Surftrip Algarve Portugal

The beaches of Algarve, Portugal, one of the best destinations for surfing

The Algarve, south of Portugal, is one of those places with excellent beaches and perfect conditions for a surf trip and guaranteed quality waves. Just like with Peniche, Algarve has a privileged geographical situation, offering a number of variable directions of swells and winds. Beaches and breaks for all levels, with different surf schools around the entire coast and a great surfing community. Here we will tell you the best beaches to surf in Algarve.

Guide for a surftrip in Algarve (Portugal). Next we will try to guide you and recommend both beaches and breaks. Also we will give you tips and advise you on which places you should keep in mind when visiting this marvelous coast so that you leave as satisfied as possible.

First of all, how do I get there?

If you are going to Algarve by car

Algarve is well communicated with the rest of Iberia. If you are the type of persona that likes to travel with your boards, the car is an excellent option. Before you prepare your quiver, we recommend that you check how to travel with your boards safely. We want to remind you that travelling with your boards in the car isn´t an option.

Keep in mind: the highway that crossed the Algarve has a toll and works with an auto toll.

Just before the frontier we have a checkpoint where we have to link our credit card to our number plate. At the end of the month they we charge the cost of the tolls realized. If you want to calculate beforehand how much it costs to move through the highway in Algarve, the maths are easy. Also, just before each toll booth there is a sign with the price. Anyway, here we have an image with a map of the tolls that you will find of the Portuguese highway through Algarve.

The great majority of tourists that come by car skip this pass and don´t pay toll. We aren´t telling you to do that.

When you exit the highway, the secondary roads are narrow and with lots of curves. These roads are precisely the ones to get to the beaches or spots. I´m sure that a lot of you are familiar with Lagos Rally. So with these secondary roads we will get to our spots.

Travelling by plane to Algarve

If we prefer travelling by plane, the airport is closest to Algarve is in Faro, the capital. You have lots of connecting flights but from the peninsula the best connecting flight you can do is from Lisboa and from there go to Faro. If the connections don´t coincide or are too expensive, there is the option of flying from Seville and from there drive to Algarve.

How do we move around Algarve?

So now we get into the thick of it. Here we will list the break or beaches that we recommend you visit if you are going on a surftrip to Algarve. All these beaches are found in the area of Cabo de San Vicente. There are lots more breaks, but in this post we are going to name the ones we consider as a must.

For that we are going to differentiate two zones: Exposed and sheltered. The differentiation that we do is because the more exposed zones to the Atlantic are made up of beaches that have more waves per day each year. The sheltered areas are an alternative for those times that there is too much sea facing the Atlantic and the swell comes in from a less frequent direction.

Surfspots Exposed to the Atlantic

In this part of the Algarve we can highlight 6 spots. 6 Beaches that is possible to surf all year long.

Firstly, situated in the north we have Praia de Amoreira. It is found near the river mouth of Aljezur. It’s a spot within nature and is not contaminated. It has sandy bottom. The best tide is low tide. With this point of tide there are good rights in the different peaks of the beach.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: SE

Swell: SW

Season: All year

Praia da Amoreira surfspot

Praia da Amoreira

Very near to Amoreira you´ll find Praia do Monte Clerigo, a beach where we will find waves for people initiating. It has sandy bottom and the best tide is mid tide going low. This is a zone where there are different services offered, lodgings, restaurants, schools that offer surf classes.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: SE

Swell: SW

Season: All year

Praia do Monte Clérigo surfspot

Praia do Monte Clérigo

If we continue going down the south we have Praia do Arrifana. In this post we can find two breaks. The beach break and the right to the rocks (with lots of sea). The beach breaks is a beach that works with all tides and variable peaks and sandy bottom. It´s situated in a semi-urbanized area where there are different gastronomies and open air activities.

Praia do Arrifana surfspot

Praia do Arrifana

The right to the rocks is situated behind Arrifana, to the right of the beach. It’s a wave for high level surfers and is usually surfed by the locals. It works with low tide and with lots of sea and has a rocky bottom. This is a powerful and long right.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: E

Swell: NW, W, SW

Season: All year

Ideal conditions:

Winds: E

Swell: NW, W, SW

Season: All year

Arrifana jetty surfspot

Arrifana jetty

The next stop is Praia do Amado. It’s a place in the south of Carrapateira. It’s a spot for all levels. The best tide is low going high and has a sandy bottom and variable peaks distributed all over the beach. It’s a very constant beach and you can find waves at and time of the year.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: E, EN

