Stand-up paddle boarding creating waves in the Algarve – another reason to own a home there!

The fastest growing water sport in the world, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is catching on in the Algarve, thanks to the region’s sandy beaches, clean water and consistent waves providing idea conditions for the sport.

Beaches up and down the Algarve are now offering the chance to rent a paddleboard for the day, or participate in tours along the coast, including inland along rivers in the western part of the Algarve. SUP is another fun family activity that owners of property in the Algarve can look forward to doing when they visit their villa or apartment in Portugal.

In fact, SUP has become so popular that between 15th and 20th April, a small group of stand-up paddle boarders will attempt the first marathon of its kind in the Algarve. The event is a gruelling marathon paddle across the southern Algarve from Sagres to Vila Real de Santo Antonio. The event is being organised by the Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association (ASMAA), to raise awareness and money to help stop the ever growing problem of pollution in our oceans and along our shores.

SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world. Originally it was created as an exclusive leisure activity for Hawaiian royalty, but in the last couple of years, SUP has enjoyed a resurgence world-wide and in Portugal is becoming a hot spot for the sport.

The beauty, purity and the challenge of this sport make it a wonderful platform to raise awareness about the extremely serious issue of ocean pollution. ASMAA hopes to make the SUP marathon an annual event that will serve as an on-going fundraiser for protecting our oceans.

Spring is in the air – time for a viewing trip and some fun in the Algarve!

The arrival of Spring traditionally means it’s time for a visit to Portugal to begin your search for a property in the Algarve, and while you’re there take advantage of the family activities and open days offered by Portugal’s leading golf resorts.

An ideal place to base yourself in March would be Vale do Lobo, which boasts the magnificent Royal and Ocean golf courses. If you are not a member and would like to learn more about golf there, then go along to the Vale do Lobo Golf Open Day on 15th March, when you’ll be introduced to the club.

March is a busy time for tournaments in Vale do Lobo, so if you were to purchase a home in the resort and become a member of the golf club, you’d be hard pressed to stay away from your property come springtime.

From mixed roll ups to Stableford competitions and four-ball medleys on both the Ocean and the Royal courses, there’ll be something for you to get involved in. If you’re not ready to become a member but have a friend who is, perhaps you can get them to invite you to play in the club’s Saturday tournaments on designated Open Days – for the special price of just €50.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring resort of Quinta do Lago is celebrating Easter by organising a range of activities for all ages, taking place from the 14th to the 27th April. This includes a Fashion Day, a Family Word Search, activities on the lake, golf training for youngsters and a Lobster Week at Casa do Lago. What are you waiting for…?

Air access to Portugal just gets better in 2014, helped by new flights from Stansted

Getting to Portugal from the UK is set to get easier and cheaper this summer, thanks to the launch in April of low-cost carrier Ryanair’s new Lisbon service from London Stansted.

To celebrate their new summer flights, Ryanair released 100,000 seats on sale at fares from just £19.99 for travel in April and May. Further confidence from the airline in the Portuguese market was evident at the end of February, when the airline began new services between Brussels and both Lisbon and Porto in the north.

Meanwhile, stats just out show that capacity at Portugal’s airports increased 4.7 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, with almost 20 million one-way seats accounted for in Portuguese airports last year. All four of Portugal’s main airports recorded capacity hikes compared to 2012, with Faro racking up the largest growth (8.9 per cent), followed by Madeira’s Funchal (7.1 per cent), Lisbon (4.1 per cent) and Porto (3.6 per cent). Especially noticeable is the recent increase in seat capacity between London Stansted and Portugal – namely 106 per cent in the past year.

This news is encouraging for the country’s tourism sector and owners of property in the Algarve, as it indicates a rising popularity amongst foreign visitors and makes reaching a home in Portugal easier.

Portugal’s national carrier TAP remains the country’s largest operator, offering 92 routes. As part of TAP’s summer expansion plans, it will launch 10 new services from Lisbon, including two new Brazilian destinations, namely Belem and Manaus, on 3rd June.