SUP tour in Madeira

To-do on Madeira: SUP tour

By Bo, co-founder of SeaBookings, working from Lisbon:

We had the chance to visit the beautiful island of Madeira for 3 days this Spring. We went on a SeaBookings trip to discover the best things to do on Madeira and then to share them with you, of course! This SUP tour in Madeira is one of them.

One of the best things to do on Madeira island is of course watersports. Being surrounded by the Atlantic and with its water temperatures around 20ºC all year round, doing some watersports in Madeira is a must. We wanted to go surfing in Madeira or to do a SUP tour, depending on the conditions. As the sea was very calm, we choose for the SUP tour in Madeira.

This SUP tour in Madeira started from the stunning Nature Park of Garajau. We parked our rental car next to the “Cristo Rei” cable car and then took the cable car down. This was a great suggestion by our tour guide, Roberto, as the parking lot down at the beach was a bit chaotic. Before heading down, we walked down to trail from the car park to Cristo Rei to check out the amazing view over the Atlantic you have from here. It’s really worth it!

A big plus about paddle boarding? It's easy to learn!
A big plus about paddle boarding? It’s easy to learn!

The cable car from the parking lot to the beach of Garajau costs about 2€ per person and takes around 3min, I think. It’s really worth it as the views during the ride are simply incredible! Once we got off the cable car, it felt like we landed in paradise. Praia do Garajau is a very cosy beach with a cute beach bar.

We immediately encountered Roberto, whose surf and SUP school is located on top of the beach bar. Our board were already waiting for us and after a brief technical introduction about how to SUP, we were ready to get into the sea with stand up paddle boards. Actually, Roberto is a very good SUPper himself and managed to really help me improve my paddle technique. I had done stand-up paddle a few times before but never really worried about my technique. Well, now I know how to paddle properly! 

SUP is a very peaceful way to explore the coast of Madeira
SUP is a very peaceful way to explore the coast of Madeira

To get to the water it’s a bit tricky as there are some loose round stones on the beach, but it’s only a very short distance. And yes, the water was warm! Gotta love Madeira island! Once we were all comfortably standing on our boards, we paddled in Eastern direction. These cliffs of the Garajau Natural Park are impressive and the different shades of blue of the sea were beautiful!

While paddling close to shore, Roberto was explaining some of the local flora and fauna to us. Doing a SUP tour in Madeira is super relaxing. For us, it was the perfect experience to do before catching our flight back to Lisbon. But hey, when we turned around to paddle back in the direction of the beach, we had the wind, that suddenly picked up, against us. To cross the “Ponta do Garajau”, some real strength was needed. So, tighten your core, bend your knees a bit and row 1, row 2, row 3! Yes, we all made it to the less windy side, near the beach and still felt like paddling a bit further.

For Francisco and Fábio it was only the 2nd time SUPping
For Francisco and Fábio it was only the 2nd time SUPping

After the SUP tour in Garajau, we still grabbed a refreshing drink at the beach bar before driving to the airport (after a quick sweet water shower on the beach). SUP is a great way to access the local beauty and lush landscape of the coastline, it’s environmentally friendly and a full-body workout. All you need to bring is a swimming suit, a cap and sunscreen. Roberto will take care of the rest! We really recommend this SUP tour to experience Madeira from a sea view perspective. We’ll be back soon!

Bo Irik - Boosting Maritime Tourism in Portugal

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