Fishing in Portugal – brief guide

This is a guest post by Mark from Kayakguru.com

Ocean fishing in Portugal is integral to its culture. Portuguese cuisine relies on the variety of fresh and high-quality fish locally available. Whether you fish from the shore, on a deep-sea charter, or from your own kayak, you can enjoy fishing in Portugal just as the locals do.

In Portugal, it’s possible to land a wide variety of fish and to experience the wild coastline up close. This article will tell you about the most popular varieties of sport fish and recommend some popular fishing spots.

Fish To Catch Around Portugal

Here are some of the species you can find off the Portuguese coast:

Fishing Lagos SeaBookings (5)

Dourade / Sea Bream

Sea bream is one of the most common fish for everyday eating, and for good reason. This is a delicious, light-flavored white fish and can be caught from the shore. Portuguese families fish for these while enjoying a day at the beach.

Sea Bass

This fish is neck and neck with the sea bream in popularity. It is a small fish with firm flesh, so it holds up to many different methods of cooking. Sea bass can be caught from the shore using a spinning rod (video) or by fly fishing.

Tuna

Tuna is a large deep-sea fish and is prized for its firm and meaty flesh. Tuna is an exciting fish to catch from any deep-sea charter boat. (Video)

Marlin

Marlin is one of the best fish you can catch on a charter with deep-sea fishing in Portugal. Marlin have a lot of fight and are usually caught and released. If they are eaten, they have firm pink or white meat and a strong texture resembling steak.
Some other commonly caught species include mullet, grouper, sharks, and rays.

The Best Spots for Fishing in Portugal

Anglers are always reluctant to tell just anyone about their favorite fishing spots, but here are some of the best places to enjoy fishing in Portugal.

The most common species that we catch are golden bream, plaice, sole, sea bass, the lamprey and eel.

Albufeira

Albufeira is one of the busiest resort towns in the Algarve. The combination of beautiful scenery, great food, and exciting local events makes Albufeira a great place to stay.

In September, Albufeira hosts the world championship of big game fishing. The charters from this area are regarded as some of the best in Portugal.

Vilamoura

Vilamoura is an exciting city with many shops and restaurants, as well as a variety of places to stay, from small bed and breakfasts to luxury resorts.

The Vilamoura marina offers many deep-sea charters as well as excellent reef fishing. Some of the big game fish include blue sharks, hammerhead sharks, marlin, and tuna. Reef fishing tours bring back sea bream, grouper, horse mackerel, sole, and moray eels.

Lagos

The 14th century town of Lagos makes an excellent home base for fishing expeditions up and down the coast. The town is close to Cabo de São Vicente, the southwestern most point in Portugal.

Lagos is known for its cliff fishing and beach fishing. While cliff fishing can be very dangerous, the cliffs in the best fishing areas are often dotted with locals and visitors hoping to land a fish. Some locals even descend the cliff on ropes to get to a better fishing spot. There are also deep-sea excursions from Lagos or shark fishing tours.

Lagos is also a good base for kayaking expeditions, whether you are hoping to fish or just to explore the caves dotted along the rocky coast.

Enjoy Your Trip

We hope this article has given you some ideas to plan a trip to go fishing in Portugal. Whether you are looking for a charter boat experience or to have a more personal experience like beach fishing or kayak fishing, you will always find a good catch in Portugal.

stand-up paddle in Benagil

We tried stand-up paddle in Benagil!

By Lianne, customer support and content creation at SeaBookings.

Benagil, Benagil, Benagil.. What is so special about the Benagil cave in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal? I did a tour with stand-up paddle in Benagil to discover.

This summer I’ve heard a lot of stories about this cave and it seems to be one of the most popular caves in Portugal at the moment. I was curious about what made this cave so special and worth a visit. On photos you see a large opening in the centre of the cave allowing a spotlight of sun to enter the cave. And around the Benagil cave you can find many more caves.

Polaroid CUBE

We did stand-up paddle in Benagil!

I knew from SeaBookings that new local restrictions do not allow you to disembark from the boat tours into the Benagil cave. You can take impressive pictures from the boat but for safety reasons it is not permitted to swim from the boat into the Benagil cave. If I really wanted to step on the sand of the cave I should do either stand-up paddle in Benagil or a kayak tour. And so to get the maximum experience, I opted for SUP in Benagil. Both tours are very popular so SeaBookings recommend booking in advance if you really want to experience the ecological way of navigating through the caves.

