If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, surfing in Portugal is an excellent choice. With miles of coastline and some of the best waves in Europe, Portugal is a top destination for surfers of all levels. In this travelogue, we’ll explore the best surf spots in Portugal and what makes them so special. But first, let’s start with a brief introduction to this amazing country.
Introduction to Portugal
Portugal is a small country located on the western coast of Europe, bordered by Spain to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It has a rich history and culture, with beautiful beaches, ancient castles, and quaint villages. The capital city, Lisbon, is known for its lively nightlife, colorful streets, and delicious food. Porto, the second-largest city, is famous for its port wine and stunning architecture. But what Portugal is most famous for among surfers is its world-class waves.
Nazaré – Home of the Biggest Waves in the World
Nazaré is a small fishing village located on the central coast of Portugal, about an hour north of Lisbon. It is home to one of the most famous surf spots in the world, Praia do Norte, which is known for its massive waves. In 2011, Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle made history by surfing a 100-foot wave here, setting the world record for the largest wave ever surfed. But you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy Nazaré’s waves. The beach offers different spots for all levels, from beginners to advanced surfers.
Aside from surfing, Nazaré is a charming town with narrow streets, colorful houses, and a lively fishing port. Its traditional food is delicious, especially fresh seafood dishes like grilled sardines and octopus. You can also take a day trip to the nearby medieval town of Óbidos or visit the famous monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha.
Peniche – Europe’s Surf Capital
Peniche is a peninsula located on the western coast of Portugal, about an hour north of Lisbon. It is known as Europe’s surf capital, with more than 20 surf spots in a 10-kilometer radius. The most famous one is Supertubos, which hosts the World Surf League’s annual event, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. This spot offers powerful and fast waves that break over a shallow sandbar, making it ideal for experienced surfers.
But Peniche also has spots for beginners, like Baleal and Praia da Consolação, with smaller and gentler waves. The town itself is a pleasant place to stay, with a beautiful fort and charming streets full of restaurants, bars, and surf shops. It’s also a good base to explore the nearby Berlengas islands, a nature reserve with crystal-clear waters, cliffs, and caves.
Ericeira – A World Surfing Reserve
Ericeira is a picturesque town located on the central coast of Portugal, about 45 minutes north of Lisbon. It is one of the world’s only three World Surfing Reserves, a designation that recognizes the environmental and cultural value of surfing. Ericeira is known for its consistent and high-quality waves, which attract surfers from all over the world.
The town has several surf spots, from Ribeira d’Ilhas, a classic right-hand point break, to Coxos, a powerful reef break. But Ericeira is not only about surfing. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with narrow cobblestone streets and colorful houses. Its seafood is delicious, especially the local delicacy percebes (goose barnacles), which are a popular dish among locals and visitors alike. You can also visit the medieval castle and the Santa Marta lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the coast.
Conclusion: Why You Should Visit Portugal for Surfing
Portugal is a fantastic destination for surfing, with a variety of waves that suit all levels and preferences. Whether you’re looking for big waves or smaller ones, crowded beaches or secluded spots, you’ll find it in Portugal. But surfing is not the only reason to visit this beautiful country. Its rich history, culture, and gastronomy make it a complete experience for any traveler. So, if you’re planning your next adventure, consider visiting Portugal for surfing and beyond. You won’t regret it!