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.

Canary Islands

5 Tips for Planning Your Trip to the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands have seen loads of tourists visiting the country for the past two decades. They are modern, cosmopolitan, and have Caribbean-like beaches. In other words, by visiting the Spanish Islands, you have diverse options in food, landscape, and entertainment and for reasonable prices. The archipelago of seven main islands is part of Spain. But the feeling you get when you set foot there, it’s completely different. You’ll fall in love with the laid-back style of living and the warm hospitality of the locals. We have the 5 tips you need to plan your vacations in the Canary Islands before you book that flight ticket. 

The Canary Islands are an all-year-round destination.

When to Go and What to Pack

The Canary Islands are an all-year-round destination. They have pleasantly warm weather, not extremely hot summers and mild winters. In the summer, the maximum temperature is 30°C and a minimum of 16 – 17 °C, mostly during the early morning. These temperatures remain stable until October. Spring is equally beautiful, with temperatures ranging from 15 – 24 °C. Travelers from north cold countries prefer to visit the Canary Islands in the winter for a nice warm sunny break. In off-peak months, like March, May, and September to November, you can enjoy the lovely weather and the low prices in accommodation. Not that summer is an excessively expensive period to visit the islands, but it’s more crowded at this time. When planning your trip to the Spanish Islands, cοnsider price and weather conditions and decide where the scale tips for you.

At times, it can get a bit cold or humid, so bring a light jacket or sweater. Apart from sandals, also get a pair of sneakers for walking or hiking. Pack a beach tote to always have with you a swimsuit, a hat, and sunscreen. It goes without saying that if you’re visiting during the hot months, you’ll need shorts, t-shirts, and summer clothing in general.  

Lanzarote’s special shapes

How to Get to the Canary Islands

After you decide when to go to the Canary Islands, it’s time to search for flight tickets. There are three main airports: La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife Airports. Gran Canaria Airport connects the Islands with the Spanish mainland and the rest of Europe, so it sees the most passenger traffic. Flight tickets are usually cheaper and there are more flights from Gran Canaria than the other airports. 

If you’re flying from the US, you’ll need to take a connecting flight from one of the major Spanish Airports and then board on the plane to the Canary Islands. Don’t forget to think about how you want to get to the airport, too. Since you have such a long flight ahead of you, it’s preferable to drive and park your car at the airport rather than dealing with public transportation. You can reserve an airport parking spot online so you don’t risk missing your flight.  

Lovely beaches in Gran Canaria

Getting Around the Islands

Getting around the island is a cinch if you decide to rent a car. It will give you the freedom to go around and explore the exotic beauty of this place. You’ll be surprised by how cheap a car hire is for a week. An economy car can cost from €60/$70 for seven days, which is even more affordable than public transportation. Past visitors have spent €41/$48 per person, per day, on local transport. To get from one island to another, you’ll have to use the ferry services that interconnect the islands. 

White-sanded empty beaches of Graciosa

Which Island to Visit

The Canary Islands have everything for every kind of visitor. Famous for the miles of deserted white sand and clear blue waters, Fuerteventura is the place to do watersports or just relax on the coast. Sotavento Beach is where all the surfers and kite-surfers frequent. Tenerife beaches are also renowned for many reasons. Unlike Fuerteventura, Tenerife has golden sand and volcanic-black beaches. Some of them are crowded, while others are more secluded. Las Palmas and Gran Canaria will be highly appreciated by nature lovers who like to explore mountains, rainforests, and even beaches. La Gomera and El Hierro are also ideal places to hike and discover remote wild nature. Lanzarote has breathtaking volcano-clad sceneries. It’s also the place to experience the Canarian culture with its world-renowned vineyards, bustling nightlife, and open-air markets. 

Enjoy some fresh fish on the grill

Local Cuisine and Restaurant Etiquette

No vacation starts without having good food and exquisite flavors in mind. Due to the high tourist traffic, many restaurants serve cuisine from different cultures. But, you didn’t fly all the way to the Canary Islands to eat what you ate back home. Try the local cuisine that includes fresh seafood, like parrotfish and sea bass, soups, and stews with slow-cooked meat, vegetables, and spicy peppers. Pair this delicious food with local wine, cultivated in volcanic mineral-rich soil.

In the Canary Islands, the waiter won’t rush you to finish your meal or ask you every five minutes if you’d like to order anything else. Take as much time as you need to enjoy the food and the paradise you’re surrounded by. The pace here is slower than what you’re used to. Lunch is served from 12:00 to 16:00, and dinner can be around 19:00 or even later, after 21:00. So, spend as many hours as you want on the beach or hiking the mountains, knowing that the restaurants won’t close until late at night. After finishing your meal and paying the bill, although not required, you can leave them a tip. 