We had to get up early. The stand-up paddle in Benagil starts at 9am. Why so early? Well, as I already said, the Benagil cave is popular, one of the main attractions of the Algarve. It is incredible how many people want to see the Benagil cave. At 9am you are the first one on the beach giving you the unique chance to enjoy the quiet surroundings and nature at its best. You see the caves before everyone else arrives and disturbs the peace.

You can sit or stand on your board

You can sit or stand on your board during this tour stand-up paddle in Benagil

The SUP in Benagil takes about 3 hours, which sounds long but I can assure you time flies when you are having fun. It is an up close and personal experience of all the caves and not only Benagil, because the other (8!) caves are just as magical as the Benagil cave. For me, and for the rest of the group (total of 6 participants), this SUP in Benagil experience was very special, exploring the caves at your own pace.

But let’s start at the beginning. 9am is still very early and especially after a very cool traditional party at the beach in Lagos (Banho 29). But we made it on time and Bruno, the guide, was already waiting for us to get ready for the tour. Along with 4 other people we were preparing to discover the ocean and the caves. “Put loads of sunscreen, you will need it” said Bruno. Because of the reflection of the water it is easy to get burned. So we did. We then took our boards towards the beach where it was still nice and quiet. Bruno explained the do’s and don’ts regarding safety, how to navigate and which caves we were going to visit.

Bruno is such a cool guide!

Bruno is such a cool guide!

We had 3 hours so plenty of time to see everything and also to get to know all the secrets about the caves, all very well explained by Bruno. I am not going to tell you any of his secrets because you will need to do this amazing SUP in Benagil and discover it by yourselves. My first stand-up paddle experience was last year when I was in Portugal (see my blog SUP in Cascais). For the rest of the group it was their first time but that was no problem. Because we did the SUP in Benagil early in the morning., we had time to practise without any waves caused by passing boats. In the beginning, these waves were a bit scary but after a few minutes you feel more confident and later it was actually cool to try and keep on standing on your board when a boat passes by. Also therefore I would highly recommend going early in the morning.

If you go with Bruno you will have the full experience. He shows you very beautiful prehistoric well-preserved fossils and shells. If you go on your own you will never know this because you don’t know exactly where to look.

Different from other boat tours, during this stand-up paddle in Benagil you are more active, which makes it very special and unique. Before going on this tour I thought to myself “hmm I won’t be able to take pictures because there is a chance I fall into the water.” But no worries, Bruno thought about all this and he will take enough pictures during the trip with his gopro camera. If you really want, he will take your cell phone with him (as long as it’s sealed in a bag). That is nice because you can enjoy the tour even more without worrying about taking photos. Afterwards he will send you the pictures so you will have a nice memory.

The Benagil cave is truly amazing!

The Benagil cave is truly amazing!

After the tour we had a beer on the beach of Benagil with Bruno to look back at this amazing experience stand-up paddle in Benagil. He shared some more fun facts about the cave, the region and his experience as a guide with us.

The last important thing I noticed is that I saw people swimming to the Benagil cave. This is not recommended due to strong currents and tides. What makes it even more dangerous are the many boats coming in and out the Benagil cave. You can imagine what can happen if the people on the boat do not see you swimming. Accidents happen frequently, and to avoid them I would recommend a boat tour or even better, trying the more ecological way and do the stand-up paddle tour to the Benagil cave. On a boat or SUP tour, you’ll be able to go safely enjoy the Benagil cave closely. Besides that, there is a lot to secrets to see in the Benagil cave. On your own you will never know this. Thanks Bruno and thanks  SeaBookings!

For any questions, suggestions or bookings, feel free to contact me in person: [email protected]

 

Top 7 Algarve BBQ Cruises

Top 7 Algarve BBQ cruises

What pops up on your mind when you think about summer holidays? Sea, sun and BBQ, right? Good news, we’ll share our favorite Algarve BBQ cruises.

We’ve selected a top 7 of Algarve BBQ cruises. These BBQ boat trips are a true “must” when you’re on holidays in the Algarve, the southern region of Portugal. The Algarve BBQ cruises we selected range from 3,5 to 7 hours in duration and 49€ to 55€ in price.

Our top 7 Algarve BBQ cruises (from West to Eastern Algarve):

bomdia boat trips in lagos portugal

BBQ cruise in Lagos on a sailing boat

BBQ cruise in Lagos on a sailing boat

  • Duration: 04:30
  • Location: Marina de Lagos, Algarve
  • Available Seat: 30
  • Price: 55 €

This relaxing BBQ cruise in Lagos on a sailing boat is one of the most popular Algarve BBQ Cruises. During this sailing boat trip you will sail along the stunning Bay of Lagos and the most impressive caves and rock formations. After experiencing this beauty of nature, the boat will anchor in a sheltered bay. Here the BBQ part comes in. You’ll be served grilled chicken, salad with our secret dressing, bread and wine.

