A Guide to the Finest Surf Spots in Portugal

Provided there is a swell to be had from the south, the popular Portuguese resort of Faro can be a fantastic place to pull on your wetsuit for a spot of surfing. Reached easily on flights from across Europe, Faro can be the perfect base for a relaxing holiday, with the bonus of as many memorable surfing sessions as you can handle!

Situated on the Algarve section of the Portuguese coast, there are plenty of beaches to choose from in Faro, all of which can be accessed easily from the airport. The beaches in Faro reach from Saint Vincent Cape all the way to the border with Spain, although it’s worth remembering that the winds at Saint Vincent Cape can be unpredictable.

What’s more, Faro airport is served by many low-cost airlines, making a surfing holiday great value, especially if you’re already a surfer and don’t require tuition when you arrive. However, if you do, there are lots of surf camps and surf schools in the area, which reflects the sheer quality of waves that are to be caught along the coast. The Algarve Surfing School offers lessons, surf camps and surf trips, as well as providing hostel accommodation in the popular surfers’ town of Sagres, as well as in Lagos, which is a favourite of backpackers. The Algarve Surf School can also arrange transfers from Faro airport.

A Wide Variety

For more variety in outdoor activities, Algarve Watersport takes advantage of the afternoon Portuguese winds to teach kitesurfing and windsurfing, as well as offering traditional surfing lessons and camps, plus there are facilities for wakeboarders too. Faro airport is a mere hour and a quarter away, and airlines like Jet2.com make it easy to find cheap flights here. Cheap flights to Faro leave the UK in the morning, meaning that you could be settled on a Portuguese beach, or indeed hitting the waves, by the afternoon.

One of the main attractions of Faro for surfers is that there tends to be less crowding on the Portuguese beaches than at other popular Mediterranean surf destinations. While waves don’t generally reach the lofty heights of many of those other favourite surf spots, you might be surprised to learn that the biggest wave ever surfed in history, which topped out at 90 feet high, was recorded on the Faro coast!

Not only that but the vibe is laid back, and as surfing in Faro is best between autumn and spring, the towns themselves can be found to be quieter too. In addition, because the various beaches – Barriga, Beliche, Castelejo, Mareta, Telheiro to name but a few – are relatively close to each other, it’s easily possibly to hire a car and drive from one to another, to take advantage of the best of what the various locations have to offer.

Once your surfing is done for the day, there are dozens of chic bars and restaurants at which to kick back, unwind and recount your stories from the day. Mareta has some fantastic restaurants that overlook the beach, whereas Amada Beach and its beach bars are a favourite hangout for surfers.

So, what are you doing tomorrow afternoon? Why not grab your board and discover why thousands of surfers, of all abilities, flock to Faro every year!

2 Comments

  • Ross

    August 28, 2013

    One of the best places in Portugal I was surfing was Peniche which is 1.5hrs north of Lisbon. It has 2 huge beaches that stretch miles that face slightly different directions that means at least one is always good. The public transport is good and there are plenty of surfing schools for us beginners.

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