Rediscovering the ocean through 10 unforgettable experiences
Playing golf in the sea, enjoying a sunset on a deserted beach to the sound of the saxophone, wild dolphin watching, shark fishing, flying 100 metres above the surface of the sea, swimming in the ocean, sailing along the coastline and discovering its magnificent caves, or hiring a private yacht for a romantic trip are just some of the unforgettable experiences offered by AlgarExperience.
Located in Albufeira Marina, the company has been revealing the best the sea in the Algarve has to offer for a decade now. When the sun and heat arrive, inviting you to make the most of the long days of summer, you’ll find activities designed to be enjoyed in a group, with your family, or just the two of you. João and Pedro Bacalhau, 35 and 36 respectively, hail from Albufeira and are the managers of this company, now celebrating a decade in activity. Its 13 boats and 75 employees make it the “the water activities tour company with the largest fleet, capacity and choice of activities in the country,” they point out. Operating from March to November, the company transports up to 700 customers a day on its various vessels.
One of the most popular experiences is the sailing trip along the coast with a barbecue on the beach. Once you board the catamaran Belize, leaving the Albufeira Marina behind you, the boat takes a relaxing two-hour voyage along the coast to the sound of chill out music, with breakfast and open bar. Disembark on a deserted beach, only accessible by boat, and enjoy the crystal-clear water, the stretch of beach and the many activities on offer, such as stand up paddle, snorkelling, beach tennis or beach football, among others. When lunchtime arrives, chow down on a delicious feast of grilled meats, fish and shellfish, joined by a choice of seasonal fruit. And if you’re lucky, after a relaxing day at the beach, you might encounter a pod of dolphins on the return to the marina. In 2015, “the success rate for spotting dolphins reached almost 90 percent,” one of the crew assures us, so it’s highly likely you’ll be able to enjoy the company of these animals in the wild.
You can also have a go at deep sea fishing, as we did, aboard the Vitamin Sea motorboat. One of the two crew members explains in detail how to correctly prepare and handle the fishing rod. With the boat anchored about 2.5 miles off shore, and with waters to depths of 22 metres, the skipper uses sonar equipment to identify a promising shoal in the “Turtle Stone”, a local reef known for its abundance of marine life.
For most passengers aboard it is their first experience of fishing. This is the case with Irish couple Caroline and Matt, 33 and 34 respectively, who chose to spend their honeymoon in Albufeira. Caroline’s beginner’s luck rewards her with more than ten fish, including groupers, two-banded seabream, mackerel, white seabream and triggerfish, which she can take home, if she wishes. The boat’s haul today numbers some 50 fish.
However, if you prefer a little more privacy, all the boats are available for private hire, throughout the year. The most popular is the 43ft sunseeker yacht Bajan Sundown, with room for 12 passengers. It can be hired for two, three or seven hours, or for several days, with prices starting at €650. The yacht provides the perfect venue for corporate events, private parties, stag or hen dos, weddings or just a romantic trip. On request, AlgarExperience can also create customised
packages, to meet the specific needs and requirements of every customer.
The big hit for 2016, available from September onwards, is aimed at ‘extreme’ golfers, looking for new experiences. “You can play golf off our boats. We use biodegradable golf balls, which, within 48 hours in the water, turn into fish food. We have created a tee on the flybridge of one of the boats, from which players take their shots towards a challenging hole on the beach or on another boat,” Pedro explains. Other new additions include a large new reception area, bar and shop. “The aim of this space is for customers to be able view videos of the different experiences available, while enjoying a cocktail, or to buy a memento in our shop.” The space is open between 8.30am and midnight.
During the summer, places for activities often run out, so you should book well in advance. The company website not only allows to check on availability, but also to book your place. With so many options, just pick your favourite and embark fearlessly on one of these maritime adventures.