Don’t forget to bring your swimming and snorkel gear because the ocean is inviting you for a refreshing dip. This BBQ cruise in Lagos also includes a tour on a smaller boat to show you the famous caves of ‘Ponta da Piedade’.

Blue feet boat tours Lagos

Half day BBQ cruise in Lagos

Half day BBQ cruise in Lagos

  • Duration: 03:30
  • Location: Marina de Lagos, Algarve
  • Available Seat: 20
  • Price: 50 €

This is a great BBQ cruise in Lagos because it combines an ocean experience with a culinary experience. For about three and a half hours, this BBQ cruise in Lagos will show you the enchanting coast of Lagos. Of course you’ll visit the famous caves of Ponta da Piedade. There is time for everything: sunbathing, stunning photos and a refreshing dip in the sea.

Before lunch, you can enjoy genuine Portuguese appetizers. The delicious lunch consists of starters, roasted chicken with fries and salad, pastries and fruit. Lunch will be served on board in a sheltered bay on the coast of Lagos and Alvor. Before returning to the Marina of Lagos, we’ll toast with some famous Port wine. This is definitely one of our favorite Algarve BBQ Cruises also thanks to the friendly crew.

Passeio de barco em Albufeira no Leãozinho

BBQ cruise in Albufeira on a pirate boat

BBQ cruise in Albufeira on a pirate boat

  • Duration: 06:30
  • Location: Marina de Albufeira, Algarve
  • Available Seat: 22
  • Price: 54 €

This BBQ cruise in Albufeira is a full-day experience. Join this boat trip on the pirate boat “Leãozinho” (little lion) for the highlight of your holidays in the Algarve. We recommend this BBQ cruise in Albufeira for families and groups of friends.

The itinerary of this BBQ cruise in Albufeira starts in the Marina of Albufeira. The pirate boat will head from Albufeira to the Atlantic, passing by Praia do Castelo and Praia da Galé. We’ll then pass by Armação de Pêra, the Rock Chapel Senhora da Rocha and reach the beaches of Marinha and Benagil. The beaches of Marinha and Benagil are worldwide known for their impressive rock formations.

The boat will anchor next to an isolated beach for a refreshing swim and to enjoy the beach. The friendly crew will serve you a typical Portuguese BBQ on the beach. The tour will then return to the Marina of Albufeira. The vessel of this tour, “Leãozinho”, is what differentiates it among other Algarve BBQ Cruises.

BBQ cruise in Albufeira on a motor catamaran

BBQ cruise in Albufeira on a motor catamaran

BBQ cruise in Albufeira on a motor catamaran

  • Duration: 06:00
  • Location: Marina de Albufeira, Algarve
  • Available Seat: 40
  • Price: 49 €

This unforgettable BBQ cruise in Albufeira will take you to discover the most beautiful spots of the Algarvian coast and enjoying a BBQ on a private beach. This catamaran is a very safe and stable boat, offering you the best way to explore the enchanting rock formations, caves and beaches of the Algarve.

Like some other Algarve BBQ Cruises, this boat tour will cruise along the coast up to the area of rock formations and caves of Galé, Benagil and Carvoeiro. A BBQ beach lunch will be served on a lovely beach. Here you will also have time to swim and play beach games.

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura to Benagil

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura to Benagil

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura to Benagil

  • Duration: 7:00
  • Location: Marina de Vilamoura, Portugal
  • Available Seat: 42
  • Price: 50 €

This is one of our favorite Algarve BBQ Cruises because this BBQ cruise in Vilamoura takes you to visit the magnificent sea cave of Benagil. During the BBQ cruise in Vilamoura you’ll enjoy the best of the impressive coastline of the Algarve.

This is one of the most family-friendly Algarve BBQ Cruises as it takes place on a motor catamaran which is very comfortable for all ages.For the most adventurous, kayaks and snorkel equipment is available. A delicious lunch will be served on a hidden beach. It includes chicken, pork, sausages, fish, vegetables, salad, juice, wine and fruit. Bom apetite!

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura during sunset

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura during sunset

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura during sunset

  • Duration: 4:00
  • Location: Marina de Vilamoura, Portugal
  • Available Seat: 42
  • Price: 55 €

The best time of the day for a BBQ cruise in Vilamoura? Sunset, of course! This is one of the finest Algarve BBQ Cruises. Like the boat tour above, this cruise takes place on a motor catamaran and departs from the Marina of Vilamoura.

