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Discover the Best Surf Towns in the Algarve - a complete Guide

Updated: 1 day ago

Are you planning a surf trip to the Algarve? Look no further than this ultimate guide to the best surfing towns on the south, and partly west coast of Portugal. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the shelter of Portugal's southwest corner on the other, the Algarve offers a wide range of surf spots for all levels of surfers. From mellow waves for beginners to challenging swells for advanced surfers, this region has it all. Here's a rundown of the best surf towns to visit:👇

What's in this article?

All information on the best places to surf in the Algarve. You'll find everything you need to know about the best surf towns in the Algarve, when to visit them and why (and when) it's suited for different surfing levels.


So what are the best surf towns, and why, in the Algarve?


surfing the Algarve
Praia do Zavial, Algarve


Introduction to surfing in the Algarve


The great thing about the Algarve is the exposure of the great Atlantic ocean and the shelter of the southwest corner of Portugal. This means you can search for bigger waves on the west coast and when it gets too big or windy, you can always find shelter and beautiful waves on the Algarve south coast. You'll guaranteed find quality waves because of the Algarves' geographical situation. There is great surf for beginners, intermediates and more advanced surfers in this beautiful region. With many surf schools stretching on the entire south western Algarve, you'll be sure to find a surfschool that takes you to the perfect surfing beach if you're not sure where to go.


The best waves in the Algarve can be found in wintertime but you'll find great surf anywhere between late September and May. Summer can also be good for beginners as waves are significantly smaller. Traveling to the west coast can be necessary to find good surf in summer.





 

South coast


The south coast of the Algarve is one of those places with amazing beaches, clear blue water and perfect conditions for a surf trip. You'll find beaches and sandy breaks for all levels. Because the south coast is sheltered from the big Atlantic you'll usually find more mellow and smaller waves here compared to the surf on the west coast. With many surf schools stretched on the entire south (west) coast, this is also the perfect place to start learning how to surf! So have a look at my favorite surf towns on the Algarve south coast. 👇



 

Sagres (southwest corner)

The ultimate surfer town


Surf & Stay

Located on the southwest corner of Portugal, Sagres is the ultimate surfers' town in the Algarve. With a wide range of surf schools, rentals, and shops, this town has something to offer for everyone, regardless of skill level. Its location on the southwest corner means you can find shelter or exposure at one of the many surfing beaches around, such as Tonel and Praia da Mareta. Sagres is the perfect surf town to stay in if you're more advanced or want to take your first lesson, with waves for every level.


The best time to visit Sagres for surfing

Beginner

May - October

​Intermediate

Whole year round

Advanced

​October - May


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The best surf towns in the Algarve
Analog shot of Praia do Zavial Point Break


Raposeira

Unspoiled bays and point breaks


Surf & Stay

Raposeira is a tiny and colorful Algarve town located between Sagres and Vila do Bispo. You'll find several gorgeous bays in this area, from incredible points to sheltered bays and empty beaches. Its convenient location towards the west coast and other south coast beaches, like Praia da Luz and Lagos, makes it a great base for exploring. However, apart from a few local bars and a lovely pottery, you won't find much in Raposeira. For dinner or grocery shopping, head to Vila do Bisbo, Salma or Sagres.


The best time to visit Raposeira for surfing

Beginner

May - October

​Intermediate

Whole year round

Advanced

​October - April



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The best surf towns in the Algarve
Burgau, Algarve


Burgau

Tranquillity and cuteness overload


Surf & Stay

Just a 10-minute drive from Lagos in a small sandy bay, Burgau is a small fishing town with cobbled streets, crooked whitewashed houses, a large sandy beach, and a handful of cute restaurants. While the surf in this town is not very consistent, Burgau's convenient location makes it an attractive place to stay for a surfing holiday, as many amazing surfing beaches (for all levels) are within a 15-25 minute drive. There are also a few surf camps and schools in Burgau that you can reach out to for equipment rentals if needed.


Best time to visit Burgau for surfing

Beginner

​September - May

Intermediate

October - April

Advanced

October - March


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Or check out my beach flat just 200 meter from the ocean.



