Our complete SUP Guide

Our complete SUP Guide

SUP, short for Stand-Up Paddleboarding, is one of the most popular watersport activities that have come up in the past few years. It’s a great way to explore coastal areas while staying fit at the same time. And the best part about it – it’s super easy to learn and anybody can do it! We at SeaBookings are also absolutely in love with SUP, and decided to offer a complete SUP guide to anyone looking for some advice! 

Ways to do SUP

By renting a board, you can experience the sea all by yourself

SUP Board rental

Before anything else, you should decide how you want to do SUP for the first time. For this, there are different options – you can rent a SUP board and venture out by yourself and try your luck. If you want to do this, it would come in handy if you already had some experience in other board sports like snowboarding, surfing or skating. 

Guided SUP Tour

If you prefer having a guide teaching you the basics about SUP and showing you around the most beautiful spots, the best option would be a guided SUP Tour. Usually, there are private as well as shared tours available in any region where SUP is possible. A guided SUP Tour is great to really explore the region in a safe and fun environment, while also improving your SUP technique. 

SUP holidays

And for those looking for a real extensive SUP experience, there are more and more offers of full SUP holidays! On these kind of holidays, you will have different SUP experiences and really get to improve your skills. SUP holidays are offered in many destinations already, like Croatia, Greece or Spain! This is a great opportunity for those looking for an active holiday out in nature! 

Stand-up paddle is a favorite for environmentally-conscious travelers

Basic techniques of SUP

A complete SUP guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most important SUP techniques! There are a few things to have in mind when paddling around the water, so here come our most important basic techniques of SUP! 

How to stand on a SUP Board

While it may look easy, you will see that it actually can be quite hard to keep your balance when standing on a SUP Board. To stabilize your body, there a few simple techniques you can use. 

First of all, you should be standing right in the middle of the board. The middle is usually quite easy to determine because it is where the handle is situated. Make sure you use this helping point because if you stay too far in the front or the back, it will be very difficult to balance the board on the water.

Secondly, your feet should be standing shoulder-width apart. This is the best position to balance your body and evenly distribute the weight between your two legs. Also, make sure you don’t grip your toes into the board, but keep your feet flat and stable. In this position, you should be able to stand perfectly stable on your board! 

If you prefer, you can stay on your knees

How to paddle 

After you know how to stand properly on the board, the next thing to do is to paddle forward! When doing SUP, you have one big paddle you use. The first thing to do is to adapt the paddle to your size. There are a few tricks you can use to adjust your SUP paddle correctly:

  • Do a “shaka” or hang-loose, place the thumb on top of your head and where your pinky is, that’s where the paddle should end (while touching the ground with the other end)
  • Put the paddle upright with the handle touching the ground in front of you. The place where the blade starts and the stick of the paddle ends should be right in front of your eyes

Once you have the right paddle size for you, you just need to figure out how to do the perfect stroke. Before starting, make sure you’re holding the paddle correctly – it should be bent away from you. This way you can generate the biggest power while paddling. 

When you start paddling, you first need to dip your paddle in the water in front of your body. Make sure you have the entire blade underneath the water surface to be able to do a strong stroke. Knees should be slightly bent and your shoulders should be relaxed and not pulled up to your ears to avoid injury.

Once the blade is inside the water, you need to do the stroke that moves you forward. For this, you should activate the muscles in your core and back to move the paddle towards you. It’s important to really engage all muscles in your upper body and not only use your shoulders. This way you will have a lot more energy and power! After completing the stroke, you just dip your paddle in front of your body in the water again and go for the next stroke! 

How to turn on a SUP board

To turn your SUP board as a beginner, the easiest way to do so is simply by stroking with more power on only one side. So if you want to go right, you just keep paddling with strong strokes on the left side. To do the turn even faster, you can even do a wider stroke, like drawing a half-circle on the water. 

The other technique to turn is by doing a backstroke. You might already know this if you have done kayaking before! For this, you just remain in the same position standing on the board, but instead of paddling from the front to the back, you reverse the direction of the stroke! So you dip your paddle back of your body and do the stroke to the nose of the board. This way you will turn even faster than using the front stroke! 

These are the two basic techniques to turn a SUP board in the water. Some people prefer the one while others feel more comfortable with the other. The best way to find out which one is better for you is simply by trying them out in the water! 

SUP na Madeira SUP en Madeira SUP auf Madeira SUP in Madeira SUP op Madeira
Big SUP is also fun to try out. In Madeira, Portugal, for example.

Best places to do SUP

Alright, after establishing the most important things about Stand-Up Paddleboarding it’s time to plan your next SUP trip, right? Our complete SUP guide will show you the best spots in Europe for SUP

Portugal

Portugal is our all-time favourite for any kind of boat tour or watersport activity, thus we also think that SUP in Portugal is a perfect holiday activity! The variety of different landscapes and regions in Portugal come with some incredible spots to do SUP! Number 1 being, of course, a SUP Tour to the world-famous Benagil cave in the Algarve. But did you know that the Ponta da Piedade in Lagos is just as stunning as the Benagil area? Here you can also do a sunrise SUP Tour along the impressive rock formations.

Further west there are some unforgettable SUP Tours in Arrifana or, for a change, on an amazing river along the beach of Odeceixe. If you’re looking for an option closer to Lisbon, you can do a SUP tour in Sesimbra that allows you to explore the unique bays of the region. Or you can do a SUP tour in Lisbon to explore the city coastline! For those looking for something calmer, there are options for SUP Yoga in Lagos and Cascais! Portugal is a true paradise for SUP-lovers, and has great options for everybody!

Imagine exploring these incredible landscapes of Rhodes by SUP

Greece

Another great destination in Europe that can’t be left out on our complete SUP guide is Greece! The islands of Greece are great for SUP thanks to the calm and warm waters surrounding them. Being islands, there are also, of course, plenty of coastal spots to explore by SUP! The best way to find the best spots around the coast is by joining a guided SUP tour!

