Alvor SUP stand up paddle tours in the Ria Alvor

Stand up paddle in the Alvor lagoon

The Alvor SUP tour takes place in the Alvor Lagoon, known as the Ria Alvor in Portuguese. Itis a stone’s throw away from Lagos and it’s perfect for paddling. It’s a calm, safe enclosed lagoon and it is a great place to go stand up paddling whether you’re an experienced pro or venturing out into the wonderful world of SUP for your first time.

alvor sup map

 

Alvor SUP video

Join Gui and Nick as we paddle on the lagoon and visit the beautiful fishing town of Alvor with it’s fantastic restaurants, great bars and stunning views of the Alvor lagoon.

 

Alvor SUP Details

Time: 09h00 every morning (May-October)

SUP Trip Length: About 2 hours

Whats included? We offer expert tuition, stand up paddle boards, paddles, pfds (buoyancy aids), leashes and light refreshments however please bring the following items with you:
  • Swimwear, (quick dry shirts are great if you have)
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Cap or hat
  • Extra water
  • Warmer/Drier clothing for afterwards
It costs €40 per person and if you could pay online it would secure your place:

Book Now

Alvor Meeting Point

We meet just at the old lifesaving station on the Alvor waterfront. Here is an interactive Google Map which you can zoom in, use to get directions or use Google Street view.

Book an Alvor SUP trip now!

Most often Guilherme, an advanced SUP instructor and SUP racer on the Portuguese SUP Series, will take you on your tour. He is a fantastic guide and knows Alvor really well. Ask him about Honuhele boards! He has built the only Algarvian brand of Stand Up Paddle Boards and we’re proud to use them at all our Algarve SUP paddling locations.

Book using the form below or email nick at algarvesup.com or call Nick on 00351 916634007
Book Now

Why only mornings?

We mainly paddle in the mornings due to the prevailing “nortada” wind which picks up in the afternoon and turns Alvor into a kite surfers paradise. Occasionally we will schedule a downwinding event, which will give you a taste of what it feels like to paddle with the wind. Normally this is done out in the deep ocean when wind and swell travel in the same direction. It’s a blast, but super tiring.

Other fun paddles can be organized, such as SUP Yoga, Paddlefit and especially a sundowner or full moon paddle. If you have a group of four or more let me know and we can organize a great trip for you.

Thanks for visiting!
-Nick

How Algarve SUP was founded – YouTube video series

For some time I have wanted to tell the story of how Pedro and I started Algarve SUP. Eventually I have gathered together all the footage and edited up the story (well only HALF of it to date). It’s all on my YouTube channel and the plan is to make 10 episodes telling the story through flashbacks while I paddle through the winter of 2016.

You can find the playlist on the Algarve SUP Youtube channel and the plan is to follow this basic storyline:

  1. How I quit my day job DONE
  2. Building a blog “Outdoors in Portugal” DONE
  3. Starting a business selling paddleboards: Algarve SUP DONE
  4. Travelling up to Peniche, Portugal for the ASI stand up paddle course DONE
  5. Exploring the Algarve’s hidden gems and secret spots DONE
  6. Red tape and disaster strikes, Pedro leaves.
  7. My first customers- RyanAir tours
  8. A full summer – the tours!
  9. Exhausted. I need a partner.
  10. TransAlgarve, SUPfm and the Guadiana Challenge

Sometimes I think it’s crazy producing these videos and it’s only for self gratification and to preserve the memories. If that is NOT just the case and you actually enjoy them, please let me know? Just leave a comment on the videos, here or anywhere on social media – I’d love to hear what you think and what videos you suggest I should make.

I really love creating videos, so what should I make next?

Update on the Guadiana Challenge 2016

Guadiana Challenge 2016
Guadiana Challenge 2016

Many of you have been asking about the Guadiana Challenge 2016. Apologies, I was planning to open registration in January but the organization of the event is running a little behind. We still have tons of time before the event and everything is almost good to go, so I will be opening registration very soon.

