Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016

It seems like tomorrow will be the big day! Tomorrow the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is expected to start. Nazaré, about 125km North of Lisbon, is one of the most popular seaside resorts along the “Costa de Prata” (Silver Coast), Portugal. Since November 2011, when surfer Garrett McNamara, from Hawaii, surfed a record-breaking giant wave (23.8 m) at Nazaré, this seaside village became famous for its big waves.

Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016

Garrett McNamara’s wave from 2011 in Nazaré

In recent years, Nazaré has become a popular tourist destination being a picturesque seaside village. Its long sandy beaches are considered to be among the best beaches in Portugal.

After his record-breaking giant wave in 2011, McNamara returned to Nazaré several times in the search of an even bigger wave. In October, 2013, Carlos Burle, from Brazil, surfed another wave that is being studied as possibly the largest wave ever ridden. Surfing big waves in Nazaré is not without danger. In October 2013, female surfer Maya Gabeira experienced a near-death wipeout in Nazaré. Fortunately, she was rescued after losing consciousness.

Nazaré hosts such very high breaking waves thanks to the presence of the underwater Canyon. This canyon makes the waves much larger. The famous big waves of Nazaré gave origin to the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016.

Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazré

Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazaré

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 has been called on with big-wave riders Andrew Cotton and Tom Butler, both from the UK, in the starting line up. Depending on the local wind, it looks like Tuesday December the 20th is the first possible day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the wind and ocean conditions cooperate.

The the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), with a series of major swells heading towards Nazaré, confirmed the start of the event. All surf lovers around the world will have their eyes on the world’s best big wave surfers. The 24 selected big wave riders will take on the waves of “Praia do Norte”. This beach beak is notorious for its imposing waves and dangerous whitewater speeds.

According to Peter Mel, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner, the waves are projected to be 10-14m plus with favorable winds. “We are all eager to see how the world’s best big wave surfers push the boundaries with the debut of this event” he says.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is an all-new event on the WSL Big Wave Tour. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be the first paddle-in competition to take place at Nazaré. This happening reaffirms Portugal as a big wave haven.

The event will be contested by 24 of the best big wave surfers. Our friend and local surfer Alex Botelho is among these 24 courageous surfers. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is scheduled to start early in the morning Portugal time on Tuesday, December 20. Depending on the conditions, the organization is also keeping the option open of competition days on Wednesday, December 21 and Thursday, December 22.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app. The total prize purse for the Nazare Challenge is $100,000.

Nazaré Challenge Competitors in 2016:

Greg Long (USA)

Billy Kemper (HAW)

Nic Lamb (USA)

Carlos Burle (BRA)

Damien Hobgood (USA)

Cristian Merello (CHL)

Ramon Navarro (CHL)

Gabriel Villaran (PER)

Grant Baker (CHL)

Trevor Carlson (HAW)

Koa Rothman (HAW)

Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Aaron Gold (HAW)

Kai Lenny (HAW)

Pedro Calado (BRA)

Will Skudin (USA)

Kealii Mamala (HAW)

Kohl Christensen (HAW)

Alex Botelho (PRT)

Hugo Vau (PRT)

João de Macedo (PRT)

Antonio Silva (PRT)

Andrew Cotton (GBR)

Tom Butler (GBR)

Visit Nazaré these days to be impressed by these heroes or book your own surfing lesson in Portugal!

Holidays in Portugal – a lot of awards in 2016

We’re so proud on our beautiful country. It is with great pleasure that we found that among the Europewinners of the 23rd World Travel Awards™, Portugal stands out. Holidays in Portugal are becoming more and more popular. This is why.

Founded in 1993, the World Travel Awards are a great reference in the world travel industry. Every year, an international jury of hospitality experts and peers awards hotels and other hospitality companies. The World Travel Awards are given both on a world level and international region level in a wide range of categories, like Europe for example. The categories include the best hotel, travel agency, airline and car-hire company. The The Wall Street Journal called the World Travel Awards the “Oscars” of the travel industry.

Cordoama - André Carvalho

Cordoama, Algarve by André Carvalho

Last year, Portugal did great. This year was amazing too. Holidays in Portugal are a must if we look at the categories where Portugal wan (full list at end of article).

Holidays in Portugal are great as you can fly with the awarded airline TAP. In the airplanes of TAP, you can enjoy Europe’s Leading Inflight Magazine. So, if you’re considering holidays in Portugal, don’t hesitate any longer. Beside the amazing nature, weather, people and food, we’ve got unforgettable watersports and boat tours, and also airlines, hotels and cruise terminals!

TAP Portugal Madeira

TAP airplane taking off from Madeira

You can either go for the best all inclusive resort, Pestana on Porto Santo, part of Madeira, a leading island destination. The The Vine Hotel was awarded Europe’s Leading Island Hotel & Spa.

Madeira SeaBookings

We love Madeira!

If you prefer the south of Portugal, go to the Algarve, Europe’s leading beach destination (stunning Benagil ont he top picture by Almarco). Here you can find a broad range of amazing accommodations.  How about Hotel Quinta do Lago, Portugal, Europe’s Leading Beach Resort, or Vila Joya, Portugal in Albufeira, Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel? Also in Albufeira, you’ll find Europe’s leading family resort fot the best holidays in Portugal with your family: Pine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort. If you prefer a private villa, you won’t get disappointed in Porches at the Private Villas at Vila Vita Parc. There are two more hotels in the Algarve that got awarded: Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort & Spa is Conrad Algarve and Europe’s Leading MICE Hotel is EPIC SANA Algarve. For the most romantic couples, you must try the Monte Santo Resort in Carvoeiro. 