Safety Tips

The Canary Islands are considered a safe travel destination when it comes to the crime rate. Petty thefts can occur in tourist areas where large crowds tend to flock. When going to the beach, it’s best not to bring valuable items with you. Have some cash with you if you’re visiting a restaurant or shops afterward and avoid carrying your credit cards to the beach. If you can’t, make sure to put them in a safe and locked place. Generally, you can consume tap water, but most tourists prefer to buy bottled water just to be sure.

Best beaches in Greece

Check out These 5 Best Beaches in Greece!

Surrounded by glittering turquoise waters, Greece is a treasure island for sun lovers. But with thousands of islands scattered across the Ionian and Aegean seas, it’s easy to get confused when deciding where to go first. 

Popular Beaches in Greece 

1. Lalaria Beach, Skíathos Island

Considered one of the best beaches in Greece, Lalaria is located in the north of Skíathos Island. Its white pebbled shore is one of its kind. If you’re looking for quiet, remote little beaches in Greece, Lalaria should head your list. You can only reach it by boat; there are no walkways on the hill and no way to reach the shore by car. 

There is a price to pay for relaxing in nature. Lalaria doesn’t offer any services, so you will need to pack your own water, food, and other essentials. To get there, you will need to catch a boat from the old Skíathos port.

Boats only leave two times per day: mid-morning and late afternoon. The journey is about 40 minutes one way, so keep this in mind when deciding which one to take. Get plenty of water, food, and supplies that you will need for the day.

Lalaria is routinely named one of the most beautiful beaches, and its beauty has made it a tourist hotspot. Although not as remote as it used to, but it is still worth visiting this incredible seaside during your stay.

2. Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos

One of the best-known beaches of Mykonos, Super Paradise is a stunning bay with golden shores and crystal-clear waters. It is also known for its lively nightlife.

The Super Paradise Beach Club is always packed with partygoers, celebrities, jet setters, and VIPs. It’s one of the more popular beaches in Greece, with a lifeguard on duty, restaurant, and boutique.

Public transportation is available from Fabrika Square and Old Port every 30 minutes from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. Departures back to Fabrika Square and Old Port also run every 30 minutes from 10 am to 9 pm.

3. Elafonisi, Crete 

One of the gorgeous beaches in Crete and all of Greece, Elafonisi has pink sands, clear waters, and a laid-back vibe.

Elafonisi is located 75 kilometers from the town of Chania, in southwestern Crete. It is an islet, but you can walk there on foot, without even getting your toes wet. 

It’s one of the more exotic beaches in Greece and is worth the effort to see. Elafonisi is part of a protected area. Once you get there, you walk into paradise. The islet is only a mile long, but there is plenty to explore along the way, including a number of small coves, rock formations, and sandy beaches.

Elafonisi is worth the trip because of its natural beauty, but there aren’t many amenities nearby, aside from a few small hotels. This beautiful place is the ideal choice for a day trip.

4. Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia

Located between Argostoli and Assos, Myrtos is surrounded by the Kalon Oros and Agia Dynati mountains. The blinding white sands are contrasted with the azure blue waters and green forested mountains. 

Known as one of the most dramatic beaches in Greece, Myrtos offers a mile and a half of sands. It was the backdrop for Captain Corelli’s Mandolinand voted the best Greek seaside 12 times.

You can reach it from the village of Divarata. The steep, winding road has dangerous hairpin turns, so be cautious if you’re driving. If you want to avoid the stress and hassle of driving, the city of Pylaros runs a bus service to and from the beach from Agia Efimia. 

There are several tavernas in Divarata, as well as a beach bar. Beach umbrellas and sunbeds are also available for hire.

5. Porto Katsiki Beach, Lefkada

Porto Katsiki sits at the base of the towering white cliffs of Lefkada. It has been rated as one of the best beaches in all across the Mediterranean Sea. It differs from the beaches on Mainland Greece because of the steep climb down to the shore.

To get to Porto Katsiki, you will have to traverse 80 steep steps along the cliff. But the journey is worth the effort. The stunning turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and dramatic cliffs make this an unforgettable place. At the top of the stairs, you will find snack bars and a car park. 

The beaches in Greece are the most beautiful in the world. With clear azure waters, soft sandy shores, and incredible landscapes, Greece should be the number one of any traveler’s list. Which beaches in Greece have you visited or are going to visit?

Author Bio:

Thomas Quarry is a data scientist, treasure hunter, animal lover, aspiring wildlife photographer, and outdoor fanatic. In between writing and photography, Thomas likes hiking, climbing, camping, or daydreaming. He has been contributing to nature publications for several years and enjoys new writing challenges.

