Sometimes a holiday is just a holiday, but sometimes it’s the start of something else entirely…

Originally from Scotland, the Azure Luxury Charters founder, David McVie has spent the last 23 years at Microsoft in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. David and his wife Lesley, also a Microsoft alumnus, love to travel. Over the years, they have holidayed in England, Spain, Scotland, Hawaii, France, and Canada. Every chance they get, they include their three daughters, Emily, Kyleigh, and Sarah, on their travels so they can also experience the world firsthand.

Both Lesley and David believe that until you visit a place, see the sights, and spend time getting to know the people, you really have a limited understanding. An understanding based on 2nd hand information from others, something you read about in books, or some news flash you saw in the media. We feel experiencing other cultures personally, sharpens your mind, supplies a shift in perspective, provides a great opportunity to meet new people, experience new cultures, and helps to develop a better understanding of the world around you.

Our family traveling
Destinations in Lagos, Portugal

A Holiday in the Algarve

When David booked a holiday week for the family in Lagos, Portugal, back in 2016, he had no idea the family would one day lead a new life in Lagos and establish a luxury charter yacht business in Vilamoura.

After falling in love with the old city of Lagos, the couple bought a holiday apartment near the beach of Porto de Mós, close to the beach and translucent azure sea.

Each year since, as soon as school is out for the summer, the family returns to Lagos to explore its rich and beautiful history. From its fortress, Forte da Ponta das Bandeira on the Lagos’s waterfront, to picturesque churches like Medieval São João Hermitage and São Sebastião, the old city of Lagos never disappoints.

Of course, they also love to explore the dramatic golden cliffs that rise up from the sea. Of interest too are the world-famous beaches along the coast of Lagos. They also like to visit the many restaurants in the old city serving seafood and authentic Portuguese dishes. Returning back to the Pacific Northwest each fall, armed with some new Portuguese phrases the girls have learned from the friendly local people, they count the days until school is out and they can return back to Portugal.

Family Outings on the Water

While on a summer holiday in 2018, David wanted his family to experience the amazing Algarve coastline. What better way to do so than from a luxury charter yacht. After a few experiences hiring yachts, the family quickly found that not all companies supply what they advertise. After some consideration, David and his family decided they wanted to be on the water more, they wanted the experience to be problem-free, and they wanted to feel special while exploring and enjoying what the Algarve had to offer.

The decision was made to invest in a boat for future family adventures in the Algarve. The family was thrilled with being able to spend more time on and in the warm waters off the southern coastline of Portugal.

Our family on the boat in the Algarve
Benagil Cave and Dolphins in the Algarve

The Family’s Favourite Cave

The Algarve region is dotted with incredible sea caves. Cruising west from Vilamoura Marina is the famous Benagil Cave, the family’s favourite. When the sun shines through the dome’s opening it reflects off the golden and auburn walls of the cave and produces an amazing light show. The family enjoys heading the boat directly into the mouth of the cave to take in the view.

Near Benagil Cave the family often jump in the water for an adventurous snorkel, or they arrange to ride jet skis and explore the small toughs of land near the shoreline. The exclusive restaurant, Restaurante A Sardinha, in Praia dos Arrifes, or a seafood feast at Evaristo, in Praia do Evaristo, are favourite lunch stops.

On the boat, the family can head to the best spots for snorkelling, swimming, and paddleboarding to pristine sandy beaches. Of course, the highlight is catching the sight of dolphins in the wild. The crew are experts in where to find these amazing and elusive creatures.

Preferred Place to Snorkel and Paddleboard

When the booking schedule allows, the family tries to take a full day on the boat to cruise east of Vilamoura. The girls love to relax in the sun and warm shallow waters of Ria Formosa. The Ria Formosa lagoon is one of the most amazing natural places in the Algarve. It is a system of barrier islands that connects with the sea through six inlets and is home to many bird species.

Ria Formosa lagoon is the girls’ preferred place to snorkel and paddleboard due to the calm warm water. Last summer, Emily had her birthday party on the boat in Ria Formosa. The family surprised her with a birthday cake. For a late lunch, they visited one of the fantastic local restaurants within walking distance of the peer serving fresh seafood. There is nothing like grilled sardines, steamed crab, and Portuguese Cataplana.

Our family in Ria Formosa
Our family in Lagos Portugal

The Business Gets Started

Since his family loves these cruises on the boat so much, David and Lesley decided to research owning a business in Portugal, shortly after Azure Luxury Charters got its start in 2018.

Azure Luxury Charters strives to deliver the absolute best luxury charter cruises in the Algarve.  They focus on your comfort and safety, quality of service, and providing a day on the water that will be remembered for a lifetime. They truly hope you enjoy your charter cruise as much as they enjoy providing them.

Vilamoura is Portugal’s Most Glamorous Destination

You can find Azure Luxury Charters in Vilamoura Marina which forms part of the Algarve’s Golden Triangle (Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, and Vilamoura). This is an affluent region famous for its luxury resorts and first-class restaurants. David and his family enjoy the eclectic, buzzing atmosphere of Vilamoura. The family loves the glorious beach setting and energy from the lively bars and beach clubs. Vilamoura’s breathtaking location sets the scene for an ideal summer holiday with a touch of sophistication. Since Vilamoura is one of the most desirable spots for both locals and visitors during the spring and summer, it has proven to be the best location for the family business.

Vilamoura Marina

Hundreds of Happy Guests

David’s passion for supplying the best experiences for his family grew into delivering similar experiences for other families. David has turned his hard work and passion into a successful luxury yacht charter business.

Azure Luxury Charters now serve guests from all over the world. They are thrilled to be a part of the luxury yacht hire segment of the tourism industry.

Thousands of visitors every year who crave the heat of the sun, the warm water temperature, and who want the experience of visiting the distinctive landforms found along the Algarve coastline cruise with David and his crew. Every yachting season brings exciting new people which quickly turn into wonderful new friends!

We look forward to having you onboard!

Lesley & David