17 Night Cruise sailing from Lisbon to Dakar onboard Silver Wind.
The power of the Atlantic Ocean has played an enormous part in shaping the cultures of its coasts. Sailing from Lisbon to Dakar, this voyage harnesses the sea for a transformative experience that takes you back to the time of 1001 nights. Mixing Moorish heritage with nomadic tribes, islands bursting with birdlife with barren deserts, join us as we follow the paths of early explorers searching for the fabled Spice Islands.
Highlights of this cruise:
A glorious mosaic of beauty, freedom and authenticity, Portugal's capital is a stirring artwork of a city. Known for the seven hills it spreads across, and its stirring fado music, Lisbon is a pastel-coloured blend of houses and beautiful tile artworks - and this creative city strikes a perfect harmony between natural and manmade beauty. Stroll along Alfama's steep, cobbled streets as you explore one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods - where each house and door could be its own photograph. Look for the decorative tiles, with the distinctive blues and whites of Azulejo ceramics, and visit the dedicated museum to learn more. Afterwards, wind up to So Jorge Castle, where views out across Lisbon's red rooftops unravel. Just one of many majestic viewpoints, you can also seek out Miradouro da Graa for perhaps Lisbon's finest panorama, with the copper-coloured suspension bridge stretching over sparkling water beyond the sea of buildings.
Whether you pronounce it Seville or Sevilla, this gorgeous Spanish town is most certainly the stuff of dreams. Over 2,200 years old, Seville has a mutli-layered personality home to Flamenco, high temperatures and three UNESCO-World Heritage Sites, there is a noble ancestry to the southern Spanish town. Not forgetting that it is the birthplace of painter Diego Velazquez, the resting place of Christopher Columbus, the inspiration for Bizet's Carmen and a location for Game of Thrones filming, Seville is truly more than just a sum of its parts. This city is a full on experience, a beguiling labyrinth of centuries old streets, tiny tapas restaurants serving possibly the best dishes you'll taste south of Madrid and a paradise of Mudejar architecture and tranquil palm trees and fountain-filled gardens.
Funchal Madeira, Portugal
Bedecked with dramatic cliffs, fertile mountains and sun-gorged beaches, Madeira is a lush, colourful island of plants, paradise and Portuguese-flavoured pleasures. Bathing in year-round sunshine, Funchal - the lowkey capital of Madeira - is perfect for slowing the pace, and toasting the thrilling scenery with a bottle of the island's famous wine. Narrow, cobblestone streets line the old town, where whitewash buildings, iron-wrought balconies, and tiled patterns carry echoes of Lisbon. Rua de Santa Maria is the city's oldest street, and the doors have been vividly painted by local artists. Sit for a drink, to sample your choice of Madeira's renowned wines - Boal is the ideal option for those with a sweeter tooth. You'll also find Corpo Santo Chapel here, one of the few remaining buildings to have survived from the 15th century. Blossoming parks and gardens splash colour around, and the sweet smell of pollen lingers in Parque de Santa Catarina.
Santa Cruz De Tenerife (Canary Islands), Spain
Although this busy port city is smaller, quieter and less attractive than Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz has its own share of elegant monuments. Until 1837, the island's capital was La Laguna, not Santa Cruz, so there are only a few of the buildings in the city center that are any older than that. At the busy Plaza de Espaa, there are several pedestrian streets leading north and to the area west of the port, where you'll find the city's stunning auditorium and maritime park. A real highlight of the city are its ramblas, long tree-lined boulevards that fall steeply from the north end of the city to the sea.
San Sebastian (La Gomera), Spain
Unspoiled, green and lush, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has many secrets to reveal. A Canary Island capital like no other, life is lived at a refreshingly lackadaisical pace here. Wander between San Sebastian's faded pastel hues, which spill across the coastline, and bathe in this seaside city's warm sunshine, as waves splash onto sunny beaches. A sleepy capital city, travellers have been resting, relaxing and rejuvenating here for centuries - including Christopher Columbus, whose presence remains in museums dedicated to his visit. He called in to restock water supplies while voyaging to discover the new world. Silbo, an extraordinary whistling language, used to communicate over great distances, adds even more cultural fascination to this luscious island's mountain scenery, crafts and traditions.
Ad Dakhla, Morocco
Dakhla is located at the end of a 40km narrow peninsula on the Atlantic Coast about 340 miles south of Laayoune. The area was inhabited by Berbers from North Africa since ancient times but it was Spanish settlers who founded Dakhla in 1884 during the expansion of their empire. The region was especially important not only because of the rich offshore fishing (e.g. cod) but also because of the abundant seals and whales available for hunting. Despite over harvesting that has resulted in severe depletion of the wildlife, Dakhla is still a major fishing port. However the town has recently become a centre for aquatic sports, such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and surf casting on its lagoon, and becoming a growing tourism destination.
Porto Novo, Cape Verde
Porto Novo, the second largest city on Santo Anto, is located in the dry southeast of the island. A dusty wind blows constantly here. You can explore the main street with its former mansions, a little church, markets that have local fish, grogue and fresh goat cheese for sale, shops and-of course-the harbour. At the back of the town is the 2,000m-high Topo de Coroa, which is a fairly easy climb and has magnificent 360-degree views. Around the town, family-owned farms grow fruit and vegetables which are sold at regular markets in the town. There are some old churches from the Portuguese era, as well as a couple of elegant squares with pleasant bars and cafs, from which to watch the world go by.
Capital of Senegal, and a major gateway to Western Africa, the former colonial trading post of Dakar stamps the Cap-Vert peninsular with glorious surf-fringed beaches. Enjoy the thrum of markets - where colourful textiles are exchanged - and wander streets where jazz, sambar and mbalax spill from every ajar door. Offering tropical island-style beaches in an incongruous urban setting, Dakar is a wild and urgent experience for the senses. Watch on as surfers revel in consistent rollers on this, the most westerly peninsula of continental Africa. Scuba divers can explore worlds below the surface in Dakar's diving areas, or you can head to sandy beaches like Plage des Mamelles' cove, which provide endless options for cooling off. Looking for a little more activity, loosen up and play on golf courses that unroll along the sun-kissed Senegalese coastline, or visit startling natural sites like the vivid pink water of the salty pink Lake Retba.