The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration or Age of Discovery as it is sometimes called, officially began in the early 15th century and lasted until the 17th century. The period is characterized as a time when Europeans began exploring the world by sea in search of trading partners, new goods and.

Henry the Navigator

Henry the Navigator had a very significant role in the age of exploration He sent many expeditions to the west coast of Africa and southwards as he looked for a sea route to the spice islands.

While precise information about Henry is far from complete, it is clear he was a most remarkable man. He was a prince, politician, warrior and grand master of the Order of Christ, but his fame endures mainly because of his monumental contribution to geographical discovery and the opening up of trade and cultural links between Europe and the East.

Names & Dates of journeys
  • ‍Bartholomew Dias

He sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488 on the São Cristóvão, the first european to have done so. King John II of Portugal appointed him, on 10 October 1487, to head an expedition to sail around the southern tip of Africa in the hope of finding a trade route to India.
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  • ‍Christopher Columbus

Between 1492 and 1503, Columbus completed four round-trip voyages between Spain and the Americas, these voyages marked the beginning of the European exploration and colonization of the American continents. Columbus used many ships on his different voyages.
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  • ‍Vasco da Gama 1498

  • ‍Ferdinand Magellan 1520



The most southerly community in Portugal and the most south-westerly in continental Europe is at Sagres, overlooking the Bay of Sagres, which is itself flanked by two headlands: Atalaia Point and Sagres Point.
The most southerly community in Portugal and the most south-westerly in continental Europe is at Sagres, overlooking the Bay of Sagres, which is itself flanked by two headlands: Atalaia Point and Sagres Point.

The most southerly community in Portugal and the most south-westerly in continental Europe is at Sagres, overlooking the Bay of Sagres, which is itself flanked by two headlands: Atalaia Point and Sagres Point.