Hotel Quinta do Lago

Hotel Quinta do Lago, Algarve

If you’re coming to Portugal by cruise, you’ll be welcomed on Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination and Europe’s Leading Cruise Port. In Portugal’s capital city, you can stay at awarded Myriad by SANA Hotels for business or Altis Belém Hotel & Spa if you appreciate design. We also recommend the awarded Bairro Alto Hotel.

Altis Belém

Altis Belém, Lisbon

Of course all these awards would not have been possible without the great support of Europe’s Leading Tourist Board: Turismo de Portugal. We’d like to thank Turismo de Portugal. This award was definitely well deserved. Let’s keep up the good job!

Beside all these awards in hotels, airlines, cruise terminals, we’d like to remember you that when you’re on holidays in Portugal, you should definitely enjoy a boat tour or do some watersports. Let us know what you’d like to do and where or simply check out our offer. Don’t forget to book on time! Enjoy your holidays in Portugal!

Full list of Portuguese awards:

Europe’s  Leading Airline to AfricaTAP Portugal
Europe’s  Leading Airline to South AmericaTAP Portugal
Europe’s Leading All-Inclusive ResortPestana Porto Santo All Inclusive & Spa Beach Resort, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Beach DestinationThe Algarve, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Beach ResortHotel Quinta do Lago, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique HotelVila Joya, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique ResortChoupana Hills Resort & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Business HotelMyriad by SANA Hotels, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise DestinationLisbon, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise PortPorto de Lisboa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Design HotelAltis Belém Hotel & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Family ResortPine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Hotel VillasPrivate Villas at Vila Vita Parc, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Inflight MagazineUp Magazine (TAP Portugal)
Europe’s Leading Island DestinationMadeira Islands
Europe’s Leading Island Hotel & SpaThe Vine Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Landmark HotelBairro Alto Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort & SpaConrad Algarve, Portugal
Europe’s Leading MICE HotelEPIC SANA Algarve Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Tourist BoardTurismo de Portugal
Europe’s Most Romantic ResortMonte Santo Resort, Portugal

Parasailing in Lagos: adrenaline-boost and unforgettable views

We’ve been trying out the most amazing watersports and boat tours of Portugal. We’ve been “testing” some of the activities that we sell on SeaBookings.com. By experiencing these activities ourselves, we’re able to give a better idea of what they consist of to our customers: you. In this post, We’ll share the most adrenaline-boosting activity we’ve done so far: parasailing in Lagos.

Parasailing basically consists of being pulled behind a boat, in the air, with a specially designed parachute. Parasailing in Lagos is one of the most popular activities we sell in Lagos for adrenaline lovers. It can be done by all ages and does not require any previous experience.

Parasailing in Lagos takes place on Meia Praia, the main beach of Lagos. At about one third of the beach, counting from Lagos, you’ll find a watersport school. Here, you can learn how to windsurf, do parasailing and other sports like wake boarding and kite surfing. To get there, from Lagos, take the road along Meia Praia. At the roundabout of the Marina of Lagos, go straight and after the petrol station on your right, you’ll find a beach resort called Duna Beach and then you’ll see the watersport school on your right. You can park for free by the school, near the beach.

To go parasailing in Lagos, of course we recommend you to book online to assure your seats. Yet, after receiving your booking confirmation, you should have a kind of flexible mind set. In fact, parasailing in Lagos is highly dependent on the wind. Therefore, we always suggest people to book in the morning, when there is usually less wind. And be aware that, if you book for 10:00, maybe you’ll have to wait until 10:30 or even 11:00 until the conditions are good. The wind changes very fast and the team who does the parasailing in Lagos is quiet picky with the wind. Your safety is first. But no worries, waiting a bit on the beach is not a hassle. Just make sure you’re prepared for it and bring your swimming wear, towel, umbrella and sunscreen.

parasailing in Lagos

From the RIB we went into the parasaining boat

Our experience parasailing in Lagos:

In our case, we booked for 13:30 and once we checked in (at the school on the parking lot), we had to wait a bit on the beach. At 14:00 we were picked up by a small rigid inflatable boat to bring us to the proper parasailing boat. While jumping from the beach onto the boat, you’ll get a bit wet, so we recommend to wear swimming wear. Feel free to bring a little bag you’re your camera as in the boat you’ll most likely not get wet. Jumping from one boat to the other is easy. You’ll be wearing a life vest all the time.

The parasailing in Lagos is done from a specially designed boat. This boat has a plateau from where you’ll take off and land and a special machine to control the rope that’s attached to the parachute. There are also some benches to sit, for the people who’re going to fly and also for the spectators. Parasailing can be done solo, from 40m to 120m in height, or tandem, up to 40m. Tandem parasailing can be done up to 120kg in total, so usually, only a parent and a kid can do it. When there’s no wind at all, the maximum weight can be a bit more.

Parasailing Lagos (10)

Takeoff!

The good thing about parasailing is that it does not require any previous experience. Parasailing in Lagos can be done from age 6, tandem with a parent. If fact, many families do this activity two by two. It’s very easy to do. Basically, all you do is to sit in the harness that you wear. That’s why the safety briefing is very short.

Before me, two other guys went up into the sky. The flight time is usually 10-15 minutes. You’ll be flying behind the boat that cruises along the shore. On days when there’s a bit of wind, usually, the parasailing in Lagos is done along the bay of Lagos, Meia Praia. When there’s no wind at all, you’ll be taken towards the caves and cliffs of Ponta da Piedade. Here, the views must be incredible! I flew along the bay and was already highly impressed by the stunning views.

So, when it was my turn, the crew had already put my harness on, under my life vest. One of the crew members was driving the boat, and the other helped the parasailors to take off and land. He attached me to the parasail and told me to relax and sit back. I admit I was rather nervous. Parasailing is not the kind of activity I always dreamed of as I’m not so fond of heights, but I still wanted to give it a try. So, I sat back and slowly the rope was being loosened such that I was taking off while the boat was moving forward. Take off is really easy and nothing to worry about.

