The Alqueva reservoir was only created 10 years ago and as yet is little known as a tourist destination. Yet this 250 sq km pool of crystal clear water, Europe’s largest artificial lake, is quietly developing a reputation as a top destination for a houseboat holiday.
Alqueva houseboat rental
Boats can be rented for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, with plenty to explore along the water’s edge. Villages that were once sleepy rural settlements have suddenly had to become boat-friendly, with marinas and waterside restaurants springing up to cater for passing trade. Bicycles can be rented and carried on the boat, allowing the opportunity to explore the very quiet lanes along the edge of the Alqueva.
The water in the summer reaches a very pleasant 30 degrees. That’s as warm as the Mediterranean, but the lake is a lot cleaner and quieter than Portugal’s crowded southern coastline, so taking a plunge in the lake is a joy to anyone who enjoys a splash and a paddle in the sun. The boats are very easy to master, with a 90 minute instruction session deemed all that is necessary for the owners to hand over their precious boats into the hands of a novice (along with a hefty deposit of course).