Who are we?
SwimTogether Swimming Holidays, founded in 2019 by André Santos, is the only portuguese specialist swimming holiday company, taking you around some of the most beautiful, spectacular and timeless locations in Portugal. An attention to detail, passion for what we do combined with local knowledge from our bi-lingual company make our swimming trips an unforgettable experience.
Our mission is to give the possibility to everyone, regardless of their level of swimming, to do it freely, with security and companionship in unique natural locations through close, informed, socially and environmentally responsible customer experience.
Our trips are designed to be a balanced combination of relaxation and adventure. SwimTogether team spend a great deal of time planning each of our trips, ensuring that we work with high quality accommodation and local staff and offer the swimmer a tailored experience that they will cherish. We believe that during a swimming holiday it is important to have time out to relax in between the swims and get into the portuguese spirit. This is why André and his team have personally scouted, swum and selected particular swim routes, that include stops at fishing harbours, villages, remote islands and beaches for the swimmer to enjoy local cuisine at traditional portuguese tavernas and explore each unique destination… after all you have worked to get there!
Our guides combines a mix of diverse skills, catering both for the newer open water swimmer alongside those that want to train a little faster and improve fitness. They are all experienced in open water and have also attained the relevant life saving qualifications, making your swims safe as well as enjoyable. Lastly, we feel it is really important that you get a real portuguese experience, which is why we have a bilingual team with local knowledge to make you feel at home in Portugal… our guides can even teach you the all important Portuguese phrases!
FOUNDER & CEO
André Santos is an entrepreneur. With only 20 years old opened his own business. Unsatisfied by nature, he can not stand still, dedicating his time to what he likes the most: to create and to explore.
Not only is the voice of the project, but also responsible for motivating his team to follow his dream. What moves him is the will to "make it happen," believing that "difficult is different from impossible".
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
Álvaro Carvalho is Physical Education teacher and level 2 swimming coach. Connected to swimming since he was 5 years old and a water polo player. Always passionate about the sea. Living in the Azores for 21 years, it was in the middle of this Atlantic Ocean that he discovered the pleasure and benefits of swimming in the open sea. He worked at the Swimming Association of the Azores Region with responsibility for the Open Water events. Each dive is a cleansing of the soul.
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
Vânia Neves is a swimming coach and former open water Olympic swimmer. She was responsible for the first academic work on biomechanics in open waters, namely the kinetics of VO2. She is also a co-author of the first published scientific article on energy expenditure and kinetic analysis in open waters (“5 km front crawl in pool and open water swimming: breath-by-breath energy expenditure and kinematic analysis”). As a high competition swimmer, she used to swim between 80 and 100 km per week, something that was only possible due to her passion for the sport and her great psychological preparation. As a coach, she seeks to instill this passion in her swimmers.
Filipe Fernandes is a people person always ready to take on as many unforgettable adventures as possible. He already lived in 3 different continents and his passion for new challenges without routines is what keeps him motivated (well, he also follows that when it comes to food by the way). Loves to try a multitude of sports, even though somehow always ends up feeling more connected to the water ones, where he already competed in the past and intends to get back again, as soon as he finds a way to combine the availability for everything in the horizon! Working in the city surrounded by a good amount of technology, he never refuses the quality time that is gained when away from it...
From a very early age, Steve has spent most of his time in the water. As a youngster, he swam competitively at both county and national levels, meaning endless hours in the pool! This all changed when his family moved to the coast and he discovered the Ocean. He fell in love with the energy of her waves and the infinite possibilities she gave him, It was at this time his lifelong love for surfing began. This passion brought him to Portugal and he now lives on the Algarve's rugged and wild Costa Vicentina, the end of the World! Today, still a keen surfer, trained lifeguard, ocean swimmer and kayaker, his love for the ocean just keeps growing. Some might say he's a true waterman, who's happier in the ocean than on the land. He loves adventure and believes, "life begins outside of your comfort zone!".
COMMERCIAL & PARTNERSHIPS
Travel agent by profession and life time doing sport, runner from an early age. His main hobby now is triathlon, but it was in the open waters that he found the true freedom he was looking for. He has in curriculum many competitions, long distance triathlons and swimming crossings. He knows the waters of the great Alqueva lake as nobody. Now combines the passion for open waters and the world of business tourism.
