Stretching along 1800km of coastline, Portugal is a tourist destination increasingly sought after by surfers from around the globe. Boasting numerous surf spots hidden in wild coves and beautiful beaches, Portugal is a top surfing destination.
The west coast of Portugal is a hub for surf spots, from Porto to Ericeira, passing by the beaches of Peniche, you can be rest assured that you’ll find some world-class waves. In the southern end of the country, especially Lagos, there are a myriad of incredible reef breaks waiting for you. If you’re not sure whereabouts in the country to head, read on for inspiration and to find out our top 10 most awesome surf spots in Portugal!
This world-famous surf spot, may be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of incredible surf spots in Portugal. Nazaré is internationally renowned for its gigantic swells, and consequently, monstrous waves. Heed warning, this spot is exclusively reserved for professional and experienced surfers with support teams and years of experience. So please, enjoy the grandeur of this place with your eyes and not with your surfboard.
Garrett McNamara, Benjamin Sanchis and Justine Dupont set historic records on this gargantuan wave, located in the Leiria District of the historical province of Estremadura. Nazaré is recognised in photos around the world by its mountainous form rising out of the ocean in front of a lighthouse on the cliff.
The most prestigious surf spot in Portugal, with perfect conditions all year round and an ideal offshore wind to satisfy all surfing levels. If it’s your first time on a surfboard, Praia do Cero in the bay north of Peniche is the ideal choice. Those with a little more experience may want to descend to the south of Peniche and check out Molhe Leste, or Banana Beach which is ideal for a bit of barrel training.
The famous spot Supertubos, also called the “European pipeline”, is known for its tubular waves (hence the name) on a beach located within a national ecological reserve. This spot also hosts a world tour event on the WSL circuit each year (Rip Curl Pro).
Check out all our activities in Peniche, including, of course incredible surfing and other great activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling!
Coxos is located next to the town of Ericeira and is surf-world famous for its long, fast and tricky right-hander, making it a spot all-but reserved for experienced surfers. The best time to go there is from autumn to winter, but beware because despite what the blazing sun may make you think, the water is pretty cold, roughly between 12 °C and 18 °C, so have your booties and warm wetsuit at the ready!
There are a couple of other spots near this fishing village, such as Foz do Lizandro, Sao Lourenço or Pedra Branca, which are all a must-surf. While you’re in Ericeira make sure to visit Mafra, known for these local pastries that go down very nicely after a long session in the water.
Take a look at our surfing activities in Ericeira.
Praia de Carcavelos
The next spot on our list, attached to the municipality of Cascais, is only a few minutes from the capital city of Lisbon. The waves of Carcavelos are suitable for amateurs as well as more experienced surfers. It is said that this is where Portuguese surfing was born, in the clear water of an idyllic spot that also annually hosts a qualifying round of the World Surf League. However, this beach is one of the busiest in the region so try to arrive early to avoid tussling for a wave.
Take a look at our surfing activities near lisbon.
Praia do Amado
Another gem of a surf spot found in the Algarve in Portugal is Praia do Amado. Despite this destinations strong currents and occasionally brutal waves, this spot is still accessible to those new to surfing. This is thanks to the easy access to Costa Vicentina where a variety surf schools await you. This user-friendly spot offers loads of car parks and dedicated infrastructure. So, Amado beach is perfectly equipped to ensure your stay is enjoyable.
Sagres is a town located in the Faro district in the far south-west of Portugal, a place mainly known for its scuba diving but is also home to a fun surf spot catered to all abilities. Fall in love with surfing at Praia do Ingrina which boasts beautifully long rolling waves ideal for beginners. For the more seasoned surfer, Praia do Beliche boasts a left-hander with a bit of kick. This area is also popular for its secluded beaches and caves, offering a rare opportunity to see dolphins and whales in the wild.
As well as being a great spot for surfing, Sagres is also great for paragliding. Explore all our paragliding activities near Sagres.
Sagres is only a few km from the outdoor sports capital of Portugal, Lagos. Check out all our activities in Lagos.
Paúl do Mar
Located in the south-west of the island of Madeira, this small traditional beach-side village of Paúl do Mar (or Ribe das Galinhas), is loved by surfers for its calm and beautiful waves. This spot offers sunny skies and a relaxing atmosphere in a remote location.
Put your adventurous side to the test with a lesson in paragliding, diving, SUP or bodyboarding, it is not just about surfing here! There’s an abundance of new activities to discover and enjoy on the island of Madeira. Explore all our outdoor activities on Madeira.
Check out our surfing activities on Madeira.
Situated in the district of Aveiro in the Greater Porto sub-region, Espinho and Esmoriz have become very popular destinations for more seasoned surfers thanks to the endless supply of punchy waves. Espinho is fabled to be one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of the Porto area. In addition to surfing, there’s plenty to discover on this 17km beach, including having a leisurely walk to the Douro River Estuary.
Take a look at all our surfing activities in Porto.
The small fishing village of Aljezur is a very popular area for surfers and travellers alike. Boasting the beautiful Costa Vicentina Nature Park, showcasing its cliffs and beautiful coastline, you’ll be hard-pressed to leave this magical place. Arrifana is lucky enough be home to a coast that has remained wild and free, away from tourists and the bustle of the city. This destination is ideal for a care-free cruising session on the magnificent waves of the Algarve coast.
Check out all our surfing activities near Lagos.
Figueira da Foz
The longest wave in the country can be tracked down along the central coast in Buarcos, a famous wave that peels perfectly over 200 metres. Figueira da Foz is known as the best right in Europe by surfing enthusiasts. This beach break cooks up a mix of fast, hollow and tubular waves framed in a picturesque setting. These dream-like conditions are guaranteed to wet the appetite of all surf lovers. When in the area, don’t forget to check out Praia do Cabedelo, only 10 minutes away from Figueira da Foz, this place will draw you in with its wild vegetation and calm beaches.
Take a look at all our surfing activities in Figueira da Foz.
Check out all our surfing activities in Portugal.
Interested in learning more about surfing, take a look at our surfing articles!