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Kitespot map from Alvor Portugal

Kitesurfing in Ria de Alvor, Portugal

The two towns of Lagos and Alvor are located in the western third of the Algarve. In between you will find the Ria de Alvor. There is a great kitespot with several access points and a great flat water area for kitesurfing. Which, depending on the tide, always looks different. The spot is also known as Alvor or Lagos.

The lagoon is the windiest place in the Algarve from April to September and is one of the top kitesurfing spots in Portugal. The entrances to the lagoon are very secluded, but there are plenty of places to explore in the surrounding area and you will find everything you need. There are several kite schools that offer accommodation, camps and rental.

There are multiple routes and locations that will get you on the water. You can find the exact coordinates in the description under “The kiting area”. The lagoon is shaped like a spade and consists of salt water.

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At one glance
Location Faro, Algarv
Kitesurfing area Shallow water, choppy
Standing area Yes, depending on the tide
Skill level All skill levels
Kitestation Yes, several
Wind direction Nortada, thermally supported, south wind
best time April to September, best months June to August
Specials Large shallow water lagoon
Overnight stay Almost at the spot, pitch, campsite, accommodation
Stay free Inconspicuous possible

The Kitearea

The Ria de Alvor is approx. 2 x 1.5 km in size and there are several opportunities to go out on the water. With some you can park on site, with others you have to walk or cycle. Below you will find the locations from west to east:

1 oyster farm

To get to the kite spot, you have to walk about 400 meters along a firm sandy path. The longest part of the trail leads over a stone footbridge, which is destroyed at one point and you have to climb over it. At the end, you will reach the beach on the other side of Meia Praia. There you have enough space to set up and start. Depending on the tide, it is very shallow there or you can stand.
You can also walk to the end of the headland and go into the water there. Better starting point for the foil board because it is too shallow further ahead. The wind is sideshore for starting.
Coordinates: 37.122567, 8.628372 and 37.122882, 8.623532

NOTE When we were there in 2021, the stone walkway leading from the oyster farm to the small beach was partially destroyed. You can still get over some stones, but especially when the tide is falling or rising, the place becomes a raging torrent and you have to be very careful. What’s more, you won’t be able to get over the spot without getting your feet wet. We were lucky and got back before then. We also had our baby carriage with us.

2 Fish farm

The spot is actually more suitable for the kite schools, which take the dinghy from there to the sandbank in the middle. The wind is offshore and gusty, which makes it even more difficult to launch and return when kiting. At high tide there is little space for launching, but there is enough water to get to the launch site. There is also a path through the oyster farm, which is marked with wooden sticks. At low tide you have to walk back and the oyster farm becomes more and more of an obstacle. Keep enough distance and do not drive over them at high tide. We do not recommend this spot for starting. Rather continue to the oyster farm and walk the stretch.
Coordinates: 37.133444, 8.624555

3 A Rocha Delicada

On the Alvor side, at the upper end of the lagoon, there is also a spot for kiteboarding. Depending on the tide, you may have more or less space on land to set up and launch. You’re right next to a small stone whale that can cover the wind a little. That’s why you run to this place and don’t start further ahead at the parking lot. But it also depends on the wind.
The wind is side-offshore. At low tide you have more space, at high tide the space is very tight, but there is more space on the water for kitesurfing.
Coordinates: 37.131681, 8.615796

4 Alvor

From Alvor, you walk about 1 km through the dunes until you reach the long beach at the southern end of the lagoon. Most of the way is along a wide wooden walkway. So you can walk or ride your bike. The shortest route is from the parking lot at the harbor to the coordinates on the beach. But you can go kiting in the water all along the beach, so it spreads out well.
Depending on the tide, you have enough space on the sandy beach to set up and launch. The wind is onshore and you have a large standing area in LUV depending on the tide. On the other side of the dune is the sea. You can also go kiting there, but the wind is offshore. Why you should have a boat.

The lagoon is also very popular with sailors and motorboats. This means that it can get very crowded with anchored boats. However, most people head east to the small port of Alvor. However, they have to travel through the canal to do so. Therefore, stay in shallower water to avoid dangerous collisions. Always keep your eyes open and be considerate, especially at low tide when there is less space at the water’s edge.

Strong currents are created by the incoming and outgoing tides. You can see how the water becomes more and more or less. Always be aware of this and pay attention to the water. At Nortada, the high tide supports the wind, at South Wind the low tide. The water is usually fresher due to the sea access, which is why you should wear at least one pair of shorts even in summer.
Coordinates: 37.126360, 8.608217

TIP The best thing to do is to drive along the shore of the lagoon and take a look at the individual spots. This is the best way to decide where you want to go into the water.

Wind and Waves

The best wind direction for kitesurfing at this kitespot is the Nortada from northwest to north. If the weather is fine, it starts slowly at midday and is at its best between 3 and 7 pm. It is also reinforced by the aisle between Lagos and the Monchique Mountains. The so-called Venturi effect. This means you can add a few knots to the wind forecast. If it is cloudy, it will not build up.
Because it comes over land, it is gusty. It is most gusty at the spot in front of the fish farm.

The lagoon is also good in southerly winds. Then everything is reversed and you can go kitesurfing safely at sea. It blows more from fall to spring and is not as strong as the stronger Nortada. He usually has bad weather with him and brings good waves.

On the sea side you have a nice wave with a southerly wind, which is also great for surfing. At Nortada, the water is shallow everywhere.

Suitable for

Thanks to the kite schools on site and the beautiful large standing area in the middle of the lagoon, the kitespot is suitable for all levels of kitesurfing.

If you are a beginner or intermediate, it is best to contact one of the kite schools, which will take you to the middle of the lagoon by shuttle. That’s where the wind is best for kitesurfing and you’ll come back safely.

