Adventure Activities

Surfing In Lisbon Portugal - The Best Surf Spots and Guide

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

· 9 min read

The best places to surf in Lisbon are:

  1. Carcavelos
  2. Bafureira
  3. Sao Pedro de Estoril
  4. Guincho
  5. Praia da Cresmina
  6. Praia Grande
  7. Costa da caparica
  8. Logoa da Albufeira
  9. Praia da Magoito
  10. Ericeira
  11. Praia da Poco
  12. Santa Amara

Hey there, fellow wave chasers! So, you've set your sights on Lisbon, and trust me, you're in for a treat. This city, with its rich history, buzzing nightlife, and delectable cuisine, is also a surfer's paradise.

With over 10 fantastic beaches and countless waves on the Atlantic Ocean, I've had some of my best rides here. And guess what? I'm about to take you on a journey through my favorite spots, surf camps, and cozy stays. Ready for your Lisbon surf trip? Let's dive in!

Best Lisbon surf spots

  1. Carcavelos

Last summer, I had the thrill of visiting Carcavelos surf beach, one of Lisbon's most famous surfing beaches. And let me tell you, this surf spot was everything I had imagined and more!

The beach is super long – about 1.5 km if I remember right. The sands are golden, and the waves? They’re perfect for surfers, both beginners and pros.

I got there around 9 a.m., which was smart because by noon, the place was packed and had quite a lot of advanced surfers. There must have been a hundred people, all with their surfboards, wet suits, and excited faces.

Among them were kids, adults, and even some older folks. Like, I saw this group of three friends – two guys and a girl, all in their 60s – laughing and catching waves together. It was pretty awesome.

Carcavelos has some nice surf schools too, if you want to take surf lessons. I took a 2-hour lesson, and guess what? I stood on the board not once, but three times!

The instructors were super patient and kind. Also, if you're hungry after all that surfing on your reef break, there are plenty of small cafes and snack bars. I had a sandwich and fresh orange juice – delicious!

Carcavelos, Portugal is an amazing surf spot near Lisbon, Portugal

  1. Sao Pedro De Estoril

Next stop was Sao Pedro De Estoril. It's a smaller beach, but the views? Wow! Cliffs, rocks, and the big blue ocean. A perfect scene for taking pictures.

Here, the waves are a bit tricky, not the best waves for beginners. I learned that they're best for intermediate surfers. So, if you're new to surfing, maybe just chill and watch.

There were about 20 or 30 surfers when I visited this beach town near Lisbon. Some of them made surfing look so easy, gliding over waves like they were dancing.

I met a family there: a mom, dad, and their two kids. They told me they come every summer. The kids played in the sand, making castles, while their parents surfed. What a way to spend the day!

  1. Guincho

Guincho is wild and windy! If you love big waves and feeling the force of nature, this is the place. The beach is surrounded by these huge sand dunes. It felt like being in a desert by the sea.

The wind here is strong, so besides surfing, you'll find people kite surfing and windsurfing. I counted more than 50 people doing just that. The sight of colorful kites in the sky was just magical.

I met a group of friends there – five of them. They had this fun competition going on: who could ride the biggest wave. And every time someone did well, they’d all cheer and clap. It was great to see such team spirit.

  1. Praia da Cresmina

I also went to Praia da Cresmina. It's a smaller, quieter beach. No big crowds, just the sound of the waves and the chirping of birds. It felt peaceful.

The waves here are gentle. Perfect for beginners or people like me who just want a calm surf. I spotted around 10 other surfers, all taking it easy and enjoying the vibe. There's this one cafe nearby. I remember having the best fish tacos there. Yum!

I sat on the beach for a while, just soaking in the sun and the view. I even made a small sandcastle, just like the kids I'd seen earlier.

  1. Praia Grande

Man, Praia Grande was a sight to see! This beach is massive. I mean, the name itself means "Big Beach", and it's rightly named. Stretched out over 2 km, the sand felt like soft powder under my feet.

I went there with a couple of friends, and as soon as we arrived, we saw around 40 surfers riding the waves. Some waves were gigantic! It's definitely a popular spot for surfing competitions. There were families too.

