The Ultimate Guide to Surfing Portugal

7 January 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Surfing Portugal

Surfing Portugal is something that should be on every bucket list! With golden-sand beaches, miles of uninterrupted Atlantic coast, legendary big-wave spots, and awesome beach breaks, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful corner of Europe.


An introduction to surfing Portugal


Portugal hasn’t become a surf mecca for nothing!

Nope: Beach breaks, gnarly reef left-and-righters, colossal big-wave swells – it’s all here. People have been surfing Portugal for decades, but it’s only really now that it’s full potential is being noticed…


A whopping 1,114 miles of continuous coastline rings the country. It goes from the Spanish border in the south around the westernmost point of mainland Europe and finally up to the big bays close to Galicia.


Along the way, there are countless breaks of all shapes and sizes – seriously, we’re not over-exaggerating when we say there’s something for every type of surfer in Portugal.


The real key is in knowing where and when to go. There’s ample surfing in Portugal for beginners, for example, with the likes of Peniche and the Algarve offering loads of spots.


But you wouldn’t want to be caught on the Nazare trench come October, where the biggest swells on the planet crash over the headlands. Similarly, intermediate and expert riders will find loads to like in Portuguese surf destinations like Ericeira and Porto.


Probably what we love the most about this star of the Euro surf scene is the vibe, the atmosphere, and just how easy it is to get in the water.


There are umpteen uber-immersive surf towns where you can stay for months surfing different breaks every day, visiting local markets, getting to know the local surf crews. Other places are hotspots for surf camps, offering beginners tailored packages that include lessons and gear rental.


Surfing Portugal at a glance

The good:
A HUGE variety of beaches, reefs, point breaks – you name it.
Stunning coastline, facing both west and south on the Atlantic.
Uber-fun surf towns with great schools, rental shops, and – of course – bars!


The bad:
It’s getting busier every year – come ASAP!
Some pollution in the water around major cities.
The water can be cold (wetsuit required!).

The best surf spots in Portugal

So, without further ado, let’s delve into the world of Portuguese surf spots. There are oodles and oodles of them – there’s over 1,000 miles of shoreline to get through, after all.

Ranging from the Porto region in the north to the sun-kissed Algarve, they cross some seriously stunning parts of Europe.

But the real bonus? Every place for surfing in Portugal comes with its own unique array of waves, reefs, and beaches. It can sometimes be like hopping from Bali to Biarritz in just a short drive. Yep – that good.

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