Lisbon has a special radiance that comes from the Tagus River and the proximity of the sea. It’s seven cinematic hillsides overlooking the Tagus River cradle Lisbon’s postcard-perfect panorama of cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals – a captivating scene crafted over centuries. There are endless things to see in Lisbon, so be prepared to get lost while exploring the old neighbourhoods of Lisbon like Alfama, Graça, and Chiado, discover the many viewpoints offering a magnificent view of Lisbon or see the sun going down behind the Belém Tower. Baixa, or Lisbon’s downtown, is the heart of the city and the main shopping and banking district that stretches from the riverfront to the main avenue (Avenida da Liberdade).
Everything about Lisbon has the charm of a quaint coastal town, but with the sights and sounds of a big capital city, a city full of authenticity where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation. Lisbon was chosen as the World’s Leading City Destination and the World’s Leading City Break Destination for the World Travel Awards 2018.
Oporto is considered the capital of the north and as the second largest city in Portugal, an ancient city and point of arrival of the River Douro, on whose valley slopes the famous Port Wine is cultivated. The city itself radiates out to the Atlantic to the west and the ports of Matosinhos and Leça in the north.
Don’t miss a fairly small area between the riverside Ribeira district and the central Avenida dos Aliados, generally regarded as the city centre. It is within this area that you will find the maze of medieval alleys, old world shops, cobbled streets and baroque monuments that define this city. If you’re in a shopping mood, don’t miss Rua Santa Catarina, a shop lined, pedestrian street stretching from Praça da Batalha to Marques de Pombal.
Cruise through Oporto to see some of the best places to visit in Portugal.
The Algarve coast in the south, offers a unique all-year sailing spot! It is simply fantastic to hop along its coastline taking advantage of the mild climate during the winter months. Some of the best places to visit in the Algarve include soaring cliffs, sea caves, golden beaches, scalloped bays and sandy, the Algarve is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic. Temperatures rarely drop below +12°C and the high-pressure weather patterns between November and March bring clear blue skies, very comfortable 20°C and a light breeze during the day – just perfect to set sails and capture the essence of this region’s main cities – Faro, Portimão, Albufeira, Lagos and Tavira, all displaying memories of a distant Arab presence, the picturesque and white-washed Algarve architecture.
Berthing facilities for superyachts along the Portuguese coast are located in the commercial ports – cruise terminals (Portimão, Lisbon and Porto). Additionally, and depending on superyacht dimensions there are some berthing options in the Algarve Marinas as well as Cascais and Douro. Both options to be considered in a pre-reservation to secure a berth.
The Azores’ islands, in Portugal, are divided in three geographical groups – the Eastern Group, the Central Group and the Western Group – and along with the archipelagos of Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde, constitute the biogeographic region of Macaronesia, a name which means “fortunate islands” for those who live there and visit them.
The Lonely Planet Guide has the perfect description for this magical group of islands: “Whether you’re watching the sunrise creep up Pico’s perfect cone, tearing around a crater lake on a mountain bike or holding your breath as a whale surfaces from the deep blue, the Azores, with their rumbling mass of beauty, are surely one of Europe’s last great island adventures.”
Flores has a superb fauna and flora ready to be explored. The landscape is filled with waterfalls that drop down from green cliffs and small villages that are settled on the coastal plains.
Corvo is the Azores’s smallest island. To have an overall view, just reach the highest point of the island in Monte Grosso and enjoy the peaceful landscape.
Flores and Corvo have been protected as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2007.
Both islands offer berthing facilities at their respective small commercial ports. Anchorage is also an option, but only recommended in the summer season.
Faial is the capital of yachting in the Azores, where you’ll find yachtsmen and whale watchers from every part of the world reunite.
During the 18th century, the harbour of Horta enjoyed a golden era, supplying the steamboats crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the North American whaling fleets. Hundreds of yachts of all kinds of different nationalities stop in Horta each year on their voyages across the North Atlantic Ocean, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.
Faial is traditionally the hub for superyachts in the Azores. All islands offer berthing facilities in the port terminal or marinas (depending on the size of the superyacht). Anchorage, in officially designated areas, is also a good option if looking for privacy and a closer connection to nature.
