We all know that Portugal located on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain on its East and the Atlantic Ocean on the South and West. This privileged Oceanside location influences many aspects of its culture – salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes and the Algarve’s beautiful beaches are a popular holiday destination. Check out this guide about fishing tours in Portugal.
Thanks to its geographic location, fishing has long been integral part of Portuguese culture and diet. Tourist-wise, Portugal, and in particular the Algarve, is a fantastic fishing destination with a long season and lots of different fish and angling experiences. Many types of fishing experiences are provided by local fishermen who are happy to share their boats and knowledge with fishing-lovers for an unforgettable holiday experience in Portugal.
Travelers who want to give fishing a go or learn new skills are always welcome on half-day tour full-day trips where tuition is provided if necessary. From family fishing experiences suitable for all levels of experience to challenging whopper catches for the most experienced or adventurous ones, Portugal offers a sizeable range of habitats in such a small country.
Because of Portugal’s location on the Continental Shelf – an underwater land platform that extends to between 80 and 160 Km out to the Atlantic Ocean – there is a broad variety of water temperatures and thus, species of fish. Large predatory fish such as sharks and tuna (also dolphins, but those we won’t catch!) come in to feed on the smaller fish that live in the shallower and warmer coastal waters. In fact, there are hundreds of types of fish including sardines, bream, bass, octopus, mackerel, bluefish, snappers, shark, tuna, swordfish, salmon bass and plaice.
Still doubting? Book now and this is what you’ll get on most of the fishing tours in Portugal :
- Take your catch of the day home and enjoy a nice and fresh BBQ – a unique experience;
- Your family will love it. The youngsters will learn with the most experienced and the ones who do not like fishing can enjoy the sun and take pictures;
- Chose what suits you more: half or full day fishing experiences;
- Includes drinks as fishing will make you thirsty!
- Portugal’s geography offers a wide range of fish, from sharks to sardines.
Please remember that fishing boat tours tend to get fully booked during the busy months, from June to September, so we recommend booking in advance. By booking in advance, you can choose the day and time that suits you best and ensure you won’t miss out on this unforgettable fishing experience!
In Portugal, several types of fishing can be carried out:
- Deep Sea Fishing is practiced along the Portuguese coast both for leisure and commercial reasons for shark, tuna, blue fish, swordfish, conger eel, ray, salmon bass, scabbard and marlin, off Sesimbra, Sines, Peniche and Nazaré, but also some cities in the Algarve and the Madeira and Azores markets.
- Inshore Fishing is a fishing style practiced all along the entire Portuguese coast.
- In the rocks around the Berlenga Islands, Algarve, Sesimbra, Praia do Furadouro, Aveiro, Póvoa de Varzim, Vila do Conde, Tavira, Sines and Sagres, Underwater Fishing is broadly practices.
- Beach Casting, without a the use of a boat, is done by local fishermen and tourists to fish for bass, sea mullet, sole, bream, mackerel, red mullet, conger eel, shad, blue fish and golden bream among others. This kind of fishing is broadly practices in Portugal, in particular along the Alentejo coast, Peniche, Povoa de Varzim, Sesimbra and in the Algarve (Sagres, Lagos, Faro, Albufeira, Quarteira, Portimão and Vila Real de Santo António).
- To fish for whiting, mackerel, squalus, grey mullet, bream and bass, in Portugal, Role Fishing is most commonly used in the Algarve coast, Sagres, Cape St.Vincent and Ericeira.
- For leisure, Portugal offers fishing tours from several cities, from North to South and from the islands, Madeira and Azores.
- Kayaking is also an option. You can take a look at an informative article on inflatable fishing kayaks.
Fishing Tours in the Algarve
Fishing in Albufeira
Fishing tours in Albufeira depart from the modern Albufeira Marina which is a major destination of choice in the Algarve. Situated the in the middle of the coastline of the Algarve, just 30 minutes from Faro airport and on the motorway to Lisbon, it’s extremely easy to access and provides high-quality logistics for any ocean-related activity.
Departing from Albufeira, we suggest the sporty and exciting reef fishing experience. The three-hour reef fishing tour takes place at a depth of 20 to 30 meters, around 3 to 4 miles off the coast of Albufeira.