Some of the best destinations in Greece to do Stand-Up Paddleboarding is Rhodes and Crete! In Rhodes, you still have a lot of unspoiled nature that can be best admired from the sea. On a SUP Tour in Rhodes you have the opportunity to move really close to the impressive coastline! In Crete, you can also enjoy the coast while paddling along it, and on a SUP Tour you even have the chance to do some cliff jumping as well!

Croatia is a true SUP paradise

Croatia

Croatia is probably the hidden gem among the best destinations for SUP in Europe! It is spoiled with splendid landscapes and stunning beaches all around, and the warm water of Croatia makes it the perfect destination for your next SUP adventure! 

In Croatia, you actually have quite a lot of complete SUP holidays that are very accessible when it comes to prices! Along the Croatian Coast, there are some amazing spots that you can explore while paddling on your board, like Kornati Islands, Brioni Islands, Hvar Island or the famous Brač Island. Wherever you go, expect breathtaking landscapes and perfect conditions for SUP in Croatia.

SUP yoga is a great alternative to a regular SUP tour

Spain

Last but not least on our list of destinations in our complete SUP guide is Spain! The Mediterranean country and its surrounding islands have a lot to offer when it comes to Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Whether you want to do a relaxed SUP Tour along the coast of Alicante or explore the coast of Mallorca, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Also, the Canary Islands have a lot to offer for SUP-lovers! Stand-Up paddle in Tenerife is a great adventure for those looking for some fun, and allows you to have some of the best views over the volcanic island! And for those looking for an alternative to partying in Ibiza, there’s the option to do some SUP Yoga along the coast!

We hope we could help you out with our complete SUP guide and maybe even ignited the fire to try out stand-up paddle boarding during your next holidays! We promise that you won’t regret trying it out and most probably will find a new addictive hobby! If you have any questions about our SUP guide or any tours, just send us an email! We’re always happy to help spreading the passion about the sea!

5 Must-Experience Outdoor Activities in Lisbon

5 Must-Experience Outdoor Activities in Lisbon

Being the coastal capital and most populated city in Portugal, Lisbon makes an exciting vacation stop in Europe. This hilly city is home to many architectural gems and fascinating colonial history. Plus, the iconic Fado music rings around the city.

While Fado gives out a melancholic vibe, Lisbon’s adventurous characteristics can uplift every tourist’s spirits.

Because of its geographical features, Lisbon, or Lisboa as the natives would call it, has many outdoor activities for everyone. Depending on your preferred level of fun, Lisbon has something for every type of tourist.

Here are just some of our favorite must-experience outdoor activities in Lisbon.

Surfing

Surfing in Lisbon
Surfing in Lisbon is done all year round

Being a coastal city, Lisbon has plenty of beaches where you can surf to your heart’s content. The Atlantic coastline where Portugal is geographically located gives you the best waves in entire Europe.

It is not only meant for professional surfers. You can go for leisure or recreational surfing. You can even learn to ride your first wave here in this city.

The first one on the list, and probably the most obvious choice, is Carcavelos. It is only ten minutes away from the city center. There are different levels of surfing difficulty in this area, so even the beginners can play around.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling in Sesimbra is a great daytrip

Because beaches surround the city, you can also do some snorkeling when you visit Lisbon. You can even do it after a day of surfing. It could be a refreshing activity after going through a laborious surf in one of the beaches.

Close encounters with the marine wildlife of Portugal is a fulfilling adventure. We suggest taking the waters of Arrábida Nature Park in Sesimbra as it has the most diverse marine ecosystem in the area. It is even considered one of the best dive spots in Europe.

Coasteering

Coasteering an der Küste der Algarve
If you’re looking for some true adventure, try coasteering

If you are hunting for an adrenaline rush, the best activity for you is coasteering. It is a relatively new activity for adventurers. When you book one, there will be a lot of swimming, diving into the waters, kayaking, climbing, and even rappelling.

It is an all-in-one adventure where you can experience a lot of stuff. When you go to Lisbon, coasteering in Sesimbra is one of the best must-experience activities that you should try. To skip, it is a disservice to the beauty of the surroundings.

Biking

What better way to appreciate the picturesque views of Portugal than biking around the city?

Visit historical sites and hop around architectural landscapes quickly and well, breezily. Biking has always been a favorite activity around Europe. You will know you are in one European city if you can see bike rentals all around.

Besides, it is also a great way to keep a healthy routine even when you are vacationing. A top-notch cardio workout is always welcome, as long as you do not overdo it. Pace yourself, and you are good to explore. 

Hiking

There are over a hundred hiking trails in Lisbon that you can try out.

There is one with views of the ocean, and the others completely covered in forest greens and diverse wildlife. That’s why the trip will be a whole lot easier if you bring trekking poles with you. You will never know how many trails you are willing to see once you are there.

Sintra is one of the go-to places for hiking. It is a unique hiking spot, totally different from what people are used to. It has a beautiful trail that offers a scenic view of the island. And the fun part? It is an actual palace loop.

Lisbon wants you to have fun. Whether it is swimming, coasteering, or hiking, you can always turn to this beautiful European city for your ultimate holiday trip.

5 Top Things to Do in Paros

5 Top Things to Do in Paros

While the big-name Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos are incredible vacation destinations, don’t overlook the smaller islands that dot the coast of Greece. One of these, Paros, offers beautiful beaches and a relaxing atmosphere all with less crowds than the other more popular spots.

You can make your vacation as adventurous or as relaxing as you’d like on the island. There are tons of tours and things to do in Paros plus wonderful seaside restaurants to try and historic sites to visit. You won’t want to leave once your vacation is over – that’s for sure!

5 Things to Do in Paros

Find the Best Beaches

Santa Maria Beach
Santa Maria Beach in Paros

Though this island is small, there are a variety of beaches that you can enjoy. They range from sandy shores to pebble beaches and many have restaurants nearby where you can enjoy a drink and some snacks while lounging.

