Lifestyle & Culture

Mónica Da Silva in Lisbon: The adventurous expat hearts behind the Algarve Watersport project

(Editor’s note: This is an expanded, follow up to an earlier travel post that mentioned Algarve Watersport. Dispatches does not participate in paid link building or affiliate programs, and we receive no remuneration for featuring expat companies.)

Having been born and raised in the Caribbean, something I definitely took for granted my whole life was having sunny weather all year around and the most beautiful beaches only 45 minutes away from home. I moved to Germany during winter and I will never forget the first time I got off the plane and experienced the coldest breeze I have ever felt on my face. Little did I know that there are some people that are more sensitive to the changing of seasons, the lack of sun and low temperatures. 

Well, I quickly realized that I am one of the unlucky people who are very sensitive to low temperatures and the lack of sun. Even though I started taking Vitamin D pills, I needed the sun to function properly. And that’s the short story of why I chose to move to Lisbon. This place is blessed with year-round sun and mild winters. Likewise, many expats choose Portugal because of its wonderful weather, the amazing beaches or even its potential to host new businesses. 

That’s exactly what Daniel Löhe thought when he visited Portugal and that’s why he decided the Algarve would be the perfect place for his ambitious project. Löhe mostly employs expats who choose Portugal as their new home too.

Let me introduce you to the expat hearts behind the Algarve Watersport project: 



Daniel is originally from Bonn and he studied at the German University of Sport Science in Cologne. After graduating, he lived in Spain, Venezuela and Barbados working as a water sports instructor. Then, he came back to Europe and founded xworxKiteboarding, a kiteboarding school in Oostvoorne, Netherlands. During his bachelor’s degree he developed a business plan that years later, in 2006, would be born as Algarve Watersport. 

When he started this project with a friend from university, Daniel was in charge of everything from picking up clients to teaching the lessons, managing bookings and taking care of the camp house. It was hard work, but eventually, other people joined the team so it slowly developed the way he dreamed it. They were also able to move the camp house to a better location in Lagos and rent a bigger house closer to the beach. 

“After High School I lived and worked in California for a little more than a year and I like to call Portugal the ‘California of Europe.’ The climate and landscape of the sea, cliffs, mountains and beautiful nature are very similar. The food is amazing and most of the Portuguese people are warm, friendly and tolerant.”

Daniel Löhe, CEO and founder of Algarve Watersport



Becca is the camp manager and she is in charge when Daniel is away. She was born in Germany but moved to Hungary at age 12, then spent eight years moving between Portugal and the mountains or tropics depending on the season.

However, during the past two years, Becca has been living permanently in Portugal and she loves it:

“With Portugal I finally found a place that I can call home again. I found my little piece of paradise,  where I don’t feel the need to leave to experience an adventure or beautiful nature or a place to relax or have fun times with good people. Living in a place where others spend their holidays gives you the present of being on holidays whenever you are off of work (even if it’s just a lunch break).”

Becca, Camp Manager at Algarve Watersport


Adam comes from Poland and he defines his life before joining the camp as normal. He wasn’t sure about what to do with his life, and after starting working as a kitesurfing instructor, he started traveling. After living in the Philippines for some time, he came to Portugal and spent three years chasing the wind, living in Portugal during the summer and in Mexico during the winter. Now he lives permanently in Portugal and although he says he’s still trying to figure out his life, there are way less worries because in the Algarve everyone is living at their own rhythm. 

“We are all big family from different parts of the world and I think this mix of cultures is what makes it fun to work in the camp for so long. I would say the Algarve is more of a multicultural area, with lots of expats, digital nomads or just people looking for their place in the world.”

Adam, Kite and marketing ninja at Algarve Watersport

What is so special about Algarve Watersport is that you can experience and practice all of the water sports in one place. You can learn how to surf, kitesurf, wakeboard, windsurf and SUP with specialized instructors. What’s even better is you can stay at their beautiful camp “the Kite House” which is only 10 minutes away from the beach by walking. Furthermore, there will be a camp bus that can take you to the most varied kite and surf sports within the region. 

At the Kite House, besides having accommodation, you can spend some time by the pool, having a barbecue or drinks with your friends when you’re not in the ocean. You can also enjoy their delicious food prepared by their well-traveled cooks who have gathered ideas from international cuisine. Algarve Watersport also offers a wide variety of yoga classes including hatha, vinyasa and SUP. What could be better than starting your week with a yoga class on Monday morning to wake your body and soul? 

If you’re ready to book your next adventure at Algarve Watersport, you can book classes or a stay at their camp on their website. They are located in Estrada da Albardeira in Lagos and their wonderful team is waiting for you.

About the author:

Mónica da Silva comes from a small town near Caracas, Venezuela where she was born. Mónica was raised by her parents and grandparents who left Portugal in the 70s. After living in Germany for some time, she decided to move to Lisbon where she has been since 2018.

She studied Modern Languages and is currently pursuing a degree in European Studies. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and a bit of German. She loves traveling, learning about different cultures and tasting new flavors. You can follow her on Instagram: @monique_df

Read more of Mónica’s posts for Dispatches here.

Read more about Lisbon and Portugal in our Dispatches archives.


Website | + posts

Mónica da Silva is half-Venezuelan, half Portuguese and has lived in Venezuela, Portugal, Spain and Germany. She has studies linguistics and has a Bachelor’s Degree in European Studies. Besides contributing to Dispatches, she works remotely as an English teacher, which allows her to be on the move as often as she wants. 

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