Surf in Portugal is beginning to have more and more enthusiasts abroad. Portugal has become increasingly renowned abroad, due to several factors — from the climate to the people, including the food, the history and the culture, making more popular than ever as a tourist destination. One of its strong suits is the ocean, which being the Atlantic can get some heavy swell – which goes some way to explain the amount of people who travel to the country to take advantage of its spectacular waves, such as the now famous Nazaré breakers.
If you are looking to start surfing then all you need is motivation, because the many schools and academies will provide all the necessary material. Of course, as you progress, and if you fall in love with the sport – which you almost certainly will – you will need to purchase a surfboard and a wetsuit. Make sure you get the right board for your height and weight and when you get your wetsuit keep in mind the fact that the waters off the coast are cold. You can also get yourself some neoprene boots and, of course, the usual array of sunscreen. We chose the best beaches for you to surf in Portugal.
Praia Azul, Praia da Baía, Praia das Sereias, Praia do Cantinho, Praia dos Pescadores, Praia de Silvalde, Praia das Casinhas, Praia da Capela and Praia de Paramos
With its eight kilometres long coastline, Espinho gets Atlantic swell and has all the conditions for forming some of the best waves in Portugal, perhaps the best in the north. These beaches often host surfing competitions such as the Junior Pro Espinho, the Longboard Pro Tour and the World Surf League. One of the best regions for surf in Portugal.
Tel: +351 912 361 881
Figueira da Foz:
Praia do Cabedelo, Praia de Buarcos and Praia da Claridade (which is lit up at night so you can surf safely)
Famous for its mile-long right waves, the beaches at Figueira da Foz are a Mecca for surfers. This year the town will host the third leg of the Liga Meo Surf 2020 competition.
Te. +351 910 468 760
Supertubos, Praia da Consolação (Northern side), Praia da Almagreira, Praia de Belgas, Praia de Lagide and Praia de Molhe Leste
Peniche is famous for the tubular waves formed along its beaches, making it the European Pipeline, and is often chosen by the most prestigious international surfers. Its long and hollow waves can reach up to three and even five meters and Peniche hosts a number of important competitions, such as the Rip Curl Pro Portugal-Peniche and Noosa Longboard Pro.
Tel: +351 962 336 295
Praia do Norte and Praia de Paredes de Vitória
In surfing terms, Nazaré was made famous by big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara, and since then professionals have come in growing numbers every year to try their luck in these enormous waves. The giant breakers are formed by storms in the Atlantic Ocean, but the massive Nazaré canyon, an underwater gorge that ranges between a depth of 50 to 5 thousand meters, keeps the swell from losing speed or changing direction. Just off the Nazaré Lighthouse, the wave breaks at the exact moment that its height exceeds the depth of the water. The change in depth is so sudden that the waves reach the coast at enormous sizes.
Tel: +351 916 386 907
Ericeira is a popular destination for surf in Portugal, with some of the best waves in the country, and attracts surfers from all over the world. Ericeira hosts the National Open Surfing Championship, both men and women, and the third National Longboard National Circuit.
Tiago Pires Surf School
Tel: +351 961 411 373
Praia do Guincho, Praia de Carcavelos and Costa da Caparica
Lisbon is the epicentre of some of the best surfing spots in the country, and its geographical position directly influences the waves that form on its beaches.
Guincho, not far from the capital, is a favourite among the surfing community. Prone to wind, on calmer days it often provides strong and perfect waves, with the best swell coming from the southeast and the west.
A long beach with a sand bottom and fast waves, Carcavelos boasts strong and hollow waves, regularly, throughout most of the year. It has different breaks for different levels of expertise, so beginners should be careful when in the water.
On the Costa da Caparica, the CDS, Barbas and Praia Nova beaches are classics for Portuguese surfing. When the sea gets heavier, Fonte da Telha is the place to go, since the sand bottom can provide some very decent waves.
Tel: +351 917 964 533
Tel: +351 962 850 497
Tel: +351 927 008 626
The Vicentine Coast, with its great swell, is another surfer’s paradise. Conditions vary from beach to beach, but the whole coastline is very exciting for wave lovers.
If you are looking for rougher waves, then Arrifana is a good place to start, though beginners would do well to choose another destination. It is very popular among surfers, especially the more experienced, who have the right side of the beach to themselves when the waves get bigger.
At Praia da Cordoama the peaks are more consistent and work better when the waves are smaller. Less experienced surfers should watch out for the currents and the rocks, that can appear unexpectedly when you are not familiar with the beach.
Praia do Amado is also a favourite among wave lovers and hosts international competitions. It is considered one of the best beaches on the Vicentine Coast due to its large waves.
Tel: +351 961 690 249
Praia da Ponta Ruiva, Praia do Beliche, Praia do Tonel and Praia do Zavial
Sagres, on the western tip of the Algarve, has almost perfect conditions for surf in Portugal. Spring, Autumn and Winter are the best seasons for good swell and many say it has some of the best waves in Europe.
Tel: +351 918 755 401