Where to surf near Lisbon: the 3 best spots

  • Surf spot
  • Posted 8 months ago
  • 5 min

In Lisbon, there are many paths that lead to the beach, especially those with the best waves, ensuring you spend great hours in the water on your board! If you’re in Lisbon, there are three spots that stand out. In this article, we’ll guide you through them, let you know the best time of the year to choose each one, how to get there, and other useful information to help you discover the best surf spots in Lisbon.

Costa da Caparica: waves for everyone

surf caparica

How are the waves?

Every day of the year, the other side of the bridge in Lisbon offers waves with varying characteristics, making it a diverse surfing spot for both rights and lefts. Thanks to the sandy sea beds of Costa da Caparica and the offshore North-East wind, you can enjoy a beach break with generally good conditions, though be prepared for some surprises. Some days you might find great tubes, while on others, the waves could be softer and fuller—all at the same beach.

Golden hour for our founder, Donovan

The waves tend to be heavier and more demanding to the North, from São João area up to the first beaches of the Costa da Caparica piers, which also means it can get crowded. However, these northern spots also allow you to surf during all tides, even at low tide. In contrast, the waves are easier in the southern beaches, suitable for surfing from mid-tide onwards.

If waves are to big, Praia da Fonte da Telha is your go-to spot.

But surfing isn’t the only attraction. Near Costa da Caparica’s beaches, you’ll find excellent facilities including showers, and a variety of cafes and restaurants. The area offers a laid-back vibe, great food at affordable prices, and plenty of beach bars to relax in after a surfing session.

For those looking to improve their skills or rent gear, there are surf schools and surf shops readily available.

How to get there?

Getting to the beaches is easy, even if you don’t have a car. In addition to Uber and Bolt, there are buses (161) from various points in Lisbon (Alcântara, Praça Areeiro) that will take you directly to Costa’s beaches. Plus, you can easily bring your surfboard with you, storing it under the bus gallery. For more travel information, you can check here.

=> Book your surf lesson near Costa da Caparica

Carcavelos and Linha de Cascais

Offering both right and left waves, Carcavelos is a renowned beach break spot located near Lisbon, well-known for its crowded conditions, but also for its consistency in delivering quality waves at all tides. The beach is equipped with showers, and you’ll find numerous cafes and restaurants in the vicinity, making it a comfortable and enjoyable spot for surfers.

How are the waves?

carcavelos surf

Carcavelos is famed as one of Europe’s prime destinations for impressive tubes, even hosting a surf competition called ‘Capítulo Perfeito‘, which takes place on the best wave day of the winter season. Yet, the spot is not reserved only for advanced surfers; when the waves are smaller, it becomes an ideal location for beginners. You can find surf schools nearby to help get you started.

While the summer months tend to bring flatter conditions, the winter can produce significant swells. However, the beach’s popularity can be its downfall; it can get exceptionally crowded during the summer, contrasting with Costa da Caparica, which generally offers more space.

Extending along the same coastline, the famous “Linha de Cascais”, other beaches are worth considering:

  • São Pedro do Estoril: Known for its consistent right-hand waves, it’s a favorite among longboarders.
  • Praia da Torre: An excellent spot for beginners.

How to get there?

The train from Cais do Sodré takes you directly to the beach, making Carcavelos easily accessible even without a car.

Guincho: one of the most beautiful beach around

Guincho stands out as one of the most breathtaking beaches in the Lisbon region, yet it is also known for being incredibly windy. This wind contributes to its consistent swell, attracting surfers of all levels to its waves.

How are the waves?

praia do guincho

Despite the often crowded conditions, the experience of surfing at Guincho is highly rewarding, thanks to the stunning scenery that surrounds this spot. Whether you are riding its right or left waves, or simply enjoying the beach break, there is something at Guincho for every surfer.

One of the unique characteristics of Guincho is its ability to provide surfable waves at all tides, giving surfers flexibility in planning their sessions. However, due to its popularity, it is advisable to get there early to secure a good spot in the water and avoid the crowds as much as possible.

In addition to the surfing, Guincho’s location within a natural park means that there is plenty of beautiful landscape to explore once you are done riding the waves. The beach is surrounded by rugged cliffs and lush vegetation, making it a perfect spot for those looking to combine surfing with a bit of nature exploration.

When it comes to facilities, Guincho has you covered. There are showers available for rinsing off after your session, and the nearby cafes and restaurants offer a variety of dining options, ranging from quick snacks to more substantial meals.

How to get there?

Getting to Guincho is straightforward, with a train ride to Cascais followed by a bus journey taking you right to the beach. This makes Guincho an accessible option for those staying in Lisbon who are looking to escape the city and enjoy some quality time in the waves.

In summary, Guincho is a must-visit spot for any surfer in the Lisbon area, offering consistent waves, stunning scenery, and all the facilities you need for a perfect day out in the water.

Which beach to choose?

One tool that can help you choose where to surf in Lisbon is the live cameras capturing the Portuguese beaches and their respective surf reports, providing real-time information to help you understand the wave conditions before you make your way to the beach.

When examining the forecast reports for each beach, pay special attention to three key elements:

  1. The swell: The direction and size of the swell are crucial in determining where the waves will be breaking best.
  2. The wind: Offshore winds (blowing from land to sea) tend to produce cleaner, more organized waves, while onshore winds (from sea to land) can make the waves more disorderly.
  3. The tides: Depending on the beach, the different tide stages can have a significant impact on the surf conditions.

If you’re not familiar with how to interpret these forecasts, don’t worry!
We have an article on our blog that can help you decode these details: how to read the surf forecast

Now, to give you a quick guide:

  • If the swell is small and there’s no wind, Guincho is a great choice.
  • For a “normal” sized swell, Costa da Caparica is a safe bet.
  • With a larger swell or if the north wind is strong, the beaches along the Cascais line (such as Carcavelos, São Pedro do Estoril, Praia da Torre, etc.) will be your best options.

Now that you know a bit more about how to choose the best beach for a great surf session from Lisbon, what do you think? 😉

Let us know your thougts !

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