Posted May 23rd, 2005, 03:02 PM
Here is some info I found for Portmao,Portugal,and Ibiza,Spain
The city of Portimao with its beach resort Praia da Rocha, are the best known places of an Algarve region unique for its diversity. Located on the estuary of the Arade River, Portimao has made its living from fishing since pre-Romans times. Today a sprawling port and a major sardine-canning center, the town is also a base for the construction industries generated by the tourist boom.
Although summer is the busiest time of the year, the mild climate of the Algarve and many sunny winter days attract multinational tourists in all seasons, coming here to visit historical sites, playing golf, strolling along the river boulevard or exploring the many shopping opportunities. Stunning rock formations and warm seawaters make the beaches particularly alluring. The most beautiful on the entire coast is Praia da Rocha, the first one of several Algarve resort developments. Its wide expanse of sand is framed by jagged ea cliffs and the walls of an old fort that once protected the mouth of the Arade River. From Portimao, explorations can be made along the coast all the way to Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s most westerly point, and inland to Lagos and Silves, once the residence and capital of the Moorish kings.
The Balearic Islands lie scattered in the western Mediterranean off the southeast coast of Spain. Regular ferry service connects the principal islands of the archipelago with the mainland.
Through history, the three main islands, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, were the object of invasion by outside powers. Moorish forces arrived during the 8th century and established their hold until the disintegration of the Caliphate of Cordoba. James I of Aragon gained control over these specks of land in 1229, only to see them integrated into the independent kingdom of Mallorca in 1276. Later they were returned to the Aragonese crown. Today, invasions occur daily at airports and yacht harbors around the islands. The alluring mild climate attracts scores of northern Europeans who grow weary of cloudy days and cold temperatures. They come here to enjoy the sunshine and the beaches; at night they fill the clubs until the early morning hours. The name Ibiza has become synonymous with pleasure seeking. As your ship pulls into the port of Eivissa (also known as Ibiza Town), you will have a fine view of the impressive fortifications. An easy stroll along the cobbled streets takes you to the lively downtown area of shops and restaurants. D’Alt Vila, the old town dominates the port and seafront. With its historic buildings and stately mansions, D'Alt Vila is the very heart of Eivissa. Step inside the cool recesses of the 13th-century Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Nieves (Our Lady of the Snows) or visit the Archaeological Museum, where the island’s history is well represented. As the sun arcs overhead, pause in an outdoor café for a glass of chilled Ibizan sangria.