Kayaking with kids, an afternoon learning to kayak with our son

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I’ll tell you a secret I’m not a fan of going to the beach, sure I’ll stay there for a couple of hours but I became restless, so every time we go for a weekend in the coast I look for things to do other than just going to the beach. I’ll look for festivals, markets, towns to visit or activities, and this time we went kayaking!
We were going to the southwest coast of Portugal so I looked for a large lake and decided on Odeleite, a fantastic looking lake in the shape of a dragon, really look.

 Dragon shape Odeleite dam

Odeleite Dam

Located in the municipality of Castro Marim Odeleite dam rises in the uplands of Serra do Caldeirão and flows into Guadiana river. Looking at an aerial photo you can see why it’s called the river of the Blue Dragon as it’s shaping resembles a dragon but even though we had a drone you would have to be quite high to be able to see it.

There is a small village of Odeleite nearby and there are a few places that organize kayaking trips if you decide to try it. The dam seems like a perfect place for water sports but somehow there is not a lot of activity there so, for the most part, the entire place is yours apart from an occasional fisherman.

The landscape is brilliant and driving there is a reminder of why we should do these things more often, much better then spending the afternoon soaking in the sun if you ask me, and for a child it’s also a new experience with the family the two things kids love the most, new things and family time!
We didn’t really know were to go so we used google earth to search for a viable place to set up shop and prepare the kayak, we left the main road after Odeleite and followed a small secondary road until we passed a small village called Montinho, from there we went all the down until the we were on the waterline.


It’s only our second time kayaking (check out our previous experience here) but we are quite fond of it, if only they were cheaper we would surely have one already, it’s quick to set up and the only doubt I have is whether this sort of inflatable kayak lasts. If you have one let us know your experience.

Going with a child

It will depend on the child, ours is quite used to family activities and he behaves quite well and stays put. He occasionally wants to paddle or wants to stop to play with the water but other than that he doesn’t move around causing the kayak to be unstable.

He also uses a great life vest that we got him for water sports, so we are quite confident he is safe.

Where is it?

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