Team up with a crew of like-minded adventurers for a true outdoor experience! Take in the sight of Portugal’s beautiful Atlantic coast and discover hard-to-reach surf locations that are only accessible by sailboat.
The Algarve is the beautiful southern coastline of Portugal. It is a region blessed with stunning beaches, soaring cliffs, sea caves, scalloped bays, sandy islands, picturesque fishing towns and a glorious climate. Surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic, it's a paradise for surfers and has some of the best surf in Europe.
Leave the car behind and sail towards these protected, nurturing islands. This is what getting away from it all really means.
The Marina de Portimão will be our sailing launch point. Throughout the trip, we'll sail along the Algarve coast on an Oceanis 43 sailboat for about 2 hours per day, and find a new bay and surf spot every day where we will then drop anchor in one of the countless, scenic anchorages, where you can easily unwind.
You'll venture far to the outer islands of the archipelago and get close to the amazing sea life in this unusual habitat, if lucky you may even catch a fish or spot dolphins or whales.
We have surfboards for everyone on the boat or bring your own! And if the waves aren't good, we'll just go longboarding (skateboarding) on the beach, what do you think? We definitely have a few boards onboard as well!
SAIL & SURF in the Algarve · 7 days
Day 1 - Portimão
We will meet at the marina de Portimão, our sailing launch point. We'll give you a little tour through our new home for the week (an Oceanis 43 sailboat) and you can arrange your stuff and make yourselves comfortable. In the evening we’ll cook something delicious together and enjoy tasty and fresh Portuguese fish and wine. Life on a boat is a real team effort, one of our favorite things about it! Strangers at first, then quickly a well-oiled crew of explorers who are in it together! You’ll cook delicious meals as a team, decide on the route as a team and learn fun skills from your skipper and from each other. Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve, and was traditionally a centre for shipbuilding, sardine fishing and fish processing. Today, most of that industry has been replaced by tourism, leisure, and retail, leaving Portimão as a large and residential city. There is a surprising amount to be seen within the city. The city’s old and once bustling fishing docks have been responsibly transformed into a scenic promenade.
Day 2 - Lagos
After a rich and healthy breakfast we untie the bow lines and hoist the sails! As we always depend on the weather and wind conditions and in order to find the best locations for surfing, the sailing route might vary slightly and has to be adjusted. We'll start making our way westwards and our first stop will be in Lagos. Lagos is known for its walled old town, cliffs and Atlantic beaches. Steep wooden steps lead to the sandy cove of Praia do Camilo. The nearby cliffs of Ponta de Piedade offer sweeping headland views and a lighthouse.
Day 3 - Zavial
The next day we will drop anchor in Zavial. Here, the long and tubular waves are ideal for surfing and bodyboarding but Zavial Beach has other attractions to offer. Surrounded by high and often sheer cliffs, which protect from all strong winds, this is a very popular beach. Let's go snorkelling or get in the water with our boards! Zavial is one of the best known southern Portuguese waves. It can be fast and hollow and gets offshore winds a lot of the time so can make even smaller swells stand up. The beach is not as exposed to west winds but does get good swells wrapping around and hitting it. It's a clean hollow wave when it gets good swell and on small swells is great for beginners and intermediates. On top of all that it is also a great beach just to chill out at and have a relaxing swim when the waves are not breaking on it.
Day 4 - Sagres
Tonal beach is within walking distance of Sagres town centre and is a great beach to surf for beginners to intermediates. The waves are consistent but varied. It provides waves all year round and in winter months can get very swells hitting it which can be spectacular. It is sheltered from the north wind and has some great right and left handers to offer all along the beach. Tonal beach is easy to access and is one of the most beautiful surf beaches in the Algarve when the conditions are good. Overlooking some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery, the small, elongated village of Sagres has an end-of-the-world feel, with its sea-carved cliffs high above the frothing ocean strung with wind-whipped fortresses that connect it to Portugal’s rich nautical past. It's the only place in the world where white storks are known to nest on cliff faces.
Day 5 - Praia do Beliche
A small sheltered beach north of Sagres, Beliche beach offers a great peak wave with the right swell. The large cliffs make this a spectacular beach to surf. The best months to surf Beliche are before and after the main summer months. A treat of a wave and beach to surf for the intermediate to advanced surfer when its working. Praia do Beliche sits just to the south of the towering, and curiously level, cliffs of Cabo Sao Vicente. This provides not only a spectacular backdrop but also a little protection from the powerful Atlantic swells that pummel the coast further north. This does not mean there aren't waves here - on the contrary. It is one of Sagres' best surf beaches with the waves often a little more manageable than at the other beaches around the headland.
Day 6 - Arrifana Beach
We make our way to Arrifana beach. Arrifana is a great fun wave to surf at any level of skill, it offers a crescent shaped wave and the right hand wave is excellent on a large swell. The location is really nice and the area is great to hang out along the wild western Sagres & Vicentina coast. With high tide the wave can go a little soft but on a lower tide it speeds up and can be a great little ripper of a wave. Although narrow, the beach stretches for over 700 metres and is framed by imposing, craggy, black schist sea cliffs. If you look to the south, you will see a huge, dark, thin rock sticking up out of the sea. This is called the Pedra da Agulha (Needle Rock) and it has become an icon on the Costa Vicentina. At the northernmost tip of the beach, next to the little fishing harbour, there are good conditions for diving.
Day 7 - Portimão
We are sailing south again. Unfortunately, our adventurous and fun week is coming to an end and we slowly have to head back to Portimão. Can we do that? Or maybe just sail to America instead? Who's in? Let's see...