“A true and undiscovered kiters paradise” When you’re searching for the next amazing spot to hug the clouds and hammer your knees the vast amount of possibilities are pretty much endless. One tropical paradise looks even better than the next and the wind statistics look amazing everywhere. So where to go next is the question that we ask ourselves constantly and my goal with this article is not to provide you with the answer, but rather to make your choice even more difficult. For me Portugal was the Promised Land long before I decided to move there and start my own kitesurf school right next to the mouth of the endless Lagoa de Obidos. But let me talk about myself and the many treasures this country holds later and dive immediately into the reason why you clicked on this article: The goto kitespot that was under your radar, until now:
Lagoa de Obidos (Obidos lagoon):
This lagoon is getting exposure but even though it’s increasing popularity amongst kiters it is far from full. Even in the “busy month” (August) de 7 square kilometer of flat water offers more than enough space to go full throttle, practice your jumps or to just go crazy with free styling. The shallow mouth (with most sand banks) is closed for kitesurfing during the summer months, but this leaves around 80% open to loop your kite for as long your arms and back can hold it. Like all kitespots in Portugal, Lagoa de Obidos typically has a Northern wind which is dependent on the thermals of the Portuguese sun. This means that the better winds are typically during the afternoon. Foz de Arelho (the village at the North side of the Lagoon) is built against and on a hill which makes the wind turn in a cross shore direction when the wind comes from true North. This impacts your kite session a bit and so the lagoon won’t have steady wind on its full surface. In general the South side of the lagoon is the best spot to enter the water and while crossing the lagoon you will have some gusts to play with or use to get a bit more power to get some air. Wind statistics are very good (for European understanding) and especially during the summer there are plenty of kiteable days. Source: www.windguru.cz
So with the vast amount of kitespots around the world, why pin this one to your kitespot bucket list?
I guess after reading the introduction you’ll know that I’m prejudiced and so don’t take my word for it. To give you a bit of an insight on what the pros say about the spot I listed some of their experiences below for you: Jorge Guimarães: “Kitesurfing dream spot”
https://www.facebook.com/jgkitesurf/ Helena Brochocka: “Portugal is where the sunny cruising happens”
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Well if you’re planning a trip, I can imagine that you would like to get into the waves at some point. If you have a car you can find a good wave spot in Peniche (20km from Obidos) and an excellent spot in Gincho (40km from Obidos), but I will tell you more about wave spots in another article.
Back to my story
Like I said before, Portugal has become my second home and although I am privileged to live at the South side of this breathtaking lagoon, there are endless reasons why I decided to move here. Since this is an article about the Obidos Lagoon I won’t dive to deep into detail but tell you just a little bit about the area:
The Portuguese silver coast
The region around the lagoon is known as “The silver coast” and holds all of the Portuguese top surf beaches. Unlike the Algarve the Silver coast is quite unspoiled and not over populated with tourism. People are welcoming and as soon as you can say “obrigado” (which means “thanks”) you are welcomed with open arms. Portuguese life is very relaxed so time is measured by the tide or the sun rather than with a clock and when you order fish instead of a filet you’ll actually receive a fish. Since tourism didn’t overtake the region, not everyone speaks English which gives the region an authentic vibe that resonates through the streets, cities, bars and restaurants.
This doesn’t mean that there is no life. Especially during the summer a lot the villages open beach bars for the (kite)surfers that want to mingle with the locals and most of them are not restricted by set openings hours.
Ending this article with some information that you should know in case I managed to make the choice for your next kite trip even more difficult:
Experience with kiting:
To kite at the lagoon you don’t need any experience. I started our school here because the flat water and shallow spots are ideal and safe to learn kitesurfing. But like I said before enough pros and independent riders love the spot as well. It’s actually a very good fit for both of them because the lagoon is diverse enough in dept and windy spots so students and experienced kiters don’t really mingle too much.
Access to the Silver coast is very good. Lisbon is about 80km South of Obidos and is Portugal’s international airport. After arriving in Lisbon I would suggest to rent a car (except for July and August), but if you prefer public transportation this is accessible and long distance busses are remarkably well on time (more details).