Falcon’s Guide to the Best Surfing in the Algarve
As the sun starts to shine more and more you may well be itching to grab your surfboard and pick a spot that is generous with the waves. May we suggest the Algarve, in Portugal? Located off the south-west coast of Portugal, this region is virtually made for surfing because it easily picks up Atlantic swells. There are places for surfers of all levels to ride the waves and, when the surfboard is away and the wet suit is hanging up to dry, admire the culture of this region of Portugal.
A stay in Lagos gives you the chance to explore the beaches on the western coast of Portugal. Lagos itself is a haven for travellers and is only 30 minutes away from fantastic surfing beaches like Carrapateira or Monte Clerigo. Take some lessons with a surf school, where they’ll provide you with gear such as surf boards, wet suits and other surfing equipment and then teach you how to stand, turn and catch your first wave. There are courses from beginner level right through to seasoned surfer level!
The beaches near Albufeira are the places to look if you want to find gentle waves, and there is easy public access to the main beach. During the week you’ll have lots of room to surf, as there are few surfers riding the waves. The best time to hit the waves is late summer. The waves are less crowded, particularly during the week. When you paddle out 100 metres away from the sand and looking toward the ocean, you’ll catch waves of around 3 feet. However, you should have excellent surfing skills, as there are rocks some 2 metres or so beneath the surface.
Ideal for surfers at any level, Alvor off the southern coast of the Algarve is an appealing destination. Aside from the beach-break waves coming from the left and right, the area is consistently good for surfing throughout the year. During the off-season, you can expect a fairly private experience if you arrive between September and April. The Algarve is home to some of the best seafood around, so plan in time for a post-surfing dinner to refuel before heading home.
Praia da Rocha
This beach is located near the town of Portimão and is surfable all year round. The wave frequency is consistent and the swells can reach up to 4 metres. It’s not a crowded spot for surfers, but is a good mid-tide spot with sandy ocean bottom and beach-break waves from the right and left. The beach also has an avenue, Tomas Cabreira, which runs along the top of the beach to the Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar. This fortress was built in the 17th and 18th centuries to ward off pirates!