The feeling of seeing the rope stretch and you’re furthering from the boat, higher and higher into the sky, is amazing. I only went up to 40 meters and found the views and the feeling impressive! Now, imagine going up to 120m! While up in the sky, the sights are truly breath-taking. The 10-15 minute in the sky are enough to calmly look around, from the horizon of the Atlantic, to Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, the bay of Meia Praia, the lagoon of Alvor, Alvor and Portimão. Wow, I felt so blessed to live in this stunning country! Another thing that impressed me was the silence. If you’re up in sky by yourself, there will be no noise, only the sound of the wind hitting the parasail. This was a beautiful moment that also reminded me the silence you experience while scuba diving.

Overall, it was a great experience. I felt the adrenaline flowing through my veins and I’ll never forget the beautiful silence surrounded by such an amazing scenery.  The landing is also easy. You don’t need to do anything. Just hang there and slowly be pulled back to the boat. On the boat the friendly crew congratulated me for overcoming my fears. Actually, I really enjoyed and feel that one day I’ll be back to fly up to the maximum of 120m.

Tips for parasailing in Lagos:

  • Book on time to assure your spot;
  • Be on the beach on time to check-in but be prepared for delays due to the wind conditions that may change from one moment to the other;
  • Usually the mornings are less windy, so we recommend you to book as early as possible, before the wind picks up;
  • Bring swimming wear, towel, sunscreen, umbrella and a snack and drink for the time you’ll spend on the beach before (and after) your parasailing experience;
  • Tandem parasailing can only be done up to 120kg in total. Only when there is no wind at all, the weight can be a bit more;
  • To get to the watersport school on Meia Praia, you can go by car, train or walk (about 2km) from Lagos;
  • If it’s too windy and you’ve got no availability to reschedule, why not try out some of the other watersports provided by this tour operator?
  • You can bring your phone/camera on the boat and a GoPro is great to take with you up in the sky (all at own risk, of course).
Parasailing Lagos (8)

The crew preparing the parasail

Are you ready for this unforgettable and adrenaline-boosting experience? Book your parasailing in Lagos now!

The best party boat in the Algarve

The Algarve, beside being a popular holiday destination for ocean and beach lovers, is also an attraction for party people. Cities like Vilamoura and Lagos are known for their bubbly nightlife. These cities attract party people from all around the world, all year round. There are several party boat tours in the Algarve and we found the best ones: the party boat in the Algarve that departs from Vilamoura and Lagos.

The girls on the boat party in Albufeira

The girls on the boat party

These boat parties depart from the modern Marinas of Vilamoura and Lagos. These Marinas is very easily accessible and you can park easily.

Of course, we had reserved our spots via SeaBookings, so once we arrived at the check-in spot for the party boat in the Algarve, we only had to mention our name. After checking-in, we still had some time to grab a drink on the cosy terrace of the Marina.

The testing team!

The party team!

The party boat in the Algarve

When it was time for boarding, we were called by the friendly crew. The boat was totally booked but there was still enough space to lay on the deck and enjoy some sun or to dance. The people on the boat were mainly aged between 25 and 35 years old. The main nationalities that were present among the party people were Spain, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. All were party people looking for an unforgettable afternoon with great music on a stunning boat.

At 18h30 the boat was ready to depart. We settled on the upper deck, where we found a comfortable space to put our bags and flipflops. The music started to play. The DJ was playing the best house tunes of this summer. The music suited the stunning scenery of the coast of the Algarve perfectly.

We sat on the upper deck and went to get our drinks two by two. As the rhythm of the music was inviting for a dance, we went to the deck downstairs. Here there was enough space to dance while enjoying the beautiful sights of the coast of the Algarve.

It was a warm summer day and the temperatures, even around sunset, were high. The good news was that to refresh, we jumped into the water of the blue Atlantic. The water felt great. Almost everybody got into the water. A lot of fun.

The three hours of the boat party went by super fast as we cruised along the coastline while the sunset created stunning colors in the sky. Every time we came along another boat, the crowd went crazy, singing, dancing and putting the hands in the air to greet the other boats.

Overall, the four of us agreed: this is the best party boat in the Algarve. It’s the perfect vessel to host an event like this. The party has a good sound system with great music. The bar works perfectly. The crew is very nice and the environment aboard was just amazing! We’ll be back!

This is the best party boat in the Algarve

This is the best party boat in the Algarve

Our tips for the boat party in the Algarve

  • This boat party in the Algarve is great for groups of friends and even bachelor parties;
  • The party boat in the Algarve combines two of the best things of the Algarve, its stunning coastline boat trips and unforgettable parties;
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen;
  • Eat something before you get aboard as you’ll only have dinner very late;
  • Bring a nice summer outfit but don’t forget your swimming wear for a refreshing dive;
  • The boat parties only run during the summer and tend to get fully booked, so book on time!

Book your party boat in the Algarve now and have fun!

Kitesurf school Lagos Portugal

The best activities in the Algarve for groups – sporty

If you’re traveling to the Algarve with a group, you’ll have to plan a bit ahead. Going to a restaurant with a group of 10 may require previous reservations. The same applies to watersports and boat tours in the Algarve. Today we’ll share our top 5 best activities in the Algarve for groups. The segment we aim for today is the sporty and young segment. Later this month, we’ll share another 5 best activities in the Algarve for groups that prefer less sporty nautic activities. 

There are a lot of nautical activities in the Algarve. We tried to pick the top 5 most popular activities in the Algarve for groups based on our experience. Prices range from 15 € to 55 € per person and there are things to do for all tastes and all along the coastline of the Algarve.

Top 5 most popular activities in the Algarve for groups

Kayak tour Benagil

Kayak tour Benagil is one of the most popular activities in the Algarve for groups

  1. Kayak tour in Benagil

The kayak tour in Benagil is one of the most popular activities in the Algarve for groups booked on Seabookings. This tour will take you to the most impressive rock formations of the worldwide known Cave of Benagil.

