There was a time when life kept us away from the place where we were born and that we love. In other parts of the country and the world, we grew, and we learned to value what we have. Homesickness grew unbearable, and we decided to return for good.
Our stories and paths are different, but we met by chance. Actually, the ocean brought us together. After many years of surfing, swimming, canoeing and so many other water sports in the sea and the river, we discovered stand up paddle. There wasn’t any school in the area teaching such a versatile and inclusive activity, and so I decided to open one at one of my favourite beaches -- Praia da Franquia, in Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Our little wooden house on the beach has been welcoming local kids and people from all over the world for three years. They are eager to try out stand up paddle and explore the region. During our classes and tours, we double as local guides. We like to share the story of its location with our clients while unveiling the secrets of such beautiful landscapes to them. All that is done, standing up straight, on a SUP board. It’s a fun and unusual way to discover what makes this region so charming.
We get many people from out of town attending our school, but we also work a lot with local children. We try to bring them closer to the ocean and Nature. It’s important to keep them active and, above all, to make them enjoy and value their homeland.
Our story and mission
We were born and raised in the area, and our stories are identical although our paths only crossed recently. I lived in Porto Corvo for many years and later went to work abroad, while Apolo was finishing university in Lisbon. We returned to Milfontes practically at the same time, and it was during this process of returning to our roots that we met for the first time.
We’ve always done some kind of sport, especially water activities in the ocean -- from surfing, our passion, to canoeing, we tried and did a little bit of everything, like anyone in the area with a strong connection to the ocean. We feel at our natural habitat when we are in the water. Especially here in Vila Nova de Milfontes, in this ocean and this river, where we feel truly at home.
When I returned to Milfontes, I wanted to do something that completely fulfilled me, and I knew that, for it to happen, the ocean had to be part of that project.
I wanted to start a business of my own, in my homeland, and that I would love doing. There are plenty of excellent surf schools in the area already, so I chose to stand up paddle -- a growing sport that reaches a broader target audience. I trained to become an instructor and opened SW SUP almost three years ago. Apolo joined a while later, but in a funny way. He came here to try out for a lesson with his daughter, and he’s been part of the project ever since.
We give ourselves entirely to this activity, to our everyday work, and, above all, to our homeland. As locals, we feel the responsibility to care for this place and share the best of it (and it’s so much) with everyone. Our daily work revolves a lot around the community, and that is crucial to us.
Deep dive into the stories of Vila Nova de Milfontes while you navigate, standing up straight on a board, one of the most beautiful rivers in the country, the Mira River. A journey that combines the best of the region with one of the fastest growing sports in Portugal - stand up paddle.
Explore the region from another perspective
Our school is located in Praia da Franquia, a place with the perfect conditions for SUP. It’s sheltered on the North side, it’s a less windy river beach, calm, and with great roads from people coming from the town. On the other side of the river, there’s Praia das Furnas, one of Portugal’s seven wonders and the best river beach in the country. It’s definitely a place worth visiting.
The Mediterranean climate and the temperate weather make the Alentejo coast the perfect location for Stand Up Paddle all year around.
We’re at the mouth of the Mira River, where the river ends, and the ocean starts. Around us, we have as much History as we have Nature to discover. We are privileged and influenced by the diversity of this scenery that made us as unique as itself and that allows us to be part of it through all the possible activities. We are hospitable and friendly people who like to welcome guests and show them our homeland.
Milfontes castle, at the mouth of the Mira River, right in the historic centre of the town, is a mandatory stop on a walk or a stand up paddle board. On our river tours, you’ll learn more about the History of this mid-twentieth-century monument, built on ruins with a view of the ocean.