Algarve Boat Festival 2020

Algarve Boat Festival 2020: um palco, 30 de dança

Um palco, várias pistas de dança e o barlavento algarvio a compor o cenário. Foi assim que, pelas mãos da startup portuguesa SeaBookings, Lagos mergulhou na primeira edição do Algarve Boat Festival

Algarve Boat Festival 2020
A energia no barco-palco foi incrível

A data escolhida para o festival foi o dia 29 de Agosto, cumprindo a tradição da Festa do Banho, que todos os anos preenche este dia com um programa de animação cultural que culmina no banho de mar à meia-noite com direito a fogo-de-artifício. O Algarve Boat Festival permitiu celebrar a data num novo formato, ancorado no distanciamento físico e na segurança do ar livre. 

Um palco, várias pistas de dança

Os festivaleiros juntaram-se à volta do barco-palco na sua embarcação, seja própria ou alugada, seja um barco a motor ou à vela. Foram ainda disponibilizados lugares limitados em embarcações próprias, para aqueles que não dispunham de barco próprio ou não de condições para o alugar. Para quem não pudesse juntar-se fisicamente, o evento foi divulgado nas redes sociais com Live Streaming, que resultou no presente vídeo.

A comandar a pista de dança, no barco-palco, estiveram o algarvio Pete Tha Zouk, DJ Astrella e o lacobrigense Carlos Sax. Na sua primeira edição, o Festival esgotou, contando com quase 30 embarcações que fundearam à volta do barco-palco em frente à emblemática Praia Dona Ana.

O Algarve Boat Festival contou com o apoio da Câmara Municipal de Lagos e a Marina de Lagos. E a Capitania do Porto de Lagos, bem como a polícia marítima, estiveram presentes para fazer cumprir o Plano de Contingência e garantir a segurança do evento. O Clube de Vela de Lagos também esteve presente no apoio logístico da festa.

Nauti Algarve Boat Festival
Que tal encomendar uma mini ao barco-bar?

O espetáculo teve início pelas 15h30 no melhor cenário possível, em frente à emblemática Praia Dona Ana, e tinha a duração de 3 horas. No entanto o Pete Tha Zouk, na sua felicidade de poder voltar a tocar para um público ao vivo em tempos de pandemia, ainda “ofereceu” mais uma hora de dança a quem quisesse ficar.

A primeira edição do Algarve Boat Festival esgotou e tendo em conta o feedback dos festivaleiros, parece que isto foi só o início!

Sea Adventure

Turning Your Next Trip Into a Sea Adventure

Are you overdue for an adventure? Whether you’ve gone a bit stir crazy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, or you’re just ready to try something new when it comes to travel, nothing can beat turning your next trip into a sea expedition. After all, it’s easy to feel like an old-fashioned explorer when you take advantage of all the water has to offer. 

Planning an adventure on a boat or alone a coastline is a great way to try something different. Plus, there are so many things to do whether you’re a solo traveler or you’re bringing your family along. 

If you want to travel by boat, the benefits include everything from going at a slower pace and being able to breathe in the fresh air, to being able to move around freely in a way you can’t in a car, train, or airplane. But, you don’t necessarily have to get out of the water once you reach your destination. 

Croatia is the best spot to travel by boat

Let’s look at a few great ways you can “dive in” to some sea adventures during your next trip, and how those adventures can benefit you. 

Adventure Is Out There And it Can Benefit Your Health!

If you’ve ever seen the Pixar movie Up!, you’re probably well-versed in the meaning of this subtitle. While the characters in that film may have taken to the skies for their adventure, the premise remains the same for any unique form of transportation. 

While a trip to a theme park or luxury hotel can be relaxing, doing something more adventurous and unique may actually be more beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. Adventure traveling gets you out of your everyday routine and your comfort zone. As a result, you have more time to think about yourself and your life, and what you truly want out of it. It’s a great way to boost your sense of self-reflection. If you have children, going on an adventure can help them to get their eyes off of their video games and phones, and experience everything the water has to offer. 

Travel, in general, has also been linked to boosting mental health. One survey performed on 485 adults in the U.S. found that traveling was linked to an increase in: 

  • Empathy
  • Focus
  • Energy
  • Attention

Simply being out in nature is a great way to improve your mood and give you more energy, so if you’re planning on taking a trip any time soon, why not choose something out of the norm, that will transform you into a real-life adventurer? 

Live the Pirate Life

Okay, you don’t have to pillage and plunder, but there are plenty of deep-sea adventures that can make you feel like a real-life pirate without all of the danger involved. One of the best ways to do that is to go on a treasure hunt. 

Treasure hunting is a great way to involve your whole family in your sea adventure. That’s especially true when you decide to shallow water hunting. That involves going out about knee-deep into the water. When you use a metal detector to do your hunting, you and your kids can find everything from coins to jewelry, and it’s often easy to dig up. 

If you’re looking for more serious treasure, you’ll want to get out to at least six feet of water, where you can find things like: 

  • Gold and diamond rings
  • Military uniform buttons
  • Trading tokens
  • Religious medallions

Depending on where you go, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what you can find!

