Is Portugal The Best Surfing Location In The World?

With so many great surfing locations across the globe, many people question whether Portugal can live up to the standard of other unique surfing locations – but it most certainly does. Not only can you enjoy the pleasant weather Portugal has to offer, but there are waves for everyone, no matter your level of experience – just don’t forget to complete your EHIC card renewal just in case! With more than 1,800 kilometres of coastline to choose from, we’ve identified the top surfing destinations in Portugal – now you just need to decide between Arrifana and Nazare!


Hundreds of people visit Arrifana each year in order to participate in the Arrifana Surf School and Camp, and for good reason! Not only does Arrifana boast two spectacular surfing locations, but it is the perfect location for those who want to ride the waves without an audience. The Arrifana Surf School and Camp offers one of the best surf experiences in Portugal from April to September, and provide holidaymakers with everything they need for the perfect surf holiday just a 5-minute walk from Arrifana Beach. Nevertheless, you certainly don’t want to get it wrong alone. The waves at Arrifana are best suited to experienced surfers as some of the waves can be very challenging and holidaymakers have unfortunately been known to drown.

Costa Vicentina

Portugal is the ideal location for a quick weekend getaway, and you most definitely won’t be left feeling disappointed or unsatisfied when visiting Costa Vicentina. Alongside countless hiking, biking and once-in-a-life time horse riding opportunities, Costa Vicentina is one the best surfing locations in not just Portugal, but the world! This unmissable surfing spot in Portugal is the ultimate location for those looking for a unique surfing experience in a remote location.


Without a doubt, Ericeira is known for being home to some of the best waves in Portugal. As well as fantastic waves, Ericeira boasts fourteen surf spots that are suitable for all levels, from Foz do Lizandro which is suitable for surfers at all levels, to Coxos which is only accessible for the most experienced surfers. Not only is Ericeira a great place to visit if you have never surfed before, but it is one of eight World Surfing Reserves – and the only one in Europe – which makes it even more special!  


Peniche is known as being the wave capital, and it’s easy to see why! This incredible surf location not only boasts natural beauty and incredible landscape unlike other surf locations across the globe, but it is home to Portugal’s most famous wave – Supertubos. Plus, in low season, Peniche is one of the most affordable surfing locations Portugal has to offer. Not only could pick up surf lessons for half the cost, but you are more than likely save on the cost of accommodation and plane tickets!

Praia Do Norte

Praia Do Norte is definitely not a location for the faint hearted. Home to the 100 foot wave, Praia Do Norte is more suited to experienced surfers compared to those who are just expressing their love for the water. In fact, many of the world’s best big wave surfers have travelled to Praia Do Norte in order to experience the first big swells of the surfing seasons, and one of the largest waves ridden at 80 feet was at this exact location.


Nazare is a surfer-favourite town in Portugal. Home to a unique fishing village, February is the best time to see highly anticipated 100ft waves. For this reason, Nazare is more suited for those that are comfortable surfing amongst strong currents, big swells and deep water points, and you can find out all the latest news about the infamous big waves of Nazare on the website dedicated to some of the biggest waves in the world. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if you dare to battle the waves of Nazare!

It’s true. Portugal really is the best place to learn to surf. Home to 1,800 kilometres of coastline and beaches suitable for surfing at any given location, those that travel to Portugal can enjoy the waves and discover the colourful marine life below the water, as well as numerous attractions the country has to offer. From visiting Arrifana, which is an ideal surfing location for families and the most experienced surfers alike to Nazare which is great for those who want to witness 100ft waves first hand, Portugal has so much to offer surfing fanatics.