Ride the waves off Portugal’s coast
Want to catch massive waves? Look no further than Portugal. Recently, pro surfer Garrett McNamara broke his own world record for riding the largest wave, 100 feet to be exact, off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.
With mild temperatures year-round, an alluring culture and sprawling beaches, Portugal is a fun and exciting place to visit. When taking into consideration the variety of waves and swell sizes, the country is one of the best places to surf for all whether you’re a beginner or experienced.
The Atlantic waters off of Portugal are booming with hot surf spots. Nazaré, situated in the north has reliable surf year-round, with both left and right hand waves. Although most known for its fishing, this beach is quickly becoming popular for its gigantic waves. Back in 2011 the Hawaiian surfer set the first world record when he rode a 78 feet wave in Nzaré. The waves here reach such gargantuan heights because of a 1,000 ft underwater canyon that acts as a funnel and creates towering waves.
Although it’s a newer surf destination, the Algrave coastline is ideal because of its mild weather, beautiful beaches and consistent breaks. Since one coast faces west and the other south, there are always swells. The west coast tends to produce larger waves, reaching nearly 15 ft in the winter. Amado Beach along the west coast is one of the most famous surf spots and home to the largest concentration of visitors, this beach is great for surfing and people watching. Throughout the year it holds several competitions and top-of-the-line surf schools which are ideal for beginners.
Often referred to as the Mecca of surf, Ericiera boasts numerous quality surf spots, which makes it one of the most visited in Europe. It regularly hosts the ASP World Tour Surf Championship. Foz do Lizandro and Ribeira D’Ilhas are great for all surfers, especially beginners. The rest of the spots, like Coxos and Pedra Blanca are best for experienced surfers.
Another hot spot, Peniche has very agreeable conditions and spots facing in three directions that make it perfect for surfing. It is reliable and is a prime spot for many surf schools. Experienced surfers should head to Lagide, which has one of the best reef-breaks in the region. It’s also home to the infamous Subertubos, which is a hallow and powerful left beach-break – only for professional and kamikaze surfers.
The capital city is has a superb surf zone. Within a 25km stretch it has numerous surf spots and break that suits all ability levels. Some of the most notable places to catch a wave are the Costa de Caparica, which offers consistent breaks. The Carcavelos is another prime destination because of its quality breaks and punchy waves.