If you want to spend more of your time actually exploring the seas themselves, consider getting on board with the underwater tourism market, and taking a submarine tour. They can be quite costly, starting at around $800 for some of the less expensive tours. But, if you have a vested interest in the world’s oceans and you want an immersive experience, it’s truly an adventure unlike any other. 

Where to Make the Most of Your Travels

The oceans make up about 70% of the earth’s surface, and for as much as we know about them, there is still so much that is left to be explored. So, how can you be sure you’re visiting the best possible places for unforgettable adventures? The possibilities are truly endless, but having a little guidance doesn’t hurt. 

The best places to have adventures on the sea really depend on what you’re interested in. For example, if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, you might want to try coasteering (and cliff jumps!) or canyoning in Maderia. If you’re bringing the family along and want to experience something everyone can enjoy, take a boat tour in Lagos to see dolphins swimming around in their natural habitat. It’s a sight that truly never gets old. 

If you want to take a break from ‘adventuring’ and relax with friends or family, the water is the best place to do it. Consider a boat tour in Ibiza for a relaxing afternoon in the sun that everyone can enjoy. 

As you can see, adventure really is out there. It’s waiting for you on the sea and near the shore, so consider making your next trip an unforgettable one by making memories on the water. 

Best watersports in Barcelona

Best Watersports in Barcelona

If you’re a fan of the water and have always been someone that enjoys riding the waves rather than soaking up rays, you’ll be pleased to know that there are tons of aquatic sports that you can enjoy in gorgeous Barcelona. With a coastline that stretches for 4.5km, there’s a wide variety of excellent beaches to try out these activities.

Whether you’re looking to try a water sport out for the first time, or you’re already a seasoned pro, there are plenty of great clubs and schools peppered along Barcelona. Below we’ve got a list of some of the best watersports in Barcelona to get you started. 

Enjoy the colorful Parc de la Ciutadella and the SEA!

Windsurfing in Barcelona

Windsurfing is essentially a form of sailing that involves a board being powered across the water by the wind. It’s not for the faint-hearted as it requires an immense amount of strength, stamina and of course, courage. 

If you’re looking for an adrenaline kick, however, it’s one of the best water sports to try out. You’ll start out on a bigger board with a small sail when you’re learning the basics before moving to a smaller board as your skill increases. The best thing about windsurfing is that it can be enjoyed at any age. In Barcelona, you can check out classes or rent equipment along the Mar Bella beach. 

Paddleboarding in Barcelona

Known as SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), this water sport is a great way to have fun playing in the water while also providing a full-body workout. Since you’re standing upright on the board, you’ll also get to admire the views.

While paddleboarding isn’t as fast-paced as some of the other water sports out there, it’s great for your core, and there’s also a growing trend of individuals doing yoga on their paddle board – talk about intense! In Barcelona, there’s no shortage of schools available and there’s plenty of places for you to rent boards or even practice SUP yoga.  

Surfing in Barcelona

While the Barcelona area may not have the biggest waves in the world, it’s still a great place to get your surf on. If you’re a beginner, Barcelona’s also a fantastic starting point and there are plenty of great spots along the Catalonian Coast. 

Garraf is one of the most picturesque surf spots in Barcelona with old fishermen’s hut on the beach along with houses peppered all over the cliff for a unique appearance. Another popular spot just north of Barcelona is Masnou. There, you’ll have access to the longest waves of the area. There are plenty of surf schools in Barcelona such as Pukas Surf School that’s great for beginners that are just starting to ride the waves. 

Are you ready for some serious fun on our inflatables?

Renting a boat in Barcelona

While it may not be a sport per se, it deserves a brief mention. When you’re in Barcelona, you’ve got to rent a boat as it’s a great way to enjoy the open seas. Head on board as a family or gather a group of friends and you’re sure to have a wonderful afternoon or evening.

From medium-sized yachts to luxury superyachts, there is plenty of options to cater to everyone. On a budget? No worries, in Barcelona you can rent license-free boats and have fun exploring the waters on your own. 

Renting Jet Skis

Feel like you’re flying on water thanks to the high speeds you’ll experience on a jet ski. As you zoom across waterways, you’ll also get to take in the stunning coastal views. 

In Barcelona, you can choose to rent a jet ski for 30-minutes to a couple of hours for some fun. Alternatively, book an excursion that’ll take you a little further to areas such as Costa Brava or Garraf

For those who love some serious speed, how about a jet ski in Barcelona?

Hoverboarding & Flyboarding

If you want to take it to the next level, give hoverboarding and flyboarding a shot. This relatively new water sport is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. You’ll be propelled into the air thanks to the two powerful water jets that are attached to a pair of special boots. 

