- This article is an itinerary.
The Cape Route, the route around Africa, the Carreira da Índia or the European-Asian sea route, used to be among the world's most important routes of commerce. The first known completion was made by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498.
Ancient and medieval scholars disagreed whether the Atlantic and Indian Ocean were connected. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire disrupted commerce along the Silk Road, and encouraged Europeans to find a new route to Asia. The voyages of Columbus aimed for Asia, but instead established European contact with the Americas.
The discovery of the Cape Route, as well as the Columbian voyages, inspired the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation.
Most of the Portuguese Empire was founded along the route.
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Gibraltar for arrival through the Mediterranean
- Dakar, Senegal
- Cape Verde
- Recife, Brazil: Prevailing winds and currents on the Atlantic take ships from Europe westwards across the Atlantic, to Brazil.
- Cape Town, South Africa
- India: Especially Goa and Kozhikode (Calicut) were ports for European ships