advertisement

Fishing -- The northern section of Portugal receives abundant rainfall and contains rugged hills and some of the best-stocked streams in Iberia. Most noteworthy are the Rio Minho, the Rio Vouga, the Rio Lima, and the creeks and lakes of the Serra de Estrela. For fishing in the area in and around Lisbon, contact the Clube dos Amadores de Pesca de Lisboa, Travessa do Adro 12, 1800 Lisbon (tel. 21/68-48-05), or the Clube Desportivo e Cultural de Amadores de Pesca da Costa do Sol, Rua das Fontainhas 8, 2750 Cascais (tel. 21/484-16-91). For information about fishing elsewhere in the country, contact regional tourist offices.

Fishing in inland waters is limited compared to fishing along the 800km (496 miles) of coastline. Deep-sea fishing, in waters richly stocked with fish swept toward Europe on northeast-flowing ocean currents, yields abundant catches. Fishing boats can be rented, with and sometimes without a crew, all along the Algarve as well.

Golf -- With its sun-flooded expanses of underused land and its cultural links to Britain, Portugal has developed a passion for golf. Most of the nation's finest courses date from the late 1970s. The most important ones are in the Algarve; many are world-class. Others have been developed near Lisbon and Estoril, near Porto, and even on Madeira and the Azores. Usually within sight of the sea, most courses incorporate dramatic topography, and such famed golf-course designers as Robert Trent Jones (Sr. and Jr.), Henry Cotton, and Frank Pennink conceived most. For more information and an overview, contact the Federação Portuguesa de Golfe (Portuguese Golf Federation), Av. Das Túlipas 6, Edificio Miraflores, 1495-161 Algés (tel. 21/412-37-80; www.fpg.pt).

Horseback Riding -- The Portuguese have prided themselves on their equestrian skills since their earliest battles against Roman invaders. Most of the resorts along the Algarve, plus a few in Cascais, maintain stables stocked with horses for long trail rides over hills, along beaches, and through ancient sun-baked villages. For more information, contact the Federação Equestre Portuguesa (Portuguese Equestrian Federation), Av. Manuel Maia 26, 1000-201 Lisboa (tel. 21/847-87-74; www.fep.pt).

The best offering available from Equitour, P.O. Box 807, 10 Stalnaker St., Dubois, WY 82513 (tel. 800/545-0019 or 307/455-33-63; www.ridingtours.com), is a program of 8 days and 7 nights, with Lisbon as a meeting point. The price is $1,740 to $1,995 per person, and the weight limit is 185 pounds. Accommodations and special transfers are included in this tour, "The Blue Coast Ride." The rides go across some of the most scenic parts of Portugal, through valleys, along passes, and past waterfalls.

Nature Watching -- Hiking in Portugal is great for bird-watchers. The westernmost tip of continental Europe lies along the main migration routes between the warm wetlands of Africa and the cooler breeding grounds of northern Europe. The moist, rugged terrain of northern Portugal is especially suited for nature watching, particularly around Peneda-Gerês, where wild boar, wild horses, and wolves still roam through hills and forests.

Watersports -- With much of its national identity connected to the sea, Portugal offers a variety of watersports. Outside the Algarve, few activities are highly organized, although the country's 800km (496 miles) of Atlantic coastline are richly peppered with secluded beaches and fishing hamlets. A recent development, especially in the Algarve, is the construction of a series of water parks, with large swimming pools, wave-making machines, waterslides, and fun fountains.

Sailing on well-designed oceangoing craft can be arranged at the Cascais Yacht Club, at any of the marinas in the Tagus, near Lisbon, or along the Algarve -- particularly near the marina at Vilamoura. The surfing along the sun-blasted, windswept coast at Guincho has attracted fans from throughout Europe. For information about sailing and water events, contact the Associação Naval de Lisboa (Naval Association of Lisbon), Doca de Belém, 1400-038 Lisboa (tel. 21/361-94-80; www.anl.pt); the Federação Portuguesa de Vela (Portuguese Sailing Federation), Doca de Belém, 1300-038 Lisboa (tel. 21/365-85-00; www.fpvela.pt); or the Federação Portuguesa de Actividades Subaquáticas (Portuguese Underwater Sports Federation), Rua José Falcão 4, 1170-193 Lisboa (tel. 21/816-65-47; www.fpas.pt).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.