You’ll feel as free as a bird and it’s an incredible feeling. Hoverboarding is not difficult to learn, but it’s important to have the right balance. You’ll soar up to 10 meters into the air, and you can even enjoy this activity with your friends or family and have an amazing time together. 

Similar to hoverboarding is flyboarding. Instead of the water jets being attached to a pair of special boots, however, the water jets will instead be strapped to your feet. Feel free to do somersaults, jump and create whatever shapes your heart desires over the water. With flyboarding you’ll reach a height of up to 30 feet in the air – an exhilarating adrenaline experience that’s an absolute must. 

Banana boat in Barcelona is always fun!

Crazy Sofa & Banana

You’ve probably tried the banana boat, but have you tried the crazy sofa? For something fun and exciting to do together with your friends and family, you’ll want to try this out. In this exhilarating activity, you’ll be sitting on an inflatable sofa and get dragged around by a tire that’s attached to a speedboat. 

As you whizz around the ocean, you’ll get to see who ends up being the last one sitting. It’s an exciting activity that’s sure to get everyone laughing. Best of all, there’s no previous experience required and anyone above the age of 10 is welcome to join embark on a crazy sofa adventure. 

Flying Fish 

This new unique water sport is something you absolutely need to check out when visiting Barcelona. Here, you’ll be sitting on an inflatable rubber boat that takes the shape of a flat fish while being pulled by a speed boat. As the boat accelerates, you’ll get lifted above the ocean for a heart pumping experience. 

As you take in the views of the coast, you’ll be blown away by the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea as you look out over Costa Brava. The Flying Fish can take up to six people with the minimum age being 18 years old. This is an activity that you wouldn’t want to miss in Barcelona. 

crazy water sport in Barcelona
Do you date to try flying fish?

There you have it, some of the best water sports in Barcelona! Either than water sports, there’s also plenty to do from visiting the La Sagrada Familia to admiring other modernist landmarks around the city. Finding comfortable accommodation in Barcelona is also key to a fantastic vacation. Why not check out some of these vacation rentals in Barcelona, Spain for a memorable trip unlike any other.  

Portugal o Melhor Destino do Mundo

Fomos velejar em Lisboa com amigos

Fizemos um passeio de barco à vela no rio Tejo, em Lisboa. Decidimos marcar o barco só para o nosso grupo para uma experiência mais íntima e também mais segura, nestes tempos pós-confinamento. 

Relaxar com os amigos num cenário destes? Só no Rio!

Encontramo-nos com o capitão Nuno nas Docas de Santo Amaro ao final do dia, onde ele nos recebeu no seu lindo e aconchegante “Alchemist”. Como fizemos esse passeio de vela durante o período pós-confinamento, o Nuno ajudou-nos a desinfetar as mãos e sapatos antes de embarcar e ele usava uma máscara facial. Estes são os protocolos do selo nacional Clean and Safe. 

Uma vez sentados confortavelmente, estávamos prontos para içar a vela. O vento estava no ponto, por isso tivemos a sorte de quase não usar o motor. O Nuno tem a paixão de velejar nas suas veias. Ele é um apaixonado por vela, pelo seu barco e pela cidade de Lisboa. Portanto, se tiverem interesse nesses temas, preparem-se para aprender muito! Até nós, portugueses que vivemos em Lisboa, aprendemos alguns fatos históricos interessantes com Nuno. E alguns de nós até aceitaram o desafio de ajudar um pouco com a navegação.

O privilégio de viver em Lisboa e ter este “quintal”…

Nuno deu-nos a escolha de uma rota mais turística no rio em direção ao centro da cidade ou sair para velejar no mar. Como já tínhamos navegado no rio Tejo, ficamos super empolgados com a opção de navegar em direção ao Atlântico. 

Passamos bons momentos a bordo num ambiente muito tranquilo. Optamos por preparar um piquenique delicioso e trouxemos as nossas próprias bebidas. O Nuno também tem um frigorífico à disposição e gosta de partilhar um rosé ou verde.

Navegamos em direção à praia de Carcavelos e tivemos a sorte de avistar alguns golfinhos selvagens! Foram momentos incríveis. Ver esses mamíferos mágicos no seu habitat natural é sempre especial. Quanto às condições atmosféricas, apesar de termos apanhado um vento favorável, não tivemos tanta sorte com as nuvens que apareceram e fizeram com que o pôr-do-sol não fosse tão deslumbrante como de costume. Assim, em breve voltaremos a velejar com o Nuno ao pôr-do-sol e tentaremos capturar as cores incríveis do céu. 

Recomendamos muito esta experiência de velejar em Lisboa. É uma ótima maneira de apreciar a cidade de um ponto de vista diferente. E, nestes tempos “estranhos”, estar ao ar livre com um pequeno grupo de amigos, longe das multidões.

