8 Best Surf Spots in Portugal

From the mellow swells of Costa da Caparica to the record-breaking waves of Nazaré, Portugal has become the center of attention for surfers around the world. With its wide coastal line stretching 1794 km, you can find numerous surf breaks that fit surfers of all levels.

Portugal has stunning beaches, consistent swells, and warm weather that make it an ideal destination for all surfers. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal offers diverse surf conditions all year round.

If you're looking to catch some breathtaking waves, then check out the west coast of Portugal. Down South, in spots like Lagos, you’ll find a bunch of mind-blowing reef breaks, just itching for your board to dance on.

The surfing spots, camps, facilities, and hospitality of locals are truly exceptional. If you’ve got your sights set on a trip to this gorgeous country and an adventure through Portugal’s best surf spots, keep reading this ultimate travel guide.

Surfing Season in Portugal

People from all over the world consider Portugal one of the top surfing destinations. Even though you can surf all year in Portugal, for experts, the best time to surf is from September to April, when waves may go as high as 6 ft to 15ft. 

The summer months are cool for swimming, partying, diving as well as surfing. The sunny weather and consistent small waves help beginner and intermediate surfers practice their surfing skills.

Do you know what’s totally awesome about surfing in these waters? NO SHARKS to cramp your style. Of Course, these predators pass through their migration routes, but with such an abundance of marine life, they pretty much don't care about us humans.

There are various accommodation options available, including eco-friendly lodges, hotels, and surf camps. You can also try out some of the camping spots nearby if you're a little low on the budget.

1. Coxos, Ericeira

Source: surfeuropemag.com

Coxos is considered one of the best surfing places in Portugal, away from crowds and competitions. If you wanna try out challenging waves that can go up to 8 ft and above, then this right-hand point break is just perfect for ya. It's a beautiful sandy beach with turquoise water and consistent rideable waves. 

Surfing in Coxos

The reef beneath the waves gradually slopes, resulting in powerful swells originating from deep water. The water temperature is a bit cool and may drop to 12o C in winter and go up to 200C in August.

You can enjoy a carefree surf while enjoying barreling through fast, hollow waves. Pro surfers can find some world-class waves in the winter and autumn seasons. Mornings are great for surfing in winter. But before you dive in, check out how locals are doing their "thang" so that you don't wipe out surfing on the wrong spot.

Coxos thrive with north and northwest swells and offshore winds from the East, SE, or NE. The wave is known for its long, powerful right, with tubular sections, and its consistency in varying conditions. Paddling in and out is no child’s play, as waves can be heavy and fast. It’s a place where pro surfers can showcase their talent.

How to Get There

You can either take a bus that would take 18 minutes to reach Praia do Coxos from Ericeira and would cost only $2-$4. If you want a more comfy ride, you can travel by taxi, which would take only 9 minutes and charge you $7- $9.

Places to see

Ericeira town, Mafra Palace, Tapada Nacional de Mafra, Ericeira World Surfing Reserve and Local Seafood Restaurants. 

2. Praia Do Norte, Nazaré

Source: werocksport.com

Nazaré, located on the coast of Portugal, is a place that has gained huge hype in the surfing world. It has a reputation for generating massive waves that go up to 50 feet and above. One of the best surfing spots in Nazare is Praia Do Norte, which is a famous beach known for consistent swells.

Here, tourists from all over the world come to witness the power of Mother Nature. And No, the Loch Ness Monster and other mythical creatures don't form such massive waves. The reason for such gigantic waves is the underwater North Canyon that is located 100 Km north of Lisbon with a depth of 5000 meters, near the beach.

Surfing in Praia Do Norte

Even expert surfers can feel scared just by looking at these waves. The monstrous tides have broken the Guinness Book Of World Records for the biggest wave ever surfed. The best time to catch the big waves is between November and February, when they go high up to 50 feet. Praia Do Norte is also famous for hosting national and international surfing competitions.

Because of the North Canyon, you can find amazing surf conditions all year, especially when Atlantic storms generate high swells that move toward Nazare Canyon to make it even bigger. This place is no beginners' arena, as the waves are extremely high and powerful. 

The best surf conditions are when offshore wind blows from the east. You have got a healthy mix of groundswells and wind swells, with the ultimate swell action rolling in from the west. 

