Dreaming of catching the perfect wave? Look no further than Portugal, Europe’s ultimate surfing destination. With its stunning coastline and perfect surf conditions, Portugal is the ideal place to learn and master the art of surfing.

With 1,800 km of coastline and a huge variety of waves and swell size, Portugal is one of the most popular surfing destinations for both European and visiting surfers. There are literally countless places to surf, which makes Portugal an ideal location for surfers of every ability.

With so much coastline, Portugal is a great place to learn to surf. There is a wealth of incredible spots to choose from, with the Algarve, Alentejo, Lisbon coast, Ericeira, Peniche, Beira, and Porto regions being the most famous surfing areas on mainland Portugal. Each of these regions has loads of great breaks, but Ericeira – the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe – is regarded as the surf Mecca of Portugal, with six major surf spots just a few minutes from the town center. 

Ericeira – Home to the Best Surf Camps in Portugal

Ericeira combines the charms of a traditional Portuguese fishing village with the sophistication of a modern European holiday spot, replete with fine restaurants, cozy pubs, and a buzzing summer nightlife.

Learn to surf in beautiful Ericeira, the hub of Portugal’s surf scene, and the perfect spot for surf lessons in Europe. Located only 35 km from the capital city of Lisbon, it is home to some of Europe’s best waves.  

This traditional fishing village has warmth, sun, and Southern European charm combined with a unique range of waves to suit all levels of surfing – from absolute beginner to seasoned pro. If you’re looking for a lively, but relaxing location for surf lessons, Ericeira ticks all the boxes.

Surf at Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve

As the first and only official World Surfing Reserve in Europe, Ericeira’s beaches boast of unparalleled quality and cleanliness. This 8-km (5-mile) stretch of coastline is absolutely packed with world-class surf spots and environmentally certified Blue Flag BeachesEriceira is the only dedicated World Surfing Reserve in Europe due to its cultural, environmental, economic, and civic value. You can surf reef, as well as beach breaks and small to big waves all within easy reach of Rapture Surfcamps.

Waves breaking at a beach in Ericeira
Can you imagine a better place than this?

Why Ericeira is an Ideal Place for Surf Lessons?

Here are some of the many advantages of taking surf lessons in Ericiera:

The consistency of the waves

Ericeira is home to a cluster of varied breaks with year-round consistent waves and it represents the first choice among surfers traveling to Portugal. 

It has surfing spots suitable for all levels

Ericeira is renowned for its wave diversity and is the perfect place to learn to surf. There are several mellow beach breaks to choose from (Foz do Lizandro, São Julião, Praia do Sul, etc.) which are ideal for first-timers or beginners.

Intermediate and advanced surfers as well have plenty of options from beach breaks to reefs and points, spitting tubes and mellow peaks, fast and slow, rights and lefts. Some of the most popular spots for seasoned surfer are São Lourenço, Ribeira D’Ilhas, Coxos, Pedra Branca, Crazy Left among others. The latter three are very heavy spots and should not be surfed without a local.

365 Days of Perfect Surf Weather

Ericeira has warm, sunny, and mostly clear weather all summer long, but it doesn’t get as hot as in other places in Portugal. The average daytime temperature in summer falls between 20°C, with a maximum of 28°C. Winters are colder and partly cloudy in the morning, but still offer many sunny days, and the temperature almost never goes below (10-11 °C).

A Lively Surf Town with a Rustic Charm

Ericeira is a safe and friendly town with all the conveniences and amenities for a comfortable stay. Here you’ll find excellent fresh food and a selection of quality restaurants, cafés, and pubs for a buzzing summer nightlife.

Thanks to its proximity to Lisbon, Sintra, Nazaré, Sintra, and Mafra during your stay you’ll have the chance to comfortably spend a day (or two) in one the many cultural and historical sites in Portugal located nearby.

