Portugal is located in the extreme west of Europe and its geographical location makes it ideal for all types of water sports. The coast, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, is characterized by a wide and extensive beach, but this is not the only surfing attraction in Portugal.
Tourists and locals who like to practice this sport will find all the conditions for a perfect competition. Portugal has several surfing beaches that are known for their excellent conditions.
Portugal is known for having the most picturesque coastline in Europe, and the Portuguese are known for being big beach lovers. Before Europeans discovered surfing, surfing was practiced by people who lived near the Pacific and Indian oceans. The Portuguese were the only ones who brought this sport to Europeans. The best time to surf in Portugal is during the months of May, June, and September.
Surfing started to appear in the late 1990s. Surfing was initially known as a sport for the rich, however, this sport has become more accessible in recent years. Surfboard manufacturers and shapers have come together to make surfboards more accessible to everyone who wants to practice this amazing sport.
With around 2,000 kilometers of coastline, Portugal is a great destination for surfing. What sets this destination apart is its spectacular beaches. With sand dunes, quaint fishing villages, and incredible views, Portugal is a top surfing destination.
To answer the question of which is the best surfing beach in Portugal, it will depend on the goal and level of each person. Below, we will show you a list of the best seven beaches for surfing in Portugal to help you with your decision.
Arrifana Beach is one of the main attractions of the Costa Vicentina, this beach is part of the coastal strip of the Algarve region of Portugal.
The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, famous for its spectacular cliffs, long beaches, and turquoise waters. But in addition to relaxing and going on tours in the Algarve, you cannot miss the opportunity to surf on one of the best surfing beaches in this region, such as Arrifana beach, characterized by the rocky pinnacle of Pedra da Agulha.
To the south the sun is guaranteed, and the waves too. Between Odeceixe, to the north, and Ponta de Sagres, there are more than thirty beaches with good conditions for surfing, among endless sandbanks, cliffs, and small coves. Odeceixe beach is often at the top of the list of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal: it is surrounded by cliffs and is a charming and lonely place, although it is increasingly popular. An unavoidable stop for surfers is undoubtedly Amado beach, with its beach bars, surf schools, and an atmosphere that makes us travel to California.
To the north are the beaches of Amoreira and Monte Clérigo, two perfect little explored beaches with good waves, pleasant villages, and wide sandy beaches sheltered between cliffs, and to the south you reach Beliche and Tonel, near Sagres, a mythical cape, linked to the great Portuguese explorations of the 15th century, where the coast faces east. The lighthouse is surrounded by magnificent scenery worthy of one (or several) photographs.
Galé Beach presents us with a wide sandy bay. On this beach, the rock formations characteristic of the Western Algarve emerges again from the sand, providing small coves, and nooks that serve as shelter for bathers, especially in the eastern part, with the most exposed area to the west.
This beach, located in Galé, in Albufeira, is undoubtedly one of the best beaches for surfing as it has perfect conditions for those who want to learn to surf or improve their techniques due to the wind conditions that provide not very big waves. It is a beach that has conditions for surfing at all stages of the tide.
Lisbon has numerous beaches nearby –some less than half an hour away– but for surfers there is a very special one, Guincho, an extensive beach washed by waves and overlooking green hills, cliffs, forests and dunes; It almost seems unbelievable that the Portuguese capital is so close.
North of Guincho is Ericeira, a sunny and picturesque whitewashed village that sprawls over sandstone cliffs, offering stunning views of the Atlantic and a series of golden beaches that are a powerful magnet for surfers. Ericeira is one of the four world surf reserves in the world, along with Malibu and Santa Cruz in California and Manly Beach in Australia. It has constant waves, with the strongest waves at Praia da Ribeira d’Ilhas, flanked by cliffs.
This beach hosts a stage of the WSL circuit for professional surfers and frequently hosts the Portuguese surfing national championships. The other pump is Praia dos Coxos, whose break on the right forms incredible tubes. But most fans will find the waves at nearby São Sebastião Beach quite challenging.
In recent years, Nazaré has been in the news for the huge waves that break north of the city at Norte Beach and for the daring ones who surfed them and broke records. These are gigantic waves, with steep peaks and strong currents, which can exceed 30 m in height, which compares to an eight-story building.
Storms and winds from the Atlantic can generate big waves, but the coast of Nazaré has a peculiarity that multiplies this potential: a 5 km deep underwater canyon that points directly to Norte Beach. Smaller and less intimidating are the waves on the town’s main beach, which is more sheltered.
A totally different view of Nazaré is offered by the Promontório do Sítio, with fabulous views at 110 m high, the city on one side and the fury of the waves on the other.
If you ask a Portuguese to quickly list the best surf spots in Portugal, he will undoubtedly mention Peniche. This village, which occupies a small peninsula surrounded by the sea on almost all sides, is very popular for its extensive and fabulous urban beach and its nearby surf spots, to which the charm of a beautiful historic center must be added.
Despite already being very popular, Peniche gained fame when its Supertubos beach was chosen as a stop for the WSL World Championship. Conditions are great all year round and kitesurfing is also possible.