There are some caves and coves in the Algarve that are not accessible by boat and if you want to be able to view these naturally stunning areas, the best way has to be with a Lagos kayak tour.
Begin your trip in Lagos on the purpose built catamaran Zuca which will transport you to the kayaking destination, which has been especially picked out by local experts to provide a challenging, exciting and unforgettable experience.
You need no previous experience to be able to paddle out in a kayak and during the tour you will be guided through the stunning rock formations of the Lagos coast before being taken to a beach only accessible from the sea.
Take to the waves of the Atlantic yourself for a coastal tour that can be enjoyed by all ages.
Book now to reserve your seat! Spaces are limited and advanced booking is essential so book now.Please quote Reference X128.
All bookings are subject to availability and to confirmation.
Trip report by Algarve Fun’s writer Annemarie van der Zwet. After moving from the Netherlands to the Algarve some years ago, Annemarie has taken it upon her to explore all the area has to offer and loves to share her stories. Next to surfing and exploring, she spends most of her free time socialising, cooking, reading and making music.
A Day of Adventure at the Lagos caves.
I don’t think I could have picked a better day for a kayak trip. It’s Easter Sunday and for the first time in months the shorts came out of the closet. The sun seems to be giving us all she’s got to make up for the rainy and chilly days of last week. And the waves that we surfed in Lagos just days ago, have completely disappeared.
So, I arrive at Lagos marina in good spirits. I have done a few kayak tours before, but I am particularly excited to do this one; instead of doing the full route by kayak, a boat (driven by Filip) will take us, our guide and our kayaks from the marina straight to the heart of the cliffs where we unload and start the tour. Or, as our tour guide Rodrigo explains when I curiously ask him what the plan for today is: ‘We take a boat, we go in the water, we have an adventure’.
Rodrigo likes to keep things simple. I quickly realize that when we board the boat and he gives us the kayak 101 while we take off from the marina. ‘This is the paddle. You hold it like this, you stick it in the water, you stick in the other end and then, you just do it all over again. You want to go backwards? You stick it in the water from the back to the front and, you guess it right, you just keep doing it all over again.’ And there we have it: our lesson in kayaking. Sometimes its best to keep things simple!
Granted, all of us aboard have been in a kayak before and he does put a lot more emphasis on the actual safety instructions and rules in the water. He also tells us some interesting facts when we pass the first beaches on the way:
The archway and wall near ‘Praia da Batata’ were part of a castle that got destroyed by the infamous earthquake and tsunami of 1755.
‘Praia Pinhão’ gets its name from the pine tree forest that used to be on its top.
‘Praia Dona Ana’ used to have a golden award for prettiest beach in Europe but lost it after the government decided to artificially extend the beach 15 meters into the water. And, the painful cherry on top according to Rodrigo? I guess you’ll have to take the kayak tour to find out.
After Dona Ana, we hit the waters in our double kayaks. Filip and Rodrigo take the kayaks from the front of the boat to a platform at the back where we just take a seat in the kayak before we get pushed backwards into the water. How luxurious do you want it? Chances of flipping over: close to zero. There are no single kayaks. As our group is uneven, the last person left over gets to share with Rodrigo himself. And once all 15 guests, so 8 kayaks, have entered the water, Rodrigo takes the lead.
Filip will follow us by boat along the way. If anyone wants to come back on board before the end of the tour, that’s fine. He’ll also be keeping an eye on us and on our belongings which we have brought on board with us. Upon booking, I was told to bring an extra set of clothing because no matter how pro you are: you will 100% get soaked when you sit in a kayak. Next to that I have brought water and some food. As dry bags are not provided, I leave my phone and camera on board as well. You can buy camera baggies on board though, if you want to take pictures along the way.
Once in the water, we waste no time and paddle immediately for the ‘Love Cave’. This cave comes straight from the books: through a gap in the rocks that just fits a boat, you enter a quite spacious cavern underneath the cliffs. A hole all the way at top provides a fairytale-like light inside. According to Rodrigo’s story, when you enter this cave together, you are bound to stay together for life. The young couple in the kayak in front of me give each other a lovingly look over the shoulder while I see the big man sharing the kayak with Rodrigo desperately trying to create a bit more space between them.
It’s hard to navigate close to the shoreline as we happen to be out on a very low tide. But our tour guide clearly knows his way around here. Signaling us when to keep left or right to avoid rocks just below the surface and bringing us through small archways and near the beaches and hidden spots, he keeps us safe and allows us to enjoy all the beauty that this Lagos coastline has to offer. Around every corner is a rock formation even more stunning than the last. The water is that type of greenish blue that you see in everyone’s favorite holiday snaps and while we slowly cruise forward, I can see small fish hastily getting out of the way.
Near the famous Ponta da Piedade area, we enter another cave. It does not seem as spectacular as the Love Cave at first sight – it’s quite deep and it doesn’t feel as enclosed and magical as that first one. But once you reach the back, something cool happens: the waters here are completely still. Rodrigo tells us that is the case even when there are big waves outside. So, this is the cave where fishermen go to eat when they’re out and the ocean is rough. It immediately explains the name: The Kitchen.
After The Kitchen, we enter The Living room, a rather large cave which is directly behind The Kitchen and again lends its name from the activities going on inside. This is where the boats from Ponte de Piedade take off, and so it is also where the boats men wait, relax and chat.
We have now gone around the corner of Lagos’ cliffs and the ocean is getting a bit rougher, which is not unusual at this time of the year. In summer you’ll likely find it completely still though. Rodrigo, after carefully checking if it’s safe, leads us into the ‘Pigeon Cave’ where the main advice is to not look up too much. I’ll let you guess where the name comes from.
I am just thinking that I am starting to get tired when Rodrigo suggests one last adventure before we paddle back to the boat that is now waiting for us just a few meters away. In front of us is a small passageway through the cliffs. Okay perhaps it is not actually that small, but with the little waves that are pushing through it, it seems like a true wild water kayak adventure to me. But I trust Rodrigo and with a little squeal that I’m not particularly proud of, the waves push us through the passage, out on the other side. And once there, I’m truly exhilarated. What a fantastic ending to this beautiful tour.
We paddle back to the boat where we get pulled upon the platform again before we exit our kayaks. A quick swim in the cold but refreshing waters and off we go, back to the marina. After spending some time on the water together, everyone now carefully starts to mingle, discussing where they are staying and what they have already seen. And on one thing everyone seems to agree to: you cannot see Lagos without doing a kayak tour. The beauty of this natural area that gave Lagos it’s fame back in the days is unparalleled and there is no better way to admire it than from a humble, wobbly kayak with a guide who knows it all.