Start at our base in Vila Nova de Milfontes (approx. 2 hrs from Lisbon). Our quaint accommodation is located close to the centre of the small town, and approx. 15 mins walk from the main beach. Depending on flight times there may be an opportunity to take a stroll to get to know the local area before having dinner at one of the many good restaurants. **
Today we will have an active and enjoyable day at the beach, with plenty of exercise and good fun! The Portuguese coastline is widely known for the quality of its waves breaking onto clean beaches, and the wide expanse of coastline surrounding Milfontes is no exception to this. A short drive will take us over the sand dunes to pick up our surfboards, and a half day of tuition will enable beginners to have a go and perhaps even stand on the board for the first time. The beautiful, wild (and often empty) coastline around this area is a perfect location to properly pick up the surfing bug, and there will be another opportunity to surf on the free day if the demand calls for it! We usually spend the entire day at the beach as the lessons depend on tide schedules, and the leader will bring along a cool box and encourage you to pick up some picnic things from the shops before you leave.
Today will give us the opportunity to start exploring the river Mira, the estuary that sits next to Milfontes. We will use our two-person kayaks to reach several points using an orienteering map, and there will be an opportunity to see some rural houses and learn about the local way of life. Lunch will be served on the banks of the river Mira with a perfect view over the sparkling water. Afterwards we enjoy a cycle ride along a beautiful stretch of coastline, starting close to the Sardão Cape lighthouse and taking in the rugged nature and amazing views of the region. The cycling is along sandy paths at a nice easy pace, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or a drink. This area of the coastline is filled with beautiful wildflowers in the earlier months, and is a great place to spot storks nesting on the cliffs. **
Today you are free to decide how to spend your day. There are a huge range of activities available including bike or kayak rental for independent exploration of the Mira river. You may also improve your skills with another surf experience. Please be aware that all activities are subject to availability and weather conditions, and to avoid disappointment we recommend booking these as early as possible in the week. Alternatively, you can relax and enjoy the beach or the pool at the hotel. We recommend a visit to the local ice-cream shop for a refreshing treat! **
Starting close to Milfontes or a little further inland (depending on the local conditions), today’s kayaking trip of approximately 9km will see us surrounded by nature and truly unspoiled landscapes; a unique opportunity to interact with the local flora and fauna. After lunch we will take a short drive to the main bridge of Milfontes. This is a bridge we will have driven across many times during the week, and the chance to abseil (30 metres) from it provides a thrilling experience and absolutely fantastic views of the Mira estuary. **
Today we move away from the water and take a morning jeep tour, which allows some exploration of the sandy off-road tracks near unexplored beaches and woods. The whole Alentejo region is famous for its ‘Fisherman’s Trails’; walks that run along the coastline that are used by locals to get to the quieter beaches and best fishing spots, and this jeep and walking tour gives us a great opportunity to see some of the more remote places in the region. Lunch is spent out of the heat; as we shade ourselves in nearby cork and eucalyptus plantations. The remainder of the day is free for relaxation or other optional activities. **
We start the day at a stunning spot in a steep-sided river valley, where we begin cycling on dirt roads. The paths are undulating, which means a bit of climbing and some exciting downhill sections, which gives us the opportunity to learn some mountain bike skills! The path ends at a beautiful natural lagoon, where a swim is possible, and jumping in is highly recommended! The afternoon is then left free to unwind from the week’s activities. **
Trip ends at Vila Nova de Milfontes. **
* 7 nights comfortable guesthouse with pool, all rooms en suite * 8 days land only/flight inclusive * 5 days kayaking, cycling, swimming and surfing * Group normally 4 to 14, plus leader. Min age 8 yrs * Travel by private vehicle, jeep, kayak and bicycle
All breakfasts and 2 lunches are included. Food is an important part of local culture and nowhere more so than in the fertile Alentejo region, known as the bread basket of Portugal. Typical ingredients include various breads, sheep's cheese, black pork, salt cod, wild mushrooms and asparagus. Food here is simple yet plentiful with something to suit all tastebuds. The Portuguese eat a lot of meat and fish as part of their main meals but vegetarians will normally find they get a balanced diet if they are prepared to be flexible.
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