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

After having lived and worked in several parts of the world, Jack settled in Spain more than 45 years ago and has been an English teacher and language school owner during this time. Over 25 years ago he read an article about a river that starts in central Spain and flows across all of Portugal and kept that article about the Douro River. Ten years ago he semi retired from his schools and located an outfitter, that was taking groups of Spaniards down much of the Douro River. Jack made this first expedition with one of his sons 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.

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 has paddled more than 120 different white water rivers in Europe, Asia, North and South America. For a few years Rui misguidedly tried to combine a professional life in marketing with white water kayaking but soon came to his senses and has devoted his life to kayaking in many facets. He has led kayaking expeditions on several continents as well as finding time to design kayaks as the owner of a company: www.watertechsurfmachines.com. With Rui and his Portugues staff we gain a vital sense of our trip and that 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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