Portugal surf often is joined with offshore morning breezes, making it a popular surfing destination for surfers from inside and outside Europe.
From a surfer’s standpoint, Portugal has it all. It’s not just the awesome waves, but also the surf culture, its authentic charm, and the fact that it’s inexpensive that make it one of the world’s top surfing destinations.
Portugal gives you every kind of wave and anything you could possibly want from a surf trip.
Portugal surf offers up a variety of waves, making it an ideal surfing location for surfers of all levels. An excellent place to learn to surf with many surfing schools.
Located west of Spain, Portugal gets north, west and south swells. Creating consistent surf conditions. Portugal surf during winter is around six feet, but can get to 15 feet or higher. Classifying it as a spot for those looking for challenging Portugal surf. Yes, there is surf during the summer months where you can expect waves of in the three to five foot range.
Portugal surf offers many different kinds of waves. The area around Peniche is great as the peninsular gives you the chance to make the best out of the weather conditions. Other waves to explore while you are exploring the Portugal surf are Pedra Blanca, Supertubos, Matosinhos and Coxos.
Exploring the Portugal surf spots
Here are the top waves that have been added by members to our Portugal surf spot map. These famous portuguese surfing beaches are surfed througout the year and are know internationally for providing great conditions. If you've not thought about surfing Portugal before then now's the time.
Supertubos, or Supertubes, is located south of Peniche on the central Portugal coast. It's a fantastic beach break waves that provides incredible barrels in the right conditions. The wave breaks over sand and can provides left or right hand waves depending on the conditions. In late Autumn and through the Winter, with a solid swell and offshore easterly, Supertubos really turns on the power. It's a well know spot, so be prepared for the crowds when it's cranking. Not suitable for beginners in larger swells. Supertubos
Buarcos is a right hand beach break wave that breaks over a sand and rock bed. It's another popular spot with surfers living and travelling along the central Portuguese coastline looking for quality waves. Barcos is recognised as one of the best Portugal surf beaches and a popular location for competitions. A number of the best Portugal waves are located within a short drive from here, it's a great place to make a base when planning trips to other great spots. Buarcos.
3. Matosinhos Beach
Matosinhos is Porto's most consistent surf spot. Unlike the beaches towards Foz there aren't rocks everywhere and the harbor wall at the northern end can provide shelter from the wind. The gently sloping sand here takes some of the power out of the surf making it a suitable spot for all levels of surfer. Beginners could do a lot worse that spending a day or two enjoying waves in late summer and Autumn here. You'll never find waves off the charts here but due to the consistency it makes our list
Portugal's premier big wave spot. Works in pretty much all swells, and can hold huge surf. When there are no waves you'd never guess that this picturesque fishing village could be home to such monster waves. Obviously not suitable for beginners, and when it's full on here it should only be surfed by elite big wave surfers.
An amazing powerful right hander, one of the best waves in the famous search region of Ericeira. The wave is a right hand rock reef, it peels down the point relentlessly and is a real classic in the right conditions. It's for intermediate and advanced surfers, and will get busy when the conditions are good. There are a number of waves around that are similar, but Coxos is probably the pick of the bunch.
Portugal surf seasons
With a coastline facing both west and south, it picks up every swell direction. Yes, Portugal is a year-round surfing destination, but each season has its particularities.
For beginners, the best time to go is during summer, between May and September. This is when the waves are smaller. Do take note that most popular surf spots get crowded during summer, especially in July and August.
For more experienced surfers, the most consistent surf can be found between September and April. Winter is known for powerful swells, producing heavy waves ideal for advanced surfers. There are also Portugal surf spots where beginners or progressing surfers can surf even in winter.
In spring (March-May), you can surf just about anywhere. However, this is probably the best time of the year to go surfing in Northern Portugal and check out the spots around Porto, the likes of Matosinhos and Espinho.
In late spring, the Portugal surf spots are already getting crowded.
In summer (June – August), the crowds are epic, especially on the central coast and even more so on the surf beaches near Lisbon. Furthermore, trade winds from the north can wreck certain surf spots on the west coast.
In autumn (September – November), almost all the spots work. The crowds will have dispersed, the swells start to kick in, the water is at its warmest, and there’s still plenty of sunshine to be had. Do take note that the waves are bigger than in summer.
This is a great time to check out the spots on the central coast, the likes of Peniche, Ericeira, Nazaré, and the surf near Lisbon.
In winter (December – February), the swells are mental. Unless you’d like to charge Nazaré, you’ll have to look for sheltered spots. Strong storms can occur during winter, which can make many of the surf breaks unsurfable. You’ll have to look for south-facing spots for protection from the storms.
Cascais and the Algarve are great if you’re looking for friendly waves during winter.
You’ll find beginner-friendly, gently rolling waves for progressing surfers, and some great beach and point breaks for more advanced surfers. You'll find Portugal surf spots for all levels, all year round, and highly-acclaimed surf camps in Portugal.
That's it for our quick guide on Portugal surf. While not as warm as other surf adventures such as surfing in Samoa or more classical of surf trips, surf California – you'll enjoy the unique surf breaks and culture Portugal has to offer for surfer.