The Algarve coast is a surfer's paradise, and this adventure sport has long been one of the main draws of the beautiful southern Portuguese region. The Atlantic Ocean provides waves all along the coastline, but the best places for surfing in the Algarve are without a doubt the western and southwestern coasts.
The areas with conditions most conducive to surfing are Sagres, the westernmost town in the Algarve, and the Costa Vicentina, a national park along the region's west coast. In fact, Portugal's west coast has some of the largest waves in the world, with the world record for the biggest wave surfed repeatedly being broken in the town of Nazare.
The central Algarve coast, where you'll find the most popular beach towns and resorts, offers smaller waves but can still be a good place for beginner surfers if the conditions are right.
Whether you are an experienced surfer or just getting your feet wet, the Algarve is the perfect place to catch some waves. This surf guide will help you determine when to plan your trip and where to go. Read on for everything you need to know about surfing in the Algarve!
Both Sagres and the Costa Vicentina are home to amazing beaches that provide perfect waves for surfing. Many of these beaches have a surf shop right on the beach, so you can buy or rent a surfboard and a wetsuit if you did not bring your own.
For options around the Sagres area, try Praia do Zavial, Praia do Tonel, and Praia do Beliche. Praia do Tonel is within walking distance from the town of Sagres, making it very accessible, while Praia do Beliche is surrounded by stunning cliffs that add to the surfing experience.
Just north of Sagres along the western coast, you'll find neighbouring beaches Praia da Cordoama and Praia do Castelejo. It is best to surf with an instructor at these beaches as there are hidden rocks in the water that can be dangerous if you are unfamiliar with the area.
For more great surf, head to the Costa Vicentina farther up the western coast. Some of the best beaches here include Praia do Amada, which is one of the most popular surfing spots in the Algarve, and Praia de Monte Clérigo, which tends to be a bit quieter than some of the other beaches in the area. Praia da Bordeira and Praia da Arrifana are two other western beaches with ideal waves for surfing.
If you'd like to explore more of the rugged western region, you can also join a tour to experience both land and sea adventures around the town of Sagres.
For beginners who prefer to stay along the central coast, it is still possible to surf, although the waves and swell will be smaller than those along the western coast. Depending on where you will be staying, some good surf spots are Praia da Rocha, Praia de Faro, and Falesia Vilamoura.
If you've always wanted to learn to surf or have some experience but want to polish up your skills before going it alone, you can take advantage of the many surf schools the Algarve has to offer.
Taking surfing lessons is important before getting started. It is essential to learn the proper technique as well as surfing safety tips from trained surf instructors. Most schools are located in the western Algarve around the towns of Lagos and Sagres, as these areas are where you'll find ideal surfing conditions.
Depending on your goals, you can take a few individual surf lessons, or you can sign up for a surfing boot camp that will teach you the basics of surfing over the course of several days. Some of the best surf schools in Sagres include Algarve Surf School and Wavy Surf Camp. If you will be staying on the central coast, another option is Future Surfing School, located in Praia da Rocha, Portimao.
The airport that services the Algarve is located in the capital city of Faro, which is about an hour and a half from Sagres. From Lisbon, the drive is about two and a half hours. The easiest way to get around the Algarve is by car, especially if you will be visiting several beaches. You'll just want to make sure that the vehicle you choose will be able to accommodate your surfboard.
If you decide against renting a car, it is possible to get from Faro airport by public transportation, but you will need to change at Lagos and take another bus to get farther west to Sagres. If you are enrolling in a surf school, you won't have to worry about transport to the beaches as most schools will provide transportation to different beaches depending on which ones have the best swell on any given day.
One of the biggest advantages of the Algarve is its pleasant year-round weather, which means that it makes for a great surf spot regardless of the season. During the off-season, you'll beat the summer crowds as well as peak season prices, with flights, accommodation, and surf schools offering discounted rates. The winter also brings big waves, which makes it the ideal season to visit for experienced surfers.
The Algarve region of Portugal is an idyllic vacation destination,
whether you're planning an adventurous surf trip or a relaxing beach
vacation. It is home to some of the best surfing spots in the world,
with guaranteed waves and sunny weather throughout most of the year.
With this guide, you're sure to make the most of your surfing time in the Algarve and enjoy all that Portugal's beaches have to offer!