You’ll have the chance to do some kayaking or snorkeling? After these exciting activities you’ll feel hungry, so we’ll serve you a delicious dinner on a hidden beach. The whole family will love our BBQ dinner which includes fish, chicken, pork, sausages, vegetables, salad, juice, wine and fruit.

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura on a sailing catamaran

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura on a sailing catamaran

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura on a sailing catamaran

  • Duration: 6:00
  • Location: Marina de Vilamoura, Portugal
  • Available Seat: 15
  • Price: 55 €

We consider this boat tour one of the most special Algarve BBQ Cruises because it takes place on a sailing catamaran. This BBQ cruise in Vilamoura takes about six hours and includes sailing, kayaking, a visit to the caves, snorkeling and a BBQ of course.

A nice lunch will be served on a picturesque beach. We’re sure you’ll love the BBQ on charcoal with includes fish, chicken, pork, sausages, vegetables, salad, juice, wine and fruit.

If you’re up for one of these tours we recommend to book on time. Demand for these Algarve BBQ Cruises is very high, especially during high season. For groups, we suggest to contact us by email or phone to check availability.

Happy holidays!

5 Places to Spend a Beach Vacation in the Algarve

This is a guest post by Emily, an inquisitive explorer and connoisseur writing about her passion for travel.

Dreaming about a beach vacation in the Algarve? Beach vacations are probably the best type of travelling getaways that everyone should pamper themselves with once in a lifetime. Tanning on a sunny day at a beautifully quaint beach just takes all your work blues away and gives you a refreshing time to enjoy! Portugal has idyllically serene and stunning beaches for an unforgettable Beach Vacation in the Algarve. The beaches are situated all around this holiday destination and are one of the best ones if you are looking for beach vacation internationally. Hence, let’s explore the top five places you can add to your travel bucket list for gifting yourself an amazing beach holiday!

5 Places to Spend a Beach Vacation in the Algarve

  1. Praia do Carvalho
Photo by Richard King, CC BY 2.0

Photo by Richard King, CC BY 2.0

Being a dazzling sandy bay of the Algarve Coast, Praia do Carvalho is gorgeously tinted with golden sands and a sapphire watered beach that gives it a splendid look. This beach is at its best during the low tide when you just lay down for beautiful tanning or if you are an active explorer, try to unravel the enigmatic caverns and tunnels found here. The sea caves are a must to explore while the high tide season fills these caves that results in water shooting out of blowholes making it appear more pleasing. The best way to visit these sea caves is by boat, kayak or SUP.

  1. Praia da Bordeira
Photo by Paulo Valdivieso, CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Paulo Valdivieso, CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are in search of a solitary beach vacation, Praia da Bordeira is the one to opt. The calm atmosphere and swirling sea waves are amazingly complementing and you can just roam around here without worrying for crowds! It is not as much of a teeming beach and that’s why many tourists come here looking to spend their beach time in solitude. But the amenities are short so keep snacks, drinks and all other requirements ready while coming here and the location will actually make your visit a special one with its impressive quietness. You can endeavor kite surfing during windy days here but refrain from sunbathing when wind gets a little stormy. Praia da Bordeira should be your choice for your beach vacation in the Algarve in you like surfing.

  1. Praia da Rocha
Photo by Steven Fruitsmaak, CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Steven Fruitsmaak, CC BY-SA 3.0

Literally translated as the beach of rocks, Praia da Rocha in Algarve is another quaint find to immerse yourself in calm surroundings. It is a perfect place to take a deep into the sea waters and then lay down looking over the shining blue sky! Sunbathing is a must to do and there are many rock caves all around Praia da Rocha calling out for all the adventures looking to do cave explorations amidst this immaculate beach location! Praia da Rocha is one of the most popular destinations for a beach vacation in the Algarve.

  1. Ilha de Tavira
Photo by Jose A., CC BY 2.0

Photo by Jose A., CC BY 2.0

Ilha de Tavira is actually on the Tavira Island where you can arrive by a ferry coming from the Tavira city. The island is merely 11 km in total length and Ilha de Tavira covers most of its part. Its fabulous location is inherently natural and there is even a camping park for staying over while most of other buildings have been banned and closed. This beach island is replete with natural environment and is wonderfully an eye treat for both nature lovers and beach travelers.