How to Get There

There are 3 ways to reach Praia do Norte from Lisbon. You can either take a bus that will get you there in 1-2 hours and cost you around $10- $17. Taxi is a bit expensive and would cost around $70- $90. The most fun way to travel and enjoy the road trip is to drive in your own car.

Places to see

Nazaré Lighthouse, Nazaré Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, Museum Dr. Joaquim Manso, Miradouro do Monte Branco, Pederneira, and Nazaré Market

3. Supertubos, Peniche

Source: surftotal.com

If you're in love with some crazy barrelling, then don't forget to visit Portugal's best surf spot, Supertubos. It’s located on the coast of Peniche. As the name depicts, this beach break offers heavy tabular waves that can wipe out surfers with a surprising close.

Surfing in Supertubos

The place is great for intermediate and advanced surfers. The beach hosts national and international championships. The speed and precision of the tube rider should be perfect to master these barrels.

The waves here break from left to right and go up to 6-12 feet high, giving you a longer time to enjoy your surf. The offshore winds from northeast to east are considered ideal for producing top-notch waves.

The place can get crowded at times, but don’t worry; and you can always find some great spots awaiting you. The best season to surf is from September to November. Don't forget your wetsuits, as things get a little chilly in winter months when the temperature drops to 13ºC.

How to Get There

It’s a 10-minute drive from the city center that would cost you around $5 to $7. If you wanna enjoy a picturesque view of this coastal city, you can always take a 40-minute walk to the beach.

Places To See

Fort of Peniche, Berlengas Archipelago, Museu da Renda de Bilros, Baleal Beach, Local Seafood restaurants.

4. Carcavelos, Lisbon

Source: record.pt

Carcavelos, just a stone’s throw (20km) west of Lisbon’s hustle and bustle, is a beach break for surfers looking for bigger swells. It’s one of Portugal’s absolute bangers, serving up barrelling and waves that work for both beginner and pro surfers. It kinda makes you feel like you are surfing in a hidden green room.

Surfing In Carcavelos

The best time to surf in Carcavelos is from September to May, and with winds in favor, swells can go as high as 10 ft and above. The ultimate setup for surfing is when a South ground swell teams up with a slight wind from NE.

Carvecelos isn’t just about one kind of wave; and it’s a playground with many peaks along its generous 1.5 km long stretch. You can find both left and right breaks in the line-up, but lefts really steal the show.

Because of its popularity and easy accessibility, it often remains crowded during peak months. You can find tons of surf schools and camps nearby.

How to Get There

There are four ways to get to Carvecelos from Lisbon. You can either take a train ($1-$3), rideshare ($4), taxi ($15-$19) or travel by your own car.

Places to See

Carvecelos Fortress, Carvecelos winery, Town of Estoril, Serra de Sintra, Mafra, and, of course, the beautiful city of Lisbon.

5. Praia do Cabedelo, Figueira da Foz

Source: tvnelas.com

Praia do Cabedelo is a gorgeous beach located in Figueira da Foz. It’s well known for its consistent and powerful waves. You can find ample space on this beach break along with the surrounding pine forest that truly makes you feel connected to nature. The relaxing fine sand and crystal-clear blue waters not only attract locals but bring in tourists and surfers from all around the globe. 

Surfing in Praia do Cabedelo

You can experience rideable swells during the winter season, especially in December. You can get lucky if you manage to catch waves at the right time. The optimal surf condition is when eastern, NE offshore winds combine with western or NW swells.

During summer months, the height of waves is much smaller, and at times, surfers may find it a bit difficult to surf good-quality waves. So, before you dive in, make sure to check the surf forecast. It can get a bit crowded, with surfers vying for those A-frame peaks.

How to Get There

There are 6 ways to reach Praia do Cabedelo from Porto. You can take a train that would cost you around $5-$13 and take precisely 1 hour 11 min. The cheapest way is rideshare ($6). Other options include taxi ($90-$110), bus ($8-$12), or subway/town car ($67-$87) 

Places to See

Gil Eannes Foundation, Fort of Santa Caterina, Serra da Boa Viagem, and the nearby town of Figueira da Foz and its Salt Pans.