The kayak tour in Benagil starts at Praia de Benagil and will make a nice route along the stunning coastline of the region of Benagil. You’ll pass by the emblematic secluded beaches of Marinha and Carvalho and be able to paddle into stunning caves.

This kayak tour in Benagil is one of the best activities in the Algarve for groups because you can join a group of friends (up to 10) and have a lot of fun. The guides are super friendly and speak several languages. Each kayak takes two people. The kayak tour in Benagil is continuously assisted by a motorboat.

  • Duration: 01:00
  • Location: Praia de Benagil
  • Available Seats: 10
  • Price: 15 €
Stand up paddle boarding Lagos best activities in the Algarve for groups

Stand-up paddle boarding in Lagos is one of the best activities in the Algarve for groups

  1. Stand-up paddle in Lagos

If you’re looking for the best activities in the Algarve for groups and you’re near Lagos with a sporty group, go for stand-up paddle in Lagos! Stand-up paddle, also know as SUP, is basically, standing on a huge surfboard and moving forth with a paddle while standing or sitting on your knees. We went to try out stand-up paddle in Lagos and we confirm that one of the big advantages of this sport is its easiness to learn. After a short intro on the beach, you’re ready to go!

This is one of the most popular activities in the Algarve for groups as the guides are very flexible and will adapt according to the wishes of your group. The guides and experienced SUPpers and happy to share their knowledge about the sport itself and about the region.  Stand-up paddle in Lagos can be done at several locations like Ponta da Piedade or even to the hidden Praia da Ingrina near the west coast (transfer included).

  • Duration: 02:00
  • Location: Praia Dona Ana, Lagos
  • Available Seats: 8
  • Price: 35 €
surf school algarve

Surfing is one oft he greatest activities in the Algarve for groups

  1. Surfing on the west coast

For the most adventurous and sporty people, on of best activities in the Algarve for groups is surfing on the west coast. You’ll be picked up (5€ extra per person) at your accommodation near Lagos or meet at Praia do Amado on the west coast. Praia do Amado is a great beach to learn how to surf or to catch some waves if you’ve already got some experience.

This surfing experience is one of the greatest activities in the Algarve for groups because it’s a lot of fun to learn surfing together! This surfing experience takes the whole day and includes two surf lessons of 1h30 each by experienced instructors. All the surf equipment and sport insurance is included. Food and drinks are not included. Feel free to bring your own (something light to eat in between the two surf lessons) or grab something at the local cafe.

  • Duration: full day
  • Location: Lagos / Praia do Amado
  • Available Seats: 10
  • Price: 55 €
Snorkeling from a boat is one of the coolest activities in the Algarve for groups

Snorkeling from a boat is one of the coolest activities in the Algarve for groups

  1. Snorkeling from Albufeira

This snorkeling tour from Albufeira is one of the most popular activities in the Algarve for groups as you’ll get on a boat and go to the best snorkeling spots of the Algarve! The 2-hour snorkeling in Albufeira will take you and your friends to explore the under-water world of Albufeira. The snorkelling tour is done from a boat. This allows access to the best snorkelling spots around Albufeira and to exclusive areas far from the busy touristic zones.

This snorkeling tour is one of the best activities in the Algarve for groups because it’s suitable for the whole group. In fact, if you don’t want to snorkel, you can simply enjoy the sun on board). During your snorkeling tour, you’ll be joined by an experienced and friendly team who will be happy to teach you all the tips and tricks for snorkeling.

  • Duration: 02:00
  • Location: Marina de Albufeira
  • Available Seats: 10
  • Price: 30 €
Jetboat Algarve is one of the fastest activities in the Algarve for groups

Jetboat Algarve is one of the fastest activities in the Algarve for groups

  1. Jet boat in Albufeira

The jet boat in Albufeira is without doubt one of the best activities in the Algarve for groups who love speed and adrenaline! This is a thrilling 60-minute ride on a jet boat where your whole group of friends will enjoy an adrenaline boost. You’ll scream with amusement as the experienced skipper performs tricky maneuvers over the water. 360-degree spins and power slides are part of the menu.

Grab your friends together and cruise along white-sand beaches, caves, rock formations of Albufeira on the super cool jet boat. You might even be lucky to spot some dolphins!

  • Duration: 01:00
  • Location: Marina de Albufeira
  • Available Seats: 10
  • Price: 45 €

These are some of the best activities in the Algarve for groups that like sporty and exciting water experiences. Of course there are many more, let us know if you’ve got any suggestions or questions. To book, please be on time. Boats and tours tend to get fully booked for days during the high season, specially for these best activities in the Algarve for groups. Enjoy!

Jet boat Algarve: 100% adrenaline, wet and fun!

As we did with some other activities and boat tours that we have available on SeaBookings, we had to try the jet boat Algarve. We’ve had a lot of great feedback about the jet boat Algarve and now it was our turn to try it out!

The Marina of Albufeira

The jet boat Algarve departs from the Marina of Albufeira. Albufeira is located only 45 minutes away from Faro airport, the main airport of the Algarve. Albufeira is a major holiday destination in the sunny south of Portugal. Albufeira is known for its sunny stunning beaches, good food, fun nightlife and a lot of ocean activities. The jet boat Algarve is one of the most popular things to do in Albufeira. We went to try it out.

The jet boat Algarve departs from the Marina de Albufeira

The jet boat Algarve departs from the Marina de Albufeira

The jet boat Algarve has two possible durations: 30 minutes and 60 minutes. We went on the 60 minute jet boat Algarve experience. The main difference between the two is that the shorter one is more focussed on pure adrenaline. The longer one, in addition to the adrenaline and fun part, does some sightseeing to the fantastic coastline of the region, with visits to the caves. There are two jet boats available in Albufeira.

