Adam's Top 5 Algarve Paddleboarding Spots
Avid surfer and stand up paddleboarder Adam is one of Tiny Whale's longest-running team members. Sadly (for us) he'll be disappearing this month to explore Nepal for the foreseeable future so we've taken the opportunity to find out about his favorite paddleboarding locations here in the south of Portugal Over to Adam...
Having been paddleboarding pioneers here in the Algarve, it’s fair to say that the Tiny Whale team knows some of the best spots for SUP’ing in the area. As part of the team, I’ve spent many a day in the last few years paddling my way around the waterways and coastlines. Now I’m disappearing to travel the world, these itchy feet of mine love exploring! But before I leave this heavenly place, I’d like to share my top 5 paddle boarding locations with you. I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy them as much as I have...
1. The Lagos grottos
The golden yellows of the Lagos grottos with their sandstone cliffs and dark enticing caves contrast strikingly with the deep turquoise of the surrounding water. Grab your waterproof phone case (not you lucky iPhone 7’ers) as this is one hell of a photo opportunity! Between Praia Dona Ana and Ponte de Piedade there are reams of caves, rock arches and hidden sandy beaches, perfect for rest breaks along the way. You could get lost for hours exploring this place but don’t panic, our instructors know this area like the back of their hands. I’d say this is best enjoyed at sunrise, a: for the amazing light and b: to avoid the boatloads of less adventurous tourists drifting into your nicely framed pictures… tsk tsk!
2. Odeceixe and Rio de Seixe
This is a place where time seems to have stood still. The magic is in seeing farmers dutifully tending their smallholdings complete with oxen hitched up to plow wheels; colourful hippies camping along the river banks, and peaceful wildlife everywhere you turn. Start near the N120 road bridge in Odeceixe and follow the course of the river valley down to the coast where you’ll find the perfect place for lunch on the beach at Praia da Odeceixe. This is a tidal river, time it right and the water will do most of the work for you. The beach here offers gentle waves which are great for exploring SUP wave riding for the first time.
3. Praia da Arrifana
For those of you who just love to ride waves, check out the big fat rollers at Arrifana. This truly is a stunning place. Towering cliffs form a protected bay, great shelter from any strong northerly winds. If you’re in the area you can also try a paddle from the idyllic historical town of Aljezur along a meandering river to Praia da Amoreira. The views will not disappoint!
4. Odiaxere Barragem
Away from street lights and set in beautiful countryside is a well-kept secret… and shhhh… it’s the perfect place to experience SUP’ing under a blanket of stars. Now just trust me when I say that the night sky is really something special here. The Barragem de Odiaxere lake is located in a deep valley surrounded by picturesque umbrella pines and eucalyptus trees offering protection when coastal conditions are on the wild side. Just a short drive from Lagos, it’s also a great flat water spot to practice technique or race paddling for the more advanced.
5. Point-to-point Trips
There are endless options for coastal point to point trips. Here’s a few of my favourite, each has stunning scenery and most importantly a decent café or bar at the end! Burgau to Cabanas; Praia da Luz to Praia de Porto de Mos, Sagres to Beliche. All I’m going to say is, keep your eyes peeled for rocks.
So there you have them, just waiting to be enjoyed! The Algarve is a great place to explore with a paddleboard and you don't need to be experienced to try any of these locations apart from the wave-riding spot at Arrifana. Paddleboarding is easy to get to grips with and accessible. Ok, you really need transport and equipment but Tiny whale has everything you need.
Enjoy the ride!