Some beaches have chairs for rent but not all so make sure you bring your own towel or chair. The views out to sea are absolutely gorgeous so you’ll definitely want to stay awhile. If you like to stay active while at the beach, then head to Golden Beach which is a popular spot for watersports.

At Golden Beach, you’ll find many rental places by the shore where you can pick up kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, or wakeboards. Another great beach for watersports or lounging is Santa Maria Beach. If sunbathing is what you’re after then head to Kolombithres Beach.

Take a Boat Tour

How about a boat trip from Mykonos to Paros?

You’re on an island – how could you not take a boat tour!? Whether it’s a sunset cruise, island hopping tour, or just a day excursion on a boat, it’s a great way to spend the day. You’ll see the island in such a unique way.

Sailing around the islands can be especially fun. You can explore hidden beaches, snorkel, and jump off a sailboat into the gorgeous Meditteranean Sea. Depending on what tour you take, they may include traditional Greek food and possibly teach you a bit about sailing yourself.

Not sure which tour company to use? Check out SeaBookings for different possibilities.

Take an ATV Tour

The Greek islands are known for their mountainous terrain so taking an ATV tour is a breathtaking experience. You can rent these four-wheelers for the day or a few hours and take them over the island. It’s a quick way to see all the sights!

This is such a personal way to see the landscape of Paros. You can cover lots of ground in a day and you’ll find beautiful views from the hilltops. Be sure to visit the village of Lefkes where you’ll be able to see the neighboring island of Naxos and explore the winding cobblestone streets with white-washed buildings

There are multiple ATV rental companies in Parikia that you can visit.

Enjoy Naousa

Enjoy a drink by the waterside

Naousa is a seaside village straight from the movies and a busy fishing town. You can walk among the streets and watch men come back from a day at sea with their catch. This is the perfect place to have dinner and try that fresh fish!

This is also the best spot for nightlife on the island. If you’re looking for taverns and bars then Naousa is the place to find them. This little town is on the North end of the island and only a 20-minute drive from Parikia – the main city and port.

Eat ALL the Seafood

Greece is a food-paradise!

With all the fresh fish coming into the island, you know that they have some amazing seafood. Fish, mussels, and a Greek specialty – octopus with pasta! Some of the restaurants that you shouldn’t miss are Soso, Siparos, and Taverna Glafkos.

I was very surprised on my trip to Greece at how delicious the food was. I had no idea that Greek cuisine was so incredible! Don’t miss out on this pleasant surprise.

The Best Things to Do in Paros

Watching the sun set is always a good plan

Paros is a lesser-known island off the coast of Greece, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. There are so many great things to do in Paros and ways to experience the Greek way of life.

Plan a visit to Paros so you can enjoy the gorgeous landscapes, adventurous watersports, and quaint fishing villages.

Maximizing The Health Benefits of Your Travels in Greece, Portugal, and Beyond

Maximizing The Health Benefits of Your Travels in Greece, Portugal, and Beyond

The only thing better than time spent on vacation is getting healthier when you’re there. The subjects of health and leisure do not always go hand-in-hand, as we often go to an exotic destination only to sit around the pool and drink fruity beverages. However, those who seek to get more out of their trip only need to look for the right destination. 

A trip to the Mediterranean Sea could be just the ticket. When you visit great vacation spots like Greece and Portugal, you are transported to a land of amazing sights along with many ways to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape. To help you plan your next sea-based adventure, we have compiled a guide of the best fitness activities, food options, and travel tips that will help you have fun and feel great at the same time.

Kayaking allows you to explore hidden gems and stay fit

Hiking and Kayaking

The greatest thing about going on vacation to a new place is the opportunity to see amazing sights that you never imagined, and the seaside areas of Greece and Portugal are simply breathtaking, with many man-made and natural sights to behold. One way to stay healthy while taking in the forests and the hilly cliff sides in either country is by taking a hike, and there are many great notable areas to try. 

When traveling among the islands of Greece, one must-see hiking spot is The Menalon Trail, which runs through Arcadia. A hike down this trail will take you through mountains, canyons, and valleys, plus you will see some old and gorgeous villages that will get your heart pumping in more ways than one. There is also the hike on Mount Olympus, which leads you past picturesque vistas on trails for multiple skill levels. On the longer trails, you can even set up camp and sleep under the stars.

In Portugal, there is also a slew of gorgeous hikes, including the Costa Da Caparica Trail, which takes you among awesome white-sand beaches and breathtaking sandstone cliffs. If you love canyons and waterfalls, then the Paiva Walkways are perfect, and you can swim in many of the rivers, which will provide even more exercise. 

There are other opportunities for healthy leisure along the coast as well, including kayaking trips, which may be a bit outside of your comfort zone, but once you get used to it, you will experience a relationship with the ocean that you never imagined. The act of kayaking is exceptionally healthy, as it helps to lower your blood pressure and heart rate, in addition to improving muscle strength in your back, arms, shoulders, and chest.

Healthy Eating

Of course, exercise is only one half of the fitness equation; you also need to eat right, and these travel destinations are known for their tasty and healthy food. There are many ingredients in Mediterranean meals that will keep you in good shape and help fight off sickness. For instance, olive oil is often a common component, and in addition to adding extra flavor, it is said to lower your risk of heart disease. Both countries also use less processed food, which often contains unhealthy levels of sugar and sodium, and instead, they turn to more plant-based ingredients. 

These areas are also big on gluten-free food that focuses less on bread and more on vegetables, fruit, and cheese. While some people may need to eat gluten-free food for medical reasons, those who choose the diet often see an increase in energy plus a chance for weight loss as you eat less bread. Some of the best dishes to choose when in the area include risotto, polenta, and rice mixed with vegetables.

While you are on your trip, check your proximity to some of the best restaurants that are famous for their healthy food. In Santorini, there is a great eatery called Falafeland, which is known for its many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Meanwhile, the Katharos Lounge Vegan Meze Bar has received glowing reviews for its affordable dishes and great hummus options.