Getting to the Marina of Albufeira, where the jet boat Algarve departs from, is very easy. From the city center of Albufeira it’s a nice 30 minutes walk. Grabbing a car or a taxi would take about 15 minutes. Parking in the Marina is free and there is plenty of space in the underground carpark.

Checking in for the jet boat Algarve

In the Marina you’ll find the meeting point for the jet boat Algarve next to the Gate4 Café. We were welcomed by Beatriz and Luiza, two very kind girls, who’ll check you in and take you to the boat. It’s recommendable to be there 15 minutes before your trip departs.

Before getting onto the boat, it’s recommended to take of your shoes or flipflops. Yes, it is. Believe us. We’ll explain why in a bit. Beatriz warned us we’d get totally wet. Totally. And we were like “yea right”, so we brought our dresses instead of wearing just a bikini. Then Beatriz introduced us to Miguel, or skipper, who gave us our life vests.

Team SeaBookings on the jet boat Algarve

Team SeaBookings on the jet boat Algarve

Jet boat Algarve: our experience

Getting into the jet boat Algarve is easy. You just step from the dock into the boat. There are three rows with 3 seats and one front seat for the skipper. When Miguel started the engine, you could immediately feel the 500 hp of the jet boat Algarve. Miguel gave us a quick briefing about the tour: “We’ll first speed up and go to the end of Armação de Pêra. There, we’ll slow down and head back close to the coast and go into some of the caves. Along the way, we’ll do some maneuvers”. If so, he’d lift his hand and we’d have to hold on tight. After putting our belongings like phones and wallets into a waterproof box, we were ready to go.

jet boat Algarve

Getting on the jet boat Algarve

Wow, this jet boat Algarve is so powerful and Miguel, as a professional skipper, made us scream. He was speeding, doing tight curves and even some 360º, 180º, powerbreaks and slides. Everytime Miguel lifted his hand, we’d hold on tight to the bar in front of us and start screaming of joy! The powerbreaks are incredible. Miguel speeds and then all of the sudden breaks. As such, the boat creates a wave and almost dives into the ocean. And yes, here you’ll get soaking wet! The people who were too stubborn to take their sunglasses of even had them taken from their face with the wave and the whole boat ends full of water. This is a lot of fun. We never expected this to be so cool and it’s super refreshing too!

Stunnign views from the jet boat Algarve

Stunning views from the jet boat Algarve

Before going back into the Marina, Miguel gave us the joy of one more powerbreak. So, we ended up this jet boat Algarve experience soaking wet and with a great smile on our face. Back in the Marina, you can get dresses again and grab your shoes. Beatriz was waiting on us with our pictures that she took before departure!

Such a great experience! We highly recommend it to speed lovers and adrenaline lovers! It’s so cool! The total capacity of the jet boat Algarve is 12 and one skipper. The jet boat Algarve experience is not suitable for young children and people with back problems or pregnant women. We recommend you to book a few days ahead as the jet boat Algarve tends to get fully booked.

Let us know if you’ve got any questions or suggestions about the jet boat Algarve or simply book now!

 

We went kayaking in Benagil

Kayaking in Benagil is a must!

Grab your friends together and go kayaking in Benagil

Grab your friends together and go kayaking in Benagil

We love to try out the experiences that are available on our platform. Femke and a group of friends went to try out the kayaking in Benagil. This kayak tour in Benagil takes you to one of the biggest marine caves of Portugal and even Europe.

Kayaking in Benagil is a lot of fun. You’ll depart from Ferragudo on a boat. Ferragudo is a cute fisherman town, next to Portimão, in the South of Portugal, Algarve. Parking facilities next to the departure point are great and free.

The kayaks for the kayak tour are tandem

The kayaks for the kayak tour are tandem

The kayak tour in Benagil

The kayak tour in Benagil takes about 3 hours. On the boat, you’ll get a brief instruction by one of the guides and then you’re ready to get into your kayak. The guides that will take you kayaking in Benagil are very kind and speak English and Portuguese. The trip starts at a boat trip and only closer to the Benagil caves, we’ll step over to the kayaks.

The kayaks that are used for this kayak tour in Benagil are tandem kayaks. They take two people at a time. Life vests are mandatory to go kayaking in Benagil and provided by the tour operator.

Bring sunglasses and a swimsuit for kayaking in Benagil

Bring sunglasses and a swimsuit for kayaking in Benagil

The fact that the kayaks for the kayak tour in Benagil are tandem makes it suitable for families. Children can go with their parents. For example, mom can go with one of the kids and dad with the other. As long as the kids can swim, they are welcome! Don’t’ you want the kayak but your whole family or group of friends does? No worries, come along on the support boat and enjoy the sun, view and take some pictures.

The kayak tour in Benagil will be continuously accompanied by the boat. If you feel tired or something goes wrong, the boat is there to support immediately. Of course, this is usually not necessary, it’s just a matter of precaution. To go kayaking in Benagil, you do not need to be super fit. Obviously, it’s a physical exercise, but not very intense and it does not require any previous experience.

About the tour itself, kayaking in Benagil is amazing! You’ll have the change to stop on four different beaches for a little rest and to explore the beauty of the rock formations. In total, you’ll be able to get into about ten different caves. Kayaking in Benagil, as said, starts at Praia de Benagil and you’ll be kayaking up to Praia da Marinha. The huge cave of Benagil is the highlight of this kayak tour in Benagil. This is one of the largest marine caves of Europe and the waters around it are several shades of blue. Just beautiful!

The sights along the kayak tour in Benagil are stunning. We went into a lot of different grottos. As it was a very warm day, we even went for a swim. As the kayaks are rather unstable and can get totally wet, it’s not recommended to take your phone or camera. You can store your luggage and phone at the tour operator. If you have got a water-resistant GoPro, please bring it! You’ll make impressive pictures and videos for sure!

