This blog (which was meant to be written on October 12th, for reasons that will become obvious) is all about Christopher Columbus and an attraction celebrating his discovery of the Americas.
I've always had a love of history and museums, unfortunately I can't get my my kids (or wife for that matter) to share my interest. That's why attractions like Muelle de las Carabelas are great for all of us; a living history exhibit that you can immerse yourself in.
This 'museum' celebrates Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas on October 12th, 1492. Columbus, set sail from close to this spot with three ships (the Santa María, the Pinta and the Niña) in August 1492. To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the voyage, replica's of all of the ships were created. The great thing about these life size replicas is that visitors can explore each ship and get a feel for what life on board was like, including visiting Columbus' cabin. I think you will be amazed at just how small these ships are and how hard life on board must have been. There is also a visitor centre, showing videos (in Spanish) and exhibiting artifacts from Columbus' era.
Family admission to the exhibit is a very reasonable €7.50. The opening schedule and additional information can be found here: http://www.diphuelva.es/contenidos/2596_muelle-de-las-carabelas (you may need google translate).
If you need lunch or a snack then the Tapas bar on site (Tapas Bar Las Carabelas) is a good choice. Good value (given that it has a captive market), tasty options and good portions.
Just up the hill from the three ships is the Monasterio de Sta. Maria de La Rábida, a Franciscan Convent which also has substantial links to Christopher Columbus. Discussions held in the monastery between Columbus and local Friars led to the America's expedition being funded by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella.
GPS coordinates for this attraction are: 37.211303, -6.927119. It's a very easy 50 minute drive from the Villa (take the E-1, A-49 and come off at junction 87 Heulva Norte, take the H30 ring road around Heuvla and follow signs for La Rabida).
Nuala & Matthew
We fell in love with the Eastern Algarve a few years back. We'll try and impart our knowledge of the area and other travel tips via these blog posts.