The Algarve. Not always the first place you think of as being littered with surf spots, right? It’s an easy assumption that all the good spots are in the north – near to the famous waves in Peniche, Ereceira and Nazare. But down here we have a selection of some of the most consistent waves in Europe – plus we are smug about the sunny sunshine when everyone up north is shivering in their beanie hats and 5mm wetsuits.
Ed & Sof first travelled Europe in their camper van Neil in 2009, chasing the sun down south for the winter (as many do) and fell in love with the wild, rugged, yet easygoing Algarve and its endless beaches, before heading off to India. Between south Asian seasons they kept on coming back to visit friends who’d moved here, dreaming of having something a little more permanent.
Experimenting with three years of pop-ups in the Algarve run by the magnificent duo of Adam & Rach, we opened full-time here in 2019 and haven’t looked back since. Portugal reveals a little more of itself to us every day, and now is as much home as Kerala and Lanka.
The south and west coastlines of Portugal are sprinkled with point breaks, reef breaks and some of the best beaches we’ve surfed. The wild, rugged west coast of the Algarve takes the full brunt of the Atlantic Ocean’s power, so if you are looking for heavier, more consistent swells & punchy waves head thattaway. The summer swells here, like everywhere ever, are smaller – with the predominant northerly winds kicking in from June-ish onwards. The south coast faces Africa, and doesn’t pick up as much swell as the west – so is a great option if you are into something a little more chilled.
This guide details all our favourite spots on the West, Mid and South coasts – our insider’s take on where to surf and when. of course you will need to hand over a couple of details and subscribe to our email list to get it, but that just signs you up to even more of this good stuff so we’d call it a pretty good trade…
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