Ancient castles, cobblestone villages, thriving cities and golden beaches: Portugal has it all! This country truly is Europe’s surfing capital, hence it’s plethora of world class surf camps, and it is deemed to be so by multiple online debates. In this guide we explore some of the best Portugal Surf Camps and spots.
Portugal’s mild climate makes it suitable for surfing all year round. Offshore morning breezes are common, and prove to be a popular time for surfing since they create a uniquely solid surf. That being said, summer remains the best time to surf here, as the water is less bitingly cold!
Portugal Surf Camps are scattered along the country’s mid-West and Southern Coast. All along the coast are hidden gems and fantastic waves to be caught, but this Portugal Surf Camp Guide will focus on the four biggest surfing destinations. Here the surf spots are varied and clustered together to avoid unnecessary travel. These destinations are Lisbon, Peniche, Ericeira and the Algarve.
The Best Places To Surf
Portugal’s coastline is teeming with unknown surf spots, some just 5 minutes from their popular counterparts, and offering better waves! Portugal has so many waves to offer, that if you stay in one of our recommended Portugal Surf Camps you’ll never be more than 10 minutes from a brilliant spot.
In this guide we cover the best Portugal Surf Camps in the four main surfing areas of the country. Each of these areas offers brilliant surf spots for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers alike.
Cantino Da Baia, Foz Do Lizandro and Guincho are renowned beaches that are perfect to learn and practice on! Follow the links below to explore each area in depth. We provide you with all the key info, fun facts and best spots! Additionally, we will let you in on the best surf camps in the area.
Portugal is so popular as a beginner destination because of it’s range of surf camps and spots that cater for newbies. Unfortunately, this can mean beginner spots get crowded in summer – although this is unusual since Portugal has so many of these spots to offer!
Some of the more advanced spots and reef breaks are harder to access, so almost never get crowds! Whatever be your level of ability, be sure to check out our Portugal Surf Camps or below for a surf spot to suit you.
This wave will eat your board for breakfast! Pro surfers flock to this spot to experience the sheer power and quality of this wave. It is both left and right handed, breaks over sand, and is best surfed between mid and high tide . Not only is it easily accessible, but it is also a pretty regular wave. This spot can get crowded on the weekends with locals.
Cantino Da Baia (Peniche)
This wave is best suited to beginner and intermediate surfers. Not only is it consistent (particularly in summertime), but it has both left and right hand peaks. This wave start slow on the outside, then picks up speed as it gets to the inside. Although this waves breaks over sand, it is still best to surf it at high tide. It is fun and easy to find, therefore gets crowded throughout the week.
Arguably the best beach in the area, and is classified as a world class wave! The waves here form a left wedge which can carry waves up to two times overhead height. It is best surfed between mid and high tide, and carries both left and right breaks over flat rocks and sand. This wave is a favourite of the locals, as it’s both hollow and fast. For this reason it is not recommended for newbies!
Although this spot lies in the quiet end of the Algarve, you can still expect to find facilities you’d find on a Blue Flag beach. These include car parking, cafes, toilets and even a lifeguard in summer. This beach picks up maximum swell since it’s so exposed to the wind, but it’s sandbars often get destroyed by winter rainstorms – meaning this is one of few surf spots that’s better in Autumn than Summer!
Another world class wave along the Algarve, one of the few suited to any level of surfer. These waves are frequent, break both left and right, and are best surfed during low tide. It is a hollow, powerful wave that breaks over sand and ranges between 50 to 100m in length. This spot is overlooked by a medieval fort atop the cliff, which adds to the atmosphere and aura of the spot. It rarely gets crowded here.
Although this was ‘The Original Surf Spot’, to this day it remains one of the best surf spots in Portugal. Carcavelos is another incredible beach break, where tubing lefts roll over shifting sandbars. The history and fame of this beach consistently brings the crowds. This means it’s not the best beach for learning, but make sure you don’t skip it!
This waves proves to be a powerful and long ride along Portugal’s West Coast. It is suitable for riding at all tides, and breaks both left and right over sand. Surfers of any ability will be able to ride this wave, which is consistent and strong. Although this wave is crowded on weekends, the crowds are far more dispersed on weekends.
This is a totally epic wave suited to experienced surfers. This wave is hollow, fast, powerful and breaks over a rocky reef. It is best surfed between low and mid tide Because of the proximity from the capital, this spot never gets too crowded during the week, but locals flock here on the weekends!
Foz Do Lizandra (Ericeira)
Since the waves here are calmer, and therefore smaller, you will often find this river-mouth spot clear of surfers. Yet, if the sand bars line up correctly, the waves here transform to produce a long, hollow left. This wave is best surfed between mid and high tide, and requires just a small South-Westerly swell. It is perfect for beginners.
Ribeira d’Ilhas beach (Ericeira)
This wave is unique, in that it can be surfed by newbies, but still enjoyed by professionals. This is because the wave not only offers barrels, but big shoulders to practice turns. It is a long right-hand point wave that breaks over rocks and a flat bottom reef – which is easily accessible. Waves here have attracted settlements of Portugal Surf Camps, locals and professionals. This wave has true quality, and is very consistent since it picks up most swells and can be surfed at all tides.
Portugal is characterised by it’s warm, mediterranean climate for much of the year. There is not much of an Autumn or Spring season here, since Portugal’s Summer and Winter are so distinct. 16 degrees celsius is the average Portuguese Winter temperature, and this season is classified by it’s notable wet season.
Officially, summer in Portugal is between June and mid-September. Winter is between December and February. The country is classified at Temperate, although there is a small microclimate in the South. The Algarve lies here, and has a distinctly dry and sunny climate.
July and August are some of the warmest months in terms of sea temperatures, but on land this can reach uncomfortably high temperatures. This is during brief periods of hot winds from Africa.
Portugal experiences many hours of sunlight, even in Winter. This makes it the ideal destination for long days on the surf! Between June and July the run rises early, around 06:15. Daylight lasts for around 14/15 hours before the sun sets around 21:00. January sees only 9 hours of sunlight a day, whereby sun rise is approximately 07:50 and sun set 17:26.
Because of Portugal’s warm, mediterranean climate it’s air temperatures remain consistently warm throughout the year, and drop by just a few degrees at night. This makes nightlife at Portugal Surf Camps and the towns much more enjoyable.
Average annual temperatures in Portugal rarely exceed the range of 17 – 22 degrees celsius (63 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit). This makes it just the sixth warmest country in Europe in terms of water temperature. Nevertheless, it could not be easier for guests to hire wetsuits and other surf equipment.