The Algarve Tourism Board recently invited a group of journalists to attend the launch of the Portuguese/Spanish European Route of Discoveries project. A major part of the project was a ship called Victoria which was docked and open to the public for four days in February.
The ship was docked in the port of Baleeira in Sagres and is a replica of the first ship that successfully circumnavigated the world and which was under the command of Fernão de Magalhães. The replica ship is a part of a number of projects being planned, including the launch of a virtual museum.
The aim is to promote the route between Cape St. Vincent to Seville and to offer tourists something that’s a little different from the normal beach and golfing holiday. The hope is to combine the unique aspects of the Algarve that normally attract so many visitors with its more historical side.
The moment the project is still very much in the planning stage, but is being actively developed and promoted by the cultural and tourism boards in the Andalucia and Algarve regions. The aim is to raise awareness as to the immense historical heritage of these regions due to the explorers of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
It’s expected that all planned activities will be operating by July this year, and that the Route of Discoveries itinerary will be complete. It’s also expected the virtual museum will be operational by this stage. The project has received a total investment of €450,000, three quarters of which has been financed by the Spain-Portugal Crossborder Cooperation programme.