So let’s recap on some of the details:

  • The date is still Saturday morning April 2 2016.
  • The Event will start at 09h00 in Mertola at the quay at the end of Rua Dr.Afonso Costa.
  • Stages. We are dividing the event into four stages:
    • Stage 1 – Mertola to Penha d’Aguia (10km) Morning coffee and pastries
    • Stage 2 – Penha d’Aguia to Pomarao 9km (19km) Lunch
    • Stage 3 – Pomarao to Puerto de Laja 5km (24km) Afternoon snacks
    • Stage 4 – Puerto de Laja to Alcoutim 8km (32km) Drinks at the finish line.
  • Registration will cost €20 and is payable online here on AlgarveSUP.com very soon. We will limit the entrants to the first 40 people on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Registration includes:
    • a T-shirt,
    • transport from Alcoutim back to Mertola on Saturday evening after the finish for you and your board
    • food as described above
    • support boat
    • VHF emergency radio
  • Accommodation – it would be worthwhile to plan to stay in or near Mertola on the Friday 1 April and Saturday 2 April . There are beds available in the Nautical Clube of Mertola, The Castelo Inn, Alentejo Star Hotel and Hospedaria Flor do Guadiana.

Are there any questions? If so, just drop them in the comments below this blog post. Huge thanks and we’ll see you on the water!

-Nick

Guadiana Challenge Map

 

 

Little known ways to do a TransAlgarve

falesia beach stand up paddle
Paddling out from a night on Falesia Beach.

TransAlgarve – the way we did it…

There are many ways to traverse the Algarve: car, train, bus… However, if you delve into human powered transport, hiking and cycling spring to mind, not stand up paddling. Who on earth would try to cross the Algarve on a stand up paddle board?

Yes, we did it.

In the process apparently we were the first human beings to ever do this. Record anyone? Just kidding.

sagres paddle board transalgarve
Departing from Sagres. One hour in and the weather turns…

Why would anyone stand up paddle across the Algarve?

SUP (stand up paddle) is a relatively new sport and we love promoting it for one simple reason: It has changed so many people’s lives. The idea is that it may change yours! So by paddling across the Algarve and documenting our journey, our aim is to promote stand up paddle as a sport.

We’d also like to inspire more people to cross the Algarve on a SUP, so if you’re planning a trip please let us know?

faro paddle boarding
Early morning as we approach Faro.

 

Our TransAlgarve SUP journey

It was 11h15am on the morning of Tuesday 3rd November 2015. Three of us quietly entered the water and departed Sagres under a clear and sunny sky. Here are the quick highlights:

  • 160km paddle
  • 6 days
  • Route: Eastwards from Sagres to Faro, overland transfer and then westwards from Ayamonte to Faro.
  • Accommodation: Beach camping every night.

We paddled into Faro to complete our TransAlgarve trip on Tuesday 8th November at 13h40, almost exactly six days after we left Sagres. We wrote up more detailed info on the TransAlgarve route, including maps and our itinerary.

Paddling across the entire length of Algarve coastline gives you a tremendous insight into all the coastal towns dotted along this 160km long strip of beauty. Its not just all high rise beach front hotels. Stunning beaches, rocky coves, towering cliffs and cool caves all competed for our time and attention as we surfed, camped, paddled, ate and slept over seven nights.

The TransAlgarve SUP expedition videos

Check out our daily videos in our 8 video long playlist on YouTube.

TransAlgarve stand up paddle adventure

transalgarve
TransAlgarve expedition leaving Falesia beach.

160km stand up paddle expedition

A self semi supported stand up paddle journey across the Algarve from Sagres to Vila Real de Santo Antonio. As far as we are aware, we were the first people to have done it.

If you’d like to skip straight to all 8 video episodes of our TransAlgarve stand up paddle journey then hop over to our special YouTube playlist.

WATCH Here

Commencement Date

We started on 3rd November 2015 at 11h15 – Finished on 10th November at 13h40.

Route and Accommodation

The route clearly depended on the wind forecasts. If it was westerley we would start at Sagres, if an easterly sprang up we would start in Vila Real Santo Antonio. As it happened Algarve SUP arranged pick ups from the airport and transport to Sagres. For the purposes of planning, we had assumed a westerly wind, but it didn’t entirely work out that way.

Embedded below is the Trans Algarve Google Map that explains the route we actually took. Note the big blue stripe that indicates our mid expedition vehicle transfer. We weren’t happy about it, but read on to see why it happened.

