After surviving an emotionally and physically abusive stepfather, multiple arrests, six years in high school, and time in drug rehab, I managed to become a lawyer and business owner. However, after overcoming such odds, I quickly became disillusioned with society’s version of success.
When asked about where to find the best surfing spots in the world, most people would answer Hawaii or Bali. Well, they are both right and wrong at the same time.
Separated from Europe by the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is often considered an extension of the Old Continent by passionate wave riders. Having been pinned on the surf map ever since the 1950s, the country has become a stronghold for surfers from far and wide, who flock to its awesome waves to escape the cold winters back home.
When you think about a vacation in Greece, chances are you will conjure images of visiting ancient sites, soaking up the sun on the beaches, and eating many amazing meals. While that’s certainly the case for most travelers, there are others who want to explore the wilder side of the country.
With 1,115 miles (1,794 km) of Atlantic coastline (continental Portugal plus the Azores and Madeira archipelagos), mild climate, some of the best waves in Europe and more gold-sand beaches than one can count, Portugal is a surfer’s paradise. The coast picks up north, south and west swells, which means solid surfing conditions all year round on a wide variety of waves for all levels and tastes.
Summer, between June and September, is the best time to go to Portugal if you are looking to learn to surf on small to medium waves. Summer months are also great for kitesurfing. During winter months, waves are usually double the size or more, and recommended for more experienced surfers looking for a challenge. This is also when Nazaré in Praia do Norte comes to life, Europe’s big wave surfing mecca.
The most famous surf regions in Portugal are North Porto, Costa da Prata, the Lisbon Region, Alentejo and the Algarve. Some of the best surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers are Peniche, Ericeira, Lagos and Cascais.
In Northern and Central Portugal, you will need a wetsuit throughout the year – a 3/2 mm suit in summer and a 4/3-5/3 mm in winter. In Southern Portugal, you can surf in board shorts in summer. During winter, a 4/3 mm suit should suffice.
1,794 km (1,115 mi)
May to September (warm waters, sunny days, gentle waves for beginners)
October to April (cold waters, big waves for advanced surfers)
Nazaré, Peniche, Ericeira, Cascais, and Figeira da Foz
Carcavelos, Lagos, Peniche, and Ericeira
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