The well-equipped vessel will be anchored while the bait stays at the bottom, close to the reefs – that’s why it’s reef fishing! This type of fishing allows capturing a broad variety of fish like mackerel, black sea bream, white bream, horse mackerel, grouper, conger, and snapper, amongst others.
Fishing in Tavira
Tavira is a Portuguese city situated in the east of the Algarve about 28 kilometres east of Faro. The city is strongly related to the ocean and nature as it is where the Gilão River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The beach of Tavira lies past the salt pans and is reached by a ferryboat that takes you to Ilha de Tavira, a sandy island part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
Its location by the ocean makes Tavira an obvious paradise for a fishing experience, either for the whole family or for more experienced sport fishers. In Tavira, we recommend a boat called “Reel Time”, with a capacity for six people and fully equipped with the latest technologies in navigation and security.
During the tour, all the necessary equipment for an unforgettable day at sea will be supplied. You can choose for a family experience or for a more adventurous Big Game tour where the focus will be Big Game, which means: Shark and Tuna fishing.
Fishing in Olhão
Olhão is a major port city less than half an hour away from Faro airport. Actually, Olhão is the largest fishing port in the Algarve. In 1679, due to its commercial relations with Africa, Olhão became so important that it needed to build the fortress of São Lorenço to defend it from pirates.
The city of Olhão, given its history and outstanding location, is great for fishing. In fact, fishing is not about luck, on the right spot and with the right knowledge, you will catch regional fishes.
The tour operator In Olhão has a GPS and souder to ease the job to find the best fish. The fishing from Olhão will be done in 2 or 3 miles from the coast. The most common fishes to be caught on the Algarve coast are seabream, red gunnard, mackerel, garfish, triggerfish, scorpion fish, red mullet, and picarel. From our experience, the best time to go fishing is at 8h00 AM.
Fishing in Alvor
We love Alvor! It’s one of the Algarve’s most popular destinations, probably because the village has succeeded in retaining its essence along the time. With its idyllic and traditional architecture it’s a truly fishing village.
For many years Portugal, and in particular the Algarve, and even more in particular Alvor has been known for its sports fishing qualities. From Alvor there are several types of fishing experiences: Family fishing, Big Game fishing and Bottom fishing . The warm Gulf Stream that passes by the coast of the Algarve coast creates a great habitat for many species of ground fish like Bream, Squid, Cuttle Fish, Sea Bass, Stone Bass and Mackerels. This is why the Bottom fishing experiences are a great success for some fun time together with family or friends, competing for the biggest catch of the day!
Fishing in Portimão
Portimão is the second-most populous city in the Algarve and the western Algarve’s main commercial centre. It is, just like most of the coastal cities of the Algarve, known for its close relation to the ocean.
By the riverside, at River Arade at “Pier Vasco da Gama”, at the Marina de Portimão, you can embark on a boat trip that will take you fishing and site seeing in one! You can enjoy the beaches, cliffs, rock formations and caves in the area of Portimão but also enjoy a fun day with bottom fishing, following a visit to the caves and a chance to swim and/or snorkel. On this tour, the whole family is welcome.
Fishing in Lagos
Lagos is a bit further away from the Faro Airport, but definitely worth the ride. Lagos has strong historical clout, having launched many naval excursions during Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. It’s a growing popular tourist destination and many fishermen, during the summer, are focussed on tourists. These authentic fishermen are happy to take you out fishing in a relaxed atmosphere and taste the experience of fishing.
Fishing Trips in Madeira
We believe that the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are the true hidden gem of Europe. Not many people know about these islands that belong to Portugal, right in the middle of the Atlantic.
They are one of our favorite holiday destinations, for being so near to continental Europe and for their incredible natural beauty. Also here, boat tours are an excellent way of admiring the coastline from a different perspective.
Many World Record for giant Blue Marlins were caught around Madeira. In fact, Madeira is a perfect fishing location, with its calm waters, most of the fish is caught within a friendly 3 miles of the coast.
Sportfish range from blue and white marlin, swordfish, spearfish, tuna, wahoo, small sharks down to red snappers, jacks and even giant squid fished on night trips, amongst others.
Conservation is important and we always recommend choosing tour operators that practice a Tag and Release policy with all billfish species unless there is no chance of survival or it is a potential world record fish.