Whether you’ve just started surfing or you’re already practicing barrel riding, Portugal has waves that will keep everyone stoked. Here’s what you can look forward to on your next surf trip:
1. World class waves
The waves in Portugal are arguably some of the best and most definitely the biggest in the world. In November 2017, Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa rode an 80ft (24m) wave off the coast of Nazaré, a small fishing village north of Lisbon.
The power and the spray of these waves felt from the shore alone is enough to leave you with sweaty palms and shaky legs. The sheer beauty of the surf often inspires the question: should I just watch, or should I send it? But never fear, if big waves aren’t your thing, there is a little something for everyone that can be found in Portugal. Believe it or not even Praia do Norte, the beach home to the infamous wave of Nazaré, offers some cute punchy waves when the swell isn’t pumping.
2. consistent swell
Portugal is surrounded by 1,115 miles (1,794 km) of beautiful coastline that faces both west and south, so you can find many different kinds of waves year round, from barreling beach breaks to reeling points. It is perhaps one of the best destinations in Europe to score consistent surf. The Algarve region, located in southern Portugal, has one of the longest swell seasons in the country and is a new Surf with Amigas retreat location.
3. The food
A good surf trip isn’t complete without amazing food to fuel the froth and Portugal definitely does not disappoint. From bacalhau (salted cod) to soups and stews, roasted chestnuts and sweet treats, Portugese cuisine provides it all. Pastel de natas are without a doubt Portugal’s biggest gift to the culinary world (and our lucky bellies). These cinnamon egg tarts can be eaten as a breakfast treat with a cup of coffee, dessert, or snack at any time of day. Wine lovers also delight in Portugal, the birthplace of port, a popular dessert wine. Although many other countries produce port-style wine, only port produced in the Duoro Valley near Porto can actually be called port. You won’t be complaining about having to surf in cold water when you know Portugese delicacies wait for you at shore.
4. Art and culture
Flat day has you frowning? Get ready for the ultimate facelift while exploring quaint Portugese towns brimming with color and history. In the shadow of both France and Spain, it’s easy to forget that Portugal was one of the first countries to begin “discovering” countries in the Americas and other continents in the early 1500s. Portugal has a fascinating history and culture that permeates through modern daily life; It’s easy to feel as though you’ve stepped off the pages of a history book while meandering through old cobblestone streets and taking in the beautiful architecture. Azulejos, or tiles, adorn many buildings in Portugal and are a personal favorite of mine. You’ll be amazed by the colors and stories they depict.
5. Incredible landscapes
Portugal has sunny weather about 300 days per year, making it one of the sunniest places in Europe and the ultimate destination for a surf vacation practically all year round. Dreaming of breathtaking cliffs, coastal castles, sea caves, sandy islands and wild stretches of golden beaches? The Algarve region is your ticket to paradise. This year, we’ll be hosting our Portugal surf retreats in May, an ideal time to miss the summer crowds and van-lifers who descend upon the shores of this region.