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Adrenaline rushes and adventure in the Algarve

1st May 2013 Print
Scuba diving

The Algarve’s diverse natural environment and modern infrastructure creates the perfect conditions for playing sport and taking part in exciting activities all year round. From kite-surfing and kayaking to horse-riding and hiking, the region offers a number of marine, land and aerial activities to celebrate the great outdoors.

While the Algarve is well-known for its world class golf courses, which make it one of the most popular golfing destinations in the world, the region offers so much more for sporting enthusiasts. Famous for its vast stretch of golden coastline, the Algarve takes advantage of its fantastic location with a range of water sports and diving sites as well as some extreme land-based sports that will get the adrenaline pumping and the heart racing.

In addition to being naturally blessed with a clear ocean shore, green interior, picturesque mountains the Algarve’s warm climate means 300 days of sunshine per year so there’s always time for relaxing on the beach in between activities!

On the coastline facing south, where the sea is calmer and crystal clear, lie sandy beaches with easy access to water sports facilities where thrill-seekers can satisfy their appetite with activities both above and below the water. Popular beaches for water sports include Meia Praia, Praia da Luz (Luz beach), Faro (Faro Island beach), and Ilha de Tavira (Tavira Island).

For an underwater aquatic experience, you can learn how to scuba dive in the Algarve where the 150km of coastline waters offers amazing diving day or night. With some of the cleanest waters in Europe, the Algarve is the perfect place to witness the underwater marvels of the Atlantic Ocean. There are a number of dive centres along the coast including Lagos, Faro and Tavira where you can learn to dive with PADI instructors.

For watersports above sea level, visitors can try ripping up the Algarve’s finest waves while surfing and bodyboarding on the Costa Vicentina along the rugged western coast. There are many opportunities for all skill levels with surf schools for beginners and novices and surf tours around the coast for the more experienced.

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.

If you prefer to take to the skies, tandem skydiving, hang gliding and paragliding are available throughout the year. These exhilarating sports provide unforgettable views of the Algarve.

Some of the rock formations in the western Algarve are only accessible by water, explore the Algarve's caves and grottos in state-of-the-art kayaks and discover hidden coves to truly escape from it all.

Wakeboarding in Lagos is a combination 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 welcome and lessons are available to all along the coast of the Algarve.

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. Visitors can enjoy tours along the coast and watch the scenery pass by below.

From east to west, visitors can enjoy a fun-packed day on the open sea and try sport fishing, get the adrenaline pumping and rent a Jet Ski or motorboat to speed up and down the coastline or share the need for speed with others and venture out on a banana boat! For a smoother journey across the water go canoeing in Portimão in the Western Algarve or sailing and windsurfing in the picturesque Ria Formosa National Park located to the East of Faro, home to variety of bird and fish species.

When terra firma beckons, head for the lush Monchique mountains and try out abseiling or explore the region on one of the many mountain bike routes including the new 240km Via Algarviana trail where visitors can hike, cycle or take a relaxing horse or donkey ride whilst watching the beautiful scenery pass by.

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 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.

From participant to spectator why not witness top class sporting action at a sporting event on the Allgarve calendar of events:

Eni FIM Superbike World Championship
7th - 9th June 2013  at the Algarve International Circuit

International GT Open, F3 European Championship
10th to 12th May 2013 at the Algarve International Circuit

Formula 1 Windsurfing Competition
TBC September 2013 at Alvor

Portugal Golf Masters
10th - 13th October, Oceanico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura

Don’t miss out on the wealth of adventurous activities and events taking place in the Algarve with plenty to occupy adults and children alike, keeping your holiday fresh, exciting and healthy!

For more information on the Algarve, visit /

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Scuba diving