The Best Seven Spots for Surfing in Mainland Portugal

Mainland Portugal is known for being a world-renowned surfing destination, with a variety of beaches offering exceptional conditions for surfers of all levels. Here are some of the best spots for surfing in mainland Portugal.

Keep in mind that the exact conditions can vary from year to year and even from day to day, so it’s always good to check the local forecasts before planning your Peniche surfing experience. Also respect local rules and surfing ethics to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  1. Peniche
  2. Ericeira
  3. Nazaré
  4. Guincho (Cascais)
  5. Costa da Caparica
  6. São Torpes (Sines)
  7. Figueira da Foz

01. Peniche

Peniche is one of the main surfing meccas in Portugal, whose conditions vary throughout the year. The predominant swells come from the North Atlantic, providing the ideal state for surfable wave formation. As with many surf spots, wind can play a crucial role in the conditions. Offshore wind (coming from the sea towards the beach) is generally preferred to create cleaner waves.


While autumn is considered the peak season for surfing in Peniche, winter and spring also offer good conditions. In the summer, the waves may be smaller, but still, there are opportunities for surfing.

Peniche hosts several international surfing competitions, including stages of the World Surfing Championship (WCT), attracting some of the best surfers in the world.

Praia dos Supertubos – is famous for its powerful tubular waves, offering long and consistent tubes. It can be surfed all year round, but autumn is usually the best time, when the North Atlantic swells are most consistent.

Praia do Baleal – has a variety of spots, from gentle waves for beginners to more challenging waves for advanced surfers. Baleal is known for being surfable all year round, but spring and autumn generally offer good surfing conditions.

02. Ericeira

Ericeira is a world-renowned surf village located on the west coast of Portugal. With several beaches and a laid-back atmosphere, Ericeira offers a variety of surf conditions throughout the year.


It’s a community of surfers, and that’s reflected in the laid-back, friendly atmosphere on the beaches. Local surf shops rent boards and equipment, and locals are welcoming to visitors. There are several surf schools in Ericeira, with lessons for beginners and improvement for more advanced surfers. It’s a great place for anyone who wants to learn how to surf.

Winter usually brings bigger waves, while summer can have smaller waves and is suitable for beginner surfers. However, Ericeira is a year-round surfing destination. Before you go surfing, it is advisable to check the wave and wind forecasts. Some beaches have live webcams, allowing you to assess conditions in real-time.

Remember to respect local rules, other surfers, and the environment. Ericeira is a special destination, offering not only excellent surfing conditions but also an authentic and welcoming experience for surf enthusiasts.

Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach: it is known for its long and consistent waves, ideal for surfers of all levels. Waves can range from small to large, depending on the sea conditions. Spring and autumn are considered ideal for surfing in Ribeira d’Ilhas, when the Atlantic swells offer consistent conditions and the crowd is a bit smaller.

The laid-back atmosphere on the beach attracts surfers and spectators alike. There’s a friendly, relaxed feel, with beachfront cafes and bars to take in the view.

Praia de Coxos: it has challenging characteristics, due to its waves, with a fast and powerful break. It is suitable for more advanced surfers and offers a unique surfing experience.

Offshore wind is preferable for cleaner conditions in Coxos. The tide can also influence the quality of the wave, and is often better at lower tides.

03. Nazaré (North Beach)

Nazaré (Praia do Norte) famous for its giant waves, is a destination for big wave surfers. Its waves, driven by a unique underwater canyon that amplifies the ocean’s ripples, can reach extraordinary heights.

Nazaré (Praia do Norte) | Source:

The geological formation of the Nazaré Canyon, an underwater canyon, is fundamental for the creation of the giant waves. This cannon channels the swells and turns them into massive waves when they encounter shallower waters near the shore.

Praia do Norte is the site of the Nazaré Challenge, a big wave surfing competition that is part of the World Surf League’s (WSL) Big Wave World Circuit. This competition attracts some of the best big wave surfers in the world.

The best time to surf giant waves at Praia do Norte usually occurs during the winter, when Atlantic storms generate powerful swells. The months of October to March are considered the main season.

Given the challenging nature of the conditions, Praia do Norte has a highly trained rescue team that specializes in big wave rescue situations. Due to the size of the waves, many surfers use the practice of “tow-in“, where they are towed by jet skis to be able to catch waves that would be almost impossible to surf with traditional paddling.

Praia do Norte attracts surfers from all over the world, creating a multicultural atmosphere during periods of big waves. It is common to see professional surfers, amateurs, and surfing enthusiasts flocking to the area.

In addition to surfing, Praia do Norte is a popular destination for adventure tourism. The stunning surrounding cliffs provide spectacular panoramic views and attract visitors interested in the natural beauty of the area.

