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Surfing in the Algarve

SURFING IN THE ALGARVE

THE BEST SURF SPOTS IN THE SOUTH OF PORTUGAL

Surfing in the Algarve offers you lots of waves and variety. The Algarve, in southern Portugal, is known for its stunning nature, rich culture, Mediterranean food and variety of world-class surf spots, making it the perfect place for a surfing holiday. It doesn't matter whether you want to learn to surf or can already surf in demanding conditions, the Algarve offers the right surfing beach for every surfing level. And all of this with pleasant air and water temperatures and very good water quality.

ALGARVE

Surfing beaches in an impressive setting.

ALGARVE

Very consistent conditions for surfing and learning to surf.

ALGARVE

Large selection of
different surf spots.

Surfing in the Algarve offers you a big advantage over other surfing destinations in Europe and that is the two coastlines. You can choose your surfing spot between the western and southern coasts, depending on which direction the waves are coming from or how big they are. This means there are hardly any days of the year when surfing is not possible in the Algarve. Somewhere in the Algarve there is always a wave waiting for you.

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SURF SPOTS IN THE ALGARVE

If you are planning a surfing trip to Portugal, then the Algarve is an ideal travel destination. Within half an hour's drive you can reach perfect reef breaks and beautiful beach breaks, which are mostly embedded in a breathtaking coastal landscape and, depending on the conditions, show their perfection.  

In summer, most of the waves in the Algarve can be found in the national park on the west coast. When the waves get bigger there, the numerous surf spots on the south coast of the Algarve come to life.

 

Below we introduce you to the best surf spots in the Algarve:

Praia de Odeceixa

You can reach Odeceixa beach via the picturesque town of Odeceixa. Praia de Odeceixa is located in a rock-protected bay with a beautiful sandy beach. The constantly running beach break offers you a very good alternative if the other spots in the area are blown out by the wind. The spot runs best with light offshore winds from the east. The best thing is that even on really good days it rarely gets very crowded.

Surfing Algarve Praia de Odeceixa

Amoreira

Where the Ribeira de Aljezur flows towards the sea is the Praia da Amoreira beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast and on a good day offers many beautiful peaks over rocky, sandy ground. Even on good days, it doesn't get quite as crowded here as the spots around Carrapateira or Sagres. The beaches at the river mouth or on the lagoon further upstream are also very suitable for a family trip

Monte Clérigo

The view from above is already worth a stop: Nestled in a dune landscape, you will find this beautiful sandy beach below the small town. It is a beach break with scattered stones and many peaks. This spot works best with a clean northwest swell and a light wind from the east. As soon as it gets bigger here, this spot is only for experienced surfers due to its currents.

Surfing Algarve Monte Clérigo

Arrifana

Arrifana is one of the most famous spots in Portugal. Beneath the whitewashed village and massive cliffs is a lovely beach break that gets quite a bit of swell in the shelter of the north wind and offers several peaks for beginners and intermediates in small conditions. But the real reason for experienced surfers to visit Arrifana is the world-class, right-hand reef break at the northern end of the beach. When it really rolls in from the west, a very long and powerful right wave breaks here with steep sections and barrel potential. There are days when this wave can be perfect – perfect! But it takes at least a 2 meter (6ft) swell to even run, but the break can withstand up to three times that size. The reef break is not suitable for beginners and even the pros among you should keep a close eye on the rocks on the inside.

Surfing in the Algarve in Arrifana

Vale Figueiras

Between Aljezur and Carrapateira, coming from Aljezur, you will find a signpost on your right. From here you reach a smaller and very dusty road that takes you through the Alentejo Natural Park to Vale Figueras. Vale de Fegueiras offers you a beautiful beach break with many peaks that offer waves for all levels, depending on the conditions. However, as soon as it gets bigger, there isn't too much to be gained here.

Praia da Bodeira

Bodeira Beach is a long, wide sandy beach northwest of Carrapateira. In contrast to most cliff beaches in this area, Bodeira is framed by wide sand dunes. The beach is oriented to the north/north-west, which makes it an absolute swell magnet and waves can be surfed with a swell size of 0.5 meters and are even clean up to a good 2 meters, of course it is above a certain size no longer suitable for beginners. Bodeira is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach on the west coast of the Algarve, and not just because of its fairly consistent surfing conditions. The only disadvantage here is the often onshore wind, which blows away some sessions. Unfortunately, the line between “messy but nice” and “completely blown out” is pretty thin in this spot.

Surfing in the Algarve in Praia da Bodeira

Amado

Praia do Amado is a very beautiful beach break with many peaks, located southwest of Carrapateira. Similar to Praia da Bodeira, Amado receives a lot of swell due to its orientation, but the northern cliffs mean it is much more protected from the Nortada, the regular north wind in summer. Praia do Amado is one of the most popular surfing spots in the south of Portugal and is accordingly well attended. However, you can avoid the crowd on the beach and the usually very full line-up, especially in midsummer, by getting up early for an early bird session. The surf spot is also very popular with many surf schools in the Algarve. Two cafés invite you to watch the hustle and bustle on the beach.

Surfing in the Algarve in Praia do Amado

Cordoama and Castelejo

You can reach these two very beautiful beaches on the west coast if you drive through Villa do Bispo. Cordoama and Castelejo are signposted from there and can be reached in just under 5 minutes. Shortly before the Mirador (viewpoint) the road splits and leads you down to the respective spots. If you don't know which beach to choose by then, the viewing point is ideal for a spot check and offers a fabulous view over the entire cliff. Both beach breaks usually have several very nice peaks, so the line-up is well distributed and there is hardly any crowding in one spot. Depending on the size of the waves and the direction of the wind, the waves on both beaches can become really powerful and very steep until they break onto the beach in powerful barrels. Only the professionals among you should venture into these conditions; the others can then watch a great surf and wave cinema from the beach bars.

