Portugal is t is probably one of the best paddleboarding destinations on the continent, for its sheer variety of waters in which to paddle and all within easy striking distance of the country’s capital.
Easy access from all of Europe and flying in to Lisbon you can be at your destination within an hour of collecting your hire car plus cheap car rental fares and decent food and lodging prices make it even more interesting.
Most travellers coming from outside Europe will arrive in to Lisbon’s Portela airport and will be completely unaware that they’ve arrived in what is probably one of the best paddleboarding destinations on the continent, for its sheer variety of waters in which to paddle and all within easy striking distance of the country’s capital, I don’t think there is anywhere else like it! On arrival the choices are either South to Arrabida and its serene and calm Atlantic waters, North to the beach, reef and point breaks of Peniche and the beautiful Lagoa de Óbidos or head inland to the majestic Rio Tejo that winds its way from the Spanish border across Portugal until it empties in to the Atlantic at Lisbon. Of course there is always the option of experiencing all as they are each within 1 ½ hour’s drive of Lisbon, so easily achievable in a week or so!
The Luiz Saldanha Marine Park sits directly under the Arrabida hills and is therefore sheltered from the prevailing North Easterly winds. The area really is like paddling in an aquarium with a permanent resident pod of Bottlenose Dolphins and water visibility up to seventy feet on a calm mornings paddle, it all adds to the extremely unique natural experience you can find within the waters of the park. With the vast limestone cliffs on one side, crystal clear turquoise ocean on the other and secluded sandy coves to stop at this is our favourite place to head for when we’re looking to relax and unwind!
Currently there are only a handful of dedicated SUP operations on mainland Portugal so booking a tour or rental in advance is highly recommended especially if your visit falls within the main vacation period of July and August.
Check out supxscape, who is offering guided tours, accomodation and board rentals
Jason from supxscape suggests visiting Portugal in April, May, June, or September and October when the weather conditions are more favourable and there are fewer tourists both on and off the beaches!
More Tips from Jason
Most airlines (except BA) SUP friendly but always check with your carrier prior to flying and get written confirmation that they will accept your Paddleboard. Car hire companies generally don’t have roof racks but there are many soft racks on the market, we use the one from Curve Surf supplied by www.thainleisure.com
If you feel bringing your SUP is too much of a hassle, you can always rent a SUP from supxscape.
A handful of key Portuguese facts:
- There is approximately 1114 miles of coastline, most unexplored by SUP.
- Portugal sits on the same latitude as central California and shares similar ocean influenced weather patterns
- You can drive easily from one end of Portugal to the other in a day, legally.
- There have been no documented shark attacks on humans in Portuguese waters.
- Quality wines start at €1 bottle and a set lunch with wine is around €7
thanks to Jason Pereira Jason@supxscape.com www.supxscape.com for sharing this with us!