With more than 850 km of coastline, Portugal provides some of the greatest surfing destinations in the world.
The coastal strip has many surfing spots that are very close to one another, making it a unique surfing paradise similar to none other in the world.
With a mild and comfortable climate all year round and with offshore morning winds, huge waves, and different swell sizes, Portugal offers a unique surfing experience for surfers of all levels.
Surfers from both in and outside Europe flock to the country to enjoy the surfing opportunities and countless other leisure and entertainment activities.
Portugal surfing has consistent south, north and west swell for surfers to enjoy throughout the year.
When is the best time to go surfing in Portugal?
There are both high and low surfing seasons in the country. During the winter and autumn, you can enjoy the biggest and most consistent swells in the country.
Spring brings about reasonably consistent swells, little wind and the best in climatic conditions.
These seasons are the best time to go Portugal surfing. Additionally, the surfing spots are not as crowded, and accommodation is less expensive.
*During winter, the North Atlantic produces powerful swell that is responsible for many of the best waves globally. This explains why Rip Curl Pro Portugal is held in Peniche every October.
*During summer, there are no big waves to ride and so this time is better suited for learners and intermediate surfers. The beaches are generally crowded, and accommodation is less readily available. As the summer ends and September starts, the first swells start taking shape, making it perfect for surfers. The weather is still good, and the surfing spots are less busy.
With warm waters and sunshine all year, Portugal is the place to be for surfing. With many surf schools, academies, camps, and surf shops, surfers are treated to the best surfing environment in the world. You can choose to wear a wetsuit or a lighter swimsuit during summer.
Surfing in Peniche, Portugal
Located 90 km north of Portugal’s capital Lisbon and just an hour from the airport, Located 90 km north of Portugal’s capital of Lisbon, and just an hour from the airport, Peniche is the most popular Portugal surfing paradise.
This exotic fishing town is home to the world’s most consistent surfing beaches and the most famous wave - known as Supertubos.
Peniche is located right between the wetter and cooler north and the sunny, drier south. This means that the summers are longer, more temperate and with cooler sea breezes, while the winters are relatively mild with occasional storms.
Cantinho da Baia Beach in Peniche provides beginners and intermediates with the best surf spots making it one of the most popular places for surfing in Portugal.
Here, within a two-kilometer stretch and facing the beach, there are many surf camps, schools and academies, surf shops and rental locations.
Apart from Supertubos, other popular surf spots in Peniche include Santa Cruz, Praia DaAreia Branca, Praia Azul, Almagreira, Consolação, Cantinho Da Baia, Foz Do Arelho, Cerro, Belgas, Molho Leste and Lagide.
Things to Do in Peniche
While in Peniche, you can surf all day, relax on the beach and head back to the hotel - all without driving.
There are many cocktail bars, hotels and restaurants, beach cafes, dance joints, nightclubs, surf camp parties, rooftop parties, sunset parties and all manner of entertainment and fashionable spots for your night out after a day’s surfing.
Among the most popular of these entertainment joints in Peniche include Bruno’s bar, Danau, Baleal Cocktail, Surfer’s Lodge, Game Club, The Base and Bar da Praia. There is something for everyone.
Surfing in Ericeira, Portugal
Ericeira is commonly referred to as the Portuguese surf capital. This town offers an amazing variety of surf spots (no less than 12) that are jam-packed on a very short stretch of coastline (8 km).
The water quality, the beautiful beaches, the proximity of these surf spots, as well as the short distance from Lisbon (40 minutes from the city and 30 minutes from the airport) are so tantalizing that Ericeira was officially recognized as a World Surf Reserve in 2011 and is still the only one in Europe.
For learners in this surf city, there are exciting beach-breaks that offer an opportunity to learn the basics of surfing while having fun.
For more advanced and professional surfers, there are reef breaks that offer both right and left barrels as well as point-breaks.
These surf spots also have a variety of winds for surfers. There are both surf schools and surf shops to enjoy. The water temperature in this city does not fluctuate too much, which means that you can enjoy surfing all year round with wetsuits and boots in winter.
Among the most popular surf spots in Ericeira are Foz do Lizandro, Praia do Sul, Sao Juliao, Matadouro, Ribeira D’Ilhas, Sao Lourenco, Coxos, Cave, and Pedra Branca.
Things to Do in Ericeira
There are many ways you can enjoy your night after a day’s surfing in Ericeira.
There are pubs, hotels, clubs, bars, jazz music joints, discos, and beach parties.
Among the most popular of these entertainment joints include D'llhas Surf Restaurant and Bar, Sunset Bamboo Bar, Discoteca Ouriço, Tubo Ericeira Bar, Jukebox Bar Tik Tapas among others. You’ll never run out of options.
