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Things to do in the Algarve, Portugal

take a coastal trip on the Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship


The Santa Bernarda is a two masted sailing vessel which sails out of Portimão along the beautiful coastline west to Lagos and east to Armação de Pêra.  The boat leaves Portimão from the pier "Cais Vasco da Gama" close to the Clube Naval de Portimão.

Santa Bernarda pirate Ship, portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats LtdThe morning and afternoon trips explore the best caves on the beautiful Algarvian coast.  On the full day trip, in addition to visiting the caves around Benagil, you will enjoy a 3 course BBQ served at a beach which is accessible only by sea.  there will be plenty of time for swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing  - it will be an unforgettable day.

Boarding is 30 minutes before departure.  The Santa Bernarda complies with the latest EU safety and rescue equipment regulations and at the beginning of every cruise the crew explain the use of life jackets and life rafts.  There are several programmes to chose from.

Programme 1: Caves Expedition: Mon, Tues*, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 09.45 - 13.00 hours: Portimão - Carvoeiro - Armação de Pêra - Portimão

Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship cruise, Portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats LtdThe trip starts in Portimão and the ship motors towards the mouth of the Rio Arade, passing the village of Ferragudo and two medieval forts.  On reaching the Atlantic Ocean, the ship turns south east and sails down the beautiful coastline to Carvoeiro and the rock formations of Algar Seco.  In the area of the lighthouse of Alfanzina, between the beaches of Benagil, Praia de Marinha and Armação de Pêra are the largest and deepest of the Algarvian coastal caves.  Using their specially equipped cave boats, the crew take you into several of these caves.

All prices are approximate.

Price:  Adults €30, Children up to 10 years of age €15

Santa Bernard Pirate Ship cruise, Portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats LtdProgramme 2A: Sailing and Caves of Carvoeiro: Mon, Tues*, Wed, Fri: 14.30 - 1800 hours: Portimão - Carvoeiro - Armação de Pêra - Portimão

The trip takes the same route as for Programme 1, sailing down the coast to Carvoeiro.  The crew shows you the Smugglers cave, the deep cave of Alfanzina and the Cape of Carvoeiro.  At Benegil, if the sea is calm, the anchor is dropped to enable you to have swim and visit the caves.  The return cruise is under engine along the rocks and the caves.

Price:  Adults €30, Children up to 10 years of age €15

Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship cruise, Portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats LtdProgramme 2B: Caves of Lagos: Thurs: 14.30 -18.20 hours: Portimão - Alvor - Lagos - Portimão

For this trip, the ship turns westward out of the Rio Arade.  Cruising past the beaches of Praia da Rocha, Praia do Vau and the natural conservation area of the Alvor estuary, the ship reaches Lagos which was the point of departure for Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama on their Voyages of Discovery.  If the sea is calm, the ship anchors so that you may swim and visit the unusual rock formations at Ponta da Piedade.  The ship returns to Portimão through the Bay of Lagos and sometimes dolphins will join the boat for a while.

Price:  Adults €30, Children up to 10 years of age €15

Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship cruise, Portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats LtdProgramme 3: Robinson Tour - BBQ:  Saturdays, Tues*: 09.45 - 1800 hours, Beach BBQ - caves  

Come with the Santa Bernarda and enjoy an adventures cruise day.  The cruise starts in the Rio Arade at Portimão and follows the coastline past Carvoeiro and Alfanzina lighthouse to Benagil.  There the ship drops anchor and you transfer to the cave boats to visit some of the best caves in Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship cruise, Portimao, Algarve from Algarve Retreats Ltdthe Algarve.  Afterwards you go to a beach, accessible only by sea, to enjoy a 3 course BBQ of grilled sardines, chicken piri-piri, kebab, mixed salad and bread followed by fruit.  Chilled wines and soft drinks will also be served.  (Order vegetarian at the time of booking please).  You have time to swim, snorkel, sunbathe and relax.  At about 14.30 hours, you return to the boat and cruise west under power towards Lagos then turning back towards Portimão under sail to complete your day of adventure.  If the waves are bigger than 1m, the BBQ will take place in the bay of Ferragudo.

Price: Adults €60, Children up to 10 years of age €30

*Programme 3, Tuesday during June to October, instead of Programme 1 + 2

Prices and products may change without prior notice

Would you like more suggestions?  Take a look at our Things to do in the Algarve and Places to go in the Algarve sections for loads of ideas of what to do and where to go

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