  1. Praia Verde
Photo by Jose A., CC BY 2.0

Photo by Jose A., CC BY 2.0

The Green Beach or Praia Verde at Algarve is another blend of sea and nature that makes it an incredible beach vacation. It is away from the swarming cliché attractions of Algarve and is surrounded by salt pans near the River Guadiana where you will find a range of migrated birds. There is a pine forest just by the edge of this beach giving it cool breezes in summer and being the place from where the name Praia Verde is derived from.

Thus, these are the gorgeous beach destinations you can head to for a long weekend or an extended beach vacation in the Algarve to mesmerize yourself with the best beaches of Portugal. So, what are you waiting for? Add them to your travel itinerary and pack up for a stunning beach time! Happy Tripping!

Author’s Bio:

Emily is an inquisitive explorer and connoisseur writing about her passion for travel and food at MexicanCandy.org where you will find the list of best Mexican candies and a detailed review of each the candies!

Kayak in Vilamoura

Why you should go kayaking instead of taking a boat tour

This is a guest post by Mark from Kayakguru.com

Portugal is a beautiful country, with rich and diverse natural environments. With a warm-to-hot climate that is convenient for year-round outdoor activities, the Portugal coastline is perfect for exploring by water. If you prefer convenience, you might consider a boat tour. These are often narrated, and can offer restrooms, snack bars and other amenities that a casual tourist will find useful.

But if you are a more adventurous type of person, and prefer to do things for yourself, you may find that a kayaking trip is more your style. There are several advantages that paddling a kayak has to offer.

Join us on a kayak tour in Portugal

Join us on a kayak tour in Portugal

Kayaking Is Relaxing

One of the biggest advantages that kayaking has over a boat tour is peace and quiet. Most of us spend our time in urban environments, surrounded by the sounds of engines, noisy crowds and notifications from electronic devices.
There are many benefits to escaping the stress of the modern world and spending time in nature, including:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Pumping up the heart rate
  • A general sense of well-being

With the noise of the engine and the other people on a boat tour, you might find that you aren’t getting the escape that you were looking for.  Kayaking, by contrast, eliminates all of these factors. Leaving behind the engine and the crowds, you are left with your ‘yak, the sounds of your paddle in the water, and maybe a close friend or two (human or otherwise!). Paddling with a tandem kayak can be really fun if you’re not alone.

Kayaking can be done all around the Portuguese coast

Kayaking can be done all around the Portuguese coast

It Brings You Closer To Nature

In addition to relaxation, the relative silence and increased maneuverability of a kayak, also allows you to see more of the nature that you are looking for. On a boat tour, you are limited to a pre-planned route. You may see wildlife from a distance, but a larger boat can only get so close before the size and the noise of the engine potentially chases them away.

Kayaking is a completely different story. The compact size leaves you free to explore coves and small creeks, circle islands, and even land on shore and walk around when you see something interesting. When you do encounter wildlife, you are less likely to disturb their activities, because you can stop paddling and drift. This lets you get much closer, and really see nature in action. If you are planning to fish from your kayak, you will find that the decreased noise and disruption will improve your catches.

Kayaking in a group is a lo of fun

Kayaking in a group is a lot of fun

Kayaking Provides Beneficial Exercise

If the benefits of being truly within nature aren’t enough for you, there are also the advantages of the physical activity of kayaking. Some of us need to find time for more exercise anyway, and this is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone (not literally!).

Kayaking is a full body sport that offers many health benefits, including:

  • An excellent upper body workout
  • Weight loss
  • Increased core strength
  • Toning of the legs
  • Improved cardiovascular health

But don’t let this scare you; kayaking is not the same as trying to squeeze a workout into an hour at the gym. You can set your own pace, so you won’t have to be pushing yourself the entire time! Even at a casual speed, the exercise offered by kayak is a whole lot better than nothing.

It Is Better For The Environment

As well as the benefits to you, kayaking is also better for the environment you are exploring. Kayaks, in addition to not using a motor, are easy to clean, and don’t require water resistant surface paints that can leach chemicals into the water. With all of these factors to consider, kayaking is often a better option, for your health, and for your overall experience.

If you are thinking about exploring Portugal in a kayak, you can choose from many planned tours, or you can simply grab your paddle and explore on your own. See you out on the water!

We went surfing in Lisbon! And it was AWESOME!

Last Saturday finally I joined one of the surf days in Lisbon. Surfing in Lisbon had been on my list of the activities to test for a long while. I’ve been a surfer myself for many years. Me and my sister (and co-founder of SeaBookings.com) were pretty good surfers when we were kids. From our 12 to 18 years old we even used to participate in national surf competitions.

surfing in Lisbon

Good times we had while surfing along the whole Portuguese coast and participating in surfing competitions with our surf school. Then, at 18, when I moved to Lisbon to study, slowly I quitted surfing. It’s a pity because I love the sport. The close contact with the ocean in undescribable.