About our Surf School in Portugal – Rapture Surfcamps

Rapture Surfcamps Ericeira is perfectly situated with easy access to 9 of Europe’s best surf spots. Housed in a traditional Portuguese villa, just a few meters from Foz do Lizandro, a mellow beach break that is ideal for surf lessons, it is also a 25-minute walk from Ericeira’s old town centre. For more advanced surfers, Ribeira d’Ilhas, perennial site of one leg of the ASP World Tour Surf Championship, is just 6 km (4 miles) up the coast.

At our camp we offer a choice of comfortable accommodation, ranging from private or shared rooms in our surf villa to private apartments on the camp grounds.

Rapturecamps outdoor lounge

Surf Lessons and Surf Coaching in Portugal

Our surf school provides both surf lessons and surf guiding for surfers of all levels from around the world. We hold surfing lessons 6 days per week, with Sundays reserved for free surfing, relaxing, and exploring the area. We also offer surfboard and wetsuit rental for those not taking part in lessons. Other extras include yoga lessons, surf-gear insurance (highly recommended), and transfers to and from Lisbon Airport.

For the more experienced surfers we also offer surf coaching in a small group. Our head coach João is a local from the area and knows every single spot around. He takes you to the best beaches each day according to the conditions. João either goes into the water with you or films you from the beach for a later video analysis.

All our instructors are fully qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and hold high-standard European licenses. Our staff will make sure that you are always in the right place at the right time.

Man catching his first wave

What Should you Expect when you Sign-up for Lessons?

Let’s take look at some basic stages of what you’ll learn when taking surf lessons in our surf school in Portugal:

Discover what kind of stance suits you best 

We’ll find the proper stance for you, whether your stance is natural (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward). You can practice your stance on the beach or at home.

Learning to Adjust your Position on the Board

Lie on your stomach on top of your board or on a towel with your body positioned in the middle of the board. Your feet should be near the tail or slightly hanging over it. The nose of the board should be levelled – not pointing up or down into the water. You can adjust this balance or position by moving your body forward or back a bit on the board.

Learn How to Paddle Properly

Paddling when surfing is like swimming a forward crawl, but your arms extend sideways rather than over your shoulders. Cup your hands so that they hold and force the water behind you. While one arm extends and pushes through the water down the length of the board, the other is lengthening behind on the opposite side.

Picking and Catching a Wave

Position yourself so that you’re facing the beach and paddle forward along with the force of the wave to time yourself so you can catch it. Put your hands palm-down on the board in front of your chest to push yourself into a standing position. Those who have some difficulty getting to their feet can use their back leg or knee to help lift themselves up. 

Familiarize yourself with Standing on the board 

Once standing up, keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your back foot straight across the width of the board and your front foot at a 45-degree angle (measured from your instep). Keep your arms out for balance and steering and your knees slightly bent.

Three surfer girls heading to sea with waves

What else will you learn in the Surf Lessons?

Here are some of the fundamentals you will learn at our beginner and intermediate sessions:

Beginner Surf Lesson

• Safety intro and beach awareness
• Surf equipment
• Paddling
• Catching a wave
• Standing up on your board
• Surfboard control
• How to ride a wave towards the shore
• Improving your stance
• Surf awareness
• Improving technique

Intermediate Surf Lesson

• Paddling out techniques
• Going “out the back”
• Choosing as well as timing your waves
• Riding unbroken waves
• Sitting on your board
• Angled take offs
• Positioning yourself in the line-up
• Using rip currents
• Refining your timing and wave choice

Rapture Surf School Portugal - Surf Lessons Ericeira Photo
Surf Lessons
Surf Lessons Ericeira

Choosing a Surfboard

The choice of surfboard size depends primarily on the surfer ability and the time spent in the water, but in general:

If you would like to know more about which type of surfboard would be more recommended for you, contact our staff and ask for their advice.

Wetsuits & Accessories

Ericeira’s coast is exposed to the North Atlantic swells, that’s why the water temperature is not as warm as in the south of the country. The water temperature here in Ericeira ranges from 16˚C – 19˚C from June to September. Not all that cold but definitely not all that warm either. Especially when combined with a chilly northwest wind blowing straight off the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a real possibility that you’ll be cutting your sessions short no matter how good the waves are if you’re not prepared.

