Algarve Nature Activities
The Algarve offers a wide range of nature activities in different environments and is the great engine that attracts more and more visitors from all over the world. From the interior with its mountains and "barrocal" to the beaches and rivers, there are endless possibilities to get to know the Algarve as you have never seen it before, with outdoor activities amid nature. If you have never thought of the Algarve as a nature destination, try one of our nature activity suggestions on your next visit. Find your favourite in this article.
Discover some outdoor activities available during your Algarve holiday.
Did you know that the largest underwater park in Europe is located in the Algarve, more precisely off the coast of Portimão? Four Portuguese Navy ships have been sunk using special techniques to ensure the safety of all visitors.
The project was launched in 2012 to provide diving tourists with an excellent experience three miles off the coast of Portimão in a accessible area. Not only can you admire the underwater world around the four ships, but you can also go inside the boats, as all have exit areas along their entire length.
Do you know what marine species you can find there? There are different marine fauna and flora specimens, from sea bream, sea snails, sea bass, stone bass and angler fish. This project is based on sustainable tourism concept and is our first proposal for nature activities in the Algarve. Although access is free, diving with a local dive centre or dive club is recommended. Visit the website for the Ocean Revival project.
2. Stand up Paddle
If you have never heard of Stand up Paddle, we can tell you in a few words that it is one of the best water sports to discover the Algarve coast. In Stand Up Paddle (SUP), you surf on a larger board than a surfboard and steer it with a paddle.
Since this sport does not consume fossil fuels when you move around on a SUP board, this is our second suggestion for outdoor activities. This sport is suitable for all ages and levels of experience, as you can move around standing on the board or, for those with less balance, you can paddle sitting on the board. Due to the characteristics of this nautical sport, Stand Up Paddle has become one of the most popular sports to discover the Algarve coast and its rock formations.
Along the coast, there are several schools or shops where you can rent all the equipment. If you want to discover mythical places like the Benagil Cave, visit the website of one of the schools in the Benagil area.
3. Donkey ride
We know this activity will liven up children's holidays even more, but adults will not miss out either. The donkey is a tame animal, and contrary to what its Portuguese name suggests (dumb), it is quite intelligent. In the past, the donkey was one of the most common animals used for jobs in the fields or loading goods. Today, the donkey is threatened with extinction in Europe, with no exception on the Miranda breed.
In the Algarve, they live on protected farms but still have contact with humans. This is what Aldeia da Pedralva do, offers a donkey ride to discover the lesser-known side of the Algarve in 1.30 or 3 hours, with picnics in between. Or you can combine a donkey ride through nature and the ancient ruins of Paderne springs with a longer schedule.
An activity that is not unique to the Algarve, geocaching exists in all corners of the world, with followers of all ages. Geocaching could be a good nature activity for you if you enjoy exploring places that aren't in guidebooks.
All you need is a good mood, some physical fitness for long walks and a mobile phone with GPS. Then follow the directions on the official geocaching website until you reach the caches (small boxes with items inside) and describe your experience on the activity's online page.
This is another nature activity that children want to try and return to as soon as possible. If you do not know what tree climbing is, you'll have to head to Lagos Adventure Park (near Baía da Luz Resort) to find out, but we can tell you a few things already. Tree climbing is a high-altitude activity that can reach the treetops depending on the difficulty level chosen.
If the children have no prior experience in this area, we recommend starting with the "curious level" and progressing to the "adventurous level" on a subsequent visit. Adults, on the other hand, can only participate in the "fearless level". This is a nature activity where you will come into direct contact with trees, birds and the rest of the fauna and flora of Lagos. The safety of the participants is guaranteed throughout the activity by the high-quality equipment and the constant supervision by the monitors.
6. Personalised tours around the Algarve
This is the final suggestion, but that doesn't mean it's any less good than the others. During these personalised tours, you will be able to see things that the average tourist cannot. Our recommendation is to explore the Algarve by jeep and enjoy the best that the region has to offer, from the sunset to the gastronomy; anything is a good reason to embark on this adventure. Learn about the five tours available or create your own itinerary if you want to see something unique.
On your holiday, explore the natural side of the Algarve and participate in outdoor activities that will make you want to return.