Our motto and main goal are “to turn each visitor into a fan of Alentejo.” We want them to feel like coming back even before they’ve left and that’s why we show them the very best, whether it’s in a canoe, on a board, or on foot.
All sports we have here wouldn’t be possible without the great Alqueva lake where the sunset is always awesome. Anywhere else in Europe, a lake this big would be crowded with boats but, in Alqueva, we can wakeboard or stand up paddle without being disturbed.
Alqueva also hides underwater memories, like the old mills or Aldeia da Luz. It’s up to us to tell the story of what was submerged so that people can have the real picture of the region.
I can guarantee two things to those who visit us: fun and our joy in being hospitable. And then there is everything that the lake gives us: the calmness, the activities, and another beautiful thing, the night sky. Some people didn’t know the milky way is visible to the naked eye and that we can’t see most of the constellations without a telescope. It’s priceless to be able to navigate a lake this large, to hear all the animals, to see all the fish underwater, the ducks, the cormorants, the otters.
Food is one of the region’s calling card, so we have a series of partnerships with local restaurants because we believe the experience has to be global, a combination of all elements, not just water activities or walking activities.
Our story and mission
I’m from Moura. I was born in Beja, but I always lived there until I moved away for school. I’ve always been very interested in the region and, most importantly, to show it around. That’s how I thought of Break, which I founded in 2008. Alqueva is our private pool, with the added value that it provides water to the whole region. Tourism-wise, it’s a tremendous body of water, with a lot of untold stories at the bottom of the lake. In 2018 we started a project for the boards and canoe activities where we brought old photos of what the lake used to be like before the dam. That was a way to show people that the area was different then and how the dam changed the landscape.
Going SUP in Alqueva in a windless day without any waves is a fantastic feeling. We’ve had clients over 60 years old who started to come here regularly because they could no longer water ski in the ocean.
Compared to the ocean, we have an advantage here. On windless days, on what we call “flat days”, the person on top of the skis or a wakeboard feels like gliding on melted butter on the Summer. On our activities, we also go to the old Guadiana river, where it’s still mostly wild, and the Ardila river. For the activities on foot we go close to Moura, by the vineyards, and we pair them with tours where people can see and taste wine from amphorae, and learn how wine was produced in the old days.
The importance of being authentic
Ardila e Guadiana rivers are both Alentejo calling cards. I remember going fishing by the mills, and when the sun was high, we would go inside. That was also the place where we took our dates. Guadiana is the great river of the South, and it still has a lot of unexplored areas. In the section between Brinches and Serpa, there are a series of currents in a wilderness environment. That’s where we go river rafting when the river is fuller.
Guadiana has the gift of having many unexplored places, with incredible scenery.
People’s authenticity makes all the difference in Alentejo. People are genuinely territorial, some because they like the plains, others because they enjoy the local culture. I notice that a lot in Moura: many people leave to finish school and then return to open their businesses, even if unemployment is high. Naturally, because they’re passionate about what they do, it shows to other people. The bottom line is that people are the main secret.
Guadiana runs six kilometres from Moura and the mills were our first water park, submerged since they were in the way of the Pedrogão dam. As teenagers, we knew which rocks we could climb down, and when the current came, we would sit and come down sliding on those rocks.