Swell: NW, W, SW

Season: All year

Praia do Amado surfspot

Praia do Amado

The Praia do Cordoama is a beach situated in the shadow of giant cliffs, where there´s a lookout that we recommend you check out. From there you can see all the breaks that this beach offers. It’s in a natural environment and isolated. Works with all kinds of tides, has variable peaks and sandy bottom.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: E

Swell: NW, W

Season: All year

Praia do Cordoama surfspot

Praia do Cordoama

Algarve sheltered surfspots

In this part of the article we´ll highlight 3 spots. In this part of the Algarve you won´t find waves as frequently all year. Despite that, with a good swell direction and good winds you can get good sessions. Of course, we recommend you always check wave forecasts before travelling.

The first covered beach, we highlight Praia do Beliche. It’s found in Cabo de San Vicente y Sagres. It’s a very sheltered beach, that’s why it is a great option if the rest of the beaches are not working well. The access to the beach is a bit complicated. You have to descend a lot of stairs to access the sand. Its located in a natural environment. Works best with mid high tide. Has variable peaks and is usually frequented by local bodyboarders.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: NE

Swell: S, SW, SE

Season: Winter

Praia do Beliche surftpot

Praia do Beliche

The following area is the Praia do Tonel in Sagres. This beach is located just under the fortress with the same name. It’s one of the most regular sheltered spots and offers waves for all levels from initiation to advanced.

Despite the proximity to the town Sagres, it’s located in a natural environment. It’s a sandy bottom beach, although there are a few rocks around. So we recommend you to be careful, especially in low tide.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: NE

Swell: S, SW, SE

Season: All year

Praia do Tonel en Sagres surfspot

Praia do Tonel en Sagres

The last spot we are going to recommend is Praia do Zavial. Located in the east of the Sagres, it’s a very capricious beach and works under very specific conditions, since its sheltered from the usual swell in this area. It needs a lot of sea to work.

The break is situated to the right of the beach and works on low tide. The livelier the tide, the better. In this spot you´ll be able to enjoy long right tubes.

Ideal conditions:

Winds: NE

Swell: S, SW

Season: Winter

Praia do Zavial surfspot

Praia do Zavial

What to visit in Algarve?

The Portuguese Algarve has a lot of places that we encourage you to visit.

Praia de Benagil and specifically its cave, is one of the most photographed places in Algarve. It’s visited a lot, especially in the summer time. Playa de Benagil is one of the most important tourist sites in all of Algarve.

If we want to visit the cave then firstly we must know that we can´t go walking. There is a trail of about 5 or 10 minutes to the cave and it´s not recommend to go when there is a bad sea. There are also other ways of visiting. In the same beach there are many businesses that offer visits to the cave and others in the area. Without a doubt an activity that we recommend.

Cueva de Praia de Benagil

Cueva de Praia de Benagil

Paddle Surf in Algarve

Another one of these activities that we recommend when visiting Algarve is paddle boarding. Regardless of Lago, Sagres or Benagil there are a number of schools that offer to rent SUPs. If you are one of the lucky people to have an inflatable SUP, don´t think twice. Take it with you because you will use it. If you are undecided whether it’s worth getting an inflatable SUP or rent one from a surf school, the Algarve is a great place to try out a SUP and decide if it´s for you. Check out our inflatable SUP packs in Single Quiver.

Paddle Surf Algarve

Red Paddle CO Algarve

The municipality of Lagos has a spectacular coast. Highlighted by its unique cliffs made up of small boulders surround by water. One of the best known places is near Ponta da Piedade. A very beautiful place that needs to be in your checklist for things to do in Algarve.

It´s such a peculiar place and you can visit it just by walking, going to Ponta de Piedade and the lighthouse, and you can also go by boat. If you have the opportunity and the time, we recommend you do like the rest of the tourists and get a boat that will guide you through the whole area. These small boats access the caves and offer to the visitor a spectacular perspective from the water.

ponta de piedade

Ponta de Piedades

Lastly we recommend you check out Cabo de San Vicente in Sages and its lighthouse. The Cabo of San Vicente was considered one of the ends of the world before discovering the new continent.

Cabo de San Vicente en Sagres

Cabo de San Vicente, Sagres

Here we leave you with a video of Gony Zubizarreta in Algarve. Gony is one of the best known Spanish surfers internationally, and has been a fan of Portugal the last few years. A surfer that knows firsthand the best waves of Portugal.  In the video we can see Gony surfing one of the areas we´ve talked about, in this Algarve surf guide (Portugal)

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