Whale-watching in Pico – the second largest island in Azores – is a must, mainly due to the fact that it is closer to the migration routes of these ocean giants increasing the chances of sights, especially if you go between April and October. This is the most volcanic island of the archipelago with its big sharp mountain that surpasses the clouds – Pico mountain This is an amazing climbing experience and If you make it to the top, a spectacular view of the central islands of the Azores awaits you, as well as this island’s variety of landscapes, including their unique vineyards – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In São Jorge you can enjoy its spectacular cliffs and take a stroll in the main city Velas, a traditional harbour town. For sportier types, the hidden spots for surf only known by locals are a hidden gem, but there is also diving, fishing, sailing and kayaking to choose from. The waves of Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo are considered a European Mecca for surf and body board and in the northern shore, there are also other spots for the practice of these sports and there are natural swimming pools in Velas, Fajã do Ouvidor, Fajã Grande and Topo (Fajãs are created from collapsing cliffs or lava flows and are identifiable along the coast as “flat” surfaces).
Terceira means the “third island” since it is the third biggest island and the third to be discovered, it boasts the largest flat surface in the Azores’ archipelago – the plateau covers most of the interior and can be seen from the Serra do Cume viewpoint. St. Here you can find small and picturesque fishing villages, impressive cave systems and natural hot pools. Also, the city Angra do Heroísmo is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO due to its historic architecture and 20% of the island is a protected Natural Park due to its stunning Laurel and Juniper forests.
Graciosa – protected as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2007 – is the second-smallest island in the Azores, but on a clear day, its closest neighbours are visible to the naked eye: Pico, Faial, São Jorge and Terceira. You just need to go up to Caldeirinha, close to Serra Branca.Carapacho’s natural swimming pools are some of the most picturesque bathing spots in the archipelago: imagine the entire ocean lying before your eyes, and you, nestled in a water-filled basalt frame. Alongside the swimming holes are thermal baths. The best part? The water temperature is over 35ºC.
Santa Maria, the brightest Azores’ island, is known for its vineyards in inclined terraces as well as for the beautiful beaches. Being the oldest island of the archipelago makes it geographically different from the newest and more volcanic islands. It is the southernmost and smallest of the Azores islands, with some of the most beautiful beaches of Azores, crystal clear waters and beautiful bays and natural pools. Recently Santa Maria has become the most popular destination for divers who come to the Azores archipelago because of two pelagic creatures that arrive during the summer: the whale shark, which is usually accompanied by shoals of tuna and carangidae, and shoals of mobulas.
The Azores’ main island is São Miguel, where you can appreciate breath-taking landscapes such as Lagoa das Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo. In Poça da Dona Beija you can enjoy a hot natural jacuzzi of volcanic water and eat a traditional dish cooked with the earth’s heat. Sao Miguel is the largest island in the Azores, and for most visitors, their first introduction to this archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a nature-lovers paradise, full of great trails, pounding waves, and exceptional views, and its volcanic past is clearly visible in the numerous hot springs.
Ponta Delgada, the capital city of São Miguel offers excellent berthing facilities at the Port Cruise terminal, as well as good anchorage spots around the island.
The main island, Madeira, known as the “Pearl of Atlantic”, is a mix of vivid colours and natural beauty with its green mountains and exotic flowers, no wonder it was chosen for the 4th consecutive year in 2018 as the “World Best Destination” by the World Travel Awards. Blessed with an all-year round spring climate, Madeira is the perfect place for outdoor activities such as canyoning, diving in unique bays, practice big game fishing or simply whale watching! You can also explore the 1.3 miles of irrigation trails with hiking trails “Levadas”, where the largest Laurel Forest in the world is located.
Funchal, in the Madeira island’s main city, is strategically located to welcome Superyachts to Madeira on repositioning voyages bound to Europe and vice-versa. Here, one can admire the wide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables at Mercado dos Lavradores, taste the famous Madeira Wine, have dinner at Michelin Star restaurants, and appreciate the fine art of the world known hand-made embroidery called “Bordado da Madeira”.
Porto Santo, the smallest inhabited island of Madeira Archipelago, lies 24nm NE of Madeira Island. Its name literally means “blessed port”, and indeed it is for all ships looking for shelter in a storm. If you are in a “Madeira’s beach holidays mood”, you can enjoy Porto Santo’s six miles of therapeutic yellow sand or relax even further with a thalassotherapy programme.
For golf lovers the ocean-side Golf course, designed by Seve Ballesteros, is considered one of the best ocean side golf courses in Europe. With the backdrop of the golden sand beach and two extinct volcanos the fairways of the opening nine holes sweep past lakes and bunkers.
