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6 exciting outdoor activities on Portugal's Algarve for nature lovers and adventure seekers

The Algarve in Portugal is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The region's beautiful climate, diverse landscapes, and extensive coastline offer a plethora of outdoor adventures for nature lovers and adventure-seekers. From waterbased fun to challenging mountain and coastal trails, the area offers lots of variety and action for everybody. Why not try some of our favourites below on your next adventure holiday to the Algarve?

Olhos de Agua, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

1. Coastal Hiking

The Algarve in South Portugal boasts stunning coastal landscapes with dramatic cliffs and a network of hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the sea. The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail and the Fisherman's Trail are particularly picturesque routes that bring you along the cliffs and golden beaches.

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail (Trilho dos Sete Vales Suspensos) is located near the coastal town of Carvoeiro. It starts at Praia de Vale Centeanes and ends at Praia da Marinha, covering a distance of approximately 6.5 kilometers one way.

The trail gets its name from the seven hanging valleys that you'll encounter along the way. These valleys are carved by streams and create deep gorges. The path provides stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, golden beaches, sea caves, and limestone cliffs.

Some of the highlights along the trail include the Alfanzina Lighthouse, Benagil Beach and its famous sea cave (Algar de Benagil), and the stunning Praia da Marinha with its iconic sea stacks.

Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

The Fisherman's Trail is part of the Rota Vicentina, a network of walking trails that cover the Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal. The Fisherman's Trail starts in the town of Porto Covo in Alentejo and extends all the way to Cabo de São Vicente, the most southwestern point of the Algarve. The trail showcases the unspoiled beauty of the Portuguese coastline, characterized by dramatic sea cliffs, secluded coves, and pristine beaches.

The entire Fisherman's Trail is approximately 120 kilometers long, making it ideal for multi-day hiking adventures, but you can also choose a specific (and shorter) section depending on the time available.

Walking along the Rota Vincentina, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

2. Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

The Algarve's calm sea waters and beautiful lagoons are ideal for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are numerous places to explore.

Our favourite is Ria Formosa Natural Park, a protected wetland area known for its beautiful lagoons, marshes, and barrier islands. It offers a perfect setting for kayaking and SUP, with calm waters and a chance to observe a variety of bird species and marine life.

Ria Formosa Natural Park, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

The picturesque fishing village of Alvor is excellent for kayaking and SUP too. Kayaking in Alvor allows you to explore the stunning coastline, including the Ria de Alvor, a rich ecosystem with abundant wildlife, including herons, flamingos, and kingfishers. Along the coastline of Alvor, there are intriguing sea caves and grottoes that can be explored by kayak. For the perfect kayak experience, look for a sunset tour that provides a magical experience as you paddle and watch the sun setting over the horizon.


3. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Portugal and the Algarve is a thrilling experience, offering a chance to explore the region's charming countryside. In the Serra de Monchique mountain range, the trails lead through scenic landscapes and charming villages. Loulé is another great spot for mountain biking, with a network of trails suitable for all levels of riders. The nearby Rocha da Pena Nature Reserve is a popular area for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Serra de Monchique, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

The Algarve Cross Country Route is a 300-kilometer-long trail that takes cyclists through the Algarve's coastal and inland areas. It offers stunning views of the region's coastline, sandy beaches, rolling hills, cork oak forests, and traditional villages. Along the way, not only you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area but also experience local culture, taste traditional cuisine, and interact with friendly locals.


4. Surfing

The Algarve is a surfing paradise, with waves suitable for all levels of surfers. Beginners can head to spots like Praia do Amado or Praia da Arrifana, while experienced surfers can seek more challenging waves at Praia do Castelejo or Praia da Cordoama.

Praia do Amado is a renowned surf spot, it is part of Portugal's Costa Vicentina Natural Park and is well-known for its consistent waves and excellent surfing conditions. Praia do Amado has a vibrant surf community, with surfers from around the world visiting to catch the waves and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. There are several surf schools and surf camps, that also rent surfboards.

Apart from the excellent surfing conditions, Praia do Amado is also known for its natural beauty. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and scenic coastal landscapes, making it a beautiful place to enjoy the beach and the sun.

Praia do Amado, Algarve, Costa Vincentina, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Praia do Castelejo - near the town of Vila do Bispo - is another popular surf spot along the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. It is known for its powerful and challenging waves, making it more suitable for experienced surfers. Unlike some of Portugal's popular surf spots in the Algarve, Praia do Castelejo is relatively secluded and less crowded, offering a more serene and immersive surfing experience.

If you're visiting Praia do Castelejo for surfing, you'll find other surf spots nearby, such as Praia da Cordoama and Praia do Zavial, offering additional opportunities to catch some waves.

Surfing on the Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

5. Coasteering

Combine climbing, swimming, and cliff jumping during coasteering adventures along the Algarve's rugged coastline. The coastline around Ponta da Piedade is particularly popular for coasteering. It is located near the coastal town of Lagos in the Algarve. The area is known for its towering cliffs, sea caves, and grottoes. During the coasteering tour, you'll have the chance to enter some of these captivating natural formations, adding to the excitement of the experience.

Sagres is another great spot for coasteering. The cliffs and rocky coastline provide a thrilling playground for coasteering enthusiasts. Also, the cliffs and rocky areas around Vilamoura offer opportunities for jumps and exploration.

Coasteering at Ponta de Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

6. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

The Algarve offers fantastic opportunities for both scuba diving and snorkeling, with its clear waters, diverse marine life, and beautiful underwater landscapes.

Portimão is a top location for scuba diving in the Algarve. The area is known for its shipwrecks, artificial reefs, and colorful marine life. There are several dive centers in Portimão that offer guided dives for divers of all levels. Also, Vilamoura is known for its vibrant marina and also offers some great dive sites, boasting underwater caves, tunnels, and rocky formations

Snorkeling enthusiasts should head to Sagres, located on the western tip of the Algarve. The rocky coastline and sheltered coves provide opportunities to observe various marine species, including colorful fish and crustaceans.

Finally, Lagos has it all. It is a popular destination for both scuba diving and snorkeling. The clear waters of Lagos offer excellent visibility, and the nearby rock formations and underwater caves make it a great spot for exploration.



Contact us and discover more hidden gems and exciting adventures for your next trip to Portugal in our Portugal Outdoor Adventures, Portugal Family Adventures and special experiences in Portugal collections.

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