When visiting Praia do Norte, it is essential to have a deep respect for the extreme nature of the waves and follow all safety precautions. Plus, watch the experienced surfers and rescue team in action for a full appreciation of the magnitude of this incredible site.

04. Guincho (Cascais)

Guincho (Cascais) located near Cascais in the Lisbon region, Guincho Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Portugal. It is an extensive golden sand beach, surrounded by dunes and cliffs. It is situated in an area of natural beauty, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Guincho Beach | Source:

It is easily accessible by car from Cascais. Parking is available, although during the summer months when the beach is more crowded, there may be a higher demand for parking spaces. It also has good infrastructure, including restaurants and cafes by the sea, where visitors can taste local dishes while enjoying the view of the ocean.

Guincho beach has exceptional conditions for surfing. Its waves are often strong and consistent, making it a popular spot for more advanced surfers. The strong wind that blows from the land to the sea also makes it suitable for water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. Guincho is home to several surf schools. Both beginners and more experienced surfers can take advantage of the lessons and rent equipment to enjoy the waves.

The quality of the waves and the unique conditions made Guincho Beach the chosen place for surfing and windsurfing competitions. National and international events are held here throughout the year.

Keep in mind that sea and wind conditions can vary, so it’s always good to check the forecasts before planning your visit to Guincho Beach. This beach is not only a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, but also a place of exceptional natural beauty for all visitors.

05. Costa da Caparica

Close to Lisbon, it is an accessible place for those in the capital. It has several extensive beaches with several surf spots along the coast, for surfers of different levels.

Costa da Caparica is a great place to learn how to surf. There are several surf schools along the coast that offer lessons for surfers of all levels, from beginners to more experienced surfers. Praia do Dragão Vermelho, Praia do CDS, Praia da Rainha, among others, are some of the most well-known surf spots.

Costa da Caparica | Source:

Costa da Caparica has waves all year round, but conditions can vary according to the seasons. During the winter, the waves can get bigger, attracting surfers looking for more intense challenges. Some beaches in Costa da Caparica have been the stage for local and national surfing competitions. The region attracts competitive surfers who participate in events throughout the year.

The atmosphere in Costa da Caparica is relaxed and friendly. Local surfers and visitors mingle with each other, creating a lively and welcoming surf community.

The region has good infrastructure, with parking available in many areas. In addition, there are cafes and restaurants on the waterfront where surfers can relax after their surf sessions.

06. São Torpes (Sines)

São Torpes (Sines) located near Sines, is known for having warmer waters due to its proximity to the thermoelectric power plant. It is a popular spot for beginner and intermediate surfers due to its calmer waters compared to some beaches in western Portugal.

São Torpes (Sines) | Source:

Given the friendlier nature of the waves, São Torpes attracts surf schools that offer lessons for surfers of all levels. The quality of the waves in São Torpes can vary according to the time of year, despite this, it is a place that can usually be surfed all year round. The winds are usually moderate, which can contribute to the conditions being more favorable for surfing. Offshore winds (coming from the sea towards the beach) can create cleaner waves.

In addition to the surfing conditions, São Torpes offers a unique natural environment. The cliffs surrounding the beach and coastal scenery make for a tranquil and relaxing experience. Due to its thermal waters, there are natural hot springs in the area, where waters heated by geothermal heat meet the sea. Visitors often enjoy these hot springs after their surfing sessions.

Sines is a nearby city that offers additional infrastructure, including restaurants, shops, and accommodations. This makes São Torpes a convenient destination for those who want to combine surfing with other activities.

07. Figueira da Foz

Figueira da Foz, located in the central region of Portugal, has several beaches with good conditions for surfing, namely, Buarcos and Cabedelo. The area is known for its consistent waves and laid-back atmosphere.

Figueira da Foz | Source:

Praia do Cabedelo has different spots that provide waves for surfers of different abilities. Both beginners and more advanced surfers can find conditions suitable for their preferences.

The presence of surf schools in Figueira da Foz makes the region accessible for those who wish to learn or improve their surfing skills. Schools generally offer classes for all levels of experience.

Figueira da Foz has been the stage for several surfing championships and related events. The city attracts surfing competitions, attracting local and international surfers to its waters.

Some areas along the coast of Figueira da Foz have milder conditions, making them suitable for beginner surfers. These areas are ideal for those who are taking their first steps in the world of surfing.

Depending on the weather and sea conditions, Figueira da Foz can offer a variety of waves, from gentler waves for beginners to more challenging waves for more experienced surfers.

Surf conditions may vary throughout the year. However, many surfers visit Figueira da Foz throughout the year, taking advantage of different seasons to experience the various conditions.

Figueira da Foz offers good infrastructure, such as restaurants, cafes and beachfront accommodation. This makes the region suitable for surfers who want to enjoy not only the waves but also the local culture and hospitality.