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Surf’s up! While surfing usually conjures up images of Hawaii, California, and Australia, Portugal is another great spot, often overlooked by watersports enthusiasts from around the world. With the Rip Curl Pro competition every October, incredible beaches north to south, a World Surfing Reserve, and a Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed, Portugal is tons of fun for any surfer, beginner or pro. Check out our list of the best surfing in Portugal.
Sagres is easily one of the most popular surf destinations in Portugal. The town and beach sit in the very southwestern point of Portugal, near the city of Lagos. The town is the best-known surf spot in the Algarve region as it has the most variety. The waves in Sagres are consistent, making it perfect for surfers of all levels. The waves at the beach are mostly on the easier side, but once in a while, there is a harder wave too. Sagres is also home to Divers Cape, offering great scuba diving experiences, and Cape Cruiser, the ideal spot for whale and dolphin watching.
2. Praia do Amado
Just north of Sagres sits the small Costa Vicentina beach of Praia do Amado. The area is a great beach for surfing or just swimming and relaxing. Praia do Amado shows off big waves and strong currents, making it ideal for experienced surfers. But beginners shouldn’t write this site off just yet. Praia do Amado features a surf school with excellent teachers and fun lessons. The beach is also known for clear blue seas and great swimming.
3. Praia do Norte
With world-class surfing, it’s hard to pass up a trip to Praia do Norte. Located in the middle of Portugal’s west coast, Praia do Norte is an easily accessible, popular surf spot just north of Lisbon. Here is known for having the biggest waves in the region and in the world, and is the home to the 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave winner, first surfed by Garrett McNamara. That wave still holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed, at an impressive 78-feet. The area is also popular for the incredible lookout points, including Miradouro do Suberco, giving 180-degree views of the deep blue sea.
Espinho, located just south of the northern portside city of Porto, is a world-class surf town on the northern Portuguese coast. Espinho has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years, and due to its location, it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the country. Check out the best Portuguese surf spot, with its natural swimming hole that’s great for kids, and big enough waves that the beach won’t be overcrowded with tourists. It’s easy to see why surfers and families flock to Espinho.
5. Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo sits north of Porto, along Portugal’s border with Spain. The town is farther north from many of the other favorite surf spots across the country, making it the go-to place if you’re in the north of the country. The best surfing beach in Viana do Castelo is Praia de Cabedelo Beach. The beach has perfect winds, waves, and water temperatures in the area, as well as surfing for all levels — though it’s best suited for intermediate level surfers.
Last but most certainly not least on our list is Ericeira, located in central Portugal, just north of Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais. The beach is on the same level of Malibu or Huntington Beach, as Portugal’s Surf City. Ericeira is the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe, named by the Save the Waves Coalition. With world-class surf breaks, easy access from cities like Lisbon, summer music festivals, and of course world-famous surfing, Ericeira is a natural choice for anyone looking to catch some decent swells.