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

One of the most recognizable islands in the world, Santorini is a symbol of Greece. Known for its whitewashed Cycladic houses, ancient archaeological sites, and the fact that it’s built on the remnants of one huge volcano make it a pretty spectacular place for a holiday. And we haven’t even mentioned the spectacular sunsets! It’s one of the most memorable places you could visit – though it’s probably not the first place you’d think of taking your family. Nevertheless, there are lots of things to do for all ages on the island. 

Of course, one of the most popular draws is its white, red, and black beaches. Each has its own personality and character, but after a few lazy days on the beach, you might start to crave something that will get the adrenaline flowing a little more. How about trying some watersports

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best family-friendly watersports in Santorini. Hopefully, it’ll make it easy to plan and make the most of your trip! 

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini is magical during sunset

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini

Santorini’s waters are known for being calm. So, unfortunately for some, that means surfing is off the menu. However, if you feel at home on a board you could try stand up paddleboarding instead. The fastest-growing watersport in the world, it’s a great workout for your core – and who wouldn’t want to say they’d SUPed in the remains of a collapsed volcano?!

Try it at sunrise or sunset, and if you have plenty of SUP experience, you could even have a go at yoga on your board. The ability to do SUP at a slow and relaxed pace means that it’s an ideal way for the family to see the scenery of Santorini together.

There are several different paddle boards depending on what you want to use yours for. So, if you’re wondering which paddle board do I choose? You can either get some expert information at the link there, or find a reliable rental service on the island who will find the best board for you!  

Swimming in Santorini

Something that can be very off-putting when deciding which watersport to do is the need for equipment. Thankfully, with swimming, all you need is a swimsuit. And perhaps a pair of goggles. With swimming spots all over the island, you’re sure not to be disappointed with Santorini. 

Kamari black sand beach is the most popular beach on the island, and there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for breaks between swimming. The black sand beach at Perissa has a water park where children can swim safely, while Red Beach has an awesome swimming spot amongst impressive rock formations.  

Snorkeling is a refreshing and fun experience

Snorkeling in Santorini

One way of exploring the fascinating waters and the underwater world of Santorini is through snorkeling. Snorkeling in Santorini is one of the best ways to see colorful sponges, groupers, snappers and many schools of fish. Book your tours with SeaBookings and explore the treasures under the sea in safe conditions.

Sea Kayaking in Santorini

Another great way to take in the caldera of Santorini is by kayak. Like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking gives you a great core workout but you’ll be sat down instead. You’ll be able to enjoy some of Santorini’s most famous sights, including rock formations, the Akrotiri lighthouse, while also ducking into sea caves for a bit of shade from the relentless Mediterranean sun. 

Of course, while you kayak you’ll have the opportunity to stop off at a number of beaches that are inaccessible to the busloads of tourists you might find on other parts of the island. 

Parasailing

Maybe one for families with older kids here – and definitely not for anyone scared of heights. Parasailing will see you dragged along behind a speedboat attached to a parachute. You’re likely to reach heights of up to 100 metres! It’s an incredible activity to tick off your bucket list and the views of the caldera below will be etched into your mind forever! 

Water-biking

Shaped like Volkswagen Beetles, water-bikes are basically just fancy pedalos. You might not think of the Beetle as a family-sized car, but there’s space for four on one of these cute little vessels and the good news is it’s very difficult to fall off one!

Are you ready for your first time diving in Santorini?

Scuba Diving in Santorini

If you enjoy diving, Santorini boasts its beaches as it offers great chances for scuba diving due to its volcanic geological background. For people who have experience in scuba diving, this should be one of your highlights during your stay in Greece. Many diving centers and tours have opened over the last couple of years offering diving courses for all ages and levels. Just rent the necessary equipment for your scuba diving experience and your experienced guides will take you out for an amazing time in the underwater world of Santorini. There are also options available for first-timers.

Jet Skiing

Another activity that may be more suitable for families with older kids. Jet-ski safaris are a popular way to see Santorini’s collapsed volcanic craters. Thanks to the high speed of a jet ski, you’ll see what you would in a whole day on a kayak in just a couple of hours. And it really gets the adrenaline pumping! The only issue here is that it’s more difficult and expensive to do as a family. 

Flyboarding

Have you ever wanted to fly above the water before diving down to the depths of the ocean? Okay, maybe not the depths. You want to give flyboarding a go. You’ll be strapped to a jetpack which will enable you to fly more than 10 metres in the air – all you need to do is keep your balance. This unusual activity is just 10 minutes long and it’s available on many of Santorini’s beaches. 

Catamaran cruises are a more relaxing option

Catamaran Cruise

Okay, a catamaran cruise isn’t exactly a watersport, but after all of the high adrenaline activities on this list, it might be time to do something a little less taxing. With a range of options, you could enjoy a sunset dinner cruise or a full day exploring the caldera and beyond. A cruise as a family may be a little pricey, so make sure to find something all inclusive.

