Just do it

No, we’re not a Nike commercial, but we do want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. Because there are so many more exciting ways to enjoy the Algarve than by just lying on your beach towel. Yes, these activities might seem scary, but they’re also really cool! This week, try something new.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2016

 

Monday – rock climbing

What: climbing rocks. Preferably those of the non-crumbling variety.

Why: making your way to the top of the mountain by using your hands and feet is just way cooler than getting there by car. (Even though you’ll probably be too knackered to enjoy the view).

Where: the Sagres region is a good place. That’s also where the picture below is taken, of Leopold Faria climbing the hardest route in Portugal, ‘Peixe Porco–9a’, located on the sector Corgas. It’s taken by our Picture Perfect photographer Ricardo Alves, who’s an expert in both rock climbing and taking cool photos of it. Ricardo: “The limestone cliffs of Sagres with their own wild character are home to some of the best and most challenging climbing routes of Portugal.”

Fear factor: 4/5. You should be securely attached with ropes that should definitely be able to hold your weight. But just the thought that the pastel de nata you ate yesterday was one too many and the ropes will somehow fail and tear apart is enough to make you crap your pants. Especially if you’re a long way above ground. Add an extra fear factor point if you’re afraid of heights.

Picture below by Ricardo Alves

 

Tuesday – surfing

What: come on, if we have to explain you what surfing is, you’ve probably have been living under a rock since the day you were born. Just read our Surf’s up issue.

Why: there must be a pretty good reason to do this as the Algarve is home to literally thousands of surfers. All getting up early, dragging their board, wetsuit & wax to the beach and spending the entire day in the sea, just to catch that one ultimate wave. Watch Point Break or Blue Crush and you’ll be rushing to get into the water. Promise.

Where: anywhere with waves, which is usually the west coast. Praia do Amado is the Algarve’s best-known surfer beach. For recommendations by awesome Algarve-based surfers, click here.

Fear factor: 3/5. A tricky one as it all depends on the waves. Enjoy the Algarve calls frolicking around in the white water and getting to your feet when the board has actually reached the beach (hey, don’t blame us, it’s way more stable with sand below it!) surfing, which is like 0.001 out of 5. But try surfing a monster wave and you’ve got 5 out of 5. We settle for 3 points.

Picture below by Projecto Elementar

 

Wednesday – eco carting

What: it’s like sailing on land. Or windsurfing in a buggy with wheels. If you want a better explanation, Enjoy the Algarve has tried this for our November 2015 issue.

Why: it’s cool, fast (in Nevada, speeds of 100km/h have been reached) and easy to get the hang of. Most participants feel like a pro rally driver after just a few laps. Plus, you get to lay in a hammock-like thing so it’s actually action for lazy people.

Where: on the ecocart landsailing track near Vila do Bispo. (It’s on the way from Vila do Bispo to Sagres, on the right side of the road and looks like a dirt road karting track).

Fear factor: 3/5. Since 10-year-olds can do this, it can’t be that scary. However, the carts don’t have a brake… Also, there’s the risk of capsizing your vehicle if you misjudge the wind speed and pull the rope too tight. And yes, that has happened to people.

Thursday – kitesurfing

What: combine wave surfing with flying a kite and you’ll get the idea. Not yet? It’s like wakeboarding, but without the need for a motorboat.

Why: it’s almost as cool as off piste snowboarding and since there isn’t any snow in the Algarve, this is a pretty good second choice (apologies to all you kitesurfers out there who think it’s better than off piste snowboarding. You’re wrong). Also, you’re using the power of the wind which is eco-friendly.

Where: beginners and intermediate kite-surfers should stick to the Ria Formosa as that way they can’t be swept out to sea. Experts can do this anywhere on the Atlantic coast as long as there’s wind.

Fear factor: 4/5. Although there’s no time to be afraid as you’ll be way to busy multi-tasking, just imagine not being able to get back to shore because the wind has turned weirdly. Yeah, that’s what we thought, bet you’re pretty afraid then.

 

Friday – buggy riding

What: riding a buggy through sand, dust, water and over rocks. In other words: a bumpy ride.

Why: discovering hidden parts of the Algarve by off road exploring, feeling like a proper rally driver. Not convinced? Read our article as Enjoy the Algarve tried this in the June 2016 issue.

Where: this is best done in the hilly countryside of the Algarve such as the Serra do Caldeirão. Popular buggy riding areas are near Loulé or Silves.

Fear factor: 2/5. You’re strapped in, wearing a helmet, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll manage to capsize your vehicle as the buggies can handle inclinations of 45˚. Even if you do, it’s got a crash cage. The one thing you should definitely fear is your dry-cleaning bill. That dust gets everywhere. (And with that we literally mean ‘everywhere’).

 

Saturday – skydiving

What: skydiving is also known as parachute jumping. Basically you jump out of a perfectly functioning plane with a parachute on your back. Novice jumpers usually do a tandem jump with an instructor, meaning you’re attached to someone who knows what they’re doing.

Why: good question. Very good question indeed.Enjoy the Algarve has asked skydiving instructor Ian Hodgkinson this, read his very good answer here.

Where: in Alvor, at the Aeródromo Municipal de Portimão. Although the extreme activity itself begins at 4,300m above ground to be precise.

Fear factor: 5/5. Jumping out of a plane at 4,300m above the Earth, hoping your parachute unfolds the way it’s supposed to. Can it get any scarier?

(Picture below courtesy of Skydive Algarve)

 

Sunday – coasteering

What: climbing, jumping and swimming – basically playing around at the coastline. For a full report, just look here as Enjoy the Algarve tried coasteering this month.

Why: the thrill when you jump from a 12m cliff into the deep blue ocean below you is hard to beat. Also, it’s a nice way to explore the Algarve coastline up close.

Where: either at Igrina beach on the south or just north of Carrapateira on the Algarve’s west coast. It all depends on the weather and the waves. Whatever you do, don’t go coasteering in the crumble sandstone cliffs near Lagos and Lagoa (you know, the area where the cliffs are always falling down).

Fear factor: 3/5. You know nothing can happen as you’re wearing a lifejacket and a helmet and nothing happened to all the people who jumped before you. Still, it’s very scary. Add an extra fear factor point if you’re afraid of heights.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2016

Posted in Features.