Surfing in Lisbon is hot. Young people who visit the Portuguese capital like its surf scene which is booming. For surfing in Lisbon, SeaBookings partnered up with a surf school owned by two young surfers who we know for many years. Tomás and António are pro surfers themselves and decided to create a school to share their passion for surfing in Lisbon.

IMG_20170401_101039

Our experience surfing in Lisbon

It was 9AM on a saturday morning when we were picked up by António at the previously agreed meeting point in the center of Lisbon. From there António drove me, my friend Ella and a customer, Tiago, to the best surf spot for that day. The flexibility of choosing the beach on the day and according to the level of the participants allows for a great surf experience.

Within about 20 minutes drive, we arrived at Praia da Torre. Here, the waves seemed tiny but in fact they were perfect for a first time surf lesson. We got our wetsuits and went down to the beach where we could drop our stuff and get our wetsuit on. It was an amazing day in Spring, ideal for a day surfing in Lisbon. After suiting up, Tomás guided us through a short warming up to get our bodies ready to get into the fresh Atlantic.

IMG_20170401_103326

After the warming up it was time to practice the “standup” movement on the beach. Tomás showed us first and then we repeated several times. When Tomás though we understood the movement well enough, there was no further time to waste in the sand, and we got into the ocean. The surf lesson was very personalized and therefore Ella and Tiago learned very fast. Tomás was helping them to choose and catch the right waves. I was impressed by how quick both Ella and Tiago were able to stand up on their boards and ride a wave.

As you can see in this video we had a lot of fun. The surf day in Lisbon consists of the surfing lesson as I described here and in the afternoon, you’ll can use the gear to catch some waves yourself. Lunch is not provided, so you can either bring it from home or buy something at the beach. We recommend to bring a hat, sunscreen, swimming gear, a towel and water and a snack. Booking a few days ahead is recommended as some days the surfing trips in Lisbon may become fully booked.

Enjoy surfing in Lisbon and let us know if you’ve got any further tips, suggestions or questions!

Whales in the Algarve: minke-whale in the Ria Formosa

Every year, we spot several species of whales in the Algarve. In 2016 we found 8 species of dolphins and whales in the Algarve. Dream Wave, a tour operator based in the Marina of Albufeira, revealed that in the course of 2016 they spotted 8 species of dolphins and whales in the Algarve. This February we had a nice visit of a minke-whale in the Ria Formosa in Faro.

Whales in the Algarve

The whale needed support by the Maritime Police of Tavira and Olhão and the Portuguese Institute of Conservation of Nature and Forests

Normally, whales in the Algarve are often sighted further offshore, along the entire coast. In this case, the animal decided to explore the Ria Formosa, a natural park in the Algarve.

The whale was swimming around the Ria Formosa for the whole day on February 1st. Pedro da Palma, captain of the Marina of Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira reported that the animal entered the Ria in the morning near the marina of Tavira. The minke-whale swam to Fuseta, where it left the marine park at the end of the day. However, “due to the fact that the tide was low, the whale was stranded in a shallow spot and needed support to be able to swim again,” said Pedro da Palma.

Fortunately, the whale was not injured and its route to the sea was supported by the Local Commands of the Maritime Police of Tavira and Olhão, in collaboration with the Institute of Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF – Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e Florestas in Portuguese).

Dolphins and whales in the Algarve

In 2016, the most observed species of dolphins and whales in the Algarve were Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). Other species of cetaceans of less frequent sighting are the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), the risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) and the orca (Orcinus orca).

Regarding whales in the Algarve, Dream Wave recorded the sighting of three species:baleias no Algarve SeaBookings

  • Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus);
  • Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis);
  • Minke-whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

The minke-whale can be distinguished from other whales by a white band on each flipper. They have a length of up to 9m, with females being larger than males.

If you are interested in meeting the whales in the Algarve in person, we invite you to come on board one of our whale watching tours.

(Original article in Postal.pt)

In 2016 we sighted 8 species of cetaceans in the Algarve

We chatted with our partner tour operator, Dream Wave, about the sightings of cetaceans in the Algarve. This tour operator, based in the Marina of Albufeira, specializes in dolphin watching tours in the Algarve (among other boat trips). The operator revealed that in the course of 2016, they spotted eight species of cetaceans in the Algarve.

cetaceans in the Algarve

Happy common dolphins! By Dream Wave.