Portugal o Melhor Destino do Mundo

Portugal continua a ser o Melhor Destino do Mundo

Portugal está preparado e aberto para voltar a receber turistas estrangeiros. Neste momento, a situação no país está a evoluir muito positivamente e a maioria do território nacional passará, no dia 1 de julho, a estar no mínimo de restrições impostas à população.

Desde o início de maio, altura em que se iniciou a primeira fase de desconfinamento, o país tem vindo a registar melhorias consideráveis no que diz respeito a:

Número de internamentos:  -50% (eram 968 e são agora 436);

Internamentos em Unidades de Cuidados Intensivos (UCI):  -70% (172 versus 67 para uma capacidade de mais de 700 camas de UCI em todo o território);

Número de óbitos:  -70% (passou de uma média de 15-20 diários para cerca de um terço desse valor atualmente (3,57 se considerada a média dos últimos 7 dias);

Número de casos ativos:  -50% (no início do plano de desconfinamento chegaram a ser 24.065, mas nesta altura esse número está em cerca de metade, ou seja, 12.484).

Esta evolução positiva permite ao país sair do Estado de Calamidade e passar a estar apenas em Estado de Alerta.

O aeroporto de Lisboa já está a ganhar mais movimento

Graças ao controle e ao aumento de testes (Portugal é o 6º país da Europa em número de testes, tendo já feito mais de 1,1 milhão de testes, mais de 10% população) foi recentemente considerado essencial aplicar algumas regras de contingência a algumas zonas na periferia de Lisboa como o encerramento de alguns estabelecimentos comerciais às 20h00 e a proibição de ajuntamentos com mais de 10 pessoas. Contudo, hotéis, restaurantes, super e hipermercados, serviços de saúde, postos de combustível e equipamentos desportivos mantêm o horário normal de funcionamento. O mesmo se aplica a todos os museus, equipamentos culturais, etc. Igualmente não existe qualquer limitação a circulação de residentes ou turistas e todos os transportes estão em pleno funcionamento não existindo qualquer situação de encerramento ou quarentena em Lisboa.

A aplicação cirúrgica destas regras enquadra-se na atuação e procedimentos que Portugal tem assumido desde o início da crise e que permitiu controlar de forma exemplar o progresso da pandemia. Estas medidas permitem ainda que todos os equipamentos turísticos e culturais estejam abertos e a funcionar em pleno assegurando àqueles que desejam visitar a região de Lisboa e o país a segurança necessária.

As restantes regiões mais turísticas do país (Algarve, Madeira, Porto e Norte) continuam o seu caminho de continua redução de casos enquanto as outras regiões (Açores, Alentejo, Centro) estão a ser progressivamente mais procuradas por turistas nacionais e estrangeiros.

Portugal continua a ser o Melhor Destino do Mundo, do Porto ao Algarve

Portugal é o 3.º país mais seguro do mundo (Global Peace Index 2020) e todo o setor, desde empresas e operadores privados até aos vários agentes do setor público, está preparado para que a retoma da atividade possa gerar a máxima confiança em visitantes e turistas, cumprindo todas as condições de higiene e segurança.

A criação do selo Clean & Safe foi determinante. A iniciativa, que conta já com mais de 17.000 adesões voluntárias das várias empresas e atividades do setor (e de outras que lhe estão direta ou indiretamente ligadas), consolida-se a cada dia através da sua plataforma digital. Disponível em dois idiomas (português e inglês) reúne a informação sobre todos os estabelecimentos aderentes, permitindo que os próprios turistas classifiquem os empreendimentos no que diz respeito ao cumprimento das condições sanitárias. Foi também assegurada a formação necessária às empresas para a implementação das medidas associadas que é necessário garantir, sendo já mais de 20.000 as pessoas formadas.

Portugal continua autêntico, diversificado, atrativo, inclusivo e seguro.

A importância deste projeto para retoma da atividade turística nacional, granjeou a Portugal o convite da OMT (Organização Mundial do Turismo) para apresentar, na assembleia mundial da organização, as boas práticas do setor nesta fase e contribuiu decisivamente para que o próprio destino Portugal fosse o primeiro na Europa a ser distinguido com o selo de “TravelSafe” por parte do WTTC (World Travel & TourismCouncil).Também o facto de Portugal ter sido o país escolhido para a realização da fase final da Liga dos Campeões é já uma enorme demonstração da confiança internacional no destino.

A reabertura das linhas aéreas entre Portugal e diversos destinos europeus está a ser feita de forma gradual. A curto prazo, prevê-se uma recuperação de 45% das rotas aéreas em julho e de cerca de 60% em agosto, sendo que todos os equipamentos, atividades e empresas do setor estão abertos e preparados para receber visitantes e turistas, nacionais e estrangeiros.