Porto Santo’s crystal-clear waters with excellent visibility up to 40 meters, list the island as one of the best places in the world to dive. Two ships are sunk at 30 meters of depth with the purpose of creating two artificial reefs and currently displays a rich marine fauna with dusky groupers (Epinephelus Marginatus), salemas (Sarpa Salpa), kingfishes (Pseudocaranx Dentex) and amberjacks (Seriola Dumerili).
The commercial port offers berthing facilities for superyachts. Anchoring in the south (along the sand beach) or in the north coast, are also great options for guests onboard to enjoy the clear turquoise water and fantastic scenery.
Besides Madeira and Porto Santo islands, this archipelago comprises two groups of uninhabited islands, Desertas and Selvagens (Wild Islands), both Natural Reserves and part of the Europe Network of protected areas and therefore with limited access. These Islands are still a secret well-kept and a great expedition on any explorer superyacht dream itinerary.
Desertas islands (deserted islands) are a thin chain of uninhabited islands (Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande e Bugio) that are located at 22 nautical miles from Funchal, the Madeira’s main city, offering exceptional biodiversity.
In Fact, Desertas islands are a natural reserve, having been classified as Biogenetic Reserve by the European Council in 1995. One of the many reasons is their unique native colony of monk seals (Monachus- monachus), the rarest seal in the world.
On these Islands, subject to a special permit to visit, untouched nature is there to be discovered on the numerous paths when trekking around. Charles Darwin was inspired to start writing the “Theory of the Species” after visiting Desertas Islands for the first time.
Selvagens islands have been a natural reserve since 1971, a “sanctuary” for migratory birds and a unique birdwatching spot, especially for catching a glimpse of Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris Borealis), where the world’s largest colony is located.
Situated between Madeira Island and the Canary Islands, Selvagem Grande and Selvagem Pequena are known as the cleanest waters in the world, statement said by Jacques-Yves Cousteau when visiting this sub-archipelago with “Calypso” – highly recommended for bird watching expeditions.
Approximately 500km west of Senegal in the Atlantic, the stunning Cape Verde’s islands have a captivating blend of mountains, beaches and peaceful seaside villages. Be amazed by views of peaks hiding green valleys, windswept dunes, blue seas, unspoilt beaches of white sand, surreal volcanic landscapes, the rhythmic music that Cape Verde is famed for and the renowned morabeza (Creole for hospitality) of its people.
Besides being a great destination for leisure, Cape Verde offers a base list of supporting services for Superyachts, which makes it an excellent technical stop halfway between Europe to Caribe, South & North America and heading to South Africa. Both groups of Islands offer good & safe berthing facilities inside the commercial ports – cruise terminals. Anchorage is also a good option to explore the smaller islands, but we highly recommend having a local guide onboard while navigating.
As Cape Verde is not part of the EU it is important to bear in mind all clearance procedures to be performed on each superyacht marinas and ports.
In Santo Antão island, with its zigzagging streets, small restaurants and guesthouses, Ribeira Grande is a warm and beautiful city. Besides exploring food and clothes market, you can try the relaxing hot springs in this city.
Mindelo, in the Island of São Vicent, is an amazing place with its vibrant and unique music scene, colourful buildings from colonial heritage and its cheerful people.
The therapeutic black sands of Tarrafal are supposed to relieve pain. This city is the largest harbour in São Nicolau island and has many quality restaurants and shops as well as beautiful beaches.
With its hot and dry climate and countless miles of golden sand, Sal is the ideal place to “recharge batteries”. At the same time, Palmeira, Sal’s main city, is an active harbour town, full of restaurants, animated bars and with a beautiful architecture to admire. This town is also famous for its underwater caves, attracting divers from all parts of the world.
Sal Rei, in BoaVista island, boasts a baroque style church which is one of the main tourist attractions along with its colonial buildings. In the main plaza of this city, you can find and amuse yourself with the colours of a typical African market.
If you are a fan of bird watching, Maio island is the right choice for you. This island is also the main beach spot of the Cape Verde’s islands because of its calm sea and golden sand beaches, especially in Morro, where the sea turtles lay their eggs in summer.
Located in Santiago island, Praia is the capital city of Cape Verde, the political and economic home of the archipelago. Here, the presidential palace, the parliament building and the old colonial buildings are worth seeing.
Fogo is the most impactuous island with an altitude of 2 900 metres above sea level. Beside the beaches, its main attraction is the volcano Pico de Fogo and it can be climbed within 6 hours starting from Cha de Caldeiras.
In Brava island you can find Nova Sintra, the most stunning town of Cape Verde due to its village and its unexpected location. Also, do not miss the stone replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship in the town entrance.