Recently we were lucky enough to experience Feel Douro Adventure trip, a 3 days cruise through the North of Portugal. The trip included more than just kiting and it was a great experience for us. All the ingredients for a perfect kite vacations have been carefully selected and prepared by FeelDouro team.
Trips are for groups of up to 8 people and are tailored to suit your needs. The idea is simple, according to the weather conditions you chose the spots and the sport you want to practice. If you are a kitesurf addict there are plenty of opportunities for you to try new, excellent places. If you’d rather some sightseeing, wine tasting, surfing, stand up paddling or bike riding there is certainly something for everyone. Some programs are geared for kitesurf addicts whilst others cater for families or beginners with an emphasis on cultural visits. The team on board of the catamaran is composed by two experienced sailors, surfers and kitesurfers with a profound knowledge about the region, the best spots and the sports. If you don’t want to bring your own gear no worries, there are kites, boards, harnesses and stand up paddle gear available on board, just let the organizers know about it before you arrive.
How to get there
Super easy, there are tons of flights from almost every European capital straight to Porto. If somehow you cannot get a direct flight you can always fly to Lisbon and get to Porto by train or budget flights. The Feel Douro Adventure team will pick you up from the airport and take you on board.
Our trip had a little bit of everything. We started the cruise in Vila Nova de Cerveira, the town founded by King Denis of Portugal in 1321 which today is mainly known and visited due to the international biennial of art. Located between the river and the mountain, Vila Nova de Cerveira lies on the left bank of Minho River at the border with Spain. The main attractions of the village are charming restaurants, cafes and arty bookstores. You can visit the castle, today transformed into a hotel, the old Town Hall, the old Court, The Parish Church, or Igreja Matriz that was built in the 18th century. We enjoyed the village great restaurants with typical Portuguese food and arty yet calm atmosphere, a perfect place to start a perfect trip.
After a picturesque cruise down the river Minho we made a stop next to Moledo beach and kitesurfed for a few hours in the mouth of the river. The spot is perfect because you can easily score some waves on the side of the ocean and if you prefer flat water there is still the river mouth with it’s warm, calm waters.
On the next day we were able to enjoy some surfing and Stand Up Paddling at the Moledo beach, plus amazing sandwiches at a local café, really delicious after a day spent on the water.
Our next stop was Viana do Castelo where there is plenty to do. In the morning we surfed and Stand Up Paddled, in the afternoon strong and steady winds made us want to kitesurf forever. We realized that there is nothing better than having a catamaran as our home and transportation. We were able to launch our kites straight from the boat, move from one place to another really quickly and spend our morning, afternoon and night whenever we wanted to. Soon we realized that if we wanted to have a complete freedom spending our vacations on the boat was the perfect solution.
At night we had an awesome stroll down the streets of beautiful town of Viana do Castelo and had a dinner at one of the exquisite local restaurants. If you happen to be there on Friday or Saturday night be sure to hang out for a drink or two, but don’t forget to stay fresh for the next day, there will be more surfing, kitesurfing or Stand Up Paddling for you.
Nothing is more important than constant wind on your kite trip. From May through to October the wind coming from the North, commonly known in Portugal as Nortada, blows almost constant 25 knots 80% of the time. Click for WindGuru Stats to find out more. The temperatures are really nice, ranging from 20 to 30 degrees depending on when you decide to go. In early spring and late summer the nights can get chilly, especially on the boat so be sure to take a long-sleeve with you.
The sea is crystal clear, the waves are perfect but the water at the open sea is never very warm so don’t forget your 3:2 wetsuit. You might not need it in the summer but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Skies are almost always blue in Portugal and rain in Summer is minimal but just in case you need it bring your jacket.
Most of the locations are uncrowded and the variety of kitespots is big. Each day you can visit another beach and choose between waves, flat freestyle spots or downwinders. The boat will take you wherever you wish and accompany you on your adventures.
The Feel Douro catamaran is super comfortable and you will feel like at home. There is an outdoor shower for you to get rid of salt right after you session. We tried it several times and it’s absolutely wonderful. The boat is stable, spacious and it offers accommodation in 4 double, comfortable cabins with access to 2 bathrooms with hot water shower. It has a fully equipped kitchen, where you can cook and bake whatever you feel like eating.
There is an outdoor and indoor dinning area with big tables, a TV and wireless internet access if you need to stay tuned. When we were there José, our host, spoke about installing a barbecue on board as well. Well that’s a great idea! Can you imagine eating that famous Portuguese grilled seafood after a tiring kitesurf session? Sounds so delicious!
Lifestyle on board
On a private yacht you have a complete freedom to discover at your own pace the vast multitude of beaches, lagoons, rivers, little towns and cities. You can spend one night in a harbour with animated night life, music and restaurants and the next day kitesurf at a desert beach away from the crowds. Or you can sleep in calm villages and towns and Stand Up Paddle the next day, or go sightseeing or wine tasting. For non kiters and non wind days (God forbid!) there are heaps of other activities available. The combinations are limitless and you can tailor your own vacations for yourself and your family or group of friends.
Whatever you wish to do on your vacations Feel Douro Adventure gives you the opportunity to try it all. We loved it and you should try it too!!!
You can book your trip after the jump