Our TransAlgarve brief itinerary

  • Day 1 28km
    Sagres to Lagos.
  • Day 2 25km
    Lagos to Benagil.
  • Day 3 25km
    Benagil to Falesia.
  • Day 4 12km
    Falesia to Garrão (Almançil)
  • Day 5 15km
    Garrão to Faro / Transfer / Ayamonte (Spain) to Monte Gordo
  • Day 6 26km
    Monte Gordo to Fuzeta
  • Day 7 28km
    Fuzeta to Faro

The Team

  • Nick Robinson – Owner of Algarve SUP, certified ASI Stand Up Paddle instructor, surfed since he was 14, windsurfed, ex-river guide in South Africa, ex-game ranger in South Africa. He has worked in internet development and marketing for the 15 years he has been in Portugal before opening “Algarve SUP” in July 2014.
  • Spike Reid – Spike worked at the UK’s Royal Geographic Society for several years, rubbing shoulders with such legendary explorers as Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Already a qualified mountain leader and worldwide adventurer, his encounter at the Society with Dave Cornthwaite (the Guinness world record holder for distance travelled on a paddleboard) led to him to join a team who circumnavigated Martinique on stand up paddle boards. He has since crossed the UK on a paddle board as well.
  • Mauro Engler – A cool, quiet, laid back guy who has graduated from the University of the Algarve in sports science. He’s an accomplished surfer and a watersports instructor teaching surfing, stand up paddle and sailing.

Food

We took dehydrated meals along that we prepared by boiling up water on a little gas stove and pouring it into the packet. After resealing them we ate out of the bag 5 minutes later. Voila, no dishes to wash up! The rest of our portable food larder consisted of nuts, raisins, other dried fruit, biltong and energy bars.

Porridge was a staple for breakfast and its so easy to make. Throw in a banana and some honey and you’re on your way to a culinary delight. Add nuts and raisins and it rivals any breakfast for nutrition and taste.

Side-note: Spike is writing a book on 360 ways to make a porridge. I for one am looking forward to it!

01 Preparation

A few people were asking on social media what this “TransAlgarve” thing was all about. I decided to create a little video explaining some of the items of preparation. Here you go:

Trans Algarve kit list

[column size=”one-half”]
Individual List
——————-
Sleeping Bag
Camping mat
Bivvy bag
Tent
Waterproof holdall
Drybags
PFD
Sandals/thongs/jangles/flip-flops
Waterwear
Change of clothes for shore
Warm jacket
Hat
Camera gear
Trail snacks
Water gloves
Wetsuit boots
Hat
Sunnies
Sunscreen
Rain jacket
Spoon
Bowl/plate
Mug
Headtorch
Water bottle

[/column]
[column size=”one-half” last=”true”]
Group kit
—————-
3 Paddleboards
3 leashes
3 Paddles
1 or 2 spare paddles
1 or 2 pumps
Team tarp
Stoves
Gas
2 pans
Toilet trowel
Porridge
Dehydrated meals
First aid kit
[/column]

Daily TransAlgarve Diary


 

02 Day One

Sagres to Lagos (28km)

After being delayed by a mother of a storm, we headed down to Sagres early on Tuesday morning, November 3rd 2015.

Thanks to my good buddy, Philipos the Greek, we arrived safe and sound and set off for Lagos from Sagres at 11h15, paddling all the way through the afternoon to arrive in Lagos at 16h15. We worked out later that this was a 28km paddle. Good one guys!

Now check out the video from day one:

03 Day Two

Lagos to Benagil (25km)

After enduring a crazy night filled with sand, thieves, hamburgers and light rain, we set off for our lunch time destination (Ferragudo) under a threatening sky. It poured down moments after we started but we pushed on through grim weather listening to Spike’s wise words “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear!”

After a mind blowing chicken sandwich at Club Nau in Ferragudo we headed out for Benagil and the weather cleared up beautifully. Although I think the video says its better:

04 Day Three

Benagil to Falesia (25km)

Benagil Beach is smack bang in the middle of probably the most exotic coastline in the Algarve. We threaded our way through stacks of sandstone. Pillars of rock towered over us as we peered into cave after cave, hesitating to enter due to the rolling swell. I’d prefer to be cautious than caught out.

Check out Mauro’s coffee time somersault in the video! Impressive.

05 Day Four

Falesia to Garrão (12km)

Breaking through a crystal clear shore break we pushed out into an idyllic autumn day. The sun shone strongly and we were sweating by the time we passed the entrance to the Vilamoura Marina. A light breeze sprung up but freshened within a matter of minutes.

By the time we had finished a big greasy English breakfast (courtesy of a cafe in Quarteira), the wind was pushing ten knots and we were struggling straight into it. Five and a half kilometres later we were ready for a beer and we holed up in Izzy’s Beach Bar and Restaurant for the rest of the day, resolving to awake early and make Faro before the predicted easterlies started up.

The plan was to change tack and transfer to Spain and return with the winds back to Faro.

06 Day Five

Garrão to Faro /transfer to Ayamonte /Ayamonte to Praia Verde (12km)

We managed an early start and were out on the water before the sun rose, foregoing breakfast with the promise of a big one on Faro Island. Everything went according to plan and after an hour we had paddled the 6 kms to Faro Island.

