Vila Real, Portugal

Portugal Top 10

I know that Portugal has been showing up on the international scene for the last few years with all the big waves riding that has been going on at Nazare (loco bastardos) but don’t be fooled by all the hoopla, there are tons of fun ‘normal guy’ surf spots around the country that deserve a surf trip or two.

Just a few years back I did a trip to southern Portugal and explored the cork forests while researching and developing the world famous cork traction pad. While on that trip I stumbled upon Sagres and thought you should know about it before planning you trip to Portugal.

Algarve: The Southern Jewel of Portuguese Surfing

The extreme south of Portugal is one of my favorite areas—why?

Surfing Algarve Portugal

The answer is simple, exposure to two swell windows (which you know I love) which means that if one window shuts down, you are an hour away from another. The west coast picks up the NW swells that hammer this sea faring nation in the winter and the south coast can have epic surf when it’s too big on the west side homeboy (and yes that happens often). The end result is that there is always a waves somewhere within a short driving distance.

Home Base – Sagres

You can base yourself in Sagres and venture out to the coves and inlets of the south or explore the beach-breaks around the northern cape. This is a terrific surf spot, with waves that tend to be best in spring, autumn and winter.

Sagres itself pulls in most of the swell, a beautiful wide bay that reminds me of Palos Verdes in California (but without the stink-eye locals). There are tons of hotels situated near the water, surf shacks on the cliff and plenty of good restaurants to fill your post surf crazed hunger.

If you plan on hanging in this area fly into Faro and rent a car at the airport, you’ll be in the surf in a few hours after landing which is always a huge bonus.

Not to fret senior jet setter; within Europe you can fly cheaply to Faro on a number of discount airlines. But don’t forget that they will charge you dearly for your surfboards (check out our online boardbag airline fee schedule). Here are few links to help you find your way around and to check the forecast:

If you are up to exploring the rest of Portugal (which I highly recommend) then check out this breakdown of some of my favorite spots which are easily assessable by car.

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