Portugal is known for its stunning beaches and related ocean activities. Portugal tours can be done either in the water, like boat tours, or in the city, like the tuk-tuk or running tours, or even in the nature, like hiking tours.
Today we’ll share the best Portugal Tours related to the ocean. Ocean activities are our specialty at SeaBookings.com and they are one of the most popular things to do in Portugal.
In fact, Portugal has an immense coast line. Continental Portugal has a coastline of 943 km, the Azores Archipelago of 667 km and Madeira 250 km. In addition to the amazing length, the coastline of Portugal is very friendly for ocean tours because of its beauty and diversity.
Based on our experience, the Best Portugal Tours are Dolphin Watching Tours, Cave Boat Tours, Kayak Tours, Parasailing Tours and BBQ Boat Tours.
The dolphin watching tours are with no doubt on the top of Portugal Tours. Everybody loves dolphin watching tours in Portugal. The youngest love the speed of the boat and the close encounter with dolphins. Even the older get emotional when finding wild dolphins.
The coast of Portugal is home to many species of dolphins. The most commonly seen species in Portugal are common dolphins, spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales, killer whales and other whales.
To go on a dolphin watching tour you can choose almost any big marina in Portugal. We provide dolphin watching tours in the Algarve from Albufeira, Portimão, Tavira, Olhão, Sagres, Praia da Luz and Lagos.
In Lisbon you can go for a Dolphin Watching tour from Setúbal. Setúbal is only 40 minutes away from Lisbon. In Setúbal, the Dolphin Watching tours are a great success because of the existence of a resident pod of dolphins in the Sado River.
Also on the Portuguese Islands of Azores and Madeira Dolphin Watching Tours are very popular. With departures from several islands, here you can be lucky to find other cetaceous like several species of whales!
From Madeira, Funchal Marina, there is also the possibility to swim with wild dolphins. Also on the Island of São Miguel, Azores, one can swim with dolphins.
The swimming with dolphins in Portugal is done during the dolphin watching trips. You’ll be properly equipped with a wetsuit and snorkeling gear and be able to be very close to the dolphins!
These tours usually take one hour and a half to two hours. Some tour operators also take a marine biologist on board who will be happy to answer all your questions about dolphins and other marine life.
Different types of boats are used for Dolphin Watching Tours. Specially designed Rigid Inflatable Passenger Boats are the most common. Dolphin Watching Tours can also be done on bigger boats. The bigger boats are very suitable for families. The big boats usually have a bar service and toilets on board.
In terms of safety, life vests are mandatory for all people on board, according to the Portuguese law. Besides, all boats that go for Dolphin Watching are equipped with the latest safety requirements imposed by the EU.
The Portuguese coast is a mix of beautiful white sand beaches and breath-taking caves and rock formations. These rock formations and caves are mostly found in the western Algarve.
Benagil and Lagos are the most popular places for Cave Boat Tours. In fact Benagil is one of the most remarkable sea caves in Europe. The sea cave of Benagil was in 2014 listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” by The Huffington Post.
The caves of Lagos are also a common place to visit in the Algarve, especially the area of Ponta da Piedade. Ponta da Piedade is like a post card. It’s characterized by very high cliffs, some with more than 20m, that reach into the light blue sky out of the deep blue ocean.
The grotto tours in Lagos are an inexpensive and original way to enjoy the coastline of Lagos. Prices per person start at €10.
To enjoy a cave boat tour to Benagil, there are several kinds of boat tours. You can choose a big catamaran or a small fishermen boat. It all depends on your taste. The most traditional boat tour starts at the beach of Benagil itself. This popular cave boat tour takes about two hours and costs €17,50 per adult.
Most of the cave tours to the Benagil cave take you to over 20 amazing caves in the surroundings of Benagil.
The best online prices and several options for the cave tours can be found on SeaBookings.com:
- One hour cave tours – This tour departs from the Marina of Lagos. It’s ideal if you’re travelling on a tight budget or are short on time. You will stay on the same boat during the whole tour. This cave tour is suitable for any age as it does not require changing boats.
- Two hour cave tours – This grotto tour is a more complete experience. Departing from the Marina of Lagos, you will sail along the coastline of Lagos. This will be done on a very nice typical sailboat. You will then anchor and step over to a smaller boat. This smaller boat is better to enter the grottoes.
Both in Benagil and Lagos, the cave tours by boat are highly recommended for families and groups of friends. You will go in and out of the most breath-taking caves. You will be able to hear and smell the ocean closely.
In the most impressive caves, the captain of the boats usually shut down the boat’s engine to enjoy the cave silently. If you’re doing this day on a warm day, feel free to go for a refreshing dive in ocean. As this trip is highly recommended for all ages and all preferences, it’s on our top 5 Portugal Tours.
Lifejackets are required and included in all cave tours. The use of lifejackets on touristic boat tours is mandatory in Portugal.
