With 1,800 kilometres of coast (not including the islands) there is a wealth of spots to choose from when surfing Portugal. The most famous surfing areas are Ericeira, the Lisbon coast and Peniche, though the Algarve should also get a mention, as should some of the beaches around Porto. Surfing Portugal is most appropriate during all the non-summer months, but that doesn’t mean summer doesn’t provide its fair share of great — albeit smaller — waves too. From late winter to early spring is the best time for surfing Portugal, with waves typically measuring 2-4.5m or 6-15ft, while those gentler summer waves are around 1-1.5m or 3-5ft.
Surfing Portugal from the south to the north: Algarve, Alentejo, Lisbon Ericeira, Peniche, Beira and Porto. These are just the regions, as each area has loads of great breaks. Although Ericeira is the smallest geographically, it is the capital of surfing Portugal, with six major surf spots. Ericeira is the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe. With all that coastline, Portugal is also home to many “secret” spots where crowds are thinner. You can even find your very own private break! Finding them in the incredible nature of this country is reason enough to visit and an adventure in and of itself.
Facts about surfing Portugal
Population: circa 10.5 million inhabitants
Capital city: Lisbon
Geography: Portugal is the most southwest country in all of continental Europe. It is mountainous in the north and central regions, and flat in the south.
Climate: Mediterranean and mild. The north of the country is cooler. As you head south it gets hotter and drier.
Communicate: Portuguese is of course the official language, while English is understood and spoken by many young and educated people, as well as those working in the tourist industry. Many understand or speak Spanish, Italian and French.
Getting around: Greater Lisbon has a good system of trains, buses and metro lines, while rail and bus services connect the rest of the country. Some surfers simply depend on coaches, but a car would be useful to explore more secret spots while surfing Portugal. Since the surfing season is best outside of the summer months, good deals can be had on car rentals.
Come on down! Your surfing Portugal dream holiday awaits you!
Surfspots close to our Surfcamp
This place is a summer break that generates all summer swells. Best to be surfed on north/northwest swells. Very hollow and has to be surfed at high tide. Uncrowded.
The heaviest spot in Europe – this place is insane! Only the best in the world can surf this spot, as it breaks more or less right onto rocks. If you wipe out you’re on the rocks. The Cave was only discovered within the last few years by local pros and looks perfect from afar. It is uncrowded and can only be surfed at high tide and above 2 meters.
Can only be surfed at high tide and is a perfect spot for hollow left hand barrels. It’s a short ride, but fun and uncrowded. Rock bottom.
Foz do Lizandro
A river mouth beach break, only a few steps away from the camp. When the sand bars are settled this place can be the best beach break in Portugal. It is best surfed on a south/west swell at low tide break. Foz is for all types of surfers and great for beginners. Can get crowded but has great left and right hand peaky waves all over the beach. You can get barrels on mid tide.
Another spot for solid swell. Can be an awesome spot to surf if the banks are right. Uncrowded.
Also known as White Rock. It is an extremely hollow left and holds large swell. Best surfed at 3-4 ft. Can only be surfed at high tide as it has a rock bottom. Usually crowded with bodyboarders on weekends.
Located at the furthest tip of Ribeira and can be perfect with the right winds and swell, but usually closes out on a westerly wind. Normally uncrowded.
Praia do Norte
This place works well with all swell and is another high tide spot. It is not recommended to be surfed at low tide. Can be a good long right hander for all types of surfers. Uncrowded.
Praia do Peixe
Only breaks in big swell into a fishing port. It is not a very good spot to surf.
A long right hand point which breaks over rock. Can be one of the longest waves in the area. Can have up to a 12 ft swell. Ribeira gets all of the swell in the summer season. It is surfed best when winds are from the west/northwest. Usually crowded.
Very hollow and very shallow. Cannot be surfed under 6 feet. This spot is for pros only. Some of the best barrels can be had here. Crowded with bodyboarders on the weekends.
Usually has the best surf and banks for summer. It is a long beach break and if you’re up for a 10-minute walk down the beach you can have a peak to yourself. It is a beautiful spot.