Blue waters under you in the kayak tour in Benagil

Blue waters under you in the kayak tour in Benagil

Now it’s your turn!

All you need to bring to go kayaking in Benagil is a swimming suit, towel, hat and a lot of sunscreens! As this activity is very depended on the tides and waves, we recommend you to book a few days ahead and stay in contact to be informed about the conditions of the ocean. Of course, cancellations are not part of the plan but due to the nature of this activity, they may happen! Controlling the weather and ocean conditions is still something that is out of our reach.

The cave of Benagil is impressive!

The cave of Benagil is impressive!

Let us know if you’ve got any questions or suggestions about kayaking in Benagil and also, feel free to book now, of course! You can read more about Benagil here.

Sailing in Lisbon – Sunset, Friends and Fun

Our client and friend, Inês, offered us to share her experience about sailing in Lisbon. It’s a great way to get to know the city and enjoy the Tagus River by sunset. Check it out:

Sunset, Sailing, Friends and Fun

Junta um grupo para um passeio de barco no Tejo

Join a group of friends and come sailing in Lisbon!

The Dock of Belém, Lisbon, on a late afternoon of a beautiful summer Saturday, friends and a sailboat just for us, with skippers, beer, champagne and fresh cherries waiting for us. We’re gonna go sailing in Lisbon!

Yes, I know it sounds like a scene from a movie or who is a multimillionaire, but is not the case, I assure you!

It was just what I did last weekend and (yet) with a smile, here I share this fantastic experience that SeaBookings has given us and that is accessible to all (to have an idea, rather than going out to dinner I went sailing in Lisbon).

Champagne e amigos num passeio de barco no Tejo

Champagneand friends while sailing in Lisbon

Once we embarked on Blangai, Gonçalo and Filipe, our skippers, kindly explained in detail how our tour would be (we could even decide what route would be!). The also explained all the specifics of the vessel and some sailing techniques and all the security measures. “Above all, we want you to have fun!”, they told us and so we did.

We set sail in the direction of Santa Apolonia, while Gonçalo enthusiastically explained some technical sailing stuff.

Vistas únicas!

Unique views over the city!

We crossed the bridge of the 25th of April and dazzled with that architectural colossus. On the right side we contemplate the margin of Almada, Cristo Rei, the beauty of Gingal Pier. On the left the hills of Lisbon show up and we realize the urban history of the city with this point of view.

We passed Cais do Sodre and the renewed Ribeira da Naus and remember the courage Portuguese sailors had over 500 years ago when they conquered the oceans from that place! Sailing in Lisbon, without engine, without fuel, just with the mastery of natural resources: the tides, the wind and the stars.

O majestoso Tereiro do Paço, Sé e Castelo

The majestic Terreiro do Paço, Sé and Castelo

We arrived at Terreiro do Paço and looked at this square from a magnificent viewpoint. This image represents the city of the Tagus, which so many times seen in the history books, now there live and in color!

I see the São Jorge Castle, the Cathedral, the typical neighborhoods of old Lisbon, the Pantheon. Even with the views and thoughts back in history, I quickly return to the twenty-first century, with my friends who give me a glass of champagne to do a toast (some with beer, others with champagne!). We do three “cheers”: to life, to friendship and to this spectacular evening!

As Tall Ships Races de Lisboa '16

Tall Ships Races in Lisbon ’16

The day was particularly special for sailing in Lisbon, as in Santa Apolónia the largest free nautical festival in Europe took place: the Tall Ships Races, the traditions of the great sailing ships. And we visited this event from the best point of view: there were 50 tall ships from around the world and crew members of various nationalities, right there next to us!

We then turned around. The skippers warned us as the boat turned while we playfully let ourselves slip, laughing and splashing water with our legs. Our concern was not to spill the drinks!

Os skippers: Gonçalo e Filipe

The skippers: Gonçalo and Filipe

We started to sail down the river while the sun began to set, a true “Kodak” moment (I confess that I lost count of the number of photos we took I am not “photo-addicted” but it was impossible to not capture the moments and unique landscapes we enjoyed during that ride).

In zen-mode, I closed my eyes and felt the warm breeze, the boat and the freshness of the river. It gave me the feeling of complete relaxation. I do not know how much time had passed, but it had the effect of 25 massages, 5 yoga classes 5 and at least 3 meditation sessions.

Torre de Belém ao pôr-do-sol

Torre de Belém by sunset

After this “time for myself,” I went back to friends and the toasts! We passed the Monument to the Discoveries and arrived at the Belém Tower. This tower is UNESCO World -Heritage and voted one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It was a privilege to watch this monument from the river and we realized its defense function of the Tagus estuary.

The tour was already over and it was time to return to the dock. The tide and the wind changed and even the engine could not move us. No, no one came into stress because we knew we were in total safety. Gonçalo and Filipe quickly opened the front of the sail. In the end, for us it was even better because we experienced to “sail the bowline” (follow in the opposite direction of the wind).

Momentos de amizade

Moments of friendship while sailing in Lisbon

We enjoyed the final part of the ride to the fullest, in between champagne and fresh cherries the crew kindly offered us. I’m sure that you now think: “I want that too”.

The best of it all is that this experience was not only for me, you can do it too! Join a group of friends and contact SeaBookings! I will definitely repeat! It’s even much more accessible than we think and is at a distance of a click through SeaBookings! Let’s go? 🙂

Inês

Momentos Kodak!

Kodak moments!

Many thanks to Inês for translating this unforgettable experience of sailing in Lisbon into words. As Inês said, we’re happy to organize the same for you. Just grab a group of friends and tell us when and where and we’ll arrange a unique and unforgettable experience just for you, according to your budget! Happy sailing!