 


The best surf towns in the Algarve
Porto Mos, Algarve


Lagos

Beautiful beaches and liveliness


Surf & Stay

The town of Lagos is a surfer's paradise, with two main surfing beaches: Porto de Mos (beach and reef break) and Meia Praia (beach break). For those who want to learn, there are plenty of surf schools, rentals, and hostels in Lagos. Even if there are no waves hitting the coast of Lagos, the surf schools will take you just around the corner to the west coast. The west coast is perfect for all levels, and it's just a half-hour drive from Lagos.


Lagos is one of the bigger towns in the Algarve, and it's famous for the stunning viewing point of Ponta de Piedade and its steep wooden steps to the sandy cove of Praia do Camilo. You'll find a beautiful old town with many restaurants, bars, shops, surf schools, and boats tours that take you for dolphin and cliff tours. You can go kayaking or supping along the beautiful cliffs or if you're feeling less active, hang out at one of the beautiful beaches. It's a town with many options for everyone!


The Best time to visit Lagos for surfing

Beginner

​September - May

Intermediate

October - April

Advanced

October - March


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the best surf towns in the Algarve
Praia da Luz


Praia da Luz

Winter waves & liveliness


Surf & Stay

In between Lagos & Burgau, you'll find the town of Praia da Luz. Praia da Luz is a charming beach town perfect for surfing and beach activities. With a relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals, it offers a taste of authentic Portuguese culture with quaint cafes and seafood restaurants.


Praia da Luz doesn't offer consistent surf, but as you are located close to the west coast, it's a pretty perfect base to stay and explore several surfing beaches.


The Best time to visit Praia da Luz for surfing

Beginner

November - April

Intermediate

November - April

Advanced

December, Januari, Februari, March


 


the best surf towns in the Algarve
Praia da Rocha, Portimão


Portimão

A winter surf escape at Praia da Rocha


Surf & Stay

Maybe not the surf town you would have expected, but Praia da Rocha (main beach of Portimão) can offer great winter surf. As this city is located more east than all other towns described in this blog, the weather can be significantly nicer here, especially in winter time. Waves can be pretty mellow and small compared to the west coast, but this beach still offers nice surf, and time to time big waves hit this beach as well. You'll find a variety of surf schools at the beach parking. I can recommend taking lessons at Future Eco Surf School. If you're visiting for learning, it's good to know that even when there are no waves, the schools will take you to the west coast for bigger surf! The west coast can be reached by car in about 40 minutes.


You also won't find too many surf lodging here but only Airbnb's and hotels. I would recommend staying at surrounding towns like Alvor and Ferragudo, they're absolutely beautiful! This being said, I have learned to love Portimão and you might too. It's a real Portuguese city.


The Best time to visit Portimão for surfing

Beginner

October - May

Intermediate

November - April

Advanced

December, Januari, Februari, March


 

West coast


The west coast is more quiet comparing to the south coast of the Algarve but you'll find some cute towns here that are perfect to stay for your surf holiday. Here are my favorite surf towns on the west coast of the Algarve! 👇


The west coast of the Algarve offers a different experience compared to the south coast, with bigger surf, cooler temperatures, and wild nature. There are some great surf spots here, including Praia da Bordeira and Praia do Amado near the town of Bordeira, which is a great spot for experienced surfers. The best time to visit for surfing depends on your skill level, but generally, June to September is good for beginners, year-round for intermediates, and October to May for advanced surfers.


 

The best surf towns in the Algarve
Carrapateira, Western Algarve


Bordeira (Carrapateira)

Wild nature and spectacular beaches


Surf & Stay

This is THE place in the Algarve for surf. With Praia da Bordeira and Praia do Amado close to this town, you are guaranteed to catch great waves. These beaches are best for more experienced surfers as you'll find bigger waves here compared to the south coast and shelter is more difficult to find.


This town is just a little more than a collection of small houses, surf shops, a cafe, a (organic) restaurant and a Portuguese bakery. If you