The best places to surf in Portugal

The best places to surf in Portugal

Portugal is one of the best surfing destinations in Europe. With over 1,700km of coastline combining both south and west coasts, Portugal offers a plethora of incredible surf spots for surfers of all ability levels. In this post we’re going to unpack all the surfing gems Portugal has to offer.

Peniche

Peniche is arguably Portugal’s most famous surf spot, due it playing host to the pro surfing event at Supertubos for the last decade. Peniche offers a wide range of different surf spots. Beach breaks, sandbar reefs, point breaks offering both right and lefts. In total there are over 30 surf spots in Peniche.

The gnarliest surf spots are Molhe Leste, Supertubos and Consolação. Molhe Leste is a racey and wedgy right-hander, recommended for advanced surfers. Supertubos is a famous barrelling beach break. It’s a heavy wave which is not for the faint hearted. Consolação is a point break which offers both rights and lefts and is suitable for both intermediate and advanced surfers.

Ericeira

Ericeira has become one of the most sought after surf spots in Portugal over the years. Only a 45 min drive up the coast from Lisbon, this quaint fishing town offers a great mix of different waves, mainly reef, slabs and point breaks.

Some of the best waves include Coxos and Ribeira D’Ilhas. Coxos is arguably the main drawcard of Ericeira with its heavy sectioning barrels and long walls. It’s the perfect place to dial in your tube riding and speed down the line, snap boards and leashes, learn to paddle‌in strong currents, and practice timing the period between sets as paddle out from sharp rocks

Ribeira D’Ilhas offers up nice long right-hand point break walls as well as barrelling sections (depending on the tide). It’s an easy wave to access too. It’s home to many professional surf events due to the quality and consistency of the wave as well as the local amenities.

Lisbon

Portugal’s capital is home to some top class waves, most notably in the winter months. Because Lisbon is located on a large river mouth, it plays host to both a west and south facing coast, thus proving conducive to a multitude of different swell directions. the best surf‌spots in Lisbon are Guincho and Carcavelos.

Guincho beach is located is located on the west coast in the upmarket suburb of Cascais. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Lisbon city centre. This 1km stretch of beach offers up a variable beach break. It works best in smaller swell during the summer months. In bigger swell it usually gets a bit too mushy to surf. Don’t expect long rides on this wave, but you will find some nice ramps and lips to do some gnarly cutbacks off.

Carcavelos is located on Lisbon’s south facing coastline. It’s only a 10 minute drive from Lisbon city centre and is one of best known surf beaches in Lisbon. It works best on southwestern ground swells with light offshore winds. It’s a beach break offering many peaks for surfers of all ability levels. I bigger swells with a low tide it can also offer up barrel sections.

Sagres

Located on the south-western tip of Portugal in the Algarve, Sagres is where Christopher Colombus famously thought earth ended. Sagres is a great place to surf during the summer, and has a wide variety of surf spots peppering the west and south coast. The waves in Sagres are particularly good for beginner and intermediate surfers and it’s a popular place to go for a surf camp.‌

Some of the best places to surf in Sagres include Praia do Amado, Tonel and Zavial. Praia do Amado sits on the west about a 20 minute drive from Sagres. A beautiful beach break, offering an A frame suitable for beginners and intermediates. Tides don’t affect this wave at all which means the surf window is from dawn until dusk and rip currents don’t to be a problem here. There are a few surf schools located at the beach allowing for seamless rental of boards and wetsuits.

Tonel is the perfect beginner wave. It’s a mellow beach break where the waves break quite close to the shore meaning a shorter paddle out to the lineup. It’s only a 5 minute drive from Sagres making it a popular choice with the local surf schools. Zavial sits on the south coast and is about a 15 minute drive from Sagres. The wave works best in the winter, spring and autumn months. It’s traditionally a beach break, but depending on the swell direction can also operate as point break with the wave peeling off the rocks on the right. During winter, swell on lower tides this wave can get hollow and gnarly, attracting some of the best local surfers and bodyboarders.

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