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Coastline Algarve

Name of company

Coastline Algarve

Type of activity

Standup Paddle Boarding and Coasteering

Location

The company is based in Sagres, but utilises the best beaches and stretches of coastline in the western Algarve, from Lagos to Odeceixe. You can either meet them at a pre-designated beach or they will collect you from a convenient pick-up point.

Standup Paddle Boarding (SUP)

It’s billed as the ‘easy’ alternative to surfing, but don’t be fooled! It’s a lot trickier than it looks. The theory is that you simply stand up on a large, stable surfboard and propel yourself along with a paddle. Right. In practice, it takes a lot of trial and error to get to that stage, and you’ll spend a lot of time falling in the water first.

The equipment

All paddleboard equipment is provided, including wetsuits and buoyancy aids. All you need to bring is a towel and swimming costume.

Bear in mind that wetsuits cover most of your body, but you still might need sun-cream on your feet, neck, face and head. And take some water along with you. It’s thirsty work, especially if you need to wash salt water out of your throat!

The training

Coastline’s co-owner Nelson (an experienced surfer) handles the groups personally. He’s patient, thorough, and speaks perfect English. You start on the beach with some basic instructions about how to balance on the board and how to start, stop, turn, etc. Then it’s into the water for your first attempts. He will constantly guide, help and encourage you as you start to get the hang of it. And he’s also very safety conscious, always on the lookout for straying boats or sudden wave/wind changes.

The experience

It’s fun, exhilarating and challenging all at the same time, and not quite the ‘relaxing’ experiencing you’d imagine looking at the photos. It’s physically demanding, and requires a lot of concentration. But it’s a great way to see this beautiful stretch of the Algarve from a different perspective. Depending on the time of day, the tides, and which tour you choose, you’ll spend time a fair way out from the beach, as well as manoeuvring into and in between a variety of caves, grottoes and rock formations. And there’s also a ‘river’ version suitable for families with younger children or those who aren’t particularly confident out at sea.

Who is it suitable for?

Swimmers, and anybody who is reasonably physically fit, from around age 14 up to active ‘greys.’

Who is it not suitable for?

Non-swimmers, younger children, the very unfit/overweight.

When to go?

The beaches (not to mention the sea lanes) can get very busy in the height of summer, so if you can, try it outside of the main Algarve holiday season of July and August.

Food options

There’s no food included, and you burn up a lot of energy, so have a good breakfast or lunch before you go, depending on the time of your tour.

Numbers

The Coastline Algarve van carries five passengers, but they can do slightly larger groups if you have your own transport. But the tuition is very hands-on, so it’s not really practical with large numbers.

Coasteering

If you’re feeling particularly brave (or mad) the company also offer coasteering: an adventure route involving swimming in the ocean, cliff jumping and climbing along the coastline between Sagres and Lagos. You can either do this separately, or as a combined experience with SUP. See the website for details and prices.

Cost per person

October to May: €40

June to September: €50

Half-price for children on the family experience.

It’s excellent value, given that you will spend between 2-3 hours in the water, and the entire experience (including travelling times) will take between 4-5 hours.

Inside knowledge

The company also offers surf lessons and SUP board hire.


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