Surfing in Aljezur, Portugal
Situated in the south-west coast of Portugal, Aljezur is an exciting surfing area for aficionados. Although not specifically on the coast, this town offers terrific surf spots that can keep surfers busy all year round. With the best of the Atlantic coast conditions, surf spots here have quieter waters and gigantic waves depending on the surfing season.
If you are looking for one of the best surf spots away from the major Algarve spots, Aljezur is the place that you should be heading to for your next dream surfing holiday in Portugal.
The big swells found in Aljezur, along with the undertows and currents, can make the conditions here tough and more suited to advanced surfers.
However, in calmer times and with the fairly sheltered surfing spots here, learners and intermediates can hit the waters too. Although the area can be busy during the weekends, on weekdays and in winter they are almost deserted.
With the number of surf schools and private instructors around, learners are welcome here.
There are also surf shops and rentals. Among the most popular surf spots here include Praia do Amado, Praia daBordeira, Praia da Arrifana, Praia de Monte Clérigo, and Praia do Castelejo.
Things to Do in Aljezur
After passing your day surfing, there is no better way of spending your night than relaxing over a drink or listening to cool music.
There are many bars, pubs, and hotels and restaurants where you can enjoy your nightlife in Aljezur.
Some of the best joints you can sample here include Hugo’s Bar, Restaurante Pont´a Pé, Bordeira Beach Bar, GULLI Bistrot, Hotel Arrifana Aljezur Youth Hostel, Kiosk Agapito, Moínho da Légua Restaurant and Arrifana Summer Spot among many others. Here you can eat, drink and relax.
Surfing in Carcavelos
Suitable for surfers with all kinds of experience, Carcavelos is one of the most popular Portugal surfing destinations.
Providing world-class quality with beach break right and left waves, surfers here enjoy some of the best hollow, fast and powerful waves that Portugal has to offer. The beach is usually packed with surfers throughout the year.
Here, there are numerous surf shops and rental places that offer surf goodies to both locals and visitors.
There are also surf schools, camps, and private instructors to give lessons to newbies. If you are planning for a surf holiday in Portugal, Carcavelos provides consistent south-west swells that you will find irresistible.
Things to Do in Carcavelos
The nightlife in Carcavelos is thriving. Tempting cocktail bars, pubs, dance clubs, hotels, and restaurants as well as excellent eateries and beach cafes are all here to welcome you.
Among the most popular of these joints include Fizz Beach Bar, Bar Moinho, Bar dos Gémeos, Casa da Praia, Grande Onda Restaurant – Bar and Karma Bar among others. Depending on your preferences, there is a suitable joint for you close by.
Surfing in Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica stretches 30 km to the south of the Tejo River, providing the most consistent surfs to both locals and visitors to Lisbon.
Providing regional-classic surf spot quality to surfers of all competencies, the surf spots here feature right and left beach breaks.
The waves are fast and powerful with northwest, west, and southwest swell directions.
To enjoy the low-tide lefts and, especially for the beginners, the Rio and Covo do Vapor are the most convenient and steady surf spots in Costa da Caparica.
Other surf spots include Praia da Rainha and the seven jetties, which are commonly referred to as CDS.
For learners, there are many surf camps, schools and academies to cater for their learning needs. There are also surf shops and rentals where you can grab a surfboard and/or wetsuit.
Things to Do in Costa da Caparica
There are many pubs, bars, and restaurants in Costa da Caparica. Depending on your tastes, you can sample great cocktails at Caffé Radical Bar, Warm Up Bar, Waikiki, Kailua Fonte da Telha, Delmare Café and Costa in Beach Bar among many tempting others.
Surfing in Figueira da Foz
Located in the Coimbra District and at the mouth of Mondego River, Figueira da Foz is a famous Portuguese surf city.
With one of the longest right-hand waves in Europe at the Buarcos surf spot, the city provides a perfect surfing hide-away for those looking for less crowded places in Portugal.
There are always consistent waves here for surfers, no matter their experience.
Here you can get affordable surf lessons, rental surfing equipment and surf camp packages.
Other popular surf spots in Figueira da Foz, apart from Buarcos, include Cabadelo, Murtinheira and Molhe Norte. For a great surfing experience away from the crowd, Figueira da Foz is the place to go.
Things to Do in Figueira da Foz
In addition to bars, clubs and hotels, restaurants and live music, Figueira da Foz offers a lot for visitors and locals to enjoy. There are various places where you can get all manner of tasty seafood, drinks, and other entertainment. The most popular of these include Zeitgeist Caffe, Perfumaria Pub, Império Caffé-bar, NB Figueira da Foz and LP Bar among many others.
In conclusion, Portugal surfing provides some of the best experiences and locations in the world. You can surf in the country throughout the year, during both the low and high seasons. The waters are decent while the waves and swells match every level of surfing skill.