Atlantic Coast CruisesCruises on the Atlantic coast
Adventure on the Atlantic coast starts here| P&O Cruises
Europe's Atlantic coast is rich in major historical towns, including the Spanish towns of Cartagena, Cadiz and Valencia, and the Portuguese towns of Lisbon and Porto. On our routes along the Atlantic coast you also have the opportunity to discover less well-known harbours with their own characteristics in France, Spain and Portugal. When the first impression counts, La Rochelle, half way along the French western coast, has hit the nail on the head.
Open every daily from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., so check out the beautiful regional products and delicatessen in the mornings - the ideal place to taste fresh peeled freshly peeled freshly peeled yoghurt wines and the traditional appetizer, a strengthened Pineau des Charentes wineau. Highpoints are a trip to the beautiful Ile de Ré, a relaxed little village with white painted buildings and oak benches, or a guided walk through a small village of Cognac.
Famous as the "City of Glass" for its stylish seaside homes with glazed balconies - from which timid spouses watched the comeback of their seafaring husband - La Coruña on the northwest coast of Spain radiates a reserved allure. Taste a little bit of tappas shopping in Calle de Franja or just enjoy the aromas of the finest regional products at the city's main pump-pack.
It is a great place to enjoy the savage power of the outdoors and the Atlantic breezes in your coat. Spain a bustling fishery harbour is renowned for its unique oyster population. It seems you MUST try it with squid (the locals call it albarino).
Santiago de Compostela may not be as picturesque as the Galician capitol (the last stop of the famed St James Pilgrim' Tour and home of a splendid Romanic cathedral), but it has much to do. It is a maze of roads, many of which are called after the occupations that still practise there - the oyster on Calle de las Ostras, the hat s on Sombrereiros and the basket on Cesteiros.
Sitting on the snout of a gigantic calamari, the celebrated writer still looks imposing. Situated on the east side of the Sintra Mountains in the wonderful Estremadura area, the small town of Colares is home to some of the best winemakers in the world.
Galego Dourado, Malvesia, Jampal, Ramisco and Arinto are the remarkable Colares grape varieties and, thanks to the Atlantic coast's exceptional micro-climate, the unmistakable vines are the best in Portugal. It has Portugal's highest Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) rating.
They are sheltered from the Atlantic wind by sandy slopes and are cultivated in small plots using traditionally cultivated techniques. Discover this unmistakable winegrowing area at the winery and Cape Roca and taste these unmistakable local products at the winery, where your taste in a magnificent 19. cent ury-old winery.
This town is renowned for its cuisine thanks to the wonderful selection of locally produced products from both the countryside and the ocean. There is nowhere more to see than on the Mercado do Bolhão, the centrepiece of the town. It is a must and the ideal place to sample some of the specialties and try the delicacies that are used by Portugese and native recipes every single monday.
Opposite, at Salsicharia Luisa, you can buy another home-made specialty, home-made tripes eneminhadas (a cutlet sausage), besides smoked ham and choir. Marilia Brandao, who has worked here for 62 years, and Lucinda Leites, 80, who has been trading chickens here since she was a little girl in the early 1940s.
Maybe because most salespeople have been working here for years, the heat of the Portuguese heat supply has become known all over Portugal. So, copy the natives and sit at a sun-drenched dinner bar to enjoy the ambience before immersing yourself in a bite of newly barbecued shellfish and a cool drink or two of locally produced wines.
The north of Portugal may be the gastronomic centre of the land, but Lisbon is proud to be home to the country's most celebrated pastry: the sugary, smooth and absolutely tasty pasta de noata. The best way to get to know the Lisbon and Porto harbours is to sprinkle them with a cup of good quality tea or a cup of portwine on the side and try at least one of these garnish.
Each Portuguese confectionery has its own paséis de nata, and choosing the one you like best is a question of tast. Some of the best known are those of Pasta de Belém in Lisbon. Since 1837, the Pasta de Niata enterprise has been producing its own pasta, and according to Miguel Clarinha, a fourth-generation owner and manager, it is slightly different from most others.
Pasta de Belém makes around 20,000 pasta de naatas a night and doesn't just buy them anywhere else - so if you want to try one, you have to get along with the people. You can also take part in the coastal excursion of the Lisbon Lovers de la F are, the Belém pasta, the Cervejaria Trindade for the production of regional beers, as well as the charm of a traditional Portugese delicatessen where you can buy various handicrafts, wine and spirit that are not available in the supermarket.