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
João Teles is a level 2 swimming coach and Physical Education teacher. He started to learn to swim at about 5 years old and, since then, he has always been connected to the aquatic environment. With a degree in Sport Sciences and Physical Education, he was a competition athlete in pure swimming and a lifeguard for 15 years. He is currently a swimming teacher and loves to share his knowledge and experiences with all those who are willing to learn.
Mariana Cardoso, Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science with a level 2 specialization in competitive swimming and Master Degree in Sports Training with specialization in Triathlon. Sports has always been part of her life, and she was a competition athlete in triathlon for 4 years. She is currently a swimming teacher and triathlon coach, and loves working with the kids, teaching that anything is possible and that there are no dreams that are impossible to fulfill.
Alfredo Santos is the CFO of Swim Together. With more than 30 years of professional experience in business management, he has a special affection for new projects.
Lover of sport activities and passion for aeronautics. He believes that the union of accumulated experience with the irreverence of the young entrepreneurial spirit is a winning recipe.
SWIM GUIDE & LIFEGUARD
Bernardo Ferreira is an open water swimmer and a lifeguard. He has been swimming since his childhood and due to that fact, he was always a big passionate about the ocean. He has the ambition to enrol into the navy one day. He has a few hobbies, such as: body-board, bodysurf and diving. At the age of 16 he found out his devotion towards the open waters and since then he has been practicing non-stop. His biggest motivation is long distances and even though he has already achieved the 10 km mark, he wishes to persue superior ones.
SWIM GUIDE & DESIGNER
Margarida Madeira began learning how to swim when she was 5 years old. During her teens, she practiced non-stop, in order to compete. However, due to her other passion, design, she abandon it to persue her dream. Today, she swims in open waters as a running complement and practice for the swimrun.
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
Pedro Prazeres is a swimming coach and competitive swimmer. He has been competing for 20 seasons in different clubs and countries, and has coached teams in Portugal, Spain, Norway and the Faroe Islands. Currently an MSc student in Performance Coaching, he applies the knowledge obtained through all the years of competition and the different realities of coaching in several countries to his practices. He loves swimming above all else and believes in persistence and technical development as the bases for performance.
Mayra Santos is an ultramarathon swimmer. In 2019 and with 40 years old, she became the first woman to swim from Porto Santo island to Madeira island. Mayra is a "force of nature". She started swimming at the age of 36 and only a year later completed her first big challenge, swimming 18km in the Canary Islands. For her, "each dive is a flash".
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
Sara Cruz is a swimming coach and former swimmer. Finishing her Masters in Sports Training with a specialization in swimming, she is passionate about training and teaching swimming. As a high performance swimmer, she broke some national records, which still last. She always lived close to the sea, and for that reason, she became a lifeguard, having passed through beaches such as Nazaré and São Pedro de Moel. Her life motto is “Nothing is impossible”. As a coach, she wants to motivate her swimmers to want more and better.
SWIM GUIDE & COACH
Fábio Caveirinha, Bachelor's Degree in Sports Science with a level 2 specialization in competitive swimming. Masters Degree in Personal Training. Academic qualification in injury prevention (shoulder). Pilates trainer (posture and CORE). Has been swimming since he was 3 years old. Athlete from 9 to 13 years old. 12 years as a lifeguard. Coordinator and Technical Director of the Desperta Recorde Swimming Club. Competition coach for all Age Groups up to Juniors / Assistant Coach for Juniors and Seniors at the same club. For Fábio, "you have to be resilient to achieve excellence".
Hugo Ribeiro, born and resident in Matosinhos, is a former international Open Water swimmer (currently Master swimmer) and a swimming and open water coach. He learned to swim through medical advice at the age of 8, moved to competition the following year, but it was only in 2005 that he made his first Open Water event, thus finding his true passion. Since then, after years of dedication and specific training, he has specialized in OW marathons/ultra-marathons, being one of the pioneers of the sport in Portugal. He has more than 70 victories in his curriculum, including national titles (5km, 10km, 5km Teams), Top5 and Top10 results in European and World Cups, na European Master Title, in more than 200 competition events held in 13 different countries. He loves the sea and, as a coach, foment willpower, passion and focus.