The Perfect Surf Spots in Portugal for Beginner Wave Riders

Are you dreaming of catching your first waves in the crystal-clear waters of Portugal? From the gentle swells of Praia da Costa Nova to the picturesque shores of Cascais, Portugal offers an array of ideal surfing spots for beginners. Whether you’re a newbie to the sport or looking to refine your skills, Portugal’s diverse coastline provides the perfect playground for surfers of all levels.

Imagine yourself gliding across the Atlantic waves at Praia de Carcavelos, feeling the thrill of the ocean beneath you as you embark on your surfing adventure. For those seeking a more laid-back vibe, Catinho da Baia in Peniche beckons with its welcoming waves and scenic surroundings, just an hour north of Lisbon.

With its mix of beginner-friendly breaks and stunning landscapes, Portugal is a haven for surf enthusiasts looking to embrace the surfing culture. Whether you’re seeking a sun-soaked escape or a chance to hone your skills, Portugal’s surf scene offers an unbeatable combination of beauty and excitement.

Why Choose Portugal for Beginner Surfing

When it comes to learning how to surf, Portugal stands out as a top destination for beginners due to several compelling reasons.

Mild Climate and Consistent Waves

Portugal’s mild climate provides ideal conditions for beginner surfers throughout the year. With warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, you can enjoy the waves without being hindered by extreme weather. The consistent waves along the Portuguese coast offer a great environment for beginners to practice and improve their skills without facing overwhelming challenges. Whether you’re a new surfer or looking to progress to the next level, Portugal’s waves cater to a wide range of skill levels, making it a welcoming destination for those starting their surfing journey.

Beautiful Scenery and Vibrant Surf Culture

Beyond the waves, Portugal’s coastline is adorned with breathtaking scenery that enhances the surfing experience for beginners. Picture yourself gliding on gentle waves while surrounded by stunning cliffs, golden beaches, and crystal-clear waters. The vibrant surf culture in Portugal adds an extra layer of excitement to your surfing adventure. From surf schools to local surf shops and bustling beach towns, you’ll be immersed in a community that shares your passion for riding the waves. The welcoming atmosphere and camaraderie among surfers create a supportive environment for beginners to feel motivated and encouraged as they learn and progress in their surfing abilities.

Top Surfing Spots in Portugal for Beginners

Portugal’s coastline offers some of the best surfing spots for beginners looking to catch their first waves. Here are some top spots to consider:

Baleal (Peniche)

Baleal, located near Peniche, is a fantastic surfing destination for beginners. The beach boasts consistent waves suitable for those new to the sport. With surf schools and rental shops available, you can easily get started on your surfing journey in Baleal.


Arrifana, situated in the Aljezur region, is another excellent spot for beginner surfers. The beach provides a relaxed atmosphere and gentle waves, ideal for those who are just starting to learn how to surf. With its picturesque surroundings, Arrifana offers a scenic backdrop for your surfing adventures.

Foz do Lizandro (Ericeira)

Foz do Lizandro in Ericeira is known for its sandy beach and manageable waves, making it a popular choice for beginners. Whether you’re taking your first surf lesson or honing your skills, Foz do Lizandro provides a welcoming environment for riders of all levels. The surf-friendly conditions and beautiful setting make it a must-visit spot in Portugal.


Bensafrim is a hidden gem for beginner surfers seeking a more tranquil surfing experience. Located away from the bustling crowds, Bensafrim offers a serene setting to practice your surfing skills. The waves here are well-suited for newcomers, allowing you to gain confidence in the water at your own pace.

Whether you’re looking to ride your first wave or improve your surfing abilities, these top spots in Portugal cater to beginners and provide an inviting atmosphere to enjoy the thrill of surfing.

Best Time to Surf in Portugal for Beginners

Planning a surfing trip to Portugal as a beginner? Understanding the best time to surf in Portugal can make a significant difference in your overall experience. Let’s delve into the seasonal variations and tips to avoid crowds while getting ideal surfing conditions.

Seasonal Variations

The best time to surf in Portugal for beginners is typically during the summer months, from June to September. During this period, the weather is generally warm and sunny, creating ideal conditions for beginners to enjoy the waves. Summer also brings smaller swells, which are perfect for those who are just starting their surfing journey.

As a beginner, it’s advisable to avoid the winter months, particularly from November to February, when the Atlantic Ocean swells are larger and more suitable for experienced surfers. Winter can also bring colder and more challenging weather conditions, making it less than ideal for beginners looking to enjoy a pleasant surfing experience.

Avoiding Crowds and Getting Ideal Conditions

To make the most of your surfing experience in Portugal as a beginner, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). These periods offer a good balance between smaller crowds and favorable surfing conditions. You can enjoy milder weather and relatively consistent swells during these times, making it easier to find the perfect wave without competing with large crowds of surfers.

