Me and my husband are taking a trip this summer around Europe to do some kiting, staying in our van and bringing a little dog with us. Starting end of May the plan is to head to Tarifa for for a week or so and then drive up through Portugal for 4-5 weeks. I'm aware lots of the main beaches in Portugal don't let dogs on, and especially in summer. It sounds like there are lots of deserted beaches out of the way which dogs will be fine on, but my concern atm is that the kiting beaches might be mostly a no-go.
Does anyone have any knowledge of this? Or can anyone recommend great spots that are out of the way and likely to be not so busy/less people around to complain about a small dog on a lead?
We are both competent (but not expert!) kiters, usually going out on the UK south coast - so happy with a range of conditions including some waves
Would be great if anyone had any tips! Am also unsure if Tarifa is a good bet in early June but hoping to avoid the worst of the crowds by going as early as we can - this might be a fantasy though, having heard how busy it gets!?
I would go so far as to say that most of the spot kites in Portugal are very much dog-friendly. You just have to leave your stuff and the dog a bit far away from the crowds and you should be alright, especially when it is blowing hard as there will be much less people on the beach.
I don't know where exactly you plan to go, but I can recommend the following spots for you to enjoy with your dog (from north to south):
Praia do Cabedelo (Viana do Castelo) - great spot for flat water and wave riding (when there is swell) - if it's blowing hard there will be no problem with the dog anywhere on the beach (just make sure the dog doesn't fly away). If the beach is crowded walk a bit further downwind and there is allways a strech of beach almost empty.
Praia da Areia Branca / Praia da Peralta (Peniche) - good spots for wave riding and with less people especially on week days. In Areia Branca, go to the south of the beach for less crowd and in Peralta go to the north part of the beach. In both cases it's best both to kite and to bring the dog in low tide
Guincho (Cascais) - most consistent spot for wind in the summer. If it's blowing hard and the dog can handle it, there will be no problem to leave him on the beach. If the wind is below 20 knots there will be lots of people on the beach, but you can still leave the dog in the sand if you leave your stuff in the middle of the beach (more or less in front of the rocks). In this case it helps if you park on the woods behind the beach and enter the beach through the walkway that ends right in the middle of the beach. That way you'll avoid the lifeguards.
Praia da Bela Vista (Costa da Caparica) - this is one of the three kite beaches south of Lisbon in Caparica and is the one with less people (especially on week days). Walk south to the nude beach and there you'll have no problems with the dog.
Alvor (Algarve) - best spot for kiting in Algarve for flat water. You can either kite in the lagoon and there will be no problem with the dog there (lots of dogs actually) or in the ocean side. In this case just walk as close as you can get to the pier to get away from bathers and there won't be any problem with the dog there.
Other than that, there are lots of beaches in the atlantic coast with almost no one, even in the peak of the summer where you can go with the dog without any problem. They're just not good for kiting. But many are great for surfing.