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Boasting 200km of beautiful coastline, with hidden coves, rugged cliffs, and each beach a pocket of azure shores and silky, soft sand, the Algarve truly is a treasure trove of beauty.

That’s exactly why it comes as no surprise that it’s crowned as one of Portugal's most popular holiday destinations - for families and couples alike.

And though relaxing by the shore and exploring by foot is always a fantastic way to enjoy your time in the sunny country, why not try something different? The Algarve is renowned for its broad selection of activities on the water, suitable for holidaymakers of all ages and all preferences, whether you like a thrill or not.

With that in mind, here’s our guide to a few of our favourite water sports to try out in the Algarve and where on the coastal stretch you can find them - from some of the more relaxing options to some that’ll get your blood pumping and heart racing. Let’s start your aquatic adventure today.

Cove in Algarve
Coves along Algarve coastline

Why the Algarve is great for water sports:

The Algarve is a remarkable destination, with sights and scenes aplenty and 300 days of glorious sunshine a year. Add to that the dazzling, blissfully warm waters and a wealth of choice when it comes to water sports, we’d put the Algarve at the top of the list for a fun-filled trip away. 

For the explorers

When you hear the term ‘water sports’, you may feel a dash of panic if an adrenaline rush isn’t your favourite way to spend the day. But don’t despair, the Algarve has something for everyone, including those who prefer a more relaxed day at sea.

Taking to the seas makes for a delightful, scenic way to see the Algarvian coastline in a different light, whether you hire a boat for yourself, enjoy a guided tour or even harness the power of the pedal on a pedalo boat.

Boat trips

Home to award-winning beaches and fantastic marinas and harbours, there’s various ports along the coastline where you can book your ideal boat trip. You’re never more than a few steps away from an experience when it comes to the Algarve.

Albuferia, a popular tourist destination, is the perfect place for a boat trip, whether you want to set sail on your own or you’d prefer a professional to do the steering while you relax, sip on a Sangria and soak up the sun. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some wildlife if the dolphins decide to bob up and say hello. Two different species of dolphin reside in Albufeira all-year-round, which are sure to impress the children and create memories to last a lifetime. Allboat Albufeira is just one of the many boat rental shops dotted along the Algarve shore. 

Quinta do Lago lake is another idyllic choice for a relaxing boating adventure with the little ones, where you can explore magnificent hidden creeks and enjoy the serenity of nature. And when you’re finished cruising the lake, Quinta do Lago makes the perfect place to enjoy the rest of your holiday, with its endless sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Or, if you fancy something a little more secluded, you could head back and enjoy a dip in your own private pool in one of our luxury villas, such as the stunning Villa Panoramica.

Whether you want just a few hours or even the whole day on the water, there’s a boat trip to suit everyone. For the older kids, you might choose to hire an electric boat so you can speed over the seas, or even add on an activity such as parasailing or paddleboarding for a little extra fun, sampling the crystal-clear waters and diving straight into action.

Family on boat trip

Pedalos

A classic family-friendly activity, pedalos are the perfect way to explore the Algarvian coastline however you prefer.

Whether you’re the one putting in the legwork pedalling, steering and navigating, or you’d prefer to lay out with the sun beating down and the Portuguese breeze in your hair, pedalos allow you to take the coastline at your own pace.

Stumble across quaint, hidden coves, stop for a rest at one of the beautiful sandy beaches or just pedal the entire day away, you can enjoy a day that’s as unique as you want to make it.

Kayaking

Though still a relatively relaxing choice of water sport, kayaking is a great way to keep active on your holidays while still seeing the picturesque sights that the Algarve has to offer - whether you kayak solo, in tandem or in a larger group.

Whether you’d like a guided tour around the destination’s hotspots, or you’d prefer to follow your own route, you won’t have an issue finding somewhere to rent a kayak in the Algarve.

Praia de Bengali is an incredibly popular kayaking spot, where you can explore the famous Bengali Caves, located just near Carvoeiro, where we have a selection of striking villas to step inside after a day’s adventures. From Villa Figueira to the family-friendly Villa Do Casa Prensa and more, we ensure you can go back somewhere you feel at home.

