Within easy reach of all parts of Europe, Portugal is a popular surfing destination with locals as well as international visitors. While it attracts the water-sports community all year round, the main Portugal surf season runs from late winter to early spring. Come at this time of year and you can expect waves measuring anything from 2 meters up to a sizable 15 ft.
Reaching temperatures of 26 degrees/ 79 Fahrenheit in the peak of summer, this is the busiest time for tourists descending on vacation. This is also a better time for novice surfers and groms, with gentle waves ranging from 1m up to 5ft.
Some of the most popular locations for surfing in Portugal include; Algarve, Alentejo, Lisbon, Ericeira, Peniche, Beira, and Nazare. It’s worth noting that Ericeira, Nazare, and Supertubos are all separated within an hour’s reach of each other, for those serious about finding monster waves.
Travelling to Portugal in 2022
The two main entry points into Portugal are Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) and Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto (OPO), which serve Europe and North America with international flights. Alternatively, you could arrive to Portugal by road. Once you are in the country, you can move around between destinations by an efficient network of trains, domestic flights or bus. Taxis, trams and subways are available for local transportation.
Travelers from the European Union, Schengen Associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland), Brazil, UK, USA, as well as from countries authorised for non-essential travel subject to reciprocal confirmation (including but not limited to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Peru) are allowed to enter mainland Portugal for both essential and non-essential travel.
All travelers must present one of the following:
- A valid vaccination, test, or recovery EU Digital COVID Certificate (only vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency are valid in inland Portugal and Azores);
- Or a valid vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions;
- Or a negative RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) taken within 72h before boarding the flight or entering the country;
- Or a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken within 24h before boarding the flight or entering the country.
All passengers arriving by plane must fill out an electronic Passenger Locator Form after check-in and before departure. Passengers flying into the Azores must complete a Questionnaire for Risk Assessment and Early Detection before boarding. Those flying into Madeira should register their travel here.
Please check the official sources before you travel.
An amazing coastline
The surf hubs of Ericeira and Peniche are the best known places around, but the Portuguese coastline is one of most consistent stretches of coastline in Europe and it is very popular for all types of surfers. From beginner to pro alike, Portugal is just perfect for any surf trip.
The capital of the north is the second largest city in Portugal. Stretching along the Douro River, it's world-famous for its port wine, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean the surf is still very unexplored.
Beira Litoral has been gaining more popularity in the last years since the discovery of the big wave venue of Nazare, however this beautiful stretch of coast has much more on offer that surfers can expect.
Surrounded by the refreshing Atlantic waters, life in Peniche peninsula is intimately linked to the sea. Its strategic location and geographical situation result in year-round surf under all types of swell and wind conditions.
This small, yet beautiful, a fishing village just 45 minutes north of Lisbon was declared a World Surfing Reserve back in 2011. Despite being considered the mecca for surfers for some time, it has largely escaped the interest of vacationers that generally roam Sintra or the Algarve coastline.
The city of 7 hills is a fantastic base for a surf holiday. All around the city, you can find a huge variety of waves and surf spots, from beach breaks, point breaks to reef breaks you will always find the right wave for you.
Alentejo offers a genuine cultural experience that goes above and beyond the surf. This sparsely populated region of the country is 2-hour drive from Lisbon and will immerse you in the authentic Portuguese traditions and way of life.
It starts in the Natural Park of Costa Vicentina, corners Sagres and extends itself till Spain, the Algarve draws millions of visitors each year to explore its soaring cliffs, golden beaches, sandy islands and sea caves.
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The Surf Seasons
The climate is mild and Mediterranean, the north of the country a little bit cooler whilst the south tends to be warmer.
You’ll see people surfing Portugal year round, even during the more crowded summer months when it seems like entire country, along with many foreign visitors, comes to fill the its many beautiful beaches. However, the waves are better outside of summer even if the weather can get a bit too cool for casual swimmers and sunbathers.
Winter, the peak season
The best season is late winter to early spring, specially between September and April. Experiecenced surfers will love Portugal swells over this period of time where they can easily score perfect barrels at Supertubos or perfect right walls at Ribeira D’ilhas.
Summer, for fun...
For beginners summer is the perfect time of the year and between June and August to Portugues coastlines are crowded with surfers that take turns in the lineup.
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