Best surf spots in Portugal

Portugal is known for many things like Fado and Pastel de nata, but one thing that has been increasingly associated with Portugal has been surfing. Nazaré has one of the tallest waves on Earth that surfers attempt to ride with their boards. Have a look below for the waves that only few attempts and successfully surf.

Here below are my top places to go to Portugal to surf. Whether these places have good access to surf schools, or have easy sand beaches for beginners this article will get you started on your search for your next surf trip.

Ericeira is a fishing village that has been popular among surfers in recent years. Image by V. Oliveira CC-BY SA 2.0


Located less than an hour away from Lisbon, Ericeira can be easily reached by car or by bus from the capital. It is a fishing village with great restaurants serving freshly caught fish but offers also perfect beaches for surfing. I surfed for the first time here and I loved it.

Ericeira has both sand beaches and stone beaches: these have advantages and disadvantages depending on your level. The town has many accommodations like hostels that offer surf classes: the surf coaches pick you up in a van in the morning and drive you to the beach and put the gear on you, give you a few tips and then spend 1–2 hours in the water.

Ericeira has both sand beaches and stone beaches. Stone beaches are better suited for advanced surfers. Image by O. Nogueira under CC-BY SA 2.0
View over the town of Baleal outside of Peniche with its iconic location being cut away from the mainland when the tide is high

Baleal and Peniche

The most famous beach in Portugal is arguably the Supertubos in Peniche. The beach of Supertubos is an ideal place for people wanting to start with easy waves. Furthermore, the town of Baleal, 5 min away, is much like in Ericeira in the sense that the whole town lives around surfing.

There are countless hostels and surf schools offering accommodation and packages should you want to spend a week of surfing with a group of friends or family.

View over Peniche's beach Supertubos. Image by B. Nyman under CC-BY SA 4.0
Vie wover the beach of Arrifana outside of Aljezur. Image by K. Taylor under CC-BY SA 2.0


Located on the Costa Vicentina is a town called Aljezur which is known to have a beach perfect for surfing. The beach is Praia da Arrifana and has one of the best backdrops for your days at the beach or on the sea. The cliffs tower over a long sandy beach, making it a great view to look at from the waves.

The town of Aljezur offers many accommodations, both for surfers and other tourists passing by. I would highly recommend to rent a car and drive here from Lisbon or Faro. Arrifana is a great stop if you are traveling along the coast. Read my post about traveling the Costa Vicentina if you are inspired: link here

Praia de Arrifana with its cliffs and sandy beach. Image by P. Asensio under CC-BY SA 4.0
View over the beach in Matosinhos. Image by H. Cadavez under CC-BY SA 2.0

Matosinhos and Leça

Can you surf in the north of Portugal? The answer is yes! 10 min outside of Porto you have the town of Matosinhos and the town of Leça. The beach in Matosinhos bears the same name as the town, and in Leça the beach is called Praia Leça de Palmeira.
The beach or “Praia” of Matosinhos stretches over almost 2km and has both sand and stone bottom. Some parts have rocks and can be quite challenging: I would keep these only for the experienced surfers. However, you have plenty of surf schools both in Matosinhos and Leça, they make sure to take you to the right spot according to your level.
Praia de Matosinhos stretching to the beach of Leça de Palmeira in the north

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