fishing village of Alvor, situated on the estuary of the Rio Alvor. It is believed the Carthaginians founded the city, which dates back to the Classical era, and its importance is confirmed by the ruins of a wealthy Roman villa located slightly inland from the present village. In the time of the Moors, who first occupied the area in 716, the village was named “Albur” and it passed through Portuguese and Moorish hands several times until 1250 when the Christians conquered it for the final time. Today Alvor is a charming blend of a popular modern-day resort and quaint old-world village, with traces of its history in places such as the 16th century Igreja Matriz Church with its beautiful Manueline arches and pillars.

    Enjoy some time at leisure in Alvor, during which you can explore its narrow cobbled streets or stroll along the riverfront lined with palm trees and beach bars and watch the fishing boats come and go. Following your free time, you make your way to the Quinta dos Vales Estate.

    Visit the Quinta dos Vales for a guided walking tour of the property, its sculpture garden and vineyards. From vine to bottle, the Quinta dos Vales wine philosophy is based on quality, as opposed to quantity. This may be the reason Quinta dos Vales have very quickly become one of the leading wine producers in the upcoming Algarvean wine market. Proof of their success is in the number of medals and awards, over 100 since 2008. Following your tour, proceed to the well-preserved Tasting Room of the Manor House for a tasting of the award-winning red, white and rose wines produced here, accompanied by a splendid selection of Portuguese specialities.

    Feeling refreshed, you re-board your coach for your return journey back to your awaiting ship in Portimão.

    THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES 

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves moderate walking and a few steps, however it is considered to be suitable for guests with limited mobility, providing individuals can board the coach unaided. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual.

     


    Silves Cathedral, Portimao, Portugal

    THE MOORISH CITY OF SILVES & MONCHIQUE - YOU CHOOSE YOUR CRUISE

    • Fall in love with the enchanting city of Silves
    • Admire the Moorish Castle and the Gothic Cathedral
    • Be enchanted by the “Garden of the Algarve”
    Price£45.00
    DurationApproximately 4 1/2 Hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Free time includedFree time included

    Silves is a tranquil place, once a city of glittering minarets and bustling bazaars and the Moorish capital of the Algarve, it is now littered with orange and lemon trees, sitting on the banks of the Arade River. There is history everywhere you look in Silves, a reminder of its affluent and bold past as a Moorish capital.

    Leave the quayside, for the drive to the old city of Silves. Upon arrival you will reach the impressive Moorish Castle, which withstood the earthquake of 1755, and is still intact today. Following your visit to the Castle, you will reach the centre of Silves, where the Gothic Cathedral is located. The Cathedral, which was originally built by King Alfonso X of Castile, is known for its Manueline style main entrance door.

    Leaving Silves, you are taken to Serra de Monchique, a volcanic block which rises more that 900 meters (2953 feet) above the surrounding ridges, forming a barrier against the sea mist which condenses upon it; the resulting water flows down, not being absorbed owing to the impermeable nature of rock. This humidity and the heat combine to produce lush and varied vegetation including orange trees and maize on the cultivated terraces and arbutus trees, carobs and rhododendrons in the wild. Here, in Monchique, you will be given some free time to explore the beautiful village and admire the gardens. You will also see amongst the houses on the hillside, the mother-church  Misericórdia Church and the Senhor do Pé da Cruz Hermitage built in the 17th century.

    Departing Monchique, and on your return drive to Portimao, you will make a brief stop in the village of Caladas De Monchqiue, located in a refreshing wooded zone that was developed in Roman times as a Spa and renowned for its treatment of rheumatism, dyspepsia and skin disease.

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and Silves is quite hilly, however it is considered suitable for wheelchair users, as long as guests can board the coach unaided.

     


    Shore Tours in Portimao

    THE MOORISH CITY OF SILVES (TOUR C)

    • Fall in love with the enchanting city of Silves
    • Walk through the picturesque streets of this lost city
    • Admire the Moorish Castle and the Gothic Cathedral
    • Enjoy some time to explore independently 
    Activity Tour
    Price£40.00-£50.00
    DurationApprox. 3.5 hours
    Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
    Free time includedFree time included
    Shopping time includedShopping time included

    Once a city of glittering minarets and bustling bazaars and the Moorish capital of the Algarve, Silves is today a tranquil town and is littered with orange and lemon trees, sitting on the banks of the Arade River. There is history everywhere you look in Silves, a reminder of its affluent and bold past as a Moorish capital.

    Leaving the quayside, enjoy the drive to the old city of Silves. Upon arrival you will walk through the picturesque streets to reach the impressive Moorish Castle, which withstood the earthquake of 1755, and is still intact today. Following your visit to the Castle, you will reach the centre of Silves, where the Gothic Cathedral is located. The Cathedral, which was originally built by King Alfonso X of Castile, is famous for its Manueline-style main entrance door. Here you can enjoy some time at leisure to explore independently, or browse the local souvenir shops, prior to the walk back to your coach.

    Leaving Silves, and on your return to Portimao, you will be able to see the 16th century Cross of Portugal - an impressive sculpture engraved on both sides. 

    DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MED CRUISES

    Is this tour right for you?

    IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a considerable amount of walking, with several steps to negotiate throughout the tour. Unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. A stop will not be made at the Cross of Portugal – instead this can be photographed from the coach. 


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