Surfing in the Algarve in Castellejo

Ponta Ruiva

From Sagres and Vila do Bispo, several unsigned and unpaved paths lead to Ponta Ruiva. It is better not to drive to this remote spot, which you can only reach via longer off-road tracks, with a rental car. The potholed roads put your shock absorbers at full speed and are by no means suitable for the average small car. Nevertheless: Once found, Ponta Ruiva opens up a beautiful beach, framed by high black slate cliffs. The red stone formation in the south gave the beach its name. There is a reef break here that produces a nice long left on a good day. In the middle there is a beach break that can have several nice peaks if the waves are not that big.

Surfing in the Algarve Ponta Ruive

Beliche

Beliche is a very good and beautiful spot west of Sagres. This place serves as a base for many surfers for their surfing holidays in the Algarve. Beliche is a protected beach break, but requires a large northwest or a clean west swell. The peaks are spread out, but on wave-heavy days, especially in summer, the line-up is extremely crowded. A steep staircase leads down from the parking lot to the beach, which seems twice as long after surfing.

Tonel

Tonel is the main spot in Sagres. Directly below Fortaleza de Sagres, an important Portuguese national monument, is this very consistent beach break. Depending on the wave height, both pros and beginners who want to learn to surf in the Algarve will get their money's worth here. Although the spot is no longer on the west coast, its western orientation ensures that many waves still reach their destination. The distinguishing feature of Tonel is a huge rock that protrudes far out of the water on the right side of the bay. When the waves are very high, the bay turns into a fabulous backdrop, in front of which meter-high waves pile up and crash against the rocks.

Surfing in the Algarve Sagres Tonel

Barranco

A roughly 7 kilometer long potholed road leads from the town of Raposeira down to this slightly remote surfing spot. The relatively small, round-shaped bay is framed by green dunes on one side and high rocks on the other. Unfortunately, the beach has lost some of its natural charm in recent years, as it is visited almost all year round by long-term campers and has therefore already gained its reputation as a “hippie beach”. Nevertheless, this spot on the south coast is an absolute highlight when a clean swell from the south or a very large west swell drives clean waves over the sandbanks.

Surfing in the Algarve Barranco

Zavial

Praia do Zavial is one of the most famous spots in the Algarve. The popular beach on the south coast is fun even when there is a small southerly swell, because the sandbanks of the beach break are high and steep, which creates powerful, fast waves. Unfortunately, the main peaks in the middle of the bay often break as a close-out. But Zavial is at its best when there is a big westerly swell that turns around the cap and, in offshore winds, creates a world-class point break on the far right of the bay. Then the best surfers in southern Portugal meet here to surf the most beautiful tubes in the Algarve. Best between mid and low tide.

Surfing in the Algarve Zavial

Cabanas Velhas

Visitors to Praia Cabanas can watch an exciting surf cinema from the beach bar in a very relaxed atmosphere, especially in late autumn and on sunny winter days. The beach, which was previously only popular with fishermen, is now visited by many, mostly local, surfers, especially in autumn and winter. An easy entry and clean waves breaking left and right over well-situated sandbanks and sometimes rocks make it a popular place to go as soon as the Atlantic pushes in with a lot of force from the south or west. Best between mid and low tide.

Surfing in the Algarve in Cabanas Velhas

Burgau

Burgau is probably one of the most beautiful and authentic fishing villages on the south coast of the Algarve. Its Portuguese charm and family atmosphere attract beach vacationers and surfers alike. Depending on the direction of the swell, there is a point break on the left or right side of the bay as well as several peaks in the middle of the beach. Burgau doesn't have as consistent waves as Zavial or the spots on the west coast. However, when things are going, they are often very good and the mostly glassy bay is transformed into a small wave pool for all surfing levels.

Surfing in the Algarve Burgau

Praia da Luz

Actually better known as a spacious bathing beach, the surf spot Praia da Luz offers equally good surfing conditions. Where the rare surfing days predominate in the summer, the winter swells push beautiful waves onto this beach in the winter months. Together with a light offshore wind, this beach break promises one or two very good surfing sessions. The reef break, in front of the black rock of the same name (Rocha Negra) on the left side of the bay, is an extremely popular spot with the locals at the right tide and with the right swell and is known for its beautiful right.

Maia Praia

Maia Praia is the 3 kilometer long sandy beach of Lagos. With a swell from the southeast or a strong west swell, it offers many peaks with relaxed waves for all levels. The area near the pier is well protected from north and west winds. Windsurfers and kiters will find good flat water in the lagoon at the eastern end of Maia Praia.

Surfing in the Algarve Lagos Maia Praia

Portimao

Portimão is one of the tourist strongholds in the Algarve. Portimão has several surf spots, all of which require a large west swell or southeast swell. The best known is Praia da Rocha, a beach break with a wave breaking to the left at the pier and other peaks along the beach, which usually offers good conditions for beginners and intermediates. When there is a big swell, the wave breaking to the left is steep and hollow and barrels one or two good surfers, but in summer this is very rarely the case.

Surfing in the Algarve in Portimão

Ilha de Tavira

The beaches of Tavira are located on the 11 km long dune beach that lies off the coast. Small boats and ferries go to the beaches on the island of Ilha de Tavira several times a day, or you can simply paddle across on a board. In the far east of the island is the beach section of the same name, Ilha de Tavira. It is located close to the city and is the best surfing spot in the Eastern Algarve. The beach break offers waves running left and right. In addition to a strong west swell or a swell from the southeast, strong winds (blowing offshore) from the northwest make the waves run here.

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Beach, waves and a bed right by the sea are waiting for you.

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