Surfing Portugal is possible almost all year round and in numerous spots along the circa 1,800 km (1,120 mile) coastline of this beautiful southwestern European country. Although Portugal’s coast gets year-round swell, it is consistent all winter and best in late winter to early spring. During this time waves can reach 2-4.5 meters (6-15 feet) depending on your location. Summer waves, by comparison, normally measure 1-1.5 meters (3-5 feet).
There are seven regions which are considered best for surfing Portugal (from north to south): Porto, Beira, Peniche, Ericeira, Lisbon, Alentejo and Algarve. Each region has numerous surf spots to choose from. Ericeira is by far the smallest of these regions, but contains six major surf spots and is home to Europe’s only dedicated World Surfing Reserve. It is also just a short journey to the many spots in the Peniche and Lisbon regions.
Besides hitting major surf locations, surfing Portugal means discovering the countless open beach breaks, hidden bays and coves dotted along the coastline. Though some areas are well developed, Portugal is home to some of the most pristine nature in all of Europe. With a little work and a bit of luck you can find incredible spots and have them all to yourself!
Quick surfing Portugal facts:
Climate: Mild and Mediterranean, cooler in the north; drier and hotter in the south, reminiscent of California
Terrain: Mountainous north of Lisbon and the Tagus River, rolling plains in the south
Language: Portuguese, English widely spoken, French and Spanish spoken or understood by many
Population: c. 10.5 million (2011 census)
Getting around: Public transport (trains and buses) is good in Portugal, but in order to get the best experience surfing Portugal, we highly recommend having a car. Car rental is generally inexpensive and great deals can be had outside the summer tourist season.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for the ultimate surfing Portugal experience!