With colossal waves and spectacular beaches, Portugal has earned its well-deserved place among the best surfing destinations in the world. Surfers from around the globe come to Portugal for a chance to test their limits, face new challenges, and return triumphal at home, proud of the waves they have conquered and the records they have broken. Discover the best surfing beaches in Portugal and choose your next mission! Plan your surfing trip for autumn or early winter, when the North Atlantic swells have superpowers and lash along Portugal’s 943-km coastline.
Situated north of Lisbon, in the surfing epicenter of Ericeira, Coxos is one of the best surf spots in Portugal. At its best at low tide, Coxos receives fast right-hand breaks that explode over shallow rocks and create some of the best waves in Europe. The region of Ericeira has no less than 9 surf beaches, but Coxos is undoubtedly its most precious jewel. This is where the mighty Cave, one of the heaviest waves in the country hits, so it’s impossible to talk about Portugal’s surfing beaches without including Ericeira.
Home to Portugal’s biggest surf competition, the Rip Curl Pro, Supertubos prides itself with some of the best waves in the world. Open and unprotected, the beach rewards surfers with waves up to 4 meters, almost every day of the year, regardless of the wind and swell pattern. While Ericeira welcomes surfers with a traditional, almost historical ambiance, Supertubos is wild and untamed and proud of its constant waves.
North Canyon, Nazaré
Dedicated surfers are already familiar with the colossal waves that await at Nazaré, gargantuan appearances that have no mercy or fear. World-famous surfers like Garret McNamara, who made the Guinness book of records for riding the biggest wave in history, Antonio Silva and Andrew Cotton, they’ve all ridden the wave at Nazaré and fell in love with the place. The “North Canyon” rises up to touch the skies every winter just to furiously break against the cliffs and try even harder the next year.
Just 20 minutes from Lisbon, Carcavelos is a white-sand beach dotted with different peaks. While summer delights surfers with decent waves, winter is the one that brings the big guns to the show and lures the brave with fast beach breaks and world-class barrels. Caressed by incredibly clean water and situated so close to Lisbon, the beach can get quite crowded, but this doesn’t impact its gorgeous swells.
Buarcos, Figueira da Foz
Situated between Lisbon and Porto, Buarcos might not be famous for its imposing wave but takes pride in having the longest wave in the country. At high tide rides, the wave can last more than 200 m, which makes it one of the best surfing spots in Portugal. While hypnotic barrels are not in the cards for Buarcos, the beach certainly mesmerizes surfers with waves that can last forever.
Praia da Arrifana, Aljezur
Situated in the spectacular Algarve region, Praia da Arrifana is a stunning beach dressed in golden, soft sand and visited by spectacular waves. Ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers, as well as for bodyboarders, the beach attracts surfers from all over the world. While the beginners are happy with the waves thrown their way on the beach, Arrifana Point takes the swell to a different level and delivers extraordinary, violent, and unforgiving pointbreak waves for advanced surfers.
Praia do Guincho, Cascais
The scene of national and international surf contests, Praia do Guincho is often invaded by surfers from around the globe, especially in the months of July and August, when surfing is at its peak. The beach boasts superb breaks and, while some of the other beaches in Cascais are a magnet for advanced surfers, Guincho is the perfect destination for beginners searching for relaxed breaks at low and mid-tide.
Praia do Amando, Costa Vicentina
Wide and pretty, guarded by black rock formations, Praia do Amando tempts surfers with clear waters, strong currents, and merciless beach-breaker waves. While some come here to sunbathe and swim, surfers throw themselves straight into the loving arms of the swell and enjoy the ride. If you don’t know how to surf but you really want to learn, Amado Surf Camp is there to help you learn the tricks and master this spectacular art.
A celebrated surfing spot, Sagres is a year-round surfing destination. Blessed with challenging waves, the surfing capital of the Algarve tempts surfers with its magnificent swells that await around the cape of Cabo de São Vicente and create decent waves from Sagres to Lagos, ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers. The bravest surfers of them all head to the beaches to the north of the rocky cape, where the Atlantic knows no control and shapes swells that can reach up to 5 meters.
For a more detailed look at surfing in Portugal, do some detailed research and you will be amazed at what you will find, hidden coves and more.