Portugal’s Atlantic Ocean coastline has something to satisfy every surfer’s appetite. From the mellow rollers perfect for beginners to the kind of monster waves that’ll make even the pros weak at the knees, this Portuguese coast offers a diverse range of surfing spots. 

And the best part? You can surf here year-round. So grab your board and let’s take a tour of Portugal’s surf scene, from north to south.

Ericeira: Europe’s Only World Surfing Reserve

An image of large waves in Ericeira, Portugal

Ericeira isn’t just another pretty coastal town. This place is the real deal, holding the prestigious title of Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve. That’s right, it’s in the same league as spots like Malibu and Australia’s Gold Coast. Keeping good company indeed.

Ericeira is home to numerous surf spots and surf schools, making it an ideal destination for surfers of all levels. Ericeira’s got a whopping eight kilometers of coast packed with world-class waves. From the mellow beach breaks perfect for beginners to the kind of hollow tubes that’ll make advanced surfers test their skills, Portugal’s coastline caters to all levels of surfing expertise.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Foz do Lizandro: Perfect for beginners and longboarders. The waves here are gentle and forgiving, ideal for finding your feet.
  2. Ribeira d’Ilhas: This is where the pros come to play. It’s hosted numerous World Surf League events, so you know it’s legit.
  3. Coxos: For the advanced surfers only. This powerful right-hander is not for the faint-hearted.

Rapture Surfcamps has set up shop right in the heart of this surfing mecca. Our Ericeira Lizandro camp is the perfect base for exploring all these epic spots. With expert instructors and a range of packages for all levels, you’ll be hanging ten in no time.

Pro tip: Hit up Ribeira d’Ilhas at sunset. Even if you’re not surfing, the views are Instagram gold.

Coxos Surf Villa: Your Home Away From Home

If you’re looking for a more luxe surf house experience, we’ve got you covered with our Coxos Surf Villa. This isn’t your average surf camp—we’re talking serious comfort here, from modern rooms to top-notch amenities (more on that shortly).

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic, this villa offers stunning views and easy access to some of Ericeira’s best breaks. After a long day of shredding, kick back in the lush gardens, take a dip in the infinity pool, or join a yoga session to stretch out those surfing muscles.

The best part? You’re just a stone’s throw from the legendary Coxos break. Advanced surfers, this is your chance to tackle one of Europe’s best waves right on your doorstep.

Milfontes: The Hidden Gem of the Alentejo Coast

An image of a quiet beach in Milfontes, Portugal

It’s time to let you in on a little secret—Milfontes. This under-the-radar spot in the Alentejo region is where those in the know head for pristine beaches without the crowds.

Milfontes offers consistent surf year-round, making it a reliable choice for surfers. The waves here are perfect for all levels. Beginners will love the mellow beach breaks, while more advanced surfers can venture out to the point breaks for some serious action.

Rapture’s Milfontes camp is the perfect base for exploring this hidden gem. With daily surf lessons, yoga sessions, and a social vibe that’ll have you making friends faster than you can say “cowabunga”, it’s the ideal spot for a laid-back surf getaway.

Don’t miss: A sunset session at Malhão Beach. The golden hour light makes for some epic surf shots.

Peniche: Europe’s Wave Factory

Surfers, meet Peniche, one of the top surf destinations in Europe. This peninsula juts out into the Atlantic, creating a wave-catching machine that works in almost any condition. It’s like Mother Nature designed it specifically for surfers.

The star of the show here is Supertubos, a powerful beach break that produces some of the best barrels in Europe. It’s not called “the European Pipeline” for nothing.

But Peniche isn’t just for the pros. There are plenty of spots for beginners and intermediates too:

  1. Baleal: A long stretch of beach with waves suitable for all levels.
  2. Consolação: A more sheltered spot, perfect for beginners when the waves are small.
  3. Lagide: A fun reef break for intermediate surfers.

Pro tip: Time your visit for October to catch the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, part of the World Surf League Championship Tour. Watching the world’s best surfers tackle Supertubos is a sight to behold.

Nazaré: Home of the Monster Waves for Big Wave Surfers

Nazaré is for the thrill-seekers and home to some of the biggest waves on the planet, attracting big wave surfers from around the world. We’re talking the kind of giant waves that make you question the laws of physics.

The secret to Nazaré’s monster waves lies in an underwater canyon that amplifies the swell. The result? Waves that can reach up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. You read that right!

