Adventure Sports Holidays Sailing in the Algarve
With a steady thermal summer wind, shallow lagoons, a combination of flat, calm seas and consistent waves as well as more than 300 days of sunshine per year. You couldn’t get a better kitesurfing location than Portugal’s Algarve. If having prime conditions wasn’t enough, in 2008 the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) held two prestigious events on the Praia Alvord, western Algarve. Bringing hundreds of world class kite surfers to the region and putting the Algarve firmly on the kitesurfing map.
For beginners, or those wishing to improve their technique, the flat, calm seas of the eastern Algarve are ideal practice grounds. The area is packed with kitesurfing schools that offer everything from a two-hour introduction course to a full week’s instruction. For your very first foray into the world of kitesurfing, the lagoon at Alvord makes a good starting point. Sheltered from the sea by protective sand dunes and picking up a constant wind from the Monchique mountains, this is a great spot in which to learn or to perfect your flips and loops.
It doesn’t hurt that the water temperature rarely falls below 17 C either.
Starting at Quinto do Lago and ending at Cabela Vela is the Ria Formosa lagoon, a 60mile system of barrier islands and inlets. While much of the lagoon is designated as a nature reserve, there are three main starting points (islands/beaches) to launch from: Clara, Ilya da Fiesta and Praia do Barrel. Here you can spend hours cruising around the lagoon or if you’re feeling more confident, take your board out onto the sea.
Heading further east along the coast is the city of Taveras.
A hotspot for all kinds of water sports thanks to an 11km long sandy island to the south of the city, and the nearby lagoon. Although kitesurfing is a little restricted in the summer due to the number of bathers, in the winter months there are no restrictions, so you can really let-loose with your board. Unlike surfing, kite surfing equipment can’t easily be hired out privately. So if you’re an experience kitesurf, you’re better off bringing your own gear. If you’re a beginner local knowledge is crucial in keeping you safe when out on the water, so signing up for a course is the best way to get started.
Thanks to the Nerada wind that blows down off of the mountains, the kitesurfing season lasts all year. Although May to October are the best months, with June to September offering ideal conditions. If you’re planning on spending a few days out on the water, you’ll find that the Nerada wind starts off gently in the morning and builds up gradually during the day. So if you want to squeeze in as many water sports as possible, try surfing in the morning and then kitesurfing in the afternoon to make the most of the natural conditions that the Algarve has to offer.