In terms of beaches and surfing, where would you rank the Portuguese coast? Personally, I’d put it very high, with Ericeira at the top for surfing. But perhaps I’m biased.
CNN has been compiling a lot of lists lately: The world’s 100 best beaches, best places to live (in the US), 50 best beach bars, you name it. The lists have some good points, but the ranking and criteria can be pretty arbitrary.
For example, in attempting to list the 10 best places in Europe for surfing and paddle boarding, CCN includes Peniche (good choice) but skips Ericeira in preference for three spots apiece for Italy and Germany. OK, they include other types of surfing like windsurfing and kiteboarding, but come on.
Peniche Peninsula, Portugal
One of the most powerful swells in Portugal is located on the coastline just south of Peniche Peninsula. Local wave riders have nicknamed the perfect wave here “Supertubos” (“Supertubes”), a fast, barreling tubular wave. Those supertubos are for advanced surfers with barrel experience. Due to the quality of the waves, this spot gets busy in the summer.
At least CNN chose to include our favorite spot on the Portuguese coast in their “4 super swell surf towns (even if you don’t surf)” piece. They even note Ericeira’s “best known break” (Ribeira d’Ilhas) as having “perfect barrels”. The article also contains a shout out to Rapture camps:
Novices can head about a mile south of town to Foz de Lizandro Beach for a milder break, where local outfitters like Rapture Surf Camp offer lessons.
Even publications from Down Under are writing about the Portuguese coast.
From an article entitled “50 drives to take before you die” in Australia’s Herald Sun:
39. Surfing the Atlantic Coast – Portugal
Portugal’s long coastline is a magnet for surfers, and beach bums enjoy consistent swells and great breaks year round. The winding road connecting Portugal’s isolated beaches runs from historic Lisbon down to the warm and windy shores of the Algarve Coast, with plenty of stops in between to enjoy a fine, inexpensive glass of port.
Don’t make too many stops along the Portuguese coast for inexpensive port. You wouldn’t want to veer off the road in a drunken stupor now, would you?