Diving

A different way to explore the sea, from below rather than above, diving is popular all across the Algarve, especially in Albufeira. While there’s many companies that offer both the training and the scuba kit, Easydivers is a popular choice in the area.

After all the excitement, you’ll need somewhere to rest up and reminisce, and luckily, we have plenty of villas across Albuferia, including our exclusive options such as Villa Santa Maria, Apartment Caju and Villa V, alongside many, many more.

Diving is an incredibly fun, unique experience, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, swimming amongst the underwater flora and fauna and seeing the marine life up close and personal is a fascinating way to spend the day.

For the thrillseekers

You might be looking for something to get the heart racing on your holidays, and the Algarve has plenty of exciting options for anyone looking to make a splash.

Jet Skiing

Jet skiing is an activity perfect for those who like the taste of adrenaline, bouncing across the waves, cutting corners and seeing the beauty of the Algarve from the fast lane.

Though the entire stretch of the golden coastline makes the perfect place to jet ski, our favourite spot in the Algarve for a thrill seeking ride is Vilamoura, which offers an abundance of open, clear waters and great conditions to ride the waves.

Whether you’re visiting Vilamoura as a couple, a family or even a large group, we’ve got luxury villas to accommodate everyone. From our Casa Torneira villa, perfect for couples, to the beautiful Villa Tulipa for large groups or young families, we’re here to provide you with everything you need to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime in the Algarve.

Children on jet ski in Algarve

Parasailing and paragliding

Parasailing and paragliding are another selection of top thrills to try when you’re holidaying in the Algarve. What better way is there to see what the Algarve has to offer than from above?

It doesn’t matter where on the Algarve coast you’re residing, you won’t have any trouble seeking out this adrenaline-pumping experience. Ski Molhado is a fantastic company in Albufeira, offering all kinds of water activities, including parasailing, alongside Vilamoura Water Sports Centre in the Vilamoura region.

We recommend heading down in the early mornings before the beaches become packed with bustling crowds so you can enjoy the full experience.

Surfing

Though you might think surfing is reserved for the professionals, there’s various spots dotted along the coastline to start riding the waves, no matter if it’s your first time or if you've done it a dozen times before.

Lagos and Sagres are the dream surfing spots, frequented by hundreds of surfers and bodyboarders every year. Sagres Natura Surf School is a great spot to get your technique on the ball so you can start to enjoy the exciting, but challenging waters by board.

Man surfing in Sagres, Algarve
Surfing, Sagres, Algarve

Located just a short trip away from Quinta Do Lago, finish up your action-packed day with a relaxing evening spent in a luxury villa, such as the charming, serene Villa Monte villa.

Banana boats

A family holiday is rarely complete without a fun-filled day on the beachside banana boats.

Easy to find across the entire coastline of the Algarve, particularly Albufeira, these bouncy boats are sure to provide a day full of laughter and a truly unforgettable experience, for the parents and kids alike. Just prepare yourself, those choppy waves might make for a wet and wild ride!

Where to stay for water sports in the Algarve

Wherever you stay in the Algarve, you won’t be more than a short trip away from the beach, and the water sports that come with it. After a long, busy day making waves along the Algarvian shoreline, you’ll need somewhere to retreat, unwind and prepare for what tomorrow may bring. And we’ve got the perfect places.

Popular areas of the region are Albufeira, Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago if you’re looking to hit the waves through the day. And of course, here at SPL Villas, we have modern, remarkable villas dotted all along the Algarve, in all those central spots.

Whether you’re a couple, a large group or a family, we’ve an abundance of accommodation, something to suit everyone. Just dry off from the day’s adventures, open the door and enjoy a holiday to remember in one of our beautiful, luxury villas.

Making memories with SPL Villas

If a holiday to the Algarve is next on your bucket list, we’ve got you covered. We offer the personal touch, taking the time to learn about you, your family and what you want from your holiday, so we can provide the villa of dreams in the Algarve.

And of course, we’re all a friendly team of holiday-lovers with years of experience, always on hand to give you a few words of advice about our favourite hidden gems around the coastline.

Get in touch today, we’d love to hear from you so we can help you set sail and start making waves on your next holiday.

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