In the summer the sun is bright, the beaches are packed, the parties are on and the water is warm. Well… it’s warm-er at least. Let’s face it – Portugal is not the Caribbean. But for big swells, winter surfing Portugal is definitely where it’s at.
Less crowds, bigger swells and cheaper prices. What’s not to love? Put on your wetsuit and get ready for some serious waves. It’s no mystery that local big wave enthusiasts and international big wave superstars like Garrett McNamara love winter surfing Portugal’s beaches.
From surfing-waves.com’s surfing atlas:
Situated west of Spain, Portugal picks up north, west and south swells, making surf conditions very consistent. During winter the swell size is around the 6ft mark but can get to 15ft or more, making it a spot for those looking for challenging surf. There is surf throughout the summer months and you can expect waves of 3-5ft.
See? Bigger! This is why Portugal and other European surf spots are attracting surfers from all over the world during winter. But don’t just take my word for it – or anyone else’s for that matter. Seeing is believing. Check out this incredible photo essay from surfline.com called Across the Pond, featuring shots of big waves in Portugal, the Canaries, Ireland and more, plus several maps of Europe’s winter swell:
“Coxos is our town jewel,” explained German/Portuguese surfer Nic Von Rupp (who, it should be noted, scored more insane waves this winter than anyone not in Hawaii). “It’s been an epic winter for Ericeira. Plenty of offshores and swell, which have kept us busy for endless days of surfing.”
And if you’re from parts of Europe or North America that get seriously cold in the winter months, you’ll find Portugal comparatively warm and sunny. Need a winter getaway? Try winter surfing Portugal!