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Alvor Portugal kiting spot review

2 years 10 months ago #196 by Derek Skehan
Derek Skehan created the topic: Alvor Portugal kiting spot review
Not a gear review, but a holiday destination review!!

So, I booked a holiday in Alvor in Portugal. Flew in to Faro and rented a car and drove to Alvor. It’s a fishing town that’s grown in to a tourist town. Very cheap, dinners from €6.50 upwards (grilled sardines or chicken piri piri). Booze is silly cheap, bottles of wine for under €2 in the local supermarket. It’s very family orientated, might not be the best for the singles gang looking to kite and party. I booked this as a family holiday hoping to get some kiting in. We rented a one bedroom apartment for two weeks for myself, my ever patient wife and my little three year old boy.

I managed to stuff two Best Kahuna kites (11.5 and a 7.5), my harness, bar and lines and a summer wetsuit in to my Best kitebag. It cost me €50 for the extra bag with Ryanair. I contacted Alvor Kite School to rent a board and they gave me a Best Armada board for €25 a day.

The main kiting area is in a tidal lagoon that’s accessed from the beach carpark via a boardwalk. It’s about a 15 minute trek to a few launch areas. I didn’t like the launch areas, I’m a cautious kiter and I was on a family holiday. I only saw them on high tide, and they were a bit small and rocky for my liking. I was on my own too, didn’t have any kiting buddies with me.

The Alvor kite school have a boat that runs from the town centre to a sand bar in the middle of the lagoon. It’s about €10 to avail of the boat trip both ways, but they didn’t charge me this for some reason. They prefer you to kite with them if you hire gear off them so they can keep an eye on you (and their gear). The school gear was all Best stuff. Spark Plug Boards and what looked like brand new Best Kahunas. The dynamics of the lagoon changes as the tides rises and drops. We beached the boat on the sand bar at low tide, pumped up and got kiting. The wind was steady (although they said it was gusty, it didn’t feel like Dollymount gusty or certainly Sutton gusty). I started out underpowered on my 7.5 and ended up overpowered on it as the tide rose. I was out for about four and a half hours. Bringing lunch and a couple of litres of water is a must. The people learning to kite were very happy with their progression. They were stoked and there was beers after the session in a little seated area which is at the back of a little snack bar beside the beach and the local football field.

I loved it, flat water, shallowish in places, deep in other places. They keep an eye on you and give you advice if you’re doing things wrong. He rescued a kiter from the rocks that wasn’t part of our contingent the day I as out. As the tide rose the sand bar disappeared. This is a new thing, the island was a permanent fixture until some fish farming practises seems to have changed things.

I rented the board for another day in hope of wind, but it didn’t happen. Nelson, the schools owner wouldn’t take money for the rental because he knew I didn’t use it.

The main beach in Alvor has a prevailing offshore wind, but when it does blow onshore there launch area is North of the beach entrance away from the crowds, locals and families.

alvorkitecenter.com/
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2 years 9 months ago #252 by K Man
K Man replied the topic: Alvor Portugal kiting spot review
Great review Jizz - I am off to Alvor myself in a few weeks so this is really helpful. I was half thinking of bringing all my gear (incl. board), but based upon what you have said I think I will rent the board off the guys as I may get a boat trip and additional goodwill from them as a result.

I was in Alvor once previously but like you I also walked out for 15 mins and then didn't like the spot as I wasn't confident enough in my ability to avoid the rocks etc. etc. so I never went out.

This time I plan to take both of my kites and gear just as hand luggage as I have two kids and they can carry one each - ouch ;-)

Any other recommendations to pass on - retaurants etc. from there based upon your experiences ?

K
The following user(s) said Thank You: Derek Skehan
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2 years 9 months ago #253 by Warren Vance
Warren Vance replied the topic: Alvor Portugal kiting spot review
Great review . Have kited here myself few years ago July / August
Few things to add. I have kited the lagoon full and low tide didn't find any problems at all.
Lagoon is for pure freestyle junkies. You can kite on the beach side at the lagoon but it is off shore and not advised
To me the walk down to the lagoon has many plus points. Keeps the public away from the kiting area
Doesn't sound far 15 mins but in the heat of july and August far enough. Bring lots of water no bars or shops at the lagoon. It wouldn't be a great spot if where learning. If you are doing board starts or up and riding worth a visit

You can kite from the other side of the river inlet there is a number of schools teach there also

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Derek Skehan
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2 years 7 months ago #272 by Derek Skehan
Derek Skehan replied the topic: Alvor Portugal kiting spot review
Sorry K Man... I haven't logged in here for a while, you're probably over your holiday now, but www.restaurantecasadorio.com/ was a really good restaurant. Owned by a kitesurfer!

The beach is stunning, miles of soft sand. Prainha beach is very pretty, backdrop of cliffs behind it and this place is built into the cliffs, very impressive, nice for cocktails when the sun is going down, its about 5 minute drive from the middle of Alvor.
www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_...istrict_Algarve.html

Stick by these reviews from tripadvisor and you cant go too far wrong. We tried most of them except Ruccula as it was more suited to adults, we had a nipper with us.
www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurants...istrict_Algarve.html

Don’t forget to stuff your faces with these little beauties.
pastel de nata:
www.kcrw.com/news-culture/show.../pasteis_de_nata.jpg
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2 years 4 months ago #291 by sofia
sofia replied the topic: Alvor Portugal kiting spot review
Hi everybody, I'm sofia :)

Great reviews about Alvor but I don't agree with some of the things that were written, though. This village is indeed a little peace of heaven on earth! It has the most amazing, warm and down to earth people that I have ever met! Despite being a village there is plenties to do and if you ever get bored though there are other regions close by that yo can visit and then return to Alvor and sleep in your accomodation. In 15 min by car or bus you can visit Portimão, for example. Monchique and Lagos are also some other areas that I reccomend and that you just need a day to visit. But there are so many interesting and fun bars that you can go to and party or simply have a drink and listen to good music in Alvor that I doubt that you'll need to go some place else :P Concerning the beach, I think it's great for beginners. Obviously like in most spots anywhere, there are areas that I wouldn't reccomend a beginner to go to! About accomodation, I would reccomend Ria Hostel Alvor. There are all sports enthusiasts and have full awareness thta kitesurfers like us or skydivers, for example, are always broke cause we spend all of our savings in our drive, don't we? :oops: :p

The hostel is so colorful, super clean,has a library, tv's and a cool terrace and balcony with many bean bag chairs where you can chill; the staff is very lovely and organizes many activities with the guests :D Loved my time there!!!
  • sofia
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