The TransAlgarve team settled in for a big breakfast and awaited the “AlgarveSUP van”. We were to be transferred over to Spain to start on the second leg of our journey back to Faro.

See how we felt about this plan in the video…

07 Day Six

Monte Gordo/Praia Verde to Fuzeta (26km)

Rising with the sun and the sizzling aroma of Mauro’s porridge we suspiciously eyed out the surf. It had swelled in the night and was now breaking wide across the entire bay with no visible channels through the white water. One huge gnarly beach break. It didn’t look too bad but once we were chest deep in surf our baggage was ripped off, bungee cords broke, D-rings were ripped off and Spike’s fin suffered more damage. We resolved to walk the 5kms to the start of the Ria Formosa and trudged along the soft sand.

It was tough.

Our packs were heavy and after a kilometre those boards seemed to weigh a ton. Relieved we finally made it to the pleasure of flat water and coasted across the Rio Formosa. The wind was at our backs and we delighted in the way the tail wind shifted us past Cabanas de Tavira, Tavira, Santa Luzia, Luz de Tavira and finally on to Fuzeta.

08 Day Seven

Fuzeta to Faro (28km)

We awoke and broke our island camp before an unbelievable sunrise glittered over the sands. We paddled westwards as the sun topped the horizon, resolving to enjoy a hearty breakfast on Armona Island. It was 10kms away and we arrived ravenous.

After breakfast we looped past the major town of Olhão and once again the wind picked, this time to about 20knots. Downwind paddling is so much more enjoyable than struggling into a stiff breeze and the three of us cut straight through the coastal lagoon. The Ria Formosa was brimming with water as high tide approached. This paddle was definitely the most productive, with us completing 28kms before lunch. I’m convinced that if you hit the westerly winds right in August you could cross the Algarve in a few days.

 

If you’d like to know anything more, just drop a question in the comments. We’d love you guys to try it.

Let us know if you’re keen?

 

Algarve SUP Events

Algarve SUP stand up paddle EVENTS

These stand up paddle events will take place in August/September 2015. We reserve the right to cancel or ADD any tours, so if in doubt send an email or give Nick a call on 00351 916 634 007. I’d love to hear from you.

Half day tours

EVERY DAY! 2 hour tours €35 (Coastline / Lakes / Ria Formosa). Yes, we’re still running these every day and sometimes three times a day. Generally we do morning tours starting at 09h00, 12h00 tours and also sundown tours. You can see more info about our paddling locations, but just so you know, our coastal tours are by far the most popular!

learn to stand up paddle

Full Day tours

Every Saturday we are running full day tours €70 (Coastline). This is a special weekly SUP tour starting at 09h00 and ending about 15h00. It includes transport (from the meeting point to your car – it’s a one way paddle), lunch, snacks and drinks and the most incredible coastal caves, coves and cliffs you ever did see.

This is probably the best experience you will ever have in the Algarve. It’s really mind blowing!

Algarve SUP Coastal tour
Algarve SUP Coastal tour

 

Full Moon Paddle

Monthly Full moon paddles €35 (Ria Formosa). Currently we have a full moon paddle scheduled for the 31st July and 1st August. Contact Nick for availability and pay online to reserve your space.

sunset sup ria formosa

So give me a call (+351 916 634 007), I’m looking forward to paddling with you! -Nick

Contact us

5 reasons why a coastal SUP tour will blow your holiday away

coastal sup tour

We head out on tours every day and our coastal SUP tour is by far the most popular. But who’s to say you can’t do all three of our tours?

  1. Coastal SUP tour (paddling through cliffs and coves).
  2. Ria Formosa paddle (an idyllic coastal lagoon near Faro).
  3. Lake stand up paddle tour (hidden in a fold in the Algarve hills, this dam is away from it all).

Here are five reasons why a coastal SUP tour will leave you with tons of great memories:

1. Because everyone who comes on a tour with us loves it.

The amount of people who change their facebook photos to photos of them paddle boarding with us is phenomenal. It’s so exciting to see people getting thrilled by stand up paddle and starting to change their lives. It’s a super healthy and fun way to explore any region, even your own back yard!