In Portugal, the area around Lisbon is growing more notable for its many healthy restaurants. The Restaurante PSI has been rated as one of the best vegetarian places in the area, while The Food Temple has many delicious vegan dishes that are very exotic and flavorful. Both destinations are worth the visit if you are looking to try something new.

Coasteering is ideal for nature lovers

Try New Things

Whether your destination is Greece, Portugal, or any of the other hundreds of great landing spots of the Mediterranean, you can maximize the health benefits by getting out there and trying something you’ve never done before. This is especially important as you get older because as you see new places and try new things, you keep your mind sharp. Now is the time to step outside of your comfort zone and begin knocking things off of your bucket list.

When we say try new things, we mean to make a plan to do it all. Make it a habit to speak to merchants and locals that you meet and try to strike up a conversation. While planning out your activities is a great way to see it all, you should also try to do something spontaneous like coasteering along a cliffside or hike a new trail. When you expand your mind by doing new things in a new place, you diversify your mind and gain fresh insights about the world while sweating the small stuff just a bit less.

If you are eager to see the world and experience all that is out there, but you don’t have the funds or the people with which to enjoy it, consider joining or creating an adventure friend group. Essentially, this is a group of people you gather together to experience the outdoors and new locations and experiences. The beauty of these groups is that you are all a team, so if someone is scared to try an activity, the group can provide positive reassurance. Plus, if you are faced with tough decisions or differing opinions when making an itinerary, working together can improve your teamwork and problem-solving skills.

When planning your next seaside trip, consider these fun and trendy destinations. They are gorgeous, festive, and will help you feel better in your body and mind.

10 reasons to visit Azores in the Winter

10 reasons to visit Azores in the Winter

The Azores is the perfect destination to visit this winter. The Azores is not so popular for the masses, being less crowded, so ideal for people who seek an authentic holiday experience.

Flights to the islands are very accessible and normally relatively cheap. There are direct flights from major cities in Europe and the US, or you might need to stopover in Lisbon. Tourists from all over the world visit this hidden gem.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, the islands are accessible by plane or cruises. Flights from the United States, more precisely Boston, Massachusetts, take only around 5 hours. While flights from Lisbon airport, a short 2 and a half hours.

The Azores only have 2 islands with international flights, Ponta Delgada (São Miguel) and Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira). To travel between islands, there are inter-island flights (SATA group) and ferries that connect all islands.

You’ll be surprised with some stunning views as a warm welcome (if it’s not too cloudy)

The Azores islands are composed out of a group of nine islands:

  • The Eastern islands – São Miguel and Santa Maria;
  • The Central islands – Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico & Failal;
  • The Western islands – Flores & Corvo.

The summer months, between June and September, are considered high-season as many European travellers visit the island. While Winter and Spring are becoming trendy among American tourists.

For us, like most nature lovers, winter is the best time of the year to visit the islands. Here we will share our 10 reasons to visit the Azores this winter or spring.

The Azores are known for its lush nature, but Spring gives it a special touch

1. The weather

The temperature is mild almost all year round.  The weather is temperate due to being an island located in the Atlantic Ocean. This means it’s never extremely cold.

Although the weather can be quite unpredictable, on one day it can be sunny and raining on the same day. You may even experience differences between which side of the island you are located. During the day time, especially in the winter, it can be very misty and breezy. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend the Azores in winter if you want to go for a beach holiday. If you want to go to the beach, try booking your holiday for the summer months. But even then, you might find better beaches in Portugal mainland.

Regarding temperatures, on average, the temperatures in summer can go up to 30ºC ( 86ºF) and in winter can drop to 7ºC (45ºF). 

If you would like to go for some nature exploring, winter is the time to go. The islands are way less crowded, and the temperature is ideal for walking, running or simply discovering the islands.

Exploring the islands by jeep can be done all year round

2. Many things to do

The islands are beautiful, so just travelling around one of the islands is a true pleasure for nature lovers. The old villages, the churches, forts, palaces, the volcanic beaches, amazing lakes, and beautiful sight views over the coastline.

Around the islands, you can find vineyards, pineapple and tea plantations, which you can visit.

To explore the islands, we would recommend renting a car or booking an adventurous jeep tour around the island. Most tours and activities are open all year round.

When to go whale watching in the Azores
Some people will visit the Azores only for the incredible whale watching opportunity

3. Sea experiences

The Azores are known for being a passing point for more than 28 different cetaceans. The privilege of seeing whales and dolphins living in their natural habitat is amazing. This is definitely one of those experiences you can’t miss!

For those who like fishing and would like to enjoy an authentic experience, the most popular fishing tours depart from Ponta Delgada, Vila Franca do Campo (both on São Miguel) and Pico Island. The fishing tours can be done in private or joining an already booked tour in a small group. The tours vary between bottom fishing, shark fishing, jigging and Big Game fishing.

Swimming with dolphins is one of the activities that actually closes for winter. It’s one of the most popular things to do, these tours normally are available from April until October.

You can find many different “outdoor spas” on the Azores islands

4. Relaxation

The volcanic origins of this Portuguese archipelago created an amazing set of hot springs and natural pools. In fact, for many the Azores, is considered a thermal bath paradise

Taking a dip at one of the many hot springs is a unique way to enjoy some relaxation. The water of the thermal springs is orange/brown colour, this is because of the high content of iron present. The water temperature reaches between 35º and 40ºC.

Furnas, Parish located on São Miguel, is the place to go. There you can find the best thermal baths. The village is surrounded by impressive vegetation, rivers, mountains and valleys.

At the Terra Nostra garden, you can find impressive centennial trees, botanical gardens, many flowers and a thermal pool. This park is open from 10 A.M to 18 P.M. 

Some other hot springs to visit are Poça da Dona Beija, Caldeira Velha, Termas da Caldeira da Ribeira Grande, Ponta da Ferraria, Termas do Carapacho.

When the weather turns, and it’s rainy. It’s actually very nice to be at a thermal bath. Thus ideal in winter months. To make this experience unforgettable, bring dark or old bathing suits. The orange iron waters can stain light fabrics and even hair, so we recommend immediately after the bath rinse your clothes and hair.

