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 Surfing in Portugal | surf.holiday

Surfing in Portugal

  • Veröffentlicht am 27.04.2019 18:40
  • Von Arne Kolisch

Surf camps, surf schools and accommodation

When you travel to Portugal you can secure a place at the mostly year-round running spots at more than 1000 kilometres of coast. Portugal is a comparatively small country, but it offers a magnificent cultural and surfing diversity. Especially due to the wide extension from north to south, you will experience a climate between Atlantic and Mediterranean flair.

In order to narrow this diversity down, we split Portugal into three areas. The north around Porto, the middle around Lisbon and the south, the Algarve. Depending on the area, you will have to prepare for different weather and wave conditions.

Surfing the North for Porto

The north of Portugal opens up around Porto, the second largest city and home of the famous Port wine. You can fly directly to Porto, the flights can be very cheap, especially from autumn to spring. The city has a lot to offer in terms of culture and nightlife. From the airport, you can get easily to the city by public transport. If you do not feel like surfing you can explore the surrounding picturesque fishing villages and the mountainous hinterland around the Douro river.

The best time for a surf trip is from April to October when the weather is pleasantly summery. The Atlantic Ocean is cold all year round in the north, so a wetsuit should be in your luggage. Water temperatures are from November to April between 12-14 degrees (4/3 wetsuit) and from May to October 15-17 degrees (3/2 wetsuit). If you do not have a wetsuit, you will get lucky in one of the numerous surf shops. The most famous surf spots are the city beach of Matosinho at the harbour and Espinho, approximately 20 minutes south of the river. Those who surf a little away from the crowd will find some more space for themselves and their skills.

Surfing in the South and around Lisbon

The centre of Portugal around Lisbon has an enormous density of excellent surf sports on a short stretch of coast. Nazare, known for the record-breaking Big Waves, Peniche - the venue of the Rip Curl Pro, Ericeria and Lisbon itself with its many beaches close to the city, is tempting. South of the Tejo you will find the Costa de Caparica. The only shortcoming of this area is that the spots are crowded all year round. Those who need some more space in the water should explore the area around Caparica.

On the central coast of Portugal around Lisbon, you will find perfect conditions all year round. Best of all, the different orientations of the coastline ensure that everyone will find a wave that suits their needs. The water is comparatively warm, but a wetsuit is here necessary too. From January to April the sea has between 13-14 degrees (4/3 wetsuit) and from May to December 15-18 degrees (3/2 wetsuit).

If you want to surf here, it is best to fly to Lisbon. In order to reach the surf spots, it is worthwhile to rent a car. You can explore the city comfortably with its modern infrastructure. If you rent a car you can not only explore the surrounding surf spots but also places like the stunning natural reserve around Sintra with its breathtaking scenery, without having to dig deeper than necessary into your pockets. Lisbon itself offers many cultural attractions, small winding alleys with colourful houses, old trams, medieval castles and of course award-winning Portuguese wine and food.

Surfing the Algarve

The Algarve can be roughly divided into the west and south coasts, which splits at Sagres. These two directions offer different conditions depending on the season. The western part offers good waves all year round due to the coastal orientation, but can often be too wild in winter. The south lies protected and weakened waves find their way to the coast. Here you can find glassy water, especially in summer, paired with glowing heat and you have the best conditions for a tour with the SUP or simply cool of in the sea. In this area, the surf will only be interesting in winter, when the autumn storms come and provide perfect conditions. Well known surf spots are Zavial and other smaller beaches around Sagres. For this area, you need at least in winter a warm wetsuit as temperatures are between 15-19 degrees (3/2 Neo) from September to June and 21 degrees (Springsuit) from July to August. Those who are somewhat sensitive to coldish water, especially when the sun is not burning from the sky, should, in any case, pack their wetsuit in summer also.

The south offers a picturesque coastal landscape with kilometres of cliffs inviting you to hike. On the way you will find rock formations surrounded by turquoise blue water, grottos, rock arches and caves that invite you to explore. In summer the Algarve is a very popular tourist attraction, but those who come in winter will be welcomed by pleasant temperatures, lots of sunshine and above all empty beaches. The Algarve is best reached via Faro or Lagos airports. It is especially worthwhile to rent a car here, as there is almost no public transport.

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