Lisbon the capital of the Atlantic

There is no doubt Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, has become one of most popular destinations in Europe and not only for tourism. It is considered one of the coolest cities with a vibrant culture and a hotspot for entrepreneurs, artists, surfers, international students or scientific researchers.

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Terreiro do Paço Square

What many people don’t know yet is that Lisbon is becoming the city of sails of Europe.

If you already had the pleasure of being in Lisbon it is certain that you noticed this city gives you a sense of being at the beach and this is special true at the riverfront.

This is due to the combination of its Mediterranean climate that produces long warm summers and short mild winters and the presence of the imposing river Tagus.

Its estuary area is around 320km2 and since the beginning of the first settlements in the Neolithic, people took advantage of this mighty river for their subsistence. It was from here that naus and caravels departed during the Portuguese Discoveries in the XV and XVI centuries and later in the XX century a vibrant fishing industry established. Nowadays we are beginning to see a rise of its usage for recreational purposes.

Anchored yachts in front of Caxias beach, Lisbon
Anchored yachts in front of Caxias beach, Lisbon

It is home for several types of fishes, mollusks, crustaceous and especially thousands of birds who stop here during their annual migrations reaching 50 000 individuals.

If you take a stroll along the riverfront on a sunny day you will notice the fair amount of sailing boats elegantly making their way across the calm waters.

This image became part of Lisbon’s landscape and you can also enjoy a relaxed tour on one of this sailing boats through several existing tour companies.

I recall one summer afternoon when I was quietly sailing past the old quarter of Alfama, looking to the packed white houses with red roofs along the hill mixed with ancient stone religious buildings and traces of green foliage and colorful flowers, and being stricken by the beauty of this never before seen perspective of the city.

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View towards Alfama old quarter

Moreover, Lisbon has become known for hosting events such as the America’s Cup World Series in 2010, the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2012, the La Route des Princes in 2013, the Tall Ships Races in 2012 and 2016, the Extreme Sailing Series Act 7 and currently it is where the Volvo Ocean Race boatyard is located preparing the boats for the next Volvo Ocean Race edition following the city’s aspirations of one day becoming the VOR headquarters.

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Emirates Team NZ and Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup World Series Cascais

There is still much to be done but it is absolutely undeniable that the river Tagus together with the sunny weather and charming Lisbon offer one of best packages for a truly unforgettable sailing experience.

Here is a selection of some nautical moments from around Lisbon.

Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 2012 Lisbon Stopover
Volvo Ocean Race 2011 – 2012 Lisbon Stopover
Tall Ships Races Lisbon 2012
Tall Ships Races Lisbon 2012
Cunard Line Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth meeting at Lisbon in 2014
Cunard Line Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth meeting at Lisbon in 2014
Team SCA and Vestas Wind at Volvo Ocean Race 2014 - 2015 Lisbon Stopover
Team SCA and Vestas Wind at Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – 2015 Lisbon Stopover

 

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Author: sunsailinglisbon

Young man born and living in Lisbon curious about small garden fountains, lakes, rivers, beaches or the open ocean. I sail dinghies, take guests on sailing tours and paddle on kayaks.

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