We don’t recommend the use of jewellery, and advice to tie the hair up, during your visit at the thermal baths. For pregnant ladies, don’t forget to consult your doctor before.

The Azores hosts accommodations for all budgets and tastes (White Exclusive Suites & Villas, Ponta Delgada)

5. Nice places to stay

At the Azores islands, you can find very nice places to stay. From boutique hotels, family-friendly hotels and even Airbnb apartment with view over the sea. In general, accommodation is not too expensive and definitely worth the value. 

When we went to São Miguel, we rented a small apartment with terrace and kitchen. The apartment had 2 rooms, ideal to go on holiday with friends and family.

Be ready for fresh ingredients and natural tastes

6. Cuisine

The cuisine at every island of the Azores is fresh and authentic. One of the most popular local dishes is a stew made at a hot spring, it’s called Cozido das Furnas. The Cozido das Furnas is a stew made out of local vegetables and meat, it’s very tasty and eating it, is a cultural experience itself.

For seafood lovers, you should not miss out on the flavorful octopus. In fact, Pico is our recommended island. If you enjoy eating fish, on this island you can eat fish in almost all restaurants. The islands are also a true paradise for fruit lovers.

There are nine main islands. This small island of Vila Franca do Campo belongs to São Miguel.

7. Many islands to explore

When we went to São Miguel for a week, it was the ideal time. We had some days to explore São Miguel and some days to relax. If you come on holiday only for a week, we would recommend visiting just one island. There are so many beautiful places to explore on each island of the Portuguese archipelago. 

Terceira is loved by nature and architecture lovers. While São Miguel is adored by the people who seek the thermal baths. If hiking is your sport, don’t miss out and travel to Pico.

To go to another island than São Miguel, you can fly directly to Terceira (Angra do Heroísmo). But if you would like to visit the other islands, you should have a look at the farries and regional flights.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades is one of the many must-see lakes on São Miguel

8. The perfect off-season destination

In winter, it can be a bit colder, but this is definitely one destination for off-season seekers.  Nature and culture will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the feeling of being on holiday like a local.

During winter, the islands are much less crowded and ideal for some time for yourself.

If you don’t like facemasks, the Azores are the place to be. There are very few places where a mask is needed.

9. Clean and safe destination

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Portuguese government has been applying all necessary public health measures.  While the state of emergency is in force, to enter the Azores it’s mandatory to do a Covid-19 test.

Tourists who intend to travel to the Azores by air, and who come from, zones of active community transmission or with active transmission chains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, are required to present, within 72 hours prior to departure, a proof in digital or paper support, of a negative result for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test. Children under 12 years and not required to do this test.

Portugal has been very actively promoting Clean and Safe experiences. The “Clean & Safe” seal aims to inform people about which companies that comply with the recommendations of the General health organization to avoid contamination of spaces with the new coronavirus. 

During your next holidays in the Azores, we recommend social distancing, frequent washing of the hands and the use of masks in public places where social distance can’t be applied.

If you plan to visit the islands, 72 hours before departure you will have to fill in a survey of the Regional Health Authority. This will make your entry in the Azores much easier.

We’ve been to the Azores several times, for boat tours, running and hiking.

10. We love the Azores

The Azores are always on our bucket lists. SeaBookings’ team, so far, has visited 4 islands of the Portuguese archipelago, but surely want to discover all 9.

The combination of the previous reasons makes us love this place. And for sure a great destination for ocean lovers as we are!

Christmas gift certificate

SeaBookings Christmas Gift Certificates

Christmas gift certificate

This Christmas, give an amazing experience

SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates can be used to purchase any of the hundreds of things to do on www.seabookings.com in Portugal, Spain, Greece and Dubai. A surf lesson in Carcavelos? Sure. A Stand-up Paddle tour in Ibiza? Of course! A sunset sailing tour in Barcelona? You bet. Kayaking in the caves of Santorini? Why not. Simply choose the amount of your Christmas Gift Certificate and let us do the rest.

SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates are in Euros. Please let us know how the amount you want on your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates in your currency and we’ll convert that to Euros.

SeaBookings will top your Christmas gift certificate with an additional 5%

Yes, as it’s Christmas, we will top your Christmas gift certificate with an additional 5% discount! Imagine you give a €100 SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate to your friend. You friend chooses a boat tour for her and her mum that’s worth €120. Then, she would only had to pay €14 (120-5%-100=14).

What do I get with a SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate?

SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates are 100% flexible. You can use the certificates to purchase hundreds of tours and activities on www.seabookings.com. Here are some of our favorite examples of the experiences where you can use your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates:

Boat tour to Benagil from Lagos

BBQ Cruise in Portimão

Benagil is surely a highlight in the Algarve!

Did you know that you can visit the famous Benagil cave with departure from Lagos, Algarve? Join us on the stunning boat trip along the coast! We have daily departures all year round!

Private sunset sailing tour in Lisbon

Sailing in Lisbon is one of the best things you can do to explore the city. Especially when you’ve got such an amazing guide as Nuno. He could be a historian but is an avid sailor. So, on this sailing tour in Lisbon, be ready to learn and see a lot!

So, when in Lisbon, please come and enjoy the Tagus River on a boat tour and you might be surprised by some wild dolphins!

Dolphin watching in Setúbal

How to get from Lisbon to Setúbal vertigem azul - dolphin watching from Setubal

This experience is suitable for the whole family!

Did you know that within a 40-minute drive from Lisbon, you can get aboard of a lovely catamaran and go in search of the wild dolphins of the Sado River? Join us! We run this tour all year round!

SUP tour in Alicante

stand-up paddle tour in Alicante

Enjoy the calm waters around Alicante

Escaping the cold and visiting the Costa Blanca this Winter? Join us for a SUP tour, it’s fun and easy to learn and also a great idea to stay fit during your holidays! Join us!