6. Praia Do Tonel, Sagres

Source: nomadsurfers.com

If you wanna enjoy surfing at a beach where you can clearly hear the blasting soundtrack of the waves crashing in the sand, then Praia Do Tonel is a great spot for you. A short walk from Sagres town, this place will take your breath away with its natural beauty, stunning cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and relaxing ambiance. 

You can also find surf camps that have knowledgeable coaches to guide you in your surfing journey. Being less crowded, it's a haven for surfers. The big rocks are quite prominent, and you can enjoy a sunny day relaxing on one of these rocky beds, but be cautious of smaller ones scattered all over the place. You don’t wanna crash on those!

Surfing in Praia do Tonel

The best thing about this place is that it invites surfers of all levels. The waves vary in size, so it works for pros looking for some challenging waves as well as mellow waves for beginner surfers to enjoy a great start.

It’s a beach break with powerful and consistent swells. The waves break from both left and right, so you can find the perfect surf for ya. The waves can go as high as 10 ft. The best time to find high swells is winter. Optimal Surf conditions are when a western swell converges with offshore winds blowing in from the East. The water temperature is mostly 22ºC in summer.

The presence of rocks provides awesome rips for surfers who know how to use’em. Mostly, surfers carve through the left-hand point break.

How to Get There

It's a 7-minute walk to the beach from Sagres or a 35-minute drive from Lagos. However, if you are traveling by bus from Lagos, it would cost you around $3-$10, whereas a taxi would charge about $30-$45.

Places to See

Sagres Fortress, Museu Municipal de Vila do Bispo nearby Vila do Bispo, Lighthouse of Ponta de Sagres, Costa Vicentina Natural Park, Local Cafés and Restaurants.

7. Costa Da Caparica

Source: caparicasurfacademy.com

Costa Da Caparica is a long, beautiful beach located to the South of Lisbon. You can find a variety of breaks to choose from. From expert surfers to new players in the game, everyone can find their perfect spot. Since it’s widely stretched along the coastline, you’ll never have to worry about the place being overcrowded. It’s easy to find good waves all year round.

Surfing in Costa Da Caparica

Jetties in the center enhance the quality of the waves. The swell size may reach 2.5 meters when it’s working. Since there are many surf spots available, you can find waves breaking in from both right and left. 

Surfers can experience offshore winds coming in from the east, which, when mixed with West Swells, generates one great experience for the surfers. You can find clean, rideable high swells in December. 

How to Get There

You can take a train ($2-$5), taxi ($14-$17), bus ($2-$5) or a car to reach this amazing surf spot.

Places to See

Belém Tower, Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, Jerónimos Monastery, Cabo Espichel, Convento dos Capuchos, Monument of the Discoveries,Cristo Rei, and Praça do Comércio.

8. Espinho

Source: espinho.pt

Located 16 km from the city center, Espinho is a great place for surfing enthusiasts. You can also find a welcoming surf community along with a diverse selection of waves to choose from, as per your skill level. A trip to Espinho promises an incredible experience. You can enjoy mouth-watering cuisines, swimming, and, of course, barreling inside some powerful waves.

Surfing in Espinho

The swell season starts in September and is at its peak in December. The breakwater/jetty setup provides both right and left waves over a sandy bottom with rocks. The wave power is normal making it approachable for a broad range of surfers.

The waves at Espinho start working at 3ft and can go higher than 6ft. On weekends, the place seems to get a bit crowded. However, weekdays are usually spacious. Overall, it’s a fantastic surf spot with consistent waves. 

How to Get There

The cheapest way to get to Espinho from Porto is by train, which costs around $1-$3. You can catch a train from Porto's São Bento station, which is about a half an hour ride. A taxi would charge you around $15- $19.

Places to See

Casino Espinho, Feira de Espinho, Parque João de Deus, Igreja Matriz de Espinho

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Portugal’s surf scene is nothing short of epic, offering a wave for every level and a view to remember at every corner of its stunning coastline. From the thundering giants of Nazare to the serene stretches of Costa da Caparica, there are perfect spots for everyone.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just testing the waters, Portugal is a surf paradise for anyone with a love for the sea and a board beneath their feet. The inviting locals, rich culture, and gorgeous beaches make it a top surfing destination in the world. So, wax up, paddle out, and ride the Portuguese wave of adventure.

James Davis

Written by James Davis

I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.

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