“I need a boat or guide”

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If you want to hire a sit-on-top kayak, inflatable or SUP by the day or week, Decathlon have many branches throughout the Algarve. Also paddles, wetsuits, pumps etc.

There are numerous hire stalls at Benagil Beach that will rent out sit-on-top kayaks or SUPs by the hour (but more expensive than Decathlon for a long trip.) Also at São Rafael beach Albufeira.

“Real” sea kayaks can be rented from Sea Kayak Sagres to the suitably qualified and competent. If you don’t have the qualifications, take one of their tours instead. The equipment is high quality – in the picture my friend is paddling a Valley Sirona with a Celtic paddle.

There are many other hire operators that I haven’t mentioned, particularly for inflatable SUPs which are the current craze. Google, asking in a surf shop or spotting them on the beach may be your best bet as the operators change every year. In Lagos try the surf shops on Rua Silva Lopes and
Praça Gil Eanes, or Jah Shaka.
The photo to the left shows the Roman Bridge by Praia dos Estudantes, Lagos. SUP heaven.


Sea Kayaking Sagres do excellent tours of the wild SW coast of Europe. I have been out with them twice and recommend them for being safe, experienced and have good quality equipment, so ideal for experienced paddlers as well as beginners.

KT adventures have popular beginner-friendly tours leaving Lagos every half hour in summer. They use double sit-on-tops and escort you through the arches and caves between Lagos and Ponta da Piedade, then after rounding the headland you get towed back by a motor boat. They usually run from April to October.

I have also had two recommendations for an early morning adventure with David at Nowhere2farSUP https://www.nowhere2far.com/sup-tours for early morning SUP paddles from Lagos. Sounds divine!

Heading east, there are also a lot of Benagil guided tours – either kayaks from the beach or take a motorboat from Portimão or Lagos and swap to kayaks just to get in to the caves. Fernando from http://www.benagilkayaks.com/ is a recommended guide, although the inflatables that they use aren’t as good as hardshell sea kayaks.

Moving on towards Central Algarve, try https://albufeirasurfsup.com/ who do kayak and SUP tours, SUP rental and Coasteering. If you haven’t heard of the latter, it’s swimming under arches, jumping off rocks and exploring the coast that way. We have met them operating in the area described in The Swallow’s Nest Beach, Albufeira.

The Ria Formosa is also a hotspot for kayak and SUP tours, though I don’t have personal experience of any of them. They stick to the inland lagoon rather than going out in the surf. You can sign up at the booths by Faro Harbour or online.


Finally, me! I don’t do commercial guiding but I am a U.K. qualified Sea Kayak Leader. I live in Lagos where I rent out three properties:

  • Rondor– two bedrooms, in the old town, by the central restaurants and bars but in a quiet pedestrian cobbled alley.
  • Villa Afrique four bedroomed townhouse with swimming pool and games room.
  • A pequena fábrica luxury one bedroom development with pool.

Although I give no guarantees as I might not be in town, I would like my properties to be rented by enthusiastic kayakers rather than random folk, so if you are interested in renting one of these properties, which would be done through the agency Algarve Retreats, drop me a line info@seakayakalgarve.com and we might be able to meet up and go for a paddle together. If you don’t have your own craft, I have one seat spare in my double inflatable, and possibly other options as well.