Surf lesson in Tenerife

You won't ever forget you're first time standing up!

You won’t ever forget you’re first time standing up!

During the Winter season, waves are best in Tenerife. Visiting this island soon? Join us for a surf class!                                              

How to redeem my SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate?

  1. A few weeks before intending to do your activity, visit www.seabookings.com and browse through our entire range of hundreds of boat tours and watersports in Portugal. You can search by location or type of activity.
  2. At least one week before the intended date of your activity, when you’ve found what you want, send us an email ([email protected]) with the following details:
    • Link of your chosen activity;
    • Your full name;
    • How many people (children and adults);
    • What time and date;
    • Your Christmas gift certificate code.
  3. If the value of the activities you book is greater than your Gift Certificate plus the 5% discount SeaBookings gives, you can pay the balance using an accepted payment method. If the value is less than your Gift Certificate, we’ll store the balance in our database for a next occasion.
  4. Note that your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate, including any unused balance, expires two years after the date of issue (so if you got your gift certificate in December 2016, it will expire in December 2018).
  5. Our accepted payment methods include Paypal, a broad variety of credit cards and other methods like iDeal. Let us know which one you prefer.
  6. SeaBookings Gift Certificates are redeemable against any product offered on www.seabookings.com.
  7. Gift Certificates are not redeemable for cash.
  8. SeaBookings reserves the right to cancel Gift Certificates obtained fraudulently.
  9. SeaBookings is not responsible for lost or stolen Christmas Gift Certificates.
  10. SeaBookings Christmas Gift Certificates are not refundable.

Do the SeaBookings Gift Certificates sound like the ideal present for under the Christmas tree this year? Email us at [email protected]!

Fishing in dubai

A Guide To Fishing In Dubai

Whether you’re a professional angler or you’re new to the sport and you just want to dip your toe in the water (see what we did there?), Dubai has become a popular spot for keen anglers. There are several reasons for this and not just because it’s a wonderful holiday destination, but Dubai also offers great weather, a variety of tour companies and oceans that are teeming with hundreds of different species of fish ready to be caught. Here you can catch everything from bass and flounder to hammer and small sharks. 

In fact, Dubai has become so popular amongst anglers it now hosts some of the best sea fishing events in the world. So, if you’re planning your next fishing trip, this glorious nation should certainly be given some consideration. That being said, before you book anything up, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. Below, we’ve put together this guide to fishing in Dubai where we’ll take a look at some of the best places to fish, the tour providers there to help you and the laws/regulations you need to be aware of if you’re planning on visiting for a fishing trip. 

Dubai is a great destination for sea-lovers

The rules of fishing in Dubai 

While Dubai is a great place to go fishing, the rules are pretty strict if you want to take part. Currently, citizens and residents must have a license in order to fish and they must apply for this from their municipality. This is a yearly license for recreational fishing. However, if you’re a tourist looking to go fishing on your holidays you’ll need to go through a licensed vendor/tour guide to be able to do this. Unfortunately, you can’t just arrive with your fishing gear and get stuck in. 

The good news is, there are lots of great vendors/tour guides out there that can provide you with the relevant short-term license and equipment you need. They’ll also be able to take you to the best spots so you can make the most of your time there. If you’re caught fishing without a license you could be subject to a huge fine. If you own your own boat and wish to fish from that, you’ll have to produce your boat license, ID and rental contract. 

When it comes to deep-sea fishing, your trip is weather-dependent which means you have to wait for the coast guard to approve this. And as part of the Dubai Coastguard directive, you’ll be asked to carry your passports with you on the trip. Now we know the basic rules, let’s take a look at some of the best places to go on your trip. 

Dubai hosts many good fishing spots

The best places to fish in Dubai

There are so many great places to go fishing in Dubai, but where you go will largely depend on what you want to catch. From bridges to beaches, you’re sure to find the perfect location for your dream fishing trip. Not to mention this beautiful nation is the ideal place to pair a fishing trip with a family getaway or relaxing holiday. When deciding where to go, why not consider the following destinations:

1. Bridges 

There are two main bridges to keep in mind, Al Garhoud Bridge and Al Maktoum Bridge. While the weather can be on the warmer side in these locations (make sure to take plenty of bottled water with you!) it does mean these sites are absolutely teeming with fish. One slight downside is that it can get a little crowded here during the weekend, but if you avoid the mornings you’re more likely to get a quieter period. These are ideal locations if you want to catch yourself some Barracudas or Tilapias.

2. Beaches 

There are plenty of beaches (particularly in Abu Dhabi) where you can fish. Jumeirah Beach is abundant with Sarracudas and Sultan Ibrahim and you can even enjoy watching the stingrays swimming around you. Other popular beaches for fishing include Al-Bateen, Hameed and Al Raha Beach. Just be careful when fishing in some of the rockier areas of the beach as these can become slippery!

3. The creek 

The Dubai Creek Park is a great spot for recreational fishing and is swarming with Kingfish and Hammour. This is the ideal location if you want to sit back and relax, particularly if you’re a beginner. There are comfortable places to sit and unwind as you fish and you can also pop to the nearby shops for refreshments if you need food and drink at any point. 

Are you considering a fishing trip to Dubai? 

If you’re considering Dubai for your next fishing trip, that’s very exciting! Keeping in mind some of the top locations we’ve shared above. Although it might be tempting, it’s not a good idea to try and go it alone as this can end in a hefty fine. We will be able to point you in the right direction and help you make the most of your fishing trip. 

Activities to Do While Island Hopping in Greece

Living Out the Odyssey: Activities to Do While Island Hopping in Greece

For those who always dreamed of taking an exotic getaway in a distant land, there is no better destination than the amazing Greek islands. This area is full of awesome sights, great beaches, and a lot of colorful mythology. After all, this is where Odysseus sailed around the Mediterranean and had incredible adventures, so why shouldn’t you?