Coastal sup tour

2. Explore the Algarve

Explore a part of the Algarve you wouldn’t normally see under your own steam. Walking along the cliffs is a fantastic pastime, but you don’t get to see the caves underneath do you? Sitting on a beach is relaxing but not as thrilling as rounding a point and catching your breath as the next little gem reveals itself.

coastal algarve sup tour

3. Learn a new skill.

Walking on water is a pretty cool thing to do. Imagine returning home and saying I learnt how to stand up paddle board?

learn to stand up paddle

4. Introduce yourself to a new lifestyle of fitness.

The sweet thing about paddle boarding is that we’ll give you a taste of a new lifestyle. Imagine paddling every few days instead of going to gym? You’ll be amazed at the things you can do on your board to get fit. We call it Paddle Fit! Complement a sweaty gym session with a fresh outdoor workout. Oh and you CAN do it in winter! You’ll be amazed how snug and warm you’ll be in a wetsuit.

sup for fitness

5. Because everything is included.

Everything on our coastal SUP tour is included. All you need is a swimsuit. We offer expert tuition, paddle boards, paddles, pfds (buoyancy aids), leashes and light refreshments.

algarve sup tours

Join us on a tour before they’re all booked up!

Book now

Oh, and if you want something special, we occasionally plan a full day coastal extravaganza. Here is a taster of that one! Call Nick for more info on dates.

Used Stand up paddle boards for sale

IMG_3449

Hi there! We are selling two types of boards. Please note these are cut price used boards in great condition. Feel free to come along and try the boards on our Algarve SUP tours.

RED Paddle Co

Red 10′ SURFER (white)
Rack price €950.00 Now only €690 (GBP499)

Red 10’8″ MEGA (blue steel)
Rack price €995.00 Now only €725 (GBP525)

Red 12’6″ EXPLORER (blue steel)
Rack price €1,215.00 Now only €890 (GBP650)

More info with photos.

SROKA Stand up paddle boards

Sroka 12 6 Retail Price €799 €649 (GBP475)

More info with photos.

Used Sroka Stand Up Paddle Boards for sale

Second hand Sroka SUP

Along with our used RED paddle boards we’re also selling our Sroka paddle boards.

Sroka 12 6 Retail Price €799 €649

This great French brand has served us really well and it’ll be sad to see my board of choice off on its way.

Sroka 12 6 Discover (2 available)

The 12 6’s enjoy a lot more speed and have a great glide out on longer paddles (I took it down the Guadiana Challenge) and on a few downwinders. I even slept the night on it during my latest microadventure!

Get in touch to check for availability.

Contact me

SUP adventure in the Algarve

Algarve SUP and an early summer start

As our Portuguese summer gets rolling and the days lengthen, we have been enjoying an exhilarating start to the season.

We have visited some incredible locations with some amazing people and I’d just like to take time to reflect on the last few weeks.

sunset sup adventure ria formosa
A sup adventure in the Ria Formosa is a memorable experience!

Nothing can beat the perfect sundown sup tour and we are now offering this every day (weather permitting) in our three tour locations.

Ria Formosa

Imagine gliding out on a stand up paddleboard, secure in the knowledge you’re in safe hands and relaxing out on a remote beach with light refreshments. Paddle back as the sun drips below the horizon and feel that warm glow of accomplishment as you step onto dry land and into the perfect Portuguese bar.

Like the sound of that? Well… book a sundown paddle on the Ria Formosa!

Book a tour

The dam

Deep in the heart of the Algarve is a place you have probably never visited. Trust me, it was tough to find for ourselves! We can ferry you in or meet you at a prearranged location to take you on a sup adventure in the calm warm waters of the central Algarve. We can give you a stand up paddle lesson here if you need or we can go for a long extended paddle with snacks included.

I loved it when I first paddled here and it’s still my happy place.

Algarve Coastline sup adventure

The Algarve coastline is for the more experienced paddler. Once you have had a lesson on flat water with us, we can take you out on a guided tour of the impressive Algarvian rock formations. Expect to see cliffs, caves and Algarve on wikipedia towering above you.

Stand up paddle instruction in Faro

sup adventure awaits
Faro Marina may well be the start of a lifetime of sup adventure…

If you’re just beginning, we have the perfectly sheltered spot for you. The city of Faro enjoys a delightful little marina embedded almost into the city center and paddling in its sheltered confines is a pleasure.

It’s protected from the wind and currents and ensures you can get up safely and quickly before heading out into the coastal lagoon beyond. Join us for an hour’s lesson.

Algarve SUP out and about

We’re pretty flexible and recently some friends of ours asked us to join them for a birthday sup adventure out in the great outdoors. What could be better than teaching your friends to paddle? Naturally it was a fantastic day out.

sup adventure awaits
A sup adventure awaits…

We’ve been having a ton of fun over the past few weeks. Long may it continue.

See you on the water!

Nick