Surfing is a 365-day a year activity in Portugal. Or 366 if it is a leap year. The Portuguese 600 mile long Atlantic coast offers great waves every day, and there are many ways to tackle them, depending on your skill and enthusiasm.
The diversity of natural conditions and an exceptional climate provide access and fun within everyone’s reach, from beginners to pros. Portugal has waves for every taste and discipline: from tubes for surfing and bodyboarding, which are the setting for major international events, to giant waves, posing a challenge for the boldest surfers, and long waves that are among Europe’s longest.
Since the 2000s, Portugal has become one of the world’s great new surf destinations. If you go to northern Portugal, in the Cortegaça and Espinho regions, there is quality surfing, great atmosphere and a lack of crowds.
Since the 2000s, Portugal has become one of the world’s great new surf destinations. If you go to northern Portugal, in the Cortegaça and Espinho regions, there is quality surfing, great atmosphere and a lack of crowds
Peniche and Nazaré are two hot spots for surfers that the world has its eyes on. Peniche is since 2010 a stop on the ASP (now the World Surf League) professional surfing tour.
Nazaré, on the other hand, made huge headlines around the world in November of 2011, when Garrett McNamara set the world record for the largest wave ever surfed by riding a 78-foot-tall giant. The world stood in awe again, two years later, when Brazilian Carlos Burle rode a wave that was expected to be 100-feet-tall in the same spot.
Surfers of all kinds now flock to waves like the picture-perfect tubes at Coxos north of Ericeira – once considered the #1 surfing beach in Europe and the #2 in the World – and the birthplace of Portuguese surfing, Carcavelos, is just 20 minutes from Lisbon’s center. Some major tournaments take place in the Lisbon Coastline, like the Cascais Women’s Pro tournament in September.
The country’s visually stunning Algarve region, known for its beaches and warm climate, produces ideal waves for surfers ranging from beginner to advanced. Some of Portugal’s best surfing spots due to strong currents and steep waves, Amado and Arrifana beaches regularly host international competitions year-round.
World-renowned surf competitions are sprouting at beaches spanning the length of Portugal’s coastline and islands. And after a day at sea, the good vibes continue on shore, where there’s always a party, a festival, a bar or a nightclub to keep the fun going.