Kids with their buckets and spades, making sandcastles and moats. For example, I saw these two sisters making a huge dragon-shaped castle. Pretty cool!

By the cliff, there's a cafe. Best lemonade I ever had, hands down.

  1. Costa da Caparica

Next up, Costa da Caparica. I'd heard so much about this place. And you know what? It lived up to the hype. The beach stretches for over 30 km. Yes, you read that right! It's super popular, especially in summer.

The day I visited, there must have been 200 people. Families, groups of friends, solo travelers, you name it. The surfers? Oh, they were plenty.

Maybe around 70 or 80. Some were practicing tricks like spins and jumps. And the beach bars? They played catchy tunes that got people dancing.

There's also a mini-train that runs along the beach. I took a ride. It was a fun way to see different parts of the beach. If you are a beach lover, you should checkout about Nazare, the beauty of Portugal.

  1. Lagoa da Albufeira

Lagoa da Albufeira was a change of pace. It’s not just a beach but a lagoon. So, the water is calmer, making it perfect for beginners or those who just want to chill.

I tried paddle boarding for the first time here. It was awesome! There were also families picnicking by the water. I saw dads flying kites with their kids and moms laying out tasty treats like sandwiches and fruit salads.

The sunset here? Oh, it's dreamy! The sky turned shades of pink, purple, and gold. I snapped like 20 photos.

  1. Praia do Magoito

This beach felt special. It's surrounded by cliffs which makes it feel cozy and sheltered. The sands have this unique reddish tint. Never seen that before!

I noticed around 15 surfers trying their luck with the waves in the mid tide. But what caught my attention were the tidal pools. As the tide went out, it left behind these small pools. Kids were having a blast, looking for little creatures like crabs and tiny fish.

There's a snack bar up on the cliff. I grabbed an ice cream cone and just sat, taking in the beauty of the place.

  1. Ericeira

Ericeira! Wow, just saying the name brings back memories. It's a surfer's paradise, no doubt. I remember getting there and being blown away by the sight of around 100 surfers, all taking on waves that sometimes reached 5 or 6 feet high!

This place is famous for its surf, and now I know why. The waves are fantastic, and they cater to all levels. So, if you're a newbie or a pro, this is the place. There were shops too, selling all sorts of cool stuff like surfboards, wetsuits, and cool t-shirts. I picked up a couple with funky designs, like one with a giant wave and another with a cute turtle.

After a day of surfing, I found a cozy cafe. They had the best seafood rice I’ve ever tasted!

  1. Praia da Poca

Then I stumbled upon Praia da Poca. It’s a smaller, more intimate beach. The golden sand felt so good under my feet. But the star attraction? The natural pools formed by the rocks made for one of the best beach breaks ever.

At low tide, the ocean leaves behind these pools. I saw families with kids, all splashing around. One family, a mom, dad, and their two children, were having a race to see who could find the most seashells. It looked like so much fun!

I spent my time just lounging and taking in the views. Peaceful and perfect.

  1. Bafureira

Bafureira was next on my list. It's a medium-sized beach, with plenty of action. When I arrived, there were about 50 surfers in the water. The waves here are consistent, making it a great place to catch a few good rides.

There were groups of friends, families, and solo surfers. I saw a group of teenagers practicing their moves. They were trying to balance on their boards in fun ways, like standing on one leg or doing handstands.

I had a light lunch at a nearby shack. Fresh fish and cold lemonade. Couldn't ask for more!

Ericeira, Portugal is an amazing surfing destination in Portugal

  1. Santa Amara

Last but not least, Santa Amara. This beach had a different vibe. It's more urban and felt lively. I think there were around 200 people there, all enjoying the sunny day.

Skateboarders, rollerbladers, and of course, surfers, were everywhere. I even saw a bunch of kids learning to skate. They had tiny boards with cool graphics like rockets and rainbows.

I joined a group playing beach volleyball. We laughed, played, and had a blast. Later, I grabbed a gelato from a nearby vendor. Creamy and sweet!

All in all, these beaches were magical. Each had its own charm and personality. Can't wait to visit again!

Best time of the year to surf in Lisbon

The best time of the year to surf in Lisbon is around September to November.