The kayak tours in Portugal are similar to the cave tours as they take part closely to the coastline. The main difference between the kayak tours in Portugal and the cave tours is that your arms and paddles become the engine.
These tours may take between one hour and a half and three hours. Departures of the kayak tours in Portugal take place along the whole Portuguese coastline. In the Algarve, you can go kayaking in Portimão, Albufeira, Lagos and Benagil.
On some kayak tours, you will immediately embark in the kayak, like is the case on Praia da Batata in Lagos or even to the famous Benagil cave. On other kayak tours in Portugal, you will depart on a big boat which takes the kayakers and the kayaks to a better place to start. This happens if you depart from the Marina of Lagos.
The kayak tours in Portugal are suitable for families as there exist tandem kayaks where parents can take their kids. Also for groups of friends, this experience is highly recommended. If you’re a sporty traveller looking to explore nature, this is the best of all Portugal Tours.
While you’re cruising along the coast you’ll be burning calories and working your arms and core. Another advantage of the kayak is that they are environmentally friendly as no fuel is required, only your own strength.
Lifejackets are required and included in all kayak tours in Portugal. The use of lifejackets on touristic tours is mandatory in Portugal. Prices start at 15€ per person.
Do you know what parasailing is? It’s one of the most popular things to do in Portugal.
Parasailing is also known as parascending or parakiting. It is a recreational kiting activity where you are towed behind a boat while attached to a specially designed parachute. This parachute is called the parasail wing.
As you can imagine, flying in the sky behind a boat that cruises along the coastline is amazing. You will be able to enjoy a unique view. You will be enjoying two natural elements at the same time, water and air. This experience is one of the most popular things to do in the Algarve. It’s a unique holiday experience in Portugal that will make your holidays unforgettable.
Parasailing is quite sensitive to the weather conditions, but usually the summer in Portugal is ideal for it. Sunny skies with no wind are the best conditions for parasailing.
Parasailing is suitable for all ages. No experience is required. You can choose if you prefer to fly on your own, solo, or with someone else, tandem. There are also several options of height.
Departures for the Parasailing experience in Portugal are from Lagos, Vilamoura or Albufeira. Prices start at 45€ per person.
Lifejackets are required and included in all parasailing experiences. The use of lifejackets on touristic boat tours is mandatory in Portugal and the jackets should be kept on while in the air.
If you’re on holidays in Portugal and you like the local food and the ocean, this Portugal tour is for you.
Bom Dia Boat Trips is one of the oldest tour operators in Portugal. Since 1980, the beautiful sailing boats of Bom Dia in Lagos represent a smart and environmentally friendly way of preserving historical and traditional Portuguese sailing ships.
On the BBQ cruise in Lagos, you will sail in the Bay of Lagos and cruise along the stunning caves and rock formations. After enjoying the beauty of the coast, you’ll anchor in a sheltered bay.
For lunch, the crew will prepare grilled chicken, salad, bread and wine. We highly recommend you to bring your swimming and snorkel gear because you can go for a refreshment in the ocean. After lunch, you’ll be taken on a smaller boat to the famous caves of “Ponta da Piedade”. The BBQ trip from Lagos takes about three hours and departs at 13h00 form the Marina of Lagos.
In Albufeira, the BBQ trip takes a full day. This BBQ cruise from Albufeira starts in the morning from the Marina of Albufeira. By cruising West, always close to the coast, you’ll get to know the impressive scenery of the south coast of Portugal. We’ll head up to Nossa Senhora da Rocha, near Carvoeiro.
The highlight of this BBQ trip in Albufeira Algarve are the refreshing drinks along with a delicious barbecue cooked by the crew on a private beach which is not accessible by land. There are two providers for this BBQ boat tour form Albufeira. The main differences are the type of boat.
If you’re staying near Portimão, you can also jump on a BBQ trip from here. On The boat and its friendly crew will ensure a comfortable and safe sailing experience along the stunning beaches, rock formations and grottos from Portimão. If you’re lucky, you may even be pleasantly surprised by a group of dolphins.
This BBQ tours generally take half a day. The whole family or group of friends is welcome on board. We’ll guarantee no one will be hungry.
You’ll be served a lunch of barbecued sardines or meat, fries or boiled potatoes, salad, bread, fruit and drinks in a typical local restaurant. On the boat itself, there is a bar service for extra drinks.
As these BBQ cruises in Portugal are very popular, they tend to quickly become fully booked during the high season, so we recommend you to book as soon as possible. In the low season, prices start at €50 per adults and children (age 5-10) pay only €25. During the high season, prices may rise to €55 and €25 respectively.
On all BBQ tours in Portugal lifejackets are required and included as the use of lifejackets on touristic boat tours is mandatory in Portugal
Did you like the above Portugal Tours and would like to book one? Go ahead, you’re just a few clicks away.
If you’ve got any questions about the above-mentioned things to do in Portugal or have any tips or recommendations, feel free to contact us!