Portugal is the 2nd half of our October 2008 trip. Last week we were in Annecy, France visiting our long time friends: Antoine and Nadine. We left Annecy and flew out of Geneva to FARO on October 4 with TAP (Air Portugal). We brought our tandem paraglider and were hoping to paraglide also in Algarve but with the weight limit of 20kg per person for travel within Europe and 100 Euro charge each way (sports equipment) to bring our Tandem glider to Portugal, we left our glider in Geneva.
We first met Ricardo and Sofia, the owners of South Adventures Kiteboarding School, back in October 2005 in Brazil.
October 4, 2008: A travel day. We flew from Geneva to Lisbon and arrived in Faro, Portugal at midnight. Thank You Ricardo for picking us up at such a late hour.
October 5, 2008: There was no wind today for kiteboarding but the sun is shining so we all went surfing at Portugal National Park: Carrapateria. This place is great for surfing and kitesurfing. Lots of surfcamps can be found here.
Picture here: Ricardo, Matilde, and Sofia.
Jamie and Van:
Here are some pictures of the MariaLuisa beach down the street from Ricardo house, next to Club Med Da Balaia.
October 6, 2008: Today there was not enough wind for kiteboarding. Ricardo took us out on his boat for an afternoon of wakeboarding. Kinsley enjoyed using a wakeboard and a surfboard. It was Jamie first time wakeboarding and she did a great job getting up after a few try. Van enjoyed taking pictures.
Kinsley testing out the RESIN8 board:
October 7, 2008: We went kiteboarding at the secret spot. Kinsley was on the North Vegas 12m and Jamie was on 10m. The water is cold during the winter so we were glad to have our full suits. We were the only kiters in this super flat, soft sand, smooth wind and water. Van enjoyed collecting clams along with many locals. We went to a great restaurant on the water known for it's baked fish and fish soup which was perfect after a great day of kiting.
October 8, 2008: We went kiteboarding at Alvor. This spot takes North West wind. Wind became strong in late afternoon. Kinsley was riding the North Vegas 12m and Jamie was on 10m Vegas. Big Thanks to my brother Van for these beautiful pictures. This spot has a mixture of choppy and flat water and is accessible by both boat and driving. We had dinner from a great Indian Restaurant to finish out the day.
Jamie and Kinsley:
October 9, 2008: Today the wind is coming from the North which is offshore so no kiting. We relaxed, caught up with work and walked around the local town. Algarve is a region setup for tourism. Many Europeans come here as well as Portuguese for holidays. There are restaurants from all ethnicity around. Many beautiful beaches and all ranges of hotels. Cabs can be expensive so it is recommended to rent a car from the airport for your trip here.
October 10, 2008: A travel day. We headed back to Faro for a flight back to Geneva through Lisbon arriving around 11:30pm.
October 11, 2008: A travel day. Heading back home after a great trip.
A BIG Thank You to our good friends Ricardo and Sofia of South Adventures Kiteboarding School. You opened your home to the three of us for our stay, showed us the best spots to kiteand showed us a wonderful time. We truly appreciate it. We highly recommend anyone who wants to guarantee they maximize their kiting days in the Algarve Portugal to contact Ricardo and Sofia for a kiting trip, you will be VERY well taken care of.
Summary: We had one of the best time kiteboarding in Portugal, especially at the super secret spot and Alvor where Ricardo and Sofia of South Adventures Kiteboarding School took us to. We like Algarve for its nice smooth wind, super flat water, delicious seafood, uncrowded, nice - quiet and clean beach. Algarve is very big and there are many more other kiting and surfing spots surrounding Algarve awaiting to be explored. Local fresh seafood is quite delicious and very cheap. Beer, Local Port wine, and everything else is cheaper than other places in Europe. You will not be disappointed if you visit Algarve. Just contact Ricardo of South Adventures, he is an incredible friendly guy and will take great care of all bookings and anything else you need for Algarve, Portugal.
Transportation: From FARO, take a taxi or rent a car to your hotel.
Arrival: FARO (FAO) - Portugal
You can also fly into Lisboa Airport (LIS)- 2 hours by car from Lisboa to FARO. We flew from Geneva (GVA) by TAP (Air Portugal) to Lisboa then to FARO
Summer time: May through September. Busy time in Algarve is all year around as tourists visit Algarve all year round.
National language: Portuguese but English is understood in larger hotels and airline companies.
Currency: 1 USD = 1.17Euro. Money can be exchanged at at the airport, bank. Best way to get Euro is using ATM machines which is widely available.
Credit cards are accepted in all places: good hotels, shops and restaurants.
Vaccinations: For the entry in Portugal, there are no vaccinations required. Generally, there are no special vaccinations necessary.
Doctor: There are many hospitals in Algarve
Medications: Of course you should always have medicine and a first aid kit with you. However you will find plenty pharmacies with a good choice of medicine in Algarve.
Climate- Year round: during the summer days, the air temperature is between 28C and 35C. We visited Algarve in early October and the air temp was about 18C, a light jacket is needed at night and in the afternoon. Water temp: you need a 3mm full suit during the winter month and a shortie during the summer moths: May - August.
TIP: is 1 euro to 5 euro for the whole group.
Internet: You will find internet access in internet cafe in Algarve, in tourist villages, in hotels.