So, you're wondering when's the best time to catch those waves in Lisbon, right? Well, based on my trips and the many local surfers I chatted with, here's the scoop. Also checkout cities near Lisbon to visit in Portugal!

Lisbon has this cool thing going on – you can technically surf all year round! But, if you're aiming for the very best conditions, aim for autumn, around September to November.

The weather is just right, not too hot or cold. Plus, the water temperature hovers around 17 to 19°C, so it's super comfy. I remember surfing in October once and having about 20 perfect wave days in a row.

Winter, from December to February, can be chilly, but the waves are big and powerful. If you're an expert, this might be your jam! But, always remember, safety first.

Spring and summer? Well, they're awesome for beginners. Waves are smaller, and the vibe is chill. The beaches, like Carcavelos and Praia da Poca, get busier. So, if you love making new friends, these seasons are perfect!

Tips for planning a surfing trip to Lisbon

Alright, fellow wave chasers, let's talk tips. Planning a surf trip to Lisbon can be super fun and easy if you keep a few things in mind.

Here are some tips for planning a surfing trip to Lisbon:

  1. Pack Smart: Lisbon's weather can be a bit tricky. So, always pack a mix of clothes. I always carry a light jacket, even in summer. For surfing, bring a 3/2mm wetsuit for the warmer months and a thicker 4/3mm one for winter.
  2. Rent or Bring?: Wondering about lugging your board? Don’t worry. There are plenty of surf shops where you can rent boards and wetsuits. For example, when I was at Ericeira, I found this cool shop that rented me a great board for just a few euros a day.
  3. Safety First: Always check the weather and wave conditions. Websites like Magicseaweed or local surf shops give daily updates. Remember, some spots can get crowded, so always be aware of other surfers.
  4. Stay Close: There are awesome surf hostels and you can find a surf camp close to the main surf spots. I once stayed at this cozy surf hostel in Costa da Caparica. Met some fantastic folks and even had a BBQ night!
  5. Explore: Lastly, Lisbon isn't just about surfing. There's rich history, yummy food, and great music. So, take a day or two to explore the city. The tram rides, for instance, are super fun!

So, pack those bags, grab your boards, and get ready for an unforgettable Lisbon surf adventure. Also to know more about Lisbon, visit how to get round Lisbon!

Surf camps in Lisbon

The top surf camps in Lisbon are:

  1. Surf Lisbon
  2. Salty Pelican Castle
  3. Surf Cascais
  4. Nice Way Cascais
  1. Surf Lisbon

Surf Lisbon is one of those places that feels like a surfer's dream come true. Situated close to both the city and the waves, it's perfect for folks like me who love both urban vibes and beach fun. They offer surfing lessons for all levels.

So, whether you're just starting or you've been riding waves for years, they've got you covered. The instructors? Super friendly and knowledgeable! They even have video analysis sessions.

I remember catching myself doing a funny little dance move on my board – all caught on tape! Apart from surfing, they also have these cool city tours and beach BBQs. Definitely a must-visit!

  1. Salty Pelican Castle

Oh man, Salty Pelican Castle! This place is pure magic. Think of a serene retreat where yoga meets surfing. Nestled in a beautiful setting, it's all about relaxation and good vibes.

The mornings often begin with yoga sessions to get you all limbered up. Post that? Surf time! Their instructors are top-notch, giving personal attention to everyone.

After a long day, there's nothing like their evening meditation sessions. And yes, they have this fantastic pool where you can just laze around. I left the place feeling refreshed and with a big smile.

  1. Surf Cascais

Surf Cascais was another gem I stumbled upon. Located in the heart of Cascais, it's both a surf school and a hostel.

What's cool about them? Their focus on community. From the moment I stepped in, I felt like a part of their family.

The rooms are comfy, and there's always something happening. Movie nights, BBQs, or just group outings to the local cafes.

Surf-wise, they have a range of courses. I took a couple of lessons and definitely saw an improvement in my skills. Plus, they have these weekly trips to explore nearby surf spots.

  1. Nice Way Cascais

Last but not least, Nice Way Cascais. This place is a blend of traditional charm and modern comforts. Located in a refurbished old house, it has this cozy feel.