Portugal, o Melhor Destino do Mundo, as melhores praias do Mundo

Portugal, o Melhor Destino do Mundo, continua autêntico, diversificado, atrativo, inclusivo e seguro. Mantém o propósito e o compromisso de receber bem, respeitar as diferenças e hoje, mais do que nunca, garantir a todos que podem viajar pelo país, seguros e com confiança. 

Toda a informação útil sobre o destino pode ser encontrada em VisitPortugal.com, uma plataforma em permanente atualização com dicas e sugestões sobre viagens e turismo em Portugal.

Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!

5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

If you’re dreaming about the picturesque island of Madeira, you will be pleased to learn that it will re-open to international visitors from July 1st. Its neighbour in the archipelago, Porto Santo will too. The Portuguese archipelago had closed in March to help control the spread of COVID-19. There are many more reasons, but here are our main 5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown.

About Madeira

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, an archipelago of two main islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. Along with the main Madeira island, with a length of 57km and width of 22km wide, its sister island, Porto Santo, measures just 14km by 8km. There are also Desertas and Selvagens islands which are uninhabited. All islands are a true paradise for nature lovers, both sea and mountains.

COVID-19 in Madeira

So far, the region has registered 92 cases of COVID-19 out of which 90 have already recovered. Madeira and Porto Santo will reopen to tourism on the 1st July date when the mandatory quarantine will be eliminated. The reopening will be carried out safely and aiming to recover the confidence both of travellers and locals

You'll be impressed by Madeira's lush landscape
You’ll be impressed by Madeira’s lush landscape

Reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

1. Madeira has had very few cases of Covid-19

Until the present date, the islands of Madeira have registered ninety-two (90) positive cases of COVID-19. And there was no community contamination and no deaths. The local government acted quickly to control the virus on the archipelago (actually, the whole of Portugal has been widely praised for its rapid response).

Madeira was a pioneer in the whole Portugal, in developing good practices document to deal with Covid-19 – COVID SAFE TOURISM (English version here), resulting from the involvement from the whole tourism sector, along with the launch of a certification process that will reassure consumer confidence and hence promote Madeira as a safe tourism location for all visitors.

2. Free COVID test when visiting Madeira

All travellers are requested to be tested within 72 hours prior to arrival for faster checkout. Passengers who were not tested will do a free test upon arrival at the airport. Children ages 12 and younger do not have to take the test, except for suspected cases.

“The government will pay for all costs of the tests upon arrival to the destination to prevent any extra costs for travellers,” says Eduardo Jesus, regional secretary of tourism and culture. “This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus-free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment. The testing process is being prepared by the Regional Health Authority, with the collaboration of ANA – Airports of Portugal, and strives for the highest speed with least inconvenience for travellers.” 

Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!
Need more reasons? Let us know and we’ll tell you!

3. No mandatory quarantine in Madeira

The Regional Government of Madeira (GRM) will carry out a test for all travellers, upon arrival in Madeira islands. These tests can be avoided if passengers present a PCR test with a negative result, carried out in the last 72 hours before landing time. 

However, while confinement is not mandatory for those who took the test upon arrival, it is recommended for travellers to go to their accommodation while they wait for the results. Results should be presented within 12 hours.

This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment.

4. Monitoring of travelers in Madeira

As part of the pre-travel requirements, all passengers should be monitored through an APP (mobile application). The app is called “Madeira Safe to Discover” of the Regional Health Authority, of voluntary, but recommended use, or by telephone contact. 

5. Madeira will always be Madeira

Luckily, COVID-19 did not change the natural and cultural blessings of Madeira. Warmed year-round by the Atlantic sun, Madeira is known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’. The archipelago is worldwide known for its lush botanical gardens, wine tasting and, of course, the crazy toboggan rides in a wicker basket from Monte to Funchal. 

It is also an outdoor paradise that attracts hikers and sea lovers. The main reason to make the journey to Porto Santo is that it boasts one of Europe’s finest golden-sand beaches. Travellers between Madeira and Porto Santo are currently free from any control by Health authorities.

Madeira has already opened most of tourist products and services such as bars, restaurants, spas, and tourist spots implementing health and safety protocols like social distancing, proper hygiene, and the wearing of mask. Boat tours and other sea experiences like SUP and surf will resume July 1st (some have already restarted in June).

SUP tour in Madeira
A SUP tour in Madeira can be done all year round

The Regional Government of Madeira, through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture, and Madeira Promotion Bureau are working side by side with all stakeholders to relaunch the Destination. Our teams are always available to share information.

What are you waiting for? Madeira is ready for you, vamos! And if you need more reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown, let us know, we’ll convince you!