We went to try out SUP and SUP Yoga in Cascais

SUP Yoga in Cascais

SUP Yoga in Cascais

Last week I joined a group of friends and woke up early to head to Cascais. It was worth waking up early as the sun and quiet ocean were inviting us for a relaxing stand-up paddle boarding session with a tour and SUP yoga in Cascais.

Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a fast growing sport. There are several reasons why SUP is gaining more and more fans. One of the main reasons is that SUP is very easy to learn. In fact, after a quick beach class of about 15 minutes, you’re ready to get into the water. In addition, SUP is suitable for all ages and does not require any previous experience. All SUP requires is love for the ocean and willing to workout a bit!

After hearing all these nice stories about SUP, we decided to try it out ourselves. Nick, from the SUP school in Cascais, welcomed us as soon as we got to the stunning beach of Cascais. Praia da Duquesa is the beach where the SUP school is located. It’s a very idyllic beach as it’s very cozy, surrounded by the characteristic noble buildings. The waters around Cascais are light blue and the temperature does not show it’s the Atlantic.

Paddle Yoga in Cascais

Paddle Yoga in Cascais

After choosing the right life jacket, board and paddle according to our sizes, we went to the the beach to practice in the sand. Lia was the girl who was in charge of our SUP session. She started to explain how we should get on the boards, how to lie on them, how to get up to your knees and stand up. It’s also important to understand how to use the paddle correctly. After showing us some tips and sticks, we were ready to get into the water.

The water felt nice, rather fresh, but not as freezing as you’d expect the Atlantic to be. No wetsuit was needed, only a swimsuit and a life vest. As you reach a depth to your knees, you can easily get on your board, on your knees and start rowing. There was no wind at all and the water was crystal clear. We could even see some fishes and rocks.

SUP in Cascais

SUP in Cascais

SUP Tour in Cascais

The first part of the SUP session consisted on a tour. We went for a nice tour along some of the beaches of Cascais and the marina. I’m not sure how long the tour took, maybe half an hour, but as I was enjoying so much, I lost track of time. During the SUP tour in Cascais, you could choose if you wanted to stay seated on your knees or stand up. I prefer to stand up as it gives a nice view over the coastline. SUP in Cascais is wonderful to get to know the coastline of Cascais but also to workout. In fact, while sitting on your knees or standing on your board, you’re working out your whole body, from your toes to hands!

It was nice to paddle through the boats and say “hi” to the people who were on them. The view of the group of girls standing on their boards while paddling over the water was also amazing. We did a kind of round and got back to near the SUP school.

SUP Yoga in Cascais

SUP Yoga in Cascais

SUP Yoga in Cascais

When we all had reached the meeting point in front of Praia da Duquesa, Lia tied all our leashes (leash is the rope that attached your foot to the board) to a buoy. The buoy was there, anchored, such that we could attach our boards to it to stay on the same place for the SUP yoga in Cascais.

Lia had prepared a very nice yoga sequence for us. Some postures were thought to be easier and low-gravity to be able to perform them on the SUP board. Other postures were a bit more challenging and only some of us managed to do them.

Personally, I must admit that the SUP yoga in Cascais was easier than I thought. Of course I did not manage to do some of the more challenging postures, but others I did fine. I practice yoga frequently so I was really looking forward to join yoga, that I love, to another passion: the ocean. SUP yoga in Cascais totally exceeded my expectations. Doing yoga outside and feeling the sun on your skin is amazing. Now, imagine this plus feeling the ocean, the ocean’s water and movement. It’s amazing. When we finished the SUP Yoga, I just said: can we do this everyday, please?

I recommend the SUP in Cascais for everybody who likes the sea. It’s a great sport to do with a group of friends. Nick and his team will welcome you and give you a great experience. I’ll be back soon, that’s for sure!

All you need to do SUP in Cascais is to bring is a swimsuit (for the girls, you might want to bring some shorts, but we didn’t), sunscreen, a towel and some water and a snack. After the SUP session, you can grab a beer at the bar next to the SUP school. Here, a beer only costs 1,10€. To get to Cascais, you can drive from Lisbon, about 30 minutes over the A5 motorway. You can also go by train, a very nice route along the coastline, from Cais do Sodre. The train takes about 40 minutes and costs about 2€.

Let us know if you’d like to try some SUP in Cascais, a tour or a yoga session. If you’ve got any suggestions or questions, let us know too.

Tips on getting around in the Algarve

The founding team of SeaBookings grew up in the Algarve and as some of our customers have been asking some tips on getting around in the Algarve, we decided to share some personal tips. We hope these tips help you planning your holidays in the Algarve.

The Algarve is the most sought for region of Portugal by tourists, especially during the summer season. The big influx of tourists is noticeable on hotel and restaurant occupations but also on traffic. The Algarve counts with two major roads: the national road N125 and the highway A22, also known as the Via Infante de Sagres. If you’re travelling by car in the Algarve, you’ll quickly meet the A22 highway which stretches from Bensafrim (near Lagos) to the Spanish border. In total the A22 measures about 133 Km, having Faro (airport) about in the middle. The N125 national road is free, opposed to the tolls we pay on the A22, but it’s not as safe and comfortable as the motorway.

Tips on getting around in the Algarve

There are essentially 7 ways to get around in the Algarve: by (rental) car, train, bus, taxi, uber, transfers and hiring a camper. Each of this means of transport can be most suitable to get around in the Algarve, depending on the situation. We’ll present the how, pros and cons and a tip for each of these ways for getting around in the Algarve based on our personal experience.

Tips for getting around in the Algarve - by rental car

Tips for getting around in the Algarve – by rental car

  • Rental car in the Algarve

How: upon arriving at the airport, you can hire a car at the airport. There is a broad range of car rental agencies. Marina rent-a-car is the one we’ve been working with most. We’re very satisfied with their pricing, quality of fleet and service. International agencies like Europcar are also available. The toll charged because of the use of the A22 highway will be debited from your credit card after giving in the car.