When a place is this rich in culture, beauty, and new experiences, you want to have a plan ahead of time so you can fit in everything your heart desires. To help you with your itinerary, we have created a list of must-see destinations and adventures. Check them out and turn your next trip into an unforgettable Greek island sea adventure.

When will beaches in Spain reopen?
Beaches are always a good plan

Go for the Beaches

While you may be excited just thinking about your trip to the islands, we must point out the potential travel restrictions due to COVID-19. When traveling to any country, you need to research the climate, determine if the country or areas in it is on lockdown, to see if you will even be allowed to visit in the first place. The lockdowns have been essential in protecting populations, and currently, Greece has an advisory level 3. This means that certain areas will allow guests, but masks will likely be mandatory, and you may not be able to visit some places if the crowds are too large. Keep this in mind as you plan your trip.

When you do go, the best idea may be to visit places where there is plenty of open space, and you can find that at many of the gorgeous beaches on the islands. One of the best is Elafonisi beach in Crete, which has soft sand, epic rock formations, and small coves to explore. Another beach is Porto Katsiki Beach on Lefkada, which features an epic cliff that is over 80 steps high but well worth the effort for the view you will enjoy.

While those islands are great for rest and relaxation, if you are looking for an epic party on the beach, then head to Mykonos Island, which is home to both Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach. Both islands are known for their party lifestyle with a slew of hotels and nightclubs that are primary destinations for tourists during spring break. Pounda Beach on Paros is another great party spot with two of the most famous clubs on the island: Galea and Saloon Door.

Great for Camping

It may not be the first activity you think of when planning a trip to the Greek Islands, but this area is known for its camping, and there are plenty of great spots to enjoy. One of the best is Simos Camping, on Elafonisos Island, which is located near the Peloponnese region that is famous for its epic rock formations that are very picture-worthy. Another great site is Cyclades, Serifos, near Sifnos. When you camp here, you can rough it on the beach or go for their famous bungalows that have air conditioning, bathrooms, and more.

For a surefire hit, check out some of the highest-rated beaches in the area, including the camping available on Pefki Beach. This campground offers comfortable huts that have a television, a kitchen, and seating areas so you can enjoy the scenery. You should also check out the Far Out Camping Beach Club & Resort at Mylopotas, which has tents, bungalows, and a slew of activities, including epic water slides, in addition to areas for basketball and volleyball.

If the idea of camping sounds exciting, but you have never camped before, worry not. With a little guidance, camping can be an awesome activity as you become one with nature and enjoy the wildlife. Just remember to take the necessities, including a first aid kit, basic hygiene supplies like soap and mosquito spray, and food if there isn’t any supplied. Also, remember to follow all signage and markings and not stray too far from the campsite. 

Sea kayaking is one of the cool adventures we recommend in Greece

Other Adventures

While there are plenty of breathtaking beaches and campsites to withhold, an exotic location such as this is also rife with fun activities that you can enjoy on almost any island. Since you are always near the sea wherever you go, there are many opportunities to surf and scuba dive. If sea kayaking is your thing, then try the coast of Skopelos Island, where you can explore awe-inspiring caves and coves along with tons of wildlife, including dolphins and turtles.

If you are a hiker at heart, then you are in luck as the islands are filled with trails and high peaks for every skill level. The Menalon Trail offers seventy-five kilometers of epic paths complete with rugged canyons and picturesque villages. The Samaria Gorge national park in southern Crete is another hiking gem that has tall crevices to walk between and camping spots so you can stay the night during your journey.

For even more of a thrill, adrenaline junkies can test the limits of their rock climbing abilities on the island of Kalymnos. One of the most popular rock climbing locations in Greece, it has fun climbs for a variety of skill levels and gorgeous views that will reward you at the top of each peak. Another great spot is the town of Leonidio in Peloponnese, which features an epic 250-meter high cliff. Scale this wall and be the hero of Greece.

As you can see, there is a ton to do and see in the Greek Islands. Use these destinations as a starting point as you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Portugal World Travel Awards 2020

World Travel Awards 2020: Portugal is the Best European Destination for the fourth consecutive year

It is with great pride and happiness, within a challenging context for the tourism sector, that Portugal has just been elected, for the fourth consecutive year, the Best Destination in Europe in the 2020 edition of the Worlds Travel Awards, the “Oscars of Tourism”, a distinction awarded by professionals in the sector whose ceremony, this year, took place in a virtual format.

The city of Porto won the award for Best City Break Destination in Europe, Lisbon was distinguished as the Best European Cruise Destination and the Algarve is again the Best Beach Destination in Europe, with a total of 21 awards attributed to Portugal in the various categories.

For the world edition of these awards, the voting has already ended and the results will be known on November 27th.

Ponta da Piedade, Algarve
Ponta da Piedade, Algarve

Feel free to take a look at the complete list of awards (21) attributed to Portugal at the World Travel Awards 2020 – Europe Edition:

  • Europe’s Leading Design Hotel 2020 – 1908 Lisboa Hotel
  • Europe’s Leading Luxury Hotel 2020 – Belmond Reid’s Palace
  • Europe’s Leading Lifestyle Resort 2020 – Conrad Algarve
  • Europe’s Leading Tourism Development Project 2020 – Dark Sky Alqueva
  • Europe’s Responsible Tourism Award 2020 – Dark Sky Alqueva
  • Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort & Villas 2020 – Dunas Douradas Beach Club SA
  • Europe’s Leading Wine Region Hotel 2020 – L’AND Vineyards
  • Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination 2020 – Lisbon, Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Cruise Port 2020 – Lisbon Cruise Port
  • Europe’s Most Romantic Resort 2020 – Monte Santo Resort
  • Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2020 – Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark), Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel 2020 – Pestana CR7 Lisboa, Lifestyle Hotel
  • Europe’s Leading All-Inclusive Resort 2020 – Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive Beach & Spa Resort
  • Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2020 – Porto, Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2020 – Sublime Comporta
  • Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa 2020 – TAP Air Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Airline to South America 2020 – TAP Air Portugal_
  • Europe’s Leading Inflight Magazine 2020 – Up Magazine (TAP Air Portugal)
  • Europe’s Leading Destination 2020 – Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Beach Destination 2020 – The Algarve, Portugal
  • Europe’s Leading Luxury Boutique Hotel 2020 – Valverde Hotel

The World Travel Awards began to be awarded in 1993, recognizing the work developed in the area of ​​the tourism industry at a global level, in order to stimulate the competitiveness and quality of tourism. The selection of nominees is carried out worldwide by thousands of professionals in the sector, who choose their favorites every year.

