If you head to the southernmost region of Portugal, you will discover Algarve, which is famed for its Atlantic, cliff-backed beaches and quaint fishing villages, and golf resorts. Aside from admiring the impressive coastline from low cliffs overlooking sandy coves, one of the best things to do when in Algarve is to try the many water activities that the locals offer.
If you are planning to book a vacation package to Portugal, be sure to pack some swim suits with you, because you absolutely cannot miss experiencing these adrenaline-inducing water sports!
Surfing is a water sport that involves standing on a surfboard and riding a breaking wave. There’s nothing quite like the experience of riding the waves and harnessing the water’s powerful force to speed you along the wave. You can even perform a variety of manoeuvres while you’re at it!
The beaches and turquoise waters in Algarve are not only mesmerizing; they are also full of fun waves! Because it borders the Atlantic Ocean on both the west and south coast, the Algarve never runs out of waves all-year-round. If you want to ride the waves, Algarve offers a huge variety of breaks—from beginner-friendly beach breaks to reef breaks, and even isolated little peaks.
Sagres, Carrapateira and Aljezur are the most popular surfing spots in Algarve. The beaches here are lined with surfboard rental shops and surf schools, so be sure to try surfing, especially if it is your first time.
Windsurfing is a unique water sport that combines the fun of surfing and sailing. You have to use a windsurfing board and a rig to enjoy this extreme sport. There is a slightly longer learning curve when it comes to learning how to windsurf because you have to master how to balance in the water, but the exhilarating experience surely makes it worthwhile.
If you want to try windsurfing in Algarve, head over to Sagres as it has a wide-open bay with strong winds and clear skies all day long. As such, it is the perfect spot for windsurfing or learning how to windsurf. You can also head over to Praia da Luz, which is near Lagos. This region is the best place to catch the “Nortada,” which is what the locals call the offshore wind coming from the northwest. This nortada makesPraia da Luz an excellent learning grounds for those who want to learn the art of windsurfing.
Jet skiing is a high-speed water sport that is requires balance and good coordination skills. This thrilling high-octane sport involves riding a motorised water vehicle ridden like a motorcycle and is propelled by a jet of water while you skim across the water’s surface. With speeds that can reach up to 38m miles per hour, jetskiing is an unmissable experience that will surely get your heart racing.
Vilamoura is among the best jetskiing spots in Algarve as it offers a vast open water perfect for a thrilling ride. You can also find tons of jet ski rentals around Albufeira, Isla Canela, and Armação de Pêra.
Water skiing is a water sport wherein you will be wearing a pair of skis on your feet, or a slalom (one ski) while being towed by a fast-moving boat. This is an extreme water sport which demands physical power, endurance, and careful attention of the skier. It is not something that can be learned in minutes, so if you really want to try this, you must exert time and effort to learn it.
The Algarve offers a variety of water ski facilities. The best spots for waterskiing include Praia da Luz, Vilamoura, and really, anywhere along the Algarve coast.
Stand up paddleboarding is popular water sport in Algarve. To enjoy this outdoor water activity, you have to stand up on a large board and use a paddle to move through the water. This unique experience allows you to get up close to Algarve’s spectacular marine life, all while enjoying a good full-body workout.
There are tours in Algarve that allow you to explore the Benganil caves, Portimão, the João de Arens Beach many otherworldly destinations, all while paddleboarding. If you want to explore these mesmerizing sites but you do not know how to paddleboard, worry not, because the tour guides also teach tourists how to paddleboard. It requires coordination and balance, but it can be learned easily.
Kayaking is a relaxing yet exciting way to appreciate the Algarve’s beautiful cliffs, caves and hidden beaches. The locals offer a guided tour around Algarve, but you can opt to hire a kayak and explore its nature’s beauty at your own pace.
Lagos—with its unique and stunning rock formations—is among the best places to kayak. Taking a kayak tour of Lagos will allow you to discover the coastline from Lagos to Ponta da Piedade by sea. The tours offered here usually take around two and a half hours to complete, and these include stops at pristine secluded beaches, where you can take a rest and enjoy a refreshing swim.
Alternatively, you can also explore the marine cave of Benagil via kayaking. This cave is the largest and most impressive marine cave in Portugal, and maybe even in whole Europe. You can reach this cave by kayaking from the Benagil beach.
Riding Banana Boats
Riding a banana boat is an exciting water activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. These inflatable boats can hold up to six people and it is quite the perfect activity to cap an action-packed day. Be prepared to bounce, get wet, and have tons of fun as you and your boatmates ride the waves.