Now, unless you’re a pro big wave surfer, you probably won’t be tackling these giants. But watching from the safety of the lighthouse is an experience in itself. The power of nature on display here is truly awe-inspiring.

For mere mortals, there are more manageable waves at the main beach when conditions are calmer. But let’s be real; you’re here for the spectacle.

Must-see: Visit between October and March for the best chance of seeing the big waves. And don’t forget your camera – these waves need to be seen to be believed.

The Algarve: Sun, Surf, and Sand

The Algarve isn’t just about golden beaches and golf courses, oh no. It’s got some serious surf potential on both the south coast and west coast.

The western Algarve is where it’s at for waves. Spots like Sagres, Arrifana, and Amado offer a variety of breaks suitable for all levels. Even better, you can surf here pretty much year-round.

Here’s the lowdown on some top spots:

  1. Arrifana: A beautiful beach break that works best on a south-westerly swell. Perfect for intermediate surfers.
  2. Amado: A wide beach with plenty of peaks. Great for beginners and intermediate surfers.
  3. Beliche: A powerful beach break near Sagres. Best suited for more experienced surfers.

The Algarve’s also has some of the warmest water temperatures in Portugal, making it ideal for those who aren’t fans of the cold.

Local’s tip: After your surf, head to one of the local seafood restaurants. The fresh fish here is out of this world.

Surfing in Portugal: When to Go and Best Surf Spots

An image of surfers in Portugal by a cliff side

The beauty of surfing in Portugal is that you can do it all year round. But different seasons bring different conditions, so here’s what you need to know:

The central coast of Portugal also offers great surfing conditions, particularly during the fall and winter months.

Remember that these are general guidelines. Portugal’s diverse coastline means you can often find good waves somewhere, regardless of the season.

Surf Etiquette: Don’t Be a Kook

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, following these rules will keep you safe and ensure everyone has a good time:

  1. Don’t drop in: If someone’s already on a wave or has been waiting longer, it’s their wave. Wait your turn.
  2. Paddle wide: When paddling out, go around the break, not through it.
  3. Know your limits: Be honest about your abilities. Don’t paddle out to a break that’s beyond your skill level.
  4. Respect the locals: You’re a guest in their spot. Be polite and follow their lead.
  5. Look after the environment: Pack out what you pack in. Keep the beaches clean.

Portugal Travel Tips for Surfers: Where to Get Surf Lessons

Ready to book that ticket? Here are some handy tips to make your Portugal surf trip a success:

Portugal offers a variety of surf camps that provide accommodation, lessons, and a vibrant surf culture.

  1. Learn some Portuguese: A few basic phrases will go a long way. “Onde estão as ondas?” (Where are the waves?) is a good start.
  2. Rent a car: Public transport is okay, but having your own wheels will give you the freedom to explore different spots.
  3. Bring a wetsuit: Water temperatures can be chilly, especially outside of summer. A 3/2mm wetsuit should cover you for most of the year.
  4. Try the local cuisine: Fuel up for your surf sessions with some delicious Portuguese food. Pastel de nata for breakfast, anyone?
  5. Explore beyond the beach: Portugal’s got a rich culture and history. Take some time to check out the local sights when you’re not in the water.

Rapture Surfcamps: Your Gateway to Portuguese Surf Camps

If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Rapture Surfcamps has got you covered. With locations in Ericeira, Coxos, and Milfontes, we’ve got the Portuguese surf scene dialed. Our camps also offer trips to popular surf spots like Praia da Costa Nova, known for its gentle waves perfect for beginners.

Whether you’re a complete beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer wanting to take your skills to the next level, Rapture’s got a package for you. Our experienced instructors know these waves like the back of their hands and will have you surfing like a local in no time.

Plus, with comfy accommodation, delicious food, and a social atmosphere, you’ll have everything you need for the perfect surf trip. It’s like a summer camp for adults, but with better waves and no curfew.

Summing up: Surfing in Portugal

From the monster waves of Nazaré to the mellow rollers of the Algarve, this country’s got a wave for every surfer. Whether you’re planning a dedicated surf trip or just want to catch a few waves on your Portugal travel adventure, you’re in for a treat.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your board, book that ticket, and get ready for the surf adventure of a lifetime. Portugal’s waves are calling, and it’s time to answer. Surf’s up!