​Crew Explore the Sights and Tastes of the Beautiful Algarve

12 September 2019

The Marina de Portimão continues to outdo itself, with the Host Port dedicating itself to showcasing the very best that this stunning region has to offer.

On top of the agenda was a rib ride down the coast for crew and First Mates from Qingdao, Zhuhai, Seattle, Visit Sanya, China, WTC Logistics, and Punta del Este. The crew and Mates, who hail from Finland, USA, United Kingdom, France, and China, were thrilled to have an on-the-water experience of a different kind and explore the sea caves that dot the Algarve coastline.

Kati Kaskeala, a 44 year old Communications Director on Punta del Este, said: "The caves were amazing; crystal clear water, impressive stone formations, sunlight filtering through the holes at the top of the caves... what a great day off to enjoy the best of the Algarve!"

The most popular was the Benagil sea cave, which is one of the most iconic images of Portimão. 21 year old Brit Dan Jones, the First Mate on WTC Logistics said: “This is really a beautiful part of the world. It was great getting out with David Rochate from the Marina de Portimão as he knows the coastline so well. He could show us the best spots and get us into places that boats don’t normally go. It was just a great day out.”

Special guided tours of the riverfront Portimão Museum have also proved to be a huge hit with the teams. The converted 19th century São Francisco sardine and mackerel canning factory has a wide variety of archaeological and historical exhibits on display, including items from prehistoric times, through the Visigothic, Roman and Moorish periods. There is a particular focus on the 15th-18th centuries when wooden shipbuilding was a major industry in the Algarve.

As the Marina de Portimão basked in yet another glorious golden sunset, the crew from all eleven teams gathered for a feast of the senses; firstly with a drinks reception in the VIP area and to sample the local oysters and wine at the Wine Fair.

57 year old Property Manager Michele Vignaud-Coutts, a crew member on Visit Sanya, China, said: "Portimão is a great place to visit with its huge - and very clean - sandy beaches, all kinds of nautical activities, crystal clear water, numerous bars and restaurants that cater for all budgets, from snack bars to the Michelin Star Chef, João Oliveira, at the Bella Vista five start hotel. A boat excursion to the magical caves is a must do to discover the sandstone cliffs from the sea. It's just the perfect holiday destination."

Seattle Mate Lyndsay Barnes, who is 29 from Essex, UK, agreed, adding: “The first few days here in Portimão has been amazing. The Marina de Portimão has really been looking after us and it’s been incredible so far.

“The local produce and wine are delicious and it was also really nice to get out and explore a bit more. It was really, really beautiful, beautiful coastline with lovely beaches and amazing caves. Absolutely stunning and if anyone has a chance, they should get out there and explore.”

Just as the crew are learning more about the region, the people of Portimão will also have a chance to get to know more about the Clipper Race. The 70-foot ocean racing yachts will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday at the Marina de Portimão, with crew on hand to talk about what life is really like while sailing around the world.

To find out more information about the Open Boat Tours and the other events planned at the Marina de Portimão, see the Host Port Page on the Clipper Race website.

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