In summer during the hottest months there might be days when it is possible to surf wearing a short-sleeve wetsuit, but in general if you’re planning to spend some hours in the water a 3/2mm wetsuit is recommended. In spring and autumn you may need to consider switching between 3/2mm and 4/3mm depending on the weather conditions. A 5/3mm is advisable at the end of winter when air and water feel about the same temperature (10ºC – 50ºF).

If you don’t own a wetsuit, no worries. At our surf school in Ericeira we stock a great selection of suits in a range of different sizes for you to use. Just let our staff know and we’ll get you sorted with a quality wetsuit.

Observation and Surf Etiquette

Anyone who learns to surf will need to learn how to behave in the water with other surfers. Surf Etiquette it’s nothing more than a list of dos and don’ts that apply to all line-ups of the world. While in the water you should keep in mind this set of guidelines designed to ensure everyone in the water is kept safe and treated fairly. One of them, for instance, is that the surfer on the inside, or the one closest to the breaking section of a wave, has right of way.

Learning to surf can be an exciting, fun, and rewarding experience. As you progress you will gain a sense of achievement and pride. But no rush — enjoy yourself and the glory of catching your first wave. It’s a thrill that only surfers know!

When choosing a surf school, it’s important to know you will feel safe and be in experienced hands.

Learn how to surf in the best waves in Portugal ERICEIRA

Join our Camp in Ericeria and learn the Art of Surfing

Here at our local beach Foz do Lizandro you’ll have access to long, gentle, medium-sized waves ideal for learning how to surf. Other nearby spots, such as São Julião and Praia do Sul, are also suitable for beginners


Hear What Rapture Surfcamps’ Guests Have To Say:

FAQs About Surfing in Portugal

Why is Portugal considered a great destination for surfing?

Portugal is celebrated for its consistent Atlantic swells, offering surfers a variety of waves suitable for all levels. The country’s extensive coastline, from the Algarve in the south to Peniche in the north, provides diverse surf spots with conditions ranging from mellow beach breaks to challenging reef breaks.

What makes Portugal’s waves attractive to surfers?

Portugal’s waves are known for their power and quality, attracting surfers seeking both challenging and fun conditions. The Atlantic Ocean consistently delivers swells, creating a dynamic surfing environment. Additionally, the relatively mild climate allows for year-round surfing.

Is Portugal suitable for beginners to learn how to surf?

Absolutely. Portugal offers numerous surf schools along its coastline, making it an ideal destination for beginners. The Algarve, in particular, provides gentle waves and sandy beach breaks, creating a conducive environment for learning and improving surfing skills.

How is the surf culture in Portugal?

Portugal has a thriving and inclusive surf culture. Local surf communities are welcoming to both beginners and experienced surfers. The country hosts various surf events and competitions, contributing to a vibrant surf scene. Surfing in Portugal is not just a sport but a way of life for many locals and visitors alike.

When is the best time to surf in Portugal?

The surf season in Portugal varies slightly depending on the region. Generally, the best time for surfing is from September to April when the Atlantic Ocean produces consistent swells. The autumn months are particularly popular, offering good waves and fewer crowds compared to the summer peak tourist season.

Are there specific regions in Portugal known for exceptional surf breaks?

Yes, Portugal has several renowned surf destinations. The Algarve is famous for its beginner-friendly waves, while Peniche, Ericeira, and Nazaré attract experienced surfers with their challenging reef and point breaks. Each region offers a unique surfing experience, contributing to Portugal’s diverse appeal.

Apart from surfing, what else can one enjoy in Portugal?

Portugal is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. Besides surfing, visitors can explore historic cities like Lisbon and Porto, indulge in delicious Portuguese cuisine, visit picturesque vineyards in the Douro Valley, and relax on the stunning beaches. The country’s diverse attractions make it a well-rounded destination for both surfers and non-surfers alike.