The irresistible appeal of the high seas
Inevitably, the Algarve reverberates with the sound of sails fluttering in the sea breeze. Faithful to an age-old tradition, the region is now the stage for important events in this sport.
Vilamoura hosts the Torneio Internacional de Vela do Algarve (Algarve International Sailing Competition) which takes place in February, while the marina of Portimão is used for training by sailors competing at the highest level, such as the ABN AMRO team who compete in the Volvo Ocean Race regatta.
Competitions are also organised at the region’s other marinas and ports, and the intensity of the activity is very much the result of the efforts of the various sailing clubs and schools that exist in most of the towns and cities along the coast.
However, if you prefer to sail simply for pleasure, some of the clubs also hire out boats, making it common to see the horizon dotted with sails. And even if you only want to go along for the ride, rather than handling the boat yourself, there are manned sailing boats which offer this same experience. In some cases it is possible to relive the voyages of sailing vessels from different eras. Even if the sails are not raised, you can easily imagine what the art of mastering the winds and currents was like. Nearly all these ships serve meals on board which makes them ideal venues for parties or other types of celebrations.