The most observed species of cetaceans in the Algarve:

  • Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) – very dynamic and fun species. Bottlenose dolphins are the most famous and known species of cetacean in the world. These dolphins can be sighted anywhere in the globe except the polar seas. In addition, it is the most common species in the theme parks. Bottlenose dolphins can reach 4 meters in length.
  • Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) – is the most common species in the temperate waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and can also be sighted in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea.

 

Other species of cetaceans in the Algarve are always present but are more difficult to spot. The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), for example, is not often seen because they are rather shy. The risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) and the orca (Orcinus orca) were also sighted this year, as in previous years.

cetaceans in the Algarve

Fin wahles are really impressive! By Dream Wave.

As far as whales are concerned, the maritime operator recorded the sighting of three species:

  • Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) – is the second largest animal after the blue whale. The Fin whale can reach a length of up to 25.9m!
  • Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) – reaching a length of up to 20 m and weighing up to 45 tonnes, it is the third largest balaenopteridae.
  • Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) – these marine mammals are distinguished from other whales by a white band on each flipper. They have a length of up to 9m, with females being larger than males.

 

The maritime operator says that in recent years the public interest in the observation of cetaceans in the Algarve has grown significantly. However, the operator is concerned about the amount of trash that they find in the sea and which can affect this interest, as well as affecting turtles, seabirds and cetaceans in the Algarve.

So the crews of Dream Wave are concerned with trying to fulfill their civic role, collecting most of that garbage they find. This is one of the reasons why we like working with this operator. The operator has an attitude of dedication, professionalism and a deep respect for the sea.

Cetaceans Algarve SeaBookings (4)

This year we also found orcas. By Dream Wave.

If you’d like to get to meet some of these species of cetaceans in the Algarve, yourself, book your dolphin watching boat trip now.

The best boat trips for your Christmas holidays in Portugal

Our favorite boat trips for your Christmas holidays in Portugal

Are you one of the lucky ones who’s spending the Christmas holidays in Portugal? Well done! The time between Christmas and New Years in Portugal is usually beautiful. It’s not too busy and the weather is often very sunny but of course a bit cold. You can expect temperatures around 20 degrees celsius in the sun during the day but it may get rather chilly in the night and early morning (around 5 to 10 degrees).

Christmas holidays in Portugal

Enjoy your Christmas holidays in Portugal!

To give a special touch to your Christmas holidays in Portugal and make this time of the year even more magical, we suggest you to pick a sunny and quiet day and to book a lovely boat tour. Not all tour operators keep their boat tours running during the winter period, but others do, also during the Christmas holidays in Portugal. We’ve selected our top 5 boat tours to do during your Christmas holidays in Portugal. Enjoy!

Top 5 boat tours to do during your Christmas holidays in Portugal

Kayak trip in Benagil

Boat trip in Benagil

1. Boat tour to the cave of Benagil

This boat tour is surely a best-seller during the Christmas holidays in Portugal. This one hour boat tour to the famous cave of Benagil is the best way to explore the coastline of this region. The cave of Benagil is the most popular among all rock formations in Portugal and maybe even Europe. To visit this cave should be on top of your list of things to do during your Christmas holidays in Portugal! The cave boat trip starts at the typical fishermen beach of Benagil, near Lagoa, in the Algarve. You’ll get on board on one of Ruben’s grotto boats. These boats are specially designed for these tours. They are easy to board and small enough to truly access the caves. When the ocean tide allows, you’ll be able to get into the caves and make impressive pictures!

Dream Wave Albufeira - Insonia Albufeira - Algarve, Portugal

Dolphin and cave tour from Albufeira

2. Caves & dolphin watching from Albufeira

This boat trip from Albufeira is one of our personal favorites. This boat trip takes about two hours and is great to do with friends or family. We invite you to get aboard of Insomnia, a rigid inflatable passenger boat. We’ll take you to enjoy the stunning coastline of the Algarve with a great view from the Atlantic. We’ll first visit some of the most impressive caves around Albufeira, including the famous cave of Benagil. To complete this excursion, we’ll try to find some wild dolphins. The dolphins we search for are wild animals, so we can never guarantee we find them. Fortunately, the experience crew know the secrets to find them and we see dolphins on almost all of our trips. Wouldn’t this boat trip be the right magical moment during your Christmas holidays in Portugal?

