Portugal Surf Spots & Information

Surfing first came to Portugal in the 1950’s, with surfers riding Hawaiian Koa boards. Portugal is now known as a classic European surfing region. The World Surfing Championships came to Portugal in 1998.

Open to swells from the northwest to southwest, Portugal is super consistent year-round. With very little, if any, Continental shelf to slow down incoming swells, Portugal is in prime position to pick up anything the Atlantic Ocean can send its way.

There is plenty of surf year-round; Portugal creates fun waves from even the smallest ripples, which occur mainly during summer months. Summer brings surf in the 4- to 6-foot range; this is where many of the south-facing beach breaks tend to flourish. Even bigger waves grace the Portuguese shores from fall through spring, as winter storms send in consistent 6- to 8-foot surf.

Portugal has great summer and early fall weather, but a wetsuit is required even during the summer months. A 3/2 full suit will do the trick during summer and fall. With the onset of winter, surfers are reaching for a thicker, 4/3 wetsuit, plus booties, and even a hood. But don’t let this deter you from traveling during the winter months. Lack of tourists, smaller crowds, and sweet winter swells are the reward for putting up with the colder water temps.

Traveling to Portugal is fairly easy. Fly into Lisbon, the capital, and rent a car to reach southern shores and the beautiful Algarve coast. Lisbon is also a good jumping off point to reach the surf in Central Portugal. For northern Portugal exploration, you will need to fly into Porto and rent a car. Northern Portugal has few charted surf spots.

Find a Surf School in Portugal

Northern and Central Portugal Surf Spots


Cabedelo

Surf Location Cabedelo is located in Figueira Da Foz
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Outgoing low tide
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Very consistent. Fun beach break waves. The main draw is the sandbar that’s right next to the jetty. It can peel point break style.
The Surfers Portugal is full of good surfers, and Cabedelo is packed with talent. Lots of bodyboarders. For less crowded peaks, walk down from the jetty.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The jetty, bodyboarders
Water Condition Decent, can get dirty
 

Baleal

Surf Location North of Peniche
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Outgoing to low tide
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality Fun beginner beach break waves. There are a couple of spots in this area.
The Surfers Plenty of room to spread out. Watch out for the surf schools, they can crowd a lineup.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Pretty clean
 

Supertubes

Surf Location In the town of Peniche
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Totally epic beach break. Gets super hollow, excellent tube sections. One of the best waves in Europe. Most photographed wave in Portugal. There is one main peak, which produces the best wave, and some other peaks down the beach.
The Surfers Supertubes gets super crowded with locals and visitors alike
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Permanently smelling like the ocean
Water Condition Probably the stinkiest beach in Portugal
 

Coxos

Surf Location In the town of Ribamar; north of Lisbon in the Ericiera region
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Outgoing to low
Best Wind Direction Southeast
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Perfect right-hand point break that can produce some amazing barrels. One of the best waves in Portugal.
The Surfers Heavy crowd at this spot. Mind your manners.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For… Hitting the reef
Water Condition Pretty clean
 

Ribeira de Ilhas

Surf Location In Ericiera, sandwiched between Coxos to the north and The Reef to the south
Best Swell Direction West, but can break with even the smallest of swells
Best Tide Medium
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Very consistent right-hand point break. Long, peeling shoulders promote high-performance surfing.
The Surfers Does get crowded, very consistent when the rest of Portugal is barely breaking
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rock and sand
Watch Out For… Hitting a rock: don’t surf at low tide
Water Condition Pretty clean
 

The Reef

Surf Location South side of Ribeira Bay in Ericiera
Best Swell Direction North
Best Tide Medium – you definitely want some water under you in case of wipeouts
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring…Winter gets big
Wave Quality Powerful right-hand reef break with awesome tubes. The waves are fast and break over a shallow reef, so no time for cutbacks or tricks; just pure tube-riding and speed.
The Surfers Tight takeoff with locals that have the break wired
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For… Wipeouts land you right on the rocks at takeoff or on the reef further down the line
Water Condition Clean
 

Piedra Branca

Surf Location Ericiera, just north of The Reef
Best Swell Direction North
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Fun left-hand reef/sand break. It’s a pretty mellow wave that has some hollow sections.
The Surfers Yes, there are locals here too, but it’s not one of the bigger name surf spots in the area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Reef and sand
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Clean
 

Foz de Lizandro

Surf Location In the town of Ericeira
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Outgoing to low tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Fun, consistent beach break. The rivermouth sandbar can get very good during a bigger swell. This is a good spot for beginners.
The Surfers Really cool beach scene here. Friendly vibe in and out of the water. Plenty of peaks up and down the beach. Lots of fun to be had. Lots of beginners.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The bodyboarders
Water Condition Pretty clean
 

Carcavelos

Surf Location Just a few minutes outside of Lisbon
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter, Spring
Wave Quality Really fun beach break. Can produce some of the best barrels in Portugal.
The Surfers Huge local crew, not a great place for beginners to learn
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Dirty

Southern Portugal and Algarve Surf Spots


Arrifana

Surf Location On the southwest coast, in the town of Aljezur in Algarve
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide High for the point, outgoing to low for the beach break
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality There are 2 spots here; the beach break and the point. The beach break offers really, fun hollow waves that break right and left. The point is the main draw for more experienced surfers. It’s a big, powerful right-hand point that can peel for an amazing ride.
The Surfers Very relaxed atmosphere, lots of traveling surfers pass through this area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner and Intermediate surfers at the beach break. Experienced surfers at the point.
Bottom Sand at the beach break. Rock reef at the point break.
Watch Out For… The point break is always bigger than it looks, and wipeouts can run you into the rock reef
Water Condition
 

Beliche

Surf Location Algarve, in the town of Sagres
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality Very fast and hollow beach break waves that break right and left. Popular bodyboarding spot.
The Surfers Lots of visitors and bodyboarders. Mellow vibe.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The shore pound
Water Condition Clean
 

Meia Praia

Surf Location In the town of Lagos, east of Luz
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction North to Northwest
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality Fun beach break waves for beginners. Great place to learn.
The Surfers There are some dedicated locals, but they are not very aggressive
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Clean
 

Praia da Luz

Surf Location The main beach in Lagos
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Outgoing to Low
Best Wind Direction North to Northwest
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality Fun beach break waves for beginners. Great place to learn.
The Surfers Moderate crowds, but there is plenty of room to spread out
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Clean
 

Praia da Salem

Surf Location Near Lagos, just west of Luz
Best Swell Direction Needs a big southwest
Best Tide Outgoing to Low
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Fall, Spring
Wave Quality Fun beach break waves for beginners. Great place to learn.
The Surfers Pretty mellow vibe here. Good waves for everyone.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand;
Watch Out For… Nothing
Water Condition Clean
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