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Surf Location Overview: Portugal

Portugal

Warm summer days. Powerful beach breaks & quality reefs. Unique culture. Friendly people.

For many years, Portugal’s abundance of glassy waves went largely unnoticed by the surfing world. But ever since the mid-70s, its enormously varied coastline has risen rapidly in the popularity stakes – and for good reason. The weather is warm, the people are friendly, and there are plenty of quality waves to go around. From punchy beach breaks and perfect reefs, to reeling points and rivermouth walls – whatever type of wave you want to surf, Portugal’s got it covered.

Places like Ericeira, Peniche and Carcavelos are known the world over, and tend to play a leading role in most surf trips in Portugal. The picturesque fishing town of Ericeira is renowned for its collection of hollow reefs – Coxos, Pontina, Reef, Pedra Branca and more - and when they’re on, you’d struggle to find anywhere better in Europe. Peniche on the other hand is better known for its incredible choice of highly consistent, powerful beach breaks – none more celebrated than the mighty Supertubos. Heading south from these two surfing hot spots, you’ll find waves all along the coast. Long hollow lefts at Carcavelos, just outside Lisbon, give the term ‘city break’ a whole new meaning; whilst the Algarve’s array of hidden beaches and secret points seem to attract sunshine and swells all year round.

One of the best things about surfing Portugal is that you can nearly always find waves without driving too far. In summer the beaches are sizzling, the bars are buzzing, and whilst the swells are less frequent, many of the more exposed areas continue to come up with the goods. By autumn though, you’re pretty much guaranteed to score some quality time in the water. The weather is still warm and there’s swell a plenty – with countless points, reefs and beaches working all along the coast. Come winter and spring, head south of Lisbon towards the Algarve and you’ll be greeted with more sunshine than anywhere else in Europe, and swells to match. Read the conditions right and do a spot of exploring, and you could be rewarded with perfect waves all to yourself.

Go on - find yourself somewhere to stay, and get out there!

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