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Portugal offers some of the best surfing in Europe and has hosted several World Championships. With warm summers and mild winters, the quality of the surf and diversity of beaches makes Portugal a good surfing destination for all abilities and styles. Waves formed in the vast Atlantic travel unimpeded, so good surf can be found from northern Portugal right down to Sagres. Powerful undercurrents can be present, so swimmers and holiday surfers may prefer the warmer, calmer waters of the Algarve.
Surfers should visit Portugal between September and April for the best surf.
Getting started: Portugal has plenty of surf shops in the coastal towns, many will also hire out surfboards and wetsuits and have contact information for local surf schools. Calling into a surf shop, even if you are experienced, will almost certainly pay dividends; they will be able to provide local knowledge on where and when the best surf is to suit your ability and requirements. The Stormrider guide to Portugal, downloadable from www.lowpressure.co.uk, may be worth investing in before you go off in search of the surf.
Strong undercurrents occur in the Atlantic waters of the Portuguese west coast.
Safety and Swimming: Do not enter the sea when you see yellow or red flags flying, these flags indicate the water is not safe. If a blue and white chequered flag is flying this indicates that no lifeguard is in attendance. Always seek local advice before entering the water.
Ericeira – Popular and famous surfing beach. Best surf 2 hours before and 2 hours after high tide. Current Ericeira surf report
Praia do Guincho – Surfing World Championships have been held here. Current Praia do Guincho surf report
Costa de Caparica – Venue of the 2008 ISA World Championships and the 2007 ISA Junior Championships. Current Costa de Caparica surf report
Sagres and Cabo de Sao Vincente – Popular surfing area on the south coast. Current Sagres surf report
Praia da Rocha – One of the best known surf beaches on the Algarve. Current Praia da Rocha surf report