Jigging Alvor

Big game fishing in Alvor

3. Bottom fishing from Alvor

If you’d like to go fishing during your Christmas holidays in Portugal, we’d invite you to come aboard on “Donzela”. This fully equipped sport fishing boat belongs to the local fisherman Miguel. Miguel would be happy to take you to the best and most unkown fishing spots, to find great ground fish. Bottom fishing tour starts from Alvor, in the Algarve, a typical fishermen town. Bottom fishing from Alvor is great as there is a broad variety of fish to catch thanks to the warm Gulf Stream that passes by the coast of the Algarve. The main species that we usually catch during the bottom fishing from Alvor are Sea Bass, Stone Bass, Garfisch, Bream, Squid, Cuttlefish and Mackerels.

Sunset sailing in Lisbon

Sunset sailing in Lisbon is a great way to enjoy the city

4. Sunset Sailing in Lisbon

If you’re spending your Christmas holidays in Portugal in Lisbon, we recommend this sunset sailing cruise in the Tagus River! This trip takes about three hours and during the winter season, it starts at 15h30. In our opinion, this sunset cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy the Tagus River and also Lisbon.

This romantic sunset sailing tour is a great way to get the most out of your holidays in Lisbon as you’ll get a great perspective over the city. From the boat, you’ll have a unique view over the city and its most emblematic landmarksAt this time of the year, as the sun sets, you’ll also see some of the many Christmas lights that decorate the city. Don’t forget to bring some warm clothes as it gets rather cold after the sun has set.

vertigem azul - dolphin watching from Setubal

Dolphin watching from Setúbal

5. Dolphin watching in Setúbal

Only half an hour drive from Lisbon you can embark on this magical boat tour to encounter wild dolphins. The three-hour boat tour of dolphin watching in Setúbal takes place on a luxurious catamaran known for its security and comfort. We’ll guarantee you’ll have an unforgettable moment for your whole family: dolphin watching in their natural habitat.

In Setúbal, in the Sado River, lives a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. A team of experts and marine biologists will go with you on the boat tour. They will do all they can to make sure you get to observe the dolphins. Despite the fact that this pod of dolphins is resident, they are wild animals, and we cannot guarantee a 100%. Fortunately, we spot dolphins on 95% of our trips, so the chance is very high. It is a true adventure!

Happy Christmas holidays in Portugal!

Happy Christmas holidays in Portugal!

We’d like to remind you that these boat tours are subject to the ocean and weather conditions. During the winter period, chances of bad conditions are higher and some trips may be cancelled. So, we recommend you to keep an eye on the local weather forecasts and in case of dubious conditions, stay in touch with your tour provider. In case your boat trip is cancelled, we’ll do our best to find you another trip or reschedule. If that’s not possible, we’ll fully refund you.

The good news is that the forecasts for the coming days seem good, so go ahead and book your boat trip during your Christmas holidays in Portugal!

If you’ve got any other suggestions or are looking for a different kind of boat tour or watersport, feel free to contact us by phone or email. Happy Christmas holidays in Portugal!

In 2016 there were two births of wild dolphins in Setúbal

Good news for dolphin watching tours in the Sado River and for nature! This year there were two births of wild dolphins in Setúbal, one in August and another in October.

Dolphin Sado Out16

This calf was born in October 2016

It was the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation that confirmed that two baby bottlenose dolphins were born in the Sado estuary in 2016. Thus, with these two births, the number of dolphins in Setúbal rises to 29 elements of this species in the resident community in the Sado River. The names of the two calves will be chosen by the students of a primary school of the municipality of Setúbal.

The pod of wild dolphins in Setúbal are a particular case in Europe. In fact, the community of 29 bottlenose dolphins is resident. Only two more dolphin communities living in estuaries are known: one in Scotland and another in Ireland.

Dolphin Sado Aug16

This calf was born in August 2016

Unfortunately, in the 1980s and 1990s, the dolphin population on the Sado River declined. The minimum number of animals was recorded in 2011: 25 elements. However, the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation points out that this trend seems to have been reversed.

Boat tour to observe the wild dolphins in Setúbal

For the observation of the wild dolphins in Setúbal, SeaBookings collaborates with a maritime operator of excellence. This operator has been recognized for its merit with several awards and certifications of quality and respect for nature. This operator also collaborates with the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation to monitor the Sado River dolphin community.

dolphins in setúbal

Dolphin watching in Setúbal is done on a luxury catamaran

We invite you to come and meet the dolphin community of the Rio Sado and the two new cute calves on a boat trip. The tour lasts 3 to 4 hours and departs from Setúbal. We recommend booking in advance to secure your seat. Dolphin watching in the Sado can be done all year round and this is the ideal family trip as kids love it and all ages are welcome!