If you are an advanced kitesurfer or a pro, we recommend starting at Austernfarm or Alvor . The location at the fish farm is very gusty and offshore and only suitable for professionals and the small beach at A Rocha Delicada is quickly full and partly covered by wind.

Kite schools at Ria de Alvor

At the lagoon you will find several kite schools that are either mobile or have a kite house in the area. Everyone has found their spot by the lagoon and it is relatively well spread out. In addition to courses and camps, you can also rent equipment or book a shuttle from the kite schools.

We found the following kite schools on site, sorted from west to east. Some of them have two locations, one in the lagoon and a kite station or kite house. Algarve Kitesurf School (algarvekitesurfschool.com), Algarve Water Sport (algarvewatersport.com/en/), Kitesurf Lagos (kitesurflagos.com), Wind Sport Center (windsportscenter.com), Lagos Kite Club (lagoskiteclub.com), Extreme Algarve Kite School (eakitelagos.com), Algarve Fun Sports (algarvefunsports.com), Kiteschool Lagos – Algarve Kite Center (kitesurf-algarve.com) and Alvor Kitesurf Center (alvorkitecenter.com).

Best time at Ria de Alvor

The best time for kitesurfing is from April to September, when the Nortada dominates the west coast of Portugal. The best time is June to August, when the days are often sunny and clear. Even smaller clouds should still be possible. Then the wind comes through the mountains from midday.

On the sea side, as everywhere in the Algarve, water sports are prohibited from May to mid/end September and you must always keep at least 200 meters from the bathing areas. Why it’s best to avoid the sea side in summer. In a northerly wind there is offshore wind anyway.

Parking and accommodation at the Ria de Alvor

There are different parking options for each location. The closest place to park is at Spot Fischfarm , if you can get one of the few parking spaces. Nevertheless, it’s hard to keep your camper in sight when you’re on the water. This is followed by the oyster farm and A Rocha Delicada . At both, you have to walk a bit to set up and start and your camper is only partially in sight. The furthest away the parking lot is from the Alvor spot and you no longer have your camper in sight.

We didn’t test it, but you can spend the night very inconspicuously if you drive a little further up the sandy path at the oyster farm. However, it can be very washed out there due to the rain. At the spot A Rocha Delicada it is not desired, there is not enough space at the fish farm. The parking lot behind the small harbour may also be very inconspicuous. But you should always observe the new law and listen to your gut feeling.

The next campsite is further north in Alvor. From there you can easily cycle over the wooden jetty to the kite spot. The old motorhome site on Alvor beach has been closed. Otherwise there are even more parking spaces away.

The surroundings

The lagoon is in a secluded location and is filled with life by kitesurfers and water sports enthusiasts. Many sailors also love the beautiful nature. There is plenty to experience and discover in the surrounding area. People who love sport in particular will find something to suit them. But the region is also very beautiful for children.
If you like to go out in the evening, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Alvor, Lagos and Portimão. There are many like-minded people at the spot and in the region to make new friends and exchange ideas.

All four kitespots are remote and there is no infrastructure. You can buy oysters at the oyster farm. The owners of the oyster farm have several dogs that only get along with others to a limited extent. They also like to run around freely. There are beach bars, toilets and showers on Alvor beach. There is also a bike rental service at the parking lot behind the small port of Alvor. Ideal for getting to the kite spot faster. Take everything you bring back with you and preferably a little more to keep the beaches clean.

No wind

If you are traveling in the area around Ria de Alvor, then there is a lot to experience and see. The area is also ideal for non-kiters and children and everyone will find something to suit them. You can go hiking, cycling, diving, SUPing, kayaking, playing tennis, golf, fishing from a boat, skydiving, wakeboarding, paragliding, climbing and much more.

You can explore the lagoon by SUP or kayak directly from the kite spot. The best place to visit is the entire coast between Lagos, Alvor, Portimão and Armação de Pêra. There are many beaches with different rock formations, caves and bays. Boat, kayak and SUP tours are also offered.

For even more hiking or cycling tours, visit the Monchique mountains, which are also responsible for the good wind in the lagoon. The mountain village of the same name, Monchique, is also located there and has a great old town. There is also a market every 2nd Friday and every fourth Sunday.
Of course, you should also take a closer look at the town of Lagos. It has a wonderful old town with many beautiful alleyways and there is plenty to discover.

Especially if you are in the area in August, you should visit the small town of Silves on the edge of the mountains. The Feira Medieval de Silves always takes place there in August. A great medieval market with lots of attractions. There is also the large Castelo de Silves and the Museu Municipal de Arqueologia de Silves. This is just a small selection of what there is to discover in the area.

My tip

If you are traveling in Portugal, then you should definitely visit Ria de Alvor and take a closer look at this great kite spot. Especially in summer you have ideal conditions and good wind.

The good thing is that you can do and experience so many different things in the area that it is also ideal for non-kiters and children. This way you can do something different every day and you won’t get bored so quickly.

The kite spot is also a good place to start and continue practicing and there are several kite schools here to help you. You can also rent equipment and book camps. You can also get more tips for the region and exchange ideas with like-minded people.

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Who writes here?

My name is Sabrina and I am a passionate kiter. I report about cool kitespots, funny experiences and give tips about kitesurfing, kitefiling and life in a camper.

kiteprinzess | hydrofoilgirl | kreativjunky | part time nomad

Now it's your turn

Have you been kitesurfing in the Ria de Alvor? What is your impression of the kite spot? Do you have any suggestions, additions, experiences or tips on the topic? I look forward to your comment.

You found this post helpful or entertaining? Then feel free to recommend it. I am grateful to you for this support!

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