The garden? Oh, it's perfect for those post-surf chill sessions. They have a mix of private rooms and dorms, catering to all kinds of travelers.

Their surf packages are pretty comprehensive. From gear to lessons, they manage everything. And when you're not surfing, there's plenty to do.

I especially loved their walking tours around Cascais. A great place to meet fellow travelers and share some wave tales!

Surfing hotels in Lisbon, Portugal

  1. LEGASEA

LEGASEA is not just a hotel; it's an experience. Nestled comfortably within the heart of Lisbon, this place feels like a surfer's upscale retreat.

The moment I stepped in, I was taken by its elegant yet laid-back design, with surfing elements woven seamlessly into the décor.

Their rooms? Super cozy and designed with the traveler in mind, offering stunning views of the city. What stood out for me was their 'Surf Concierge' service.

Yep, you heard that right! They can arrange surf sessions, equipment rentals, and even provide insights on the best spots based on your skill level.

After a day at the beach, their rooftop bar is the perfect spot to relax and catch a glorious Lisbon sunset.

  1. Lisbon Surf Villa

Hidden away in a tranquil part of the city, the Lisbon Surf Villa is the epitome of relaxed luxury. The villa itself is a beautiful blend of traditional Portuguese architecture with modern touches.

Each room has a unique touch, reflecting the various surf cultures from around the world. The garden area, with its pool, became my favorite spot to unwind.

They offer tailored surf packages, ensuring that whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, you get the best experience. Plus, their in-house chef whips up some delightful local and international dishes. Trust me; you won't want to leave!

  1. Lisbon Waves Surf Lodge

Lisbon Waves Surf Lodge truly feels like a home away from home. Situated just a short drive from some of the city's best surf spots, this lodge offers a warm, family-like atmosphere.

I was instantly drawn to its rustic charm, wooden interiors, and the surfboards adorning the walls. Each room boasts comfort and simplicity, ensuring a peaceful night's sleep. They pride themselves on their surf programs, catering to all levels with a team of passionate instructors.

After a day riding the waves, the communal lounge is a hub of laughter, stories, and new friendships.

Their BBQ nights? Absolutely delightful, showcasing the flavors of Portugal. Another beautiful city of Portugal for surfing is Algarve. It's a haven for those seeking both adventure and camaraderie.

People surfing in Ericeira, Portugal

Conclusion

And there you have it – a slice of my surfing adventures in Lisbon. You can also checkout silver coast in Portugal, located in outskirts of Lisbon.

From riding towering waves at Ericeira to relaxing yoga sessions at Salty Pelican Castle, Lisbon has it all.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes in the world of surfing, this city will embrace you with open arms.

So, pack that wetsuit, wax down your board, and I'll see you out there. Happy surfing!

FAQs

  1. I'm a beginner. Is Lisbon a good place for me to start surfing?

Absolutely! Places like Praia da Poca and Costa da Caparica are perfect for newbies. Plus, there are numerous surf schools to guide you. Another fun city for surfing is Barcelona, so you must go through Lisbon or Barcelona!

  1. What should I pack for a surf trip to Lisbon?

Pack a mix of clothes for varying weather. For surfing, a 3/2mm wetsuit is great for warmer months, and a thicker 4/3mm for winter should do.

  1. Can I rent surf equipment in Lisbon?

Yes, you can. Many beaches, like Ericeira and Carcavelos, have surf shops where you can rent boards and wetsuits. I once got a great deal at a local shop.

  1. Is it safe to surf in Lisbon?

Definitely. However, always check the weather and wave conditions. Some spots can get crowded, so always be aware of other surfers.

  1. Apart from surfing, what else can I do in Lisbon?

Oh, so much! Explore the rich history, indulge in local food, and enjoy tram rides. You can also get inked at one of the best tattoo shops in Lisbon. Lisbon has a vibrant culture waiting to be explored.

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

I am a globe-trotter with a passion for exploration. From the sun-kissed coasts of Portugal to the snow-capped peaks of Switzerland, my travels are as diverse as they are inspiring. My journeys through Spain, Finland, Austria, and Germany have fueled my soul and shaped my writing.