Spice Route

The Spice Route was a trade route between Asia, Africa, and Europe. This route followed the export of spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves from Asia and to their import in Europe.

Spices have been traded since the time of the Roman Empire. The process was slow since they had to travel mostly over land. The roads were rough, and it was a long way for horses to travel.

During the Age of Exploration, European sailors found a new path to Asia. Instead of travelling by land, ships sailed from Europe, around the tip of Africa, to the Indian Ocean. This made for a faster, safer route.

Text by Kat Lonsdorf
Map showing main Portuguese (blue) and Spanish (white) oceanic trade routes in the 16th century.