For 15 years, one family has provided exhilarating ways to explore the area they live in, whilst promoting a healthy lifestyle
OceanBlue has taken many forms over the years. From the Isle of Wight to the Western Algarve, the mission is “to combine activity and adventure for locals and tourists in beautiful locations for an elevated experience all year round. By focusing on fun from adventures rather than solely exercise, people are more likely to get active and improve their long-term health,” said founder Lucy Strevens.
The Strevens family relocated to Portugal in 2016 and OceanBlue Portugal opened its doors in 2017. “At first, it took a more typical, structured ‘fitness retreat’ approach. However, today, we aim to offer a more laid back ‘dip in and out’ set up.”
OceanBlue guests can expect to enjoy a flexible timetable packed full of adventure and exploration for those seeking an active and unique break. “We encourage guests to choose their own balance between the activities on offer and relaxing and doing their own thing,” said Lucy.
Groups and individuals are welcome to stay at the company villa and enjoy the location, the large pool and amazing views. The four, comfortable apartments are self-catered, each with their own outside spaces. The lounge looks out towards the pool and huge views to the village and ocean. Perfect for hosting friends, couples, families and larger private groups.
The mornings are when the adventures usually take place. “Kick-start your day with a cycle across the beautiful, local landscape with fantastic views or, alternatively, discover them by foot with guided runs and hikes,” Lucy suggests.
Their ‘Sea Safaris’ are arguably their most popular activity and often involve paddle boarding in small groups and exploring the coast aboard their resident Cheetah Catamaran.
During the afternoons and evenings, guests can relax by the pool, walk to the beach or follow one of the self-guided explore tours, seeking out the best beaches, the cutest corners of nearby villages and beautiful hiking trails.
“The first OceanBlue retreat was back in 2006, Carmel, a quaint, stony cottage on the Isle of Wight,” Lucy recalls. “In those days, I used to take bookings by phone, cheques were sent by post and I would walk along the sea wall and up to the local bank!”
Sean is a boat builder and, by chance, had a cancelled boat order, which he decided he would use for the lodge. Lucy and Sean named the boat ‘Free Spirit’, which became the first boat for their Sea Safaris.
At first, it was mostly tourists that joined the Sea Safaris, but soon after, locals started joining too. Most islanders had not seen their hometown from the sea and were blown away by the view. They would talk about the local fisheries, and the huge landslides at the end of the last ice age that had shaped the southern shores of the island.
In 2020, Sean decided to build another catamaran named after their daughter for their Portugal retreat. The 11-metre Cheetah Catamaran, ‘Sea Sophia’, takes guests out on half-day Sea Safaris and is also available to rent for private charters.
“I have always enjoyed an active lifestyle and encourage people, especially my guests, to reap the benefits as it does not discriminate of age and ability,” says Lucy. She is truly passionate about individual, long-term improvement and confidence. One of the ways she does this is with regular outdoor and beach training.
“A stack of us get together on Monday and Friday mornings with the sole purpose to do more by 9am than we would have on our own.” She goes on to explain: “By being accountable to each other, we get a good cardio workout, improve strength and stamina, encourage each other and have fun.”
In 2022, Lucy is keen to try something new. She had held a few remote three-day juice and soup resets throughout the pandemic and has had really positive results and feedback. The aim is to run a five-day retreat with a three-day juice and soup cleanse.
By ALEX BRENNAN