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Surf Guide: Surfing in Portugal

Surf Guide Portugal

Surf Guide: Surfing in Portugal


The entire coast of Portugal stretches along the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, there are surf spots in abundance in this beautiful southern European country. The variety of surf spots is very large, and surfers of every level can absolutely go to the surf mecca of Europe. It is not for nothing that the world record surfing on the highest wave was set here by the American Garrett McNamara. But also starting surfers can go to Portugal very well. In addition to excellent surfing conditions, Portugal has a wonderful climate, an excellent price-quality ratio and delicious food and drinks. In short: a fantastic destination for your surfing holiday!

Check out our brand new guide with the best surf spots in Portugal – a true bible for all surfers.

Surfing in Portugal in short

  • Surf spots: Portugal lies along the entire coast on the Atlantic Ocean. Surfers from all over the world travel to Portugal for some of the very best surf spots in the world.
  • Favorable prices: on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, the prices of food, drinks and accommodation are often much lower than in other parts of Europe.
  • Climate: the Portuguese climate is mild, sunny and therefore very pleasant for different types of holidays. Especially in the summer months there is very little rainfall throughout Portugal.
  • Food & beverage: a surfing holiday in Portugal is of course not complete without trying the local cuisine. Every region has its own delicious specialties.
  • Offer surfing holidays: the excellent Portuguese waves have led to surfers from all over the world coming to Portugal every year. This has considerably increased the number of surfing holidays on offer.
  • Special cities: on the Portuguese coast you will find a number of age-old, beautiful cities. The most famous city is of course Lisbon, but Porto is also definitely worth it.

Did you know that Portugal offers a lot of opportunities for surf holidays?

The sunset at Ericeira

About surfing in Portugal

The entire coast of Portugal stretches along the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, there are surf spots in abundance in this beautiful southern European country. The variety of surf spots is very large, and surfers of every level can absolutely go to the surf mecca of Europe. It is not for nothing that the world record surfing on the highest wave was set here by the American Garrett McNamara. But also starting surfers can go to Portugal very well. In addition to excellent surfing conditions, Portugal has a wonderful climate, an excellent price-quality ratio and delicious food and drinks. In short: a fantastic destination for your surfing holiday!

History of Surfing in Portugal

The earliest mention of one of the precursors of surfing in Portugal was in 1946, when the first “Bodysurf club” was established in Portugal. The members of this club moved lying down on cork boards. Contemporary surfing in Portugal began in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Surfboard were bought from Biarritz, at that time the center of surfing in Europe. In general, a surfer named Pedro Lima is seen as the ancestor of the Portuguese surfers.

Portugal also hosts several surf camps. Click the link or read on

The best surf spots in Portugal

The beach of Sagres

Surfing in Praia de Galé

The beautiful Praia de Galé stand is about an hour and a half’s drive south of Lisbon. It is an excellent surf spot in the middle of beautiful nature. This is an excellent surf spot to make as much progress as possible in a short time. In the middle of the incredibly beautiful coastline you will find a beautiful surf camp, with a super deluxe Glamping option.

4.2 / 5 – reviews

Dreamsea Glamping Plus

Alentejo, Portugal
On average 25 – 50 years old (min. 18)
Beginners & intermediate
May – October
Widely available

Surfing in Peniche  

This is one of the best known surf spots in Portugal. The original fishing village is about a two-hour drive south of Oporto. Peniche is located on a peninsula, so there are several beaches around Peniche where you can surf. It really goes wild in the winter months. In addition to various surf spots, Peniche is an authentic Portuguese fishing village, where you can relax in the summer months and also satisfy culture lovers.

Sunset Surfing

Surfing in Sagres  

Sagres, or “the most southwestern tip of mainland Europe,” is located at the very tip of Portugal, making it for centuries a very strategic place for Portuguese seafarers. Sagres is therefore inextricably linked to Portugal’s voyages of discovery in the 15th century. There is therefore a number of very interesting cultural sights to see.

Surfing in Ericeira  

“The first surf reserve in Europe.” Ericeira is the only official surf reserve in Europe, and for good reason! The important reason that this surf spot has been officially named surf reserve is that many different types of surf spots are a short distance apart. Ericeira also offers one of the most consistent waves in the world.

With its typical white houses, the village itself is worthy of an inspection card, which is ideal, because the waves are sure to write home about. The real surf spots are around the village. To the north of Ericeira lies Ribeiro D’ilhas, to the south you will find Foz de Lizandro. One of the best options for a Surf Holiday in Ericeira is this luxurious Surf house.

Surfing around Porto

Surfen in Porto

After Lisbon, Porto is the largest city in Portugal and also an important port city. You can also enjoy excellent surfing both in and around this northern Portuguese city. The most important surf spot in Porto is Matasinhos, an excellent surf spot for surfers at every level. Porto is an ideal choice if, in addition to surfing, you are also looking for a wide cultural and culinary offer during your surfing holiday.

5 / 5 – 25 reviews

Estela Surf and Hostel

Estela, Portugal
On average 20 – 40 years old (min. 18)
Beginners, intermediate & advanced
All year round
Widely available

 Surfing in Odeceixe

A popular surfing village in the south is the beautiful, much-praised Odeceixe. The beach of Odeceixe is seen as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. The atmosphere in the village is often described as laid-back and relaxed. Two key elements for a wonderful surfing holiday!

Surfing around Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital and also the largest city in Portugal. This city is located at the point where a large river flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and has an incredible amount to offer to a wide audience. You will find countless restaurants and bars in the bustling center, and the nature around the capital is more than worth it.

The beaches near Lisbon

Lisbon is surrounded by surf spots. Many locals surf here, so the spots can get quite busy, especially in the weekends. Famous surf spots around Lisbon are Carcavelos, Caparica, Bolina and Monte Estoril. In Lisbon you can also learn Portuguese very well, of course also in combination with surfing.

4.9 / 5 – 84 reviews

Gota dAgua Surfcamp and Suites

Caparica, Portugal
On average 18 – 30 years old (min. 18)
Beginners only
March – November
Widely available

Surfing in Nazaré

Nazaré is one of the most famous surf spots worldwide. This is where the world record “Big Wave Surfing” is set by the American Big Wave Surfer Garrett McNamara. The reason that waves here can reach this enormous height is due to a very deep gap that lies just off the coast. In combination with the right storm, monster waves can occur here. These monster waves mainly originate in the winter months.

Fun fact: Garrett McNamara sees Nazaré as his second home. He is even married on Praia do Norte beach by the lighthouse.

Surfing in Madeira

In addition to mainland Portugal, this country also has a number of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. One of them is the beautiful Madeira. Due to its open location, in the middle of the Atlantic, this island receives large waves. Madeira is therefore not suitable for beginning surfers, it is primarily a “big wave” spot.

Would you want to check out all surf holidays in Portugal?

Thomas Oosterhof

Via mijn studie Tourism Management ben ik terecht gekomen bij SurfaWhile. Waar ik elke dag meer leer over het surfen, en het verkopen van surfreizen. Door het schrijven van artikelen over surfvakanties, ervaringen en prachtige surfbestemmingen zorg ik er voor dat jij goed voorbereid op surfvakantie gaat!

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