Formula 1 in Portugal

Things to do during your trip to the Formula 1 in Portugal

The Formula 1 in Portugal, the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, takes place over 66 laps of the 4.684-kilometre Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimão, on Sunday, October 25th. If you’re planning to assist this spectacular race, please enjoy Portugal to the fullest during your stay. As part of SeaBookings’ team is from the Algarve, we’re happy to share some of the things to do in Portugal during your visit for the Formula 1.

Regarding the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, on the official website of Formula 1, you can find the full weekend schedule, including details of practice and qualifying sessions, support races, press conferences and special events, plus the latest news headlines, circuit information and F1 race results.

The 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix takes place in Portimão

The 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix takes place in Portimão, in the Western Algarve known for its lovely weather, stunning beaches, great hospitality and delicious cuisine. Given that part of SeaBookings’ team is from Lagos, close to Portimão, we decided to share some local insight on the things you should do during your trip to the Formula 1 in Portugal.

Given the current situation of the pandemic, our tips on things to do in the Algarve are mostly outdoors and all recommended tour providers and establishments comply with the Portuguese Clean & Safe stamp.

What to do during your trip to the Formula 1 in Portugal

The rock formations of Ponta da Piedade are located in Lagos

Visit Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

The incredible rock formations of Ponta da Piedade are the natural highlight of the city of Lagos. Lagos is situated very close to Portimão and to the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. You can easily reach Lagos by car, Uber, train or taxi. You can visit Lagos as a day trip beside the unmissable Ponta da Piedade, the city’s downtown is surely worth a visit too.

Ponta da Piedade’s red cliffs are a true natural sculpture with its unique arches and caves shaped by the wind and sea. To visit Ponta da Piedade, you can take the steps down to the clear water, which is protected by the rocks and has an enchanting turquoise colour. You can also take a walk on the wooden footpath over the cliffs and enjoy the view from the headland, which stretches all the way to Cape St Vincent, in Sagres, in the west.

Another way to enjoy Ponta da Piedade is on one of the typical one-hour boat trips. These boat tours depart from the modern Marina de Lagos (which is worth a visit too with its great restaurants surrounded by a nautic vibe). Onboard a small motorboat, a local guide will take you to explore the caves and creeks.

The Benagil caves are located close to the town of Lagoa

Visit the Benagil Caves

The Caves of Benagil are some of the most-known sea caves in the world. These impressive rock formations are located right next to the beach of Benagil, but to reach them, you need a kayak, SUP board or a boat. Inside the unique Benagil caves, there’s a little beach.

The Benagil caves are located close to the town of Lagoa, which is only 20 minutes away from the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. You can easily reach Lagoa and Benagil by car, Uber or taxi. You can read more about how to get to the Benagil Caves here.

There are many different ways to visit the Benagil Caves. The most adventurous might prefer a kayak or SUP tour to Benagil. We also have many different boat tours to the caves. You can join a 2-hour boat tour from Portimão, for example. To visit the Benagil Caves in a  more luxurious way, you might want to charter a catamaran or motor yacht in Portimão.

From Albufeira, you can visit the dolphins and the caves

Spot wild dolphins

Watching wild dolphins in their natural habitat is a truly unique experience. Great news: dolphins love the waters of the Atlantic around the coast of the Algarve and they can be spotted all year round.

We have dolphin tours from several locations, so it can be a nice day trip for your trip to the Formula 1 in Portugal:

  • Sagres: visit the most Southwestern point in Europe to go dolphin watching.
  • Lagos: embark on “Tornado”, a 950HP jet-propulsion RIB in search of wild dolphins.
  • Portimão: on this trip, you can go dolphin watching and visit the Benagil caves too.
  • Albufeira: this dolphins and caves cruise in Albufeira is a must for families.
  • Vilamoura: the dolphin safari and caves boat trip in Vilamoura is a two-in-one too.
  • Olhão: from Olhão, the dolphin trips are only for early-bids, when the conditions are best.
  • Tavira: Tavira is a very nice town to visit, the perfect combo with a boat trip.
Monchique is a gem for nature and food lovers

Have lunch in Monchique

Located inland and referring to the villages and countryside of the largest mountain of the Algarve, Monchique is a gem for nature lovers.

On clear days, you can see the Monchique mountains from almost all of the central and western Algarve. To get to the base of the mountain, it’s only a short drive from Portimão where it is well signposted both from the highway A22 and from the national road EN125. Actually, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, is located right at the foot of Monchique. 

We strongly recommend visiting Monchique during your trip to the Formula 1 in Portugal. The road that mounts up the hill is small and narrow, so enjoy it calmly, as the views are breathtaking and worth taking the time to admire.

There are quite some things to do in Monchique, especially for those who like some outdoor adventure. Monchique is a great place for hiking, trail running, downhill cycling or off-road on mountain biking to explore the forest. For those who rather take things at an easy pace, a jeep safari tour or even a few hours at the spa can be a nice idea.

What we definitely recommend is having a meal in Monchique, either for lunch or dinner. At “O Império”, you’ll find the best chicken piri-piri and at “Luar da Fóia”, you can try some local dishes on a terrace with panoramic views and charming service. For both restaurants, we recommend booking a table.

Of course, there are many more things to do in the Algarve. If you’re looking for something else, feel free to contact us at any time. At SeaBookings, we’re specialized in sea experiences, but as we’re locals from the Algarve, we’re very happy to help you to make the most out of your stay in Portugal for the Formula 1.