Portugal isn’t just about pastéis de nata and cobblestone streets; it’s also a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best waves in Europe along its stunning coastline. If you’re looking for the best surf town in Portugal, there are plenty to choose from.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro seeking the thrill of giant waves, a newbie looking to catch your first break, or just love the vibe of a surf town, Portugal has the perfect spot for your family. Let’s dive into some of the best surf towns this beautiful country has to offer.

Choosing The Best Surf Town in Portugal for Your Family to Visit

Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica

Located just a stone’s throw away from Lisbon city center, Costa da Caparica is a surf town that offers something for everyone and a haven for surfers of all levels. With a consistent beach break and a variety of waves, it’s the perfect destination for surfers of all skill levels. Beginners can catch some mellow waves while advanced surfers can tackle the bigger breaks further out.

Book your stay in Costa da Caparica here.

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For those traveling with kids, there are plenty of surf schools offering lessons tailored to children, ensuring they have a blast while staying safe in the water. And if you’re not into surfing, the gorgeous beaches and sunny days provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing family getaway.

Peniche

Peniche is a surf mecca located on Portugal’s central coast that’s known for its world-class waves and fun surf culture. Home to the famous Supertubos beach break, Peniche attracts advanced surfers from around the world seeking the thrill of powerful beach breaks and consistent sandbar peaks.

For beginners, there are plenty of surf camps and schools offering lessons in the calm waters of Peniche’s sheltered bays. And when you’re not riding the waves, explore the town’s narrow streets lined with surf shops and cozy cafes, or venture out to nearby surf beaches like Baleal and Consolação.

Book your stay in Peniche here.

Nazaré

Nazaré

Known for its towering waves and daredevil surfers, the coast of Nazaré in Central Portugal is not for the faint-hearted. This is where you’ll find some of the biggest waves on the planet, thanks to the offshore canyon that amplifies waves to epic proportions.

Nazaré is primarily a playground for experienced surfers, but there are opportunities for beginner surfers to catch smaller waves closer to shore. Just be sure to check the surf forecast and heed the advice of local surfers before paddling out, as the conditions can change rapidly. This is one of the best places to find a great spot on the sand with your family to watch expert surfers all day long.

Book your stay in Nazaré here.

Ericeira

Ericeira

As Portugal’s only World Surfing Reserve, Ericeira is one of Portugal’s best surf spots and a must-visit destination for surfers seeking the best waves and pristine coastline. Located just a short drive from Lisbon, this charming town offers a variety of breaks suitable for surfers of all levels, from the long, peeling waves of Ribeira d’Ilhas to the powerful reef breaks of Coxos.

If you’re looking to improve your skills, there are plenty of surf camps and hostels offering lessons and guided surf trips to the area’s best spots. And when the surf’s not pumping, explore Ericeira’s picturesque streets, sample fresh seafood at local restaurants, or just relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

Book your stay in Ericeira here.

Sagres

Sagres

For those craving adventure and big waves, Sagres on the west coast of the Algarve is the ultimate destination. Right on the edge of Europe, this coastline is exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a magnet for experienced surfers looking for the best surfing spots for the thrill of giant waves and challenging reef breaks.

Sagres may be best for advanced surfers, but there are also plenty of surf schools offering lessons for beginners looking to test their skills in the wild waters of the Atlantic. Sagres has a mild climate and natural beauty. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the raw power of the ocean.

Book your stay in Sagres here.

When to Go: The Best Time of Year for Surfing in Portugal

While Portugal’s surf towns offer waves year-round, if you plan on surfing instead of just watching, the best time to visit depends on your skill level and preferences. Late autumn through winter sees larger swells and bigger waves, making it ideal for experienced surfers seeking a challenge. 

Spring and early summer offer milder conditions and fewer crowds, making it perfect for beginners and families looking to catch a fun little beginner’s wave or two. The more crowded summer months are also something to consider if you’re looking for the best option for a relaxing beach visit.

No matter when you visit, be sure to pack accordingly and check the surf forecast before heading out. And remember, safety always comes first – never underestimate the power of the ocean, and always respect the local surf etiquette and conditions.

Learn more about visiting The Algarve region in our Algarve family travel guide.

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