Additionally, choosing less popular surf spots or exploring the coastline away from major tourist hubs can help you avoid overcrowded beaches and ensure a more peaceful and enjoyable surfing session. Remember, the key to a successful surfing experience as a beginner lies in finding the right balance between favorable conditions and minimal crowds.

By planning your surfing trip to Portugal during the best time for beginners and considering strategies to avoid crowds, you can set yourself up for a memorable and rewarding surfing adventure along the stunning Portuguese coastline.

Essential Gear and Surf Schools

Whether you’re a novice surfer looking to catch your first wave or someone seeking to refine your skills, having the right gear and guidance is crucial. Let’s dive into the essential equipment every beginner should have and how to choose the perfect surf school to kickstart your surfing journey.

Basic Surfing Equipment for Beginners

  1. Surfboard: For beginners, a soft-top surfboard is ideal as it provides better stability and safety while learning to balance and ride waves.
  2. Wetsuit: Portugal’s waters can be chilly, even in the warmer months, so investing in a good-quality wetsuit is essential to keep you warm and comfortable during your surfing sessions.
  3. Leash: A leash is a vital safety component that tethers you to your board, preventing it from drifting away in case of a fall and helping you stay connected to your surfboard.
  4. Wax: Applying surf wax to your board enhances traction, allowing you to grip the board better and maintain stability while riding waves.
  5. Rash Guard: Wearing a rash guard protects your skin from irritation and sunburn, ensuring a more enjoyable surfing experience without the discomfort of chafing.

Choosing the Right Surf School

When selecting a surf school in Portugal, consider these factors to make the most of your learning experience:

  • Instructors: Look for schools with experienced and certified instructors who can provide personalized attention and guidance tailored to your skill level.
  • Lesson Structure: Opt for schools that offer structured lessons focusing on fundamental techniques, water safety, and gradual skill progression.
  • Equipment Rental: Check if the school provides equipment rental included in the lessons or if you need to bring your own gear.
  • Location: Choose a school located near beginner-friendly surf spots with gentle waves and a supportive learning environment.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Read reviews from past students to gauge the school’s reputation and satisfaction levels, and seek recommendations from fellow surfers for trusted advice.

By equipping yourself with the necessary gear and choosing a reputable surf school, you’ll set yourself up for a fulfilling and enjoyable surfing experience in Portugal. Whether you’re riding the waves for the first time or honing your skills, the right equipment and guidance are key to unlocking your surfing potential.

Safety Tips for Beginner Surfers in Portugal

When embarking on your surfing adventure in Portugal as a beginner, safety should be your top priority. Understanding local conditions and tides plays a crucial role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable surfing experience. Additionally, respecting other surfers and adhering to beach guidelines is essential for a harmonious surfing community. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind:

Understanding Local Conditions and Tides

  • Select the Right Location: Look for beginner-friendly surf spots with gentle, consistent waves and sandy bottoms. Avoid areas with strong currents or rocky surfaces.
  • Check the Weather: Be aware of the weather forecast and ocean conditions before heading out. Avoid surfing during stormy or high-wind days.
  • Mind the Tides: Understand how tides can affect wave conditions and water depth. Plan your surfing sessions around the tide schedule to ensure a safer experience.
  • Stay Hydrated and Protected: Wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and protect yourself from sun exposure to prevent sunburn and dehydration while out in the water.

Respecting Other Surfers and Beach Guidelines

  • Surf Etiquette: Follow surfing etiquette, such as taking turns, not dropping in on other surfers’ waves, and being considerate of fellow surfers in the lineup.
  • Be Mindful of Crowds: Avoid crowded surf breaks if you’re a beginner to reduce the risk of collisions and conflicts with other surfers.
  • Observe Beach Rules: Familiarize yourself with local beach rules and regulations, including designated surfing areas, swimming zones, and prohibited activities.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Be prepared for emergencies by knowing how to signal for help, recognizing rip currents, and being mindful of changing conditions in the water.

By adhering to these safety tips and guidelines, beginner surfers can enjoy a fulfilling and secure experience while catching waves along the picturesque coast of Portugal. Remember, safety comes first to make the most of your surfing journey in this beautiful destination.


Surfing in Portugal offers an exciting experience for beginners looking to catch their first waves in a stunning setting. From the gentle waves of Praia da Costa Nova to the picturesque shores of Cascais, Portugal has become a top destination for novice surfers seeking adventure and fun in the water. Whether you’re dreaming of mastering your first pop-up or riding a wave to shore, Portugal’s surf beaches provide the ideal playground for beginners to learn and progress in a supportive environment. So pack your board, embrace the thrill of the waves, and dive into the vibrant surfing culture awaiting you in Portugal. Get ready to make unforgettable memories and embark on an incredible surfing journey on the breathtaking shores of Portugal!