Pro: Hiring a rental car in the Algarve is a great way to discover the region and opens up many remote beaches or villages that have little or no public transport access.

Con: The Portuguese are rather impatient drivers. They will attempt to overtake on hills or blind corners and speed up. Unfortunately, Portugal has one of the highest levels of road deaths per population in Europe.

Tip: don’t forget your credit card as for most rent a car agencies in the Algarve, a credit card is required as a deposit.

Tips for getting around in the Algarve - by train

Tips for getting around in the Algarve – by train

  • Train in the Algarve

How: the trains in Portugal are operated by CP. There’s a train rail along the whole Algarve, “Linha do Algarve”, being the endpoint Lagos and on the East Vila Real de Santo António. Personally, this is one of our favorite means of transportation in the Algarve. For example, to get from Lagos to the airport in Faro, we usually go by train. The timetables and prices can be easily found on the official site of CP. The tickets can be bought on the train stations and if there’s no station, only a stop, you should get your ticket in the train.

Pro: Traveling by train is cheap, fun (nice views and local people) and you can do something while traveling (sleeping or reading a book for example).

Con: Despite having 30 different train stations and stops in the Algarve, some beaches or points of interest are not reachable by train. Of course you can then jump over to a bike, taxi or uber.

Tip: There are special discounts for the summer season.

Tips for getting around in the Algarve - by bus

Tips for getting around in the Algarve – by bus

  • Bus in the Algarve

How: Eva Transportes in one of the major bus operators in the Algarve. In the Algarve, you’ll find frequent daily, long-distance busses connecting the major towns in the Algarve with Lisbon and the rest of Portugal. Within the cities, sometimes there are urban bus networks (Albufeira, Faro, Lagos and Portimão).

Pro: There are no trains to the Southwest point of continental Europe, Sagres. Fortunately, Eva Transportes operates in between Sagres and Lagos. So, if you want to go surfing or do a boat tour in Sagres, you can go by bus (schedule here).

Con: Along with the limited network, bus services on weekends and Public Holidays are a lot less frequent than on weekdays. In addition, most routes have no service after about 8pm. In fact, personally, we avoid to use the bus in the Algarve all times.

Tip: To get to Faro airport from the train station of Faro, you can go by bus. This bus runs about twice an hour from around 5AM to 11PM. The fare is about  €2,50, tickets can be bought in the bus and the journey takes about 20 minutes.

Tips for getting around in the Algarve - by taxi

Tips for getting around in the Algarve – by taxi

  • Taxi in the Algarve

How: The taxis in Portugal  are easily identifiable. Taxis are either beige or black and green. Taxi ranks are usually found in all the resorts and big hotel chains, city centers and shopping centres. To catch a taxi in the Algarve, it is best to go to a rank or call a taxi to pick you up (you can find a list of numbers here).

Pro: Taxis are a easy, flexible and relatively cheap way of getting around in the Algarve.

Con: Regular taxis can only take four passengers. Some taxis are six and eight seater,  so if you are a part of a bigger group it is recommended to book beforehand (and be ready to pay a bit more). In addition, be aware that taxi drivers are not fond on getting their cars dirty, so don’t count on them for dusty dirt tracks.

Tip: You may find some taxi ranks with no taxis or packed with people cueing. It’s recommendable to call to arrange your pick up. Call Taxi Luís from aljezur for example (car on picture).

Bridge over Rio Arade (by Armando Rito)

Bridge over Rio Arade (by Armando Rito)

  • Uber in the Algarve

How: We’re Uber fans. We use Uber to get around in Lisbon all the time. This summer, the smartphone taxi service also launched in the Algarve (possibly only until the end of September).

Pro: Uber is the easiest, safest and cheapest way to get around the Algarve. In fact, traveling by Uber is easier, safer and cheaper than a regular taxi service. And it’s classier too 😉

Con: For now, Uber is more concentrated in the busiest cities of the Algarve: Faro, Albufeira and Vilamoura. You can also order an Uber in other cities, but waiting times may be a bit longer than usual.

Tip: For first users, download the app and use the promocode SEABOOKINGS to receive €10 discount on your first ride (valid until August 31st 2016).

How to get around in the Algarve - transfers

How to get around in the Algarve – transfers

  • Transfers in the Algarve

How: There is a wide range of choice for personalized transfers in the Algarve. These small operators are happy to take you from the airport to your accommodation or from your accommodation to the Marina where your boat tour departs from.

Pro: Transfers are a good option for families with more than four members who choose no to rent a car.

Con: Pricewise, transfers are not the best option as it’s a totally personalized service.

Tip: Find your best transfer partner and negotiate a good deal for the several trips you’ll need to do during your stay.

Tips for getting around in the Algarve - by cool camper

Tips for getting around in the Algarve – by cool camper

  • Hire a camper in the Algarve

How: Yes, it is possible to hire a camper and go for a road trip in the Algarve. Indie Campers is present in more than 80 locations across Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and Mediterranean Islands and one of them is Faro. You can choose your favorite camper from a brand new fleet of more than 2000 campervans. Hiring a camper gives you a lot of freedom. You can go to the prettiest beaches and to unique locations for surfing or boat tours along the whole algarvian coast. This is probably the most awesome way of getting around in the Algarve.

Pro: Indie Campers includes a 24-hour pick up/drop off service at the airport or hotel in every rental/booking.

Con: Are there any cons behind this cool way of getting around in the Algarve?

Tip: You can add your surfboard and wetsuit to the package or book a surf tour with us and go there with your Indie Camper.

Let us know if you’ve got any questions or suggestions regarding ways to get around in the Algarve. Happy holidays!