Superb SUP spots

The south of Portugal is a paddler’s paradise. But where exactly is the best place in the Algarve for stand up paddleboarding? Three SUP pros reveal their favourite spots.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2017


Algarve SUP – Ria Formosa

Owner of Algarve SUP Nick Robinson first stepped foot on a board in 2013. By now, he has covered over 430km on SUP expeditions.

“I’d have to say the perfect SUP spot is the Ria Formosa near Faro. It’s easy to get there and you can literally paddle for days as the lagoon is 60km long. It’s perfect flat water for racing and touring, while windy conditions make for great downwinders. There are pristine beaches and as the tide flows from high to low, you’re left with an intricate network of mud canyons to navigate through, watching crabs slide into their holes as you glide past.”

“The Ria Formosa is good in all conditions. With high tide you can paddle anywhere, while low tide sees the lagoon transformed into a mass of mini rivers. Summer is perfect for swimming off a sandbar, whereas on a still winter morning it’s generally really warm out there if you’re paddling.”


ZEN SUP – Ria Formosa

John Hogan and Heike Flohr run ZEN SUP. They even have a SUP dog, called Luna, who’s been going along on tours since 2013.

“In our opinion, the perfect spot is the Ria Formosa at Faro. Here you can explore the still waters of the Ria travelling east or west while enjoying the tranquil nature that surrounds you. The area is ideal for both beginners and advanced SUPers. There are many different varieties of bird life, including storks, herons and on a good day even pink flamencos. You can see fish jumping there from time to time, including sea bass and bream.

It’s on the flight path from Faro airport so ideal for plane spotters; we often give the planes a paddle wave as they fly over. Hide tide, low wind at sunset is the best time to go, as you get to see the Ria in all its glory. However, it’s beautiful to paddle here all year round, even on cloudy days.”


Kai Nui SUP – Praia do Camilo in Lagos

Randy Disanayaka of Kai Nui SUP started paddle boarding in Hawaii. After moving to the Algarve in 2012, he wanted to discover the beauty of Lagos’ coastline from the water.

“Together with a friend of mine, Sebastian Wolff, I’ve done many trips up and down the coast. We’ve seen so many beautiful spots that it’s hard to pick one as my absolute favourite. But if I have to choose one, it would be this little passage way just passed Praia do Camilo in Lagos.”

“This spot is right on the busy route of all the boat tours, but as the boats can’t get in, it’s always quiet and serene. In the back of the passage way is a small entrance to an open top cave and on mid to low tide you can crawl through to enter this cave. Once in there, you feel like you’re in a different world. The best time of year to come here is between April and October.”


See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2017

Posted in Activities, Places.