The Algarve, Portugal’s most southerly region, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in the country. With a coastline that stretches along the Mediterranean Sea on the southern side and a portion of the Atlantic Ocean on the western side, the Algarve is comprised of craggy cliff faces, stunning ocean vistas, quaint fishing towns, and peaceful countryside.
Sounds good, right?
As if that wasn’t enough to have us packing our getaway bags, the Algarve is also home to some of Portugal’s best kitesurfing spots.
Want to know about all of the other places you can kitesurf in Portugal? Head over to our complete guide to kitesurfing in Portugal to find out more.
Bstoked kitesurfing experiences in Portugal
Where? What? When? And most importantly… Can I come too??
Yes indeed, this beautiful region of Portugal is absolutely filled with idyllic kiteboarding beaches. There’s something for every kind of kitesurfer in Portugal’s Algarve, from big-time wave rippers to freestyle freaks- and even total beginners.
Head to the outskirts of Faro for overhead waves and open ocean rodeos, or make your way to the iconic Alvor Lagoon for flat water fun and beginner lessons; the beauty of the Algarve is that there’s a perfect place for everyone- no matter what your style or level.
Best time to kitesurf in Portugal’s Algarve: May to October
Average water temperature: During the summer months the water temperature hangs around a balmy 22-24 degrees, but during the winter months you can cut that in half.
Wetsuit recommendation: During the warm summer months, a shorty will be more than enough to keep you comfortable. Throughout the rest of the year, a full length wetsuit is recommended.
Wind type: Thermal, Nortada, best when it blows from the North/Northwest
Water conditions: mix of wave, chop, and flat water
Top tips for beginners: While Portugal is often touted for its big wave kite spots, such places aren’t ideal for beginners. One great thing about the Algarve is that there are plenty of different kite spots to choose from- and many of them are beginner friendly. Keep your eyes peeled for flat water lagoons (such as the one at Alvor) and beaches that are sheltered from the big waves.
In addition, it pays to know that the waves are usually much stronger in the winter time than in the summer. During the summer season, many of the spots (for example, Costa Caparica) have much more easy going conditions than that of the winter.
Top Spots for Kitesurfing in Portugal’s Algarve Region
Pinned near the top of the list of Portugal’s top flat water kite spots, the Alvor Lagoon is a spot to know about if you’re heading for the Algarve. For years the lagoon (or Ria de Alvor as it’s locally known) has been a place favoured by kiters and windsurfers, thanks to its waist-deep water and reliable wind.
Alvor Lagoon works best during the Nortada (northerly) wind, but it’s one of those fortunate places that also works when the wind comes from the south, too. Bear in mind it can be a bit of a gusty spot; beginners may find it more manageable early in the day when the wind is slightly lighter. Overall though, this lagoon is far more beginner friendly than the open sea on the outside, which can often have powerful overhead waves.
On the banks of the bay opposite Alvor, Lagos is another key spot in the Algarve kitesurfing scene. The main beach, Meia Praia, is moderately sheltered from the rough open sea and enjoys comparably gentle baby swells and stable winds.
The beach area itself is spacious and free from obstacles, which is a big bonus for newbie kiters who are still getting to grips with their kite control skills. For more advanced riders, the eastern breakwater creates gorgeous clean waves that are perfect for ripping around on.
Creeping closer to the Spanish border, Faro’s southern beaches are awash with beautiful kitesurfing spots. The likes of Ilha da Barreta offer secluded seascapes to ride around on, by virtue of the fact that it’s only accessible by boat. The outlying island (known as Ilha da Deserta) is a popular spot to cruise to on a catamaran.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring Ilha da Culatra boasts both a flat water lagoon and an open sea spot, as well as stunning views of the national park inland- it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a downwinder with friends.