Adrenaline Rushes, Sports & Nature
This year, try something different and visit the Algarve to participate in some of the most exciting activities around. From kite-surfing to joining enthusiastic spectators at thrilling sporting events, the Algarve has something for everyone and is a destination that can be enjoyed by all.
SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES
The Algarve is well-known for its world class golf courses, which make it one of the most popular golfing destinations in the world, but if you prefer to try out something different there are lots of different sporting activities to choose from. There are also some extreme sports that will get your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing.
The southwest Algarve is home to Europe’s last unspoilt coastline and this makes it the ideal place to go surfing. There are many opportunities for all skills levels with surf schools for beginners and novices and surf tours around the coast for the more experienced.
If you prefer to take to the skies, tandem skydiving is available in the Algarve all year round. This exhilarating sport gives you some of the most scenic views of the Algarve and is also one of the warmest air temperature jumps to be experienced in the winter in Europe.
If you want to try something new, one of the best up-and-coming sports is kite-surfing. The northerly wind the ‘Nortada’ filters through the mountain range of the Serra de Monchique creating perfect year-round conditions for kite boarding. The Alvor Estuary is one of the best spots to learn kite boarding in Portugal and is one of the stops in the professional kite surfing world tour each year.
Micro-lighting is another activity that can be enjoyed in the Algarve. A micro-light is a modified hand glider with a small engine at the front, which turns it into a small plane. You can enjoy tours down the coast of the Algarve watching the dramatic scenery pass by below.
Wakeboarding in Lagos is a mixture of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing and involves riding the waves on a wakeboard as you are pulled by a speedboat. Visitors of all skill levels are welcomed and lessons are available to all along the coast of the Algarve.
Rock climbing in the Algarve offers the unique opportunity to explore its hidden and picturesque gems. Far from the busy crowds, you can emerge yourself in the magnificent tranquillity of deserted beach sea cliffs and hidden forests. With the Rocha da Pena being the best rock formation to climb, be prepared to use a large amount of physical and mental strength for a truly unforgettable climbing experience.
Explore the Algarve’s inspiring caves and grottos on state of the art single kayaks, which provide freedom and flexibility as some of rock formations in the western Algarve are only accessible by the water. When sea kayaking you can also find yourself landing on a hidden beach with white sands and crystal clear water all to yourselves!
The Algarve has become a popular tourist spot for nature enthusiasts and attracts visitors from all around the world. It has some beautiful wildlife and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean to offer, which will delight all types of nature enthusiast.
Whilst in the Algarve you will be met with an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. There are many animals to be seen ranging from bird species to the native Iberian Lynx, now an endangered species. There are great experiences for nature enthusiasts to see some of the wildlife that inhabits the Algarve, such as mountain biking to walking tours.
One of the best nature activities to participate in is hiking. With the scenic background of the Atlantic Ocean and hidden forests, hiking around the Algarve couldn’t be more enjoyable.
The Ria Formosa Natural Park is situated near Faro and is one of two national parks in the Algarve. The park is famous for its bird watching, with many birds resting and feeding here during the winter months. One of the most popular species of bird that you can spot here is the Flamingo.
The other national park in the Algarve is the Costa Vicentina National Park. The park extends along the Algarvian and Alentejanian coast and is characterised by its unexplored countryside. The main attraction to this area is the natural beauty of its beaches and the scenery of its high cliffs.
An abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna can be found in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, the Algarve’s secret west coast, where the stunning rugged coastline framing the Atlantic Ocean is a dramatic backdrop. From 1st September 2009 visitors will have the chance to stay at a reclaimed traditional Algarvian village near Vila do Bispo in the Costa Vicentina, Aldeia da Pedralva (www.aldeiadapedralva.com) which, previously almost abandoned, has now been transformed into an active village. This is the perfect location to get away from it all and for nature and active tourism such as surfing, kite-surfing, bike-riding, trekking and fishing. 32 typical village houses have been transformed into comfortable self-catering houses and a restaurant and grocery stores will give jobs to the remaining nine villagers. The school house has been transformed into an Apple certified learning centre where visitors can learn a new skill such as photography, web design and public speaking.
One of the best ways to see the Algarve hinterland is on foot, bike or horseback and Via Algarviana (www.viaalgarviana.org/ingles) has created an extensive 240km itinerary of paths stretching across the Algarve between Alcoutim in the east to Cape St Vincent in the west. The aim is to connect these paths with the Trans-European paths while promoting eco and nature tourism. Each section is divided into 30km stretches so visitors can break up the entire itinerary or take shorter options while staying in rural tourism developments and traditional villages. The full route can be walked in 14 days, taken on bikes in five days and on horseback in nine days with knowledgeable guides and unique Algarve accommodation.