About us


Between both our partners they have paddled the entire Douro River in Portugal over 40 times. No one can claim more experience.

Jack Atkinson

Jack has been the instigator and driving force behind both Douro and Algarve Kayak Expeditions. After having lived and worked in several parts of the world, Jack settled in the Iberian Peninsula more than 45 years ago and has been an English teacher, language school owner and sea kayak guide during this time. About 15 years ago Jack paddled the Douro River with one of his

and discovered a part of Europe still untouched by tourism. Since that first expedition he has been down the Douro many times. In 2011 Jack decided to help make this experience available to more people, especially to those who don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese and founded Douro Kayak Expeditions with the objective of offering this experience to a very small number of adventurers each year. Jack teamed up with Rui Calado several years ago and to this day they don’t have a written contract. Each knows his job and does it.

Douro Kayak Expeditions

Douro Kayak Expeditions, organizes expeditions on the Douro River mainly for English speakers. Our expeditions differ in several ways from other trips on the same river. Ours are the only ones that can do the whole 209 Km of the river as it crosses Portugal and we are the only ones who can go through all the locks. We limit our Expeditionary members to 12 and 3 guides. Clearly this kind of close attention is not available in larger groups. We have groups in May, June and September. We are also available for private closed groups at any time of the year.

Rui Calado

Rui Calado

Rui is the foremost Portuguese authority on kayaking. Rui has paddled the entire Portuguese coast line. Rui has also paddled more than 120 rivers in Europe, Asia and North and South America and has dedicated his life to kayaking in many facets including kayak design.  With Rui and his Portugués staff we gain a vital sense of our trip and this is, that we are paddling in Portugal and no other place is quite the same.

Portugal Kayak

After an intensive 15 years of white water kayaking Rui Calado started Portugal Kayak (PK) with the idea of offering sea kayaking experiences to the general public. Portugal Kayak has been in business for over 10 years and organizes 2 to 4 day kayaking trips on the Douro River, the Arrabida and Algarve Coasts as well as the Aveiro Lagoon. The main role of PK on our Douro Kayak Expeditions is to provide all materials as well as logistic support. At different points along our route, Rui and his staff are also called upon to demonstrate their very fine culinary skills.

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