The Algarve - in the south of Portugal - stands out for its paradisiacal beaches, which is why it has become a very popular place for surf lovers. It offers a strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean that ensures there are waves practically every day of the year.
However, within the 170 kilometers of coastline, there are some beaches that are a must if you want to surf in the Algarve, whether you are an experienced surfer or just starting out. These are known as surf spots, i.e., places where all the necessary conditions - waves, wind, facilities and access - are suitable for surfing.
Praia do Tonel
The Sagres region is the most south-westerly point in Europe and has many beaches with good surfing conditions. One of these is the Praia do Tonel, located between the towns of Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente, which is not usually very crowded.
It stands out for its fast and tubular waves, those that are hollow and break forming a complete cylinder. The predominant wind comes from the northwest, while the swell - the movement that occurs offshore and is then transformed into waves - is mainly from the south.
Surfing in the Algarve: Praia do Beliche
Beliche Beach is also located between Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente. However, it is much more sheltered and is emerging as the best alternative for surfing in the Algarve if the other beaches in the area are too crowded. It is somewhat more complicated to access, but it is worth the extra effort.
It is situated in an authentic natural environment and the impressive cliffs that surround offer a unique experience, since the beach is protected from the north winds. The waves are usually short and intense, sometimes tubular, so it is recommended for people with an intermediate and advanced level.
Praia do Zavial
Zavial is one of the beaches par excellence of the west coast. It is located south of Raposeira, specifically in the municipality of Vila do Bispo, and is frequented mainly by surfers. However, very specific conditions are needed to be able to surf.
Located in a large bay and 400 meters long, the waves come from the northwest, are tubular and break towards the right side of the beach, next to some cliffs. That is precisely why the right side is recommended for professional surfers and the left side is reserved for beginners.
Porto de Mós
Porto de Mós is the best beach in the region of Lagos - the capital of the Algarve - and also one of the largest in the area. It is about one kilometer long and although it is located to the south, the swell is mainly from the north. Although the swell is weaker than at Praia do Zavial, some precautions should be taken.
The right side of the beach has a rocky reef at the bottom, where sea urchins usually live. Therefore, to surf here you need to know the terrain very well and have some experience. On the other hand, the waves are not so big on the left side, so it is recommended for beginners.
The Castelejo and Cordoama beaches are located on the west coast, north of Sagres, and are joined by a rock that merges with the sea. As a result, surfers can enjoy more than 4 kilometers of beach. Both are very exposed to the east wind, so the swell is usually very prominent.
This beach is not recommended for beginners. Although the bed is sandy, there are many rocks and it is important to know the area well before starting to surf.
Praia da Rocha, another option for surfing in the Algarve
Praia da Rocha belongs to the central coast and is located right in the town of Portimao, just to the right of the mouth of the Arade river. The wind usually blows from the south or from the northwest; in this case, the swell is much more prominent.
This beach stands out for its tubular waves that break to the left. The best place to surf is near the pier, although it tends to be more crowded by professional surfers. Therefore, it is recommended that beginners stay on the right hand side.
If you are planning to spend several days in the Algarve, you just need to rent a car in Faro with OK Mobility and choose the beach you like the most and you can even plan a route along the coast, take your surfboard and start exploring all the mysteries that the Atlantic coast has in store for you.