Surf trip Portugal: the ultimate guide

  • Surf trip
  • Posted 6 months ago
  • 5 min

Portugal, the land of stunning beaches, delicious food (not only the Pastel de Nata), and rich history, also happens to be a surfer’s paradise. With a coastline that stretches over 800 kilometers, it offers some of the best surf spots in Europe. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Portugal has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top surf spots for a perfect surf trip in Portugal!

surf portugal

Discover Portugal’s Surf Haven

portugal surf

Portugal’s diverse coastline offers a wide variety of surf spots, from the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean to the calmer waters of the Algarve. With its mild climate and consistent swell, Portugal has become a popular destination for surfers from all over the world. The country’s surf culture is vibrant and welcoming, making it the perfect place to hit the waves and make new friends. Whether you’re looking for a challenging break or a gentle ride, Portugal’s surf haven has it all.

Which wetsuit to bring to a surf trip in Portugal?

Feel free to read this article about the best wetsuit to surf in Portugal according to the season and the spot. Overall, a 4/3mm wetsuit should be enough, as the water remains cool the whole year.

Top 8 Surf Spots to Visit

  1. Ericeira – Known as Europe’s surf mecca, Ericeira offers a range of breaks suitable for all levels.
  2. Peniche – Home to the famous Supertubos, Peniche is a must-visit for any serious surfer.
  3. Nazaré – Famous for its massive waves, Nazaré is a spot for the brave and experienced.
  4. Algarve – With its hidden coves and sandy beaches, the Algarve offers some of the best surf spots in the south.
  5. Porto – Often overlooked, Porto has some great surf spots that are less crowded than the more popular destinations.
  6. Madeira – This island paradise has a unique surf scene with its volcanic reefs and warm waters.
  7. Arrifana – A surf spot in Algarve with a beach with long wall waves and stunning scenery.
  8. Figueira da Foz – Known for its long rides, Figueira da Foz is perfect for longboarders.

Ride the Waves in Ericeira

ericeira surf school

Ericeira, a charming fishing village turned surf hotspot, is often referred to as Europe’s surf mecca. With over 8 kilometers of coastline, it offers a variety of breaks, including the famous Ribeira d’Ilhas and Coxos. The town itself is a delight, with cobbled streets, white-washed houses, and a lively surf scene. The water may be chilly, but the waves are worth it. Ericeira is also the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe, which means you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable surfing experience.

Our favorite wave: Ribeira d’Ilhas

Peniche: offshore land


Peniche, a peninsula located an hour north of Lisbon, is known for its powerful waves and consistent swell. The star of the show is Supertubos, a world-class wave that attracts surfers from all over the globe. The town hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro Portugal, a testament to its status as a top surf destination. Peniche also offers a variety of other breaks, making it a great spot for surfers of all levels.

There is always a spot offshore in Peniche due to its variety of spots in few kilometers.

Don’t miss the chance to surf in one of Portugal’s most iconic surf spots.

Our favorite wave: Lagide

Catch a wave in Nazaré

Nazaré, a picturesque seaside town, is renowned for its monstrous waves that can reach up to 100 feet. It’s not a spot for the faint-hearted, but for experienced surfers, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The infamous Praia do Norte is where the world’s biggest waves can be found, thanks to the underwater Nazaré Canyon that amplifies the swell. Even if you’re not ready to tackle the giant waves, watching the pros in action is a spectacle in itself. Nazaré is truly a surfer’s bucket list destination.

If you want to learn more about the wave of Nazaré and how to read the forecast, read our other article.

On small days, you can even learn how to surf and catch a wave in Nazaré, on the other side of the beach.

Our favorite wave: Praia do Norte

Algarve’s surf gems


The Algarve, known for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches, is also home to some surf gems. With spots like Arrifana, Amado, and Praia do Tonel, the region offers a more laid-back surf experience with amazing waves. The water is warmer, the waves are (usually) gentler, and the scenery is breathtaking. Whether you’re a beginner looking for lessons or an experienced surfer seeking uncrowded waves, the Algarve has something for everyone.

You have two different options: heading to the west, or the south. On the west side, you face directly the Atlantic and the swell is hitting strong. When swell is small, it might be the best choice. In the south, around Sagres, you can find amazing waves as well. Usually quite busy, you can pick the break according to your surfing level.

Our favorite wave: Arrifana

Porto: less famous zone for surfing


Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of surfing, but it’s a hidden gem that’s worth exploring. The city’s beaches, like Matosinhos and Leça da Palmeira, offer great surf conditions without the crowds of the more popular spots. Around Porto there are many options, like Espinho, or Viana do Castelo area, with plenty of options of breaks. The water quality is good, and the waves are consistent. Porto’s surf scene is growing, with a number of surf schools and shops popping up in recent years. So, if you’re looking for an urban surf adventure, Porto is a good place to be.

Our favorite wave: Espinho

Experience the magic of Madeira

Madeira surf

Madeira, a volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, offers a unique surf experience with its warm waters and reef breaks. The island’s rugged coastline creates a variety of surf spots, from the challenging waves of Jardim do Mar to the more beginner-friendly breaks of Porto da Cruz. Madeira’s surf community is tight-knit, and you’re sure to feel welcome as soon as you paddle out. With its stunning landscapes and uncrowded waves, Madeira is a magical surf destination that should not be missed.

Most of the breaks are reefbreak. This is a great destination for surfing, but mostly for experienced surfers, or big-wave riders.

Our favorite spot: Jardim do Mar

Portugal’s top surf spots offer a perfect blend of challenging waves, stunning scenery, and vibrant surf culture. Whether you’re riding the waves in Ericeira, catching a wave in Nazaré, or experiencing the magic of Madeira, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable surf trip. So, grab your board, pack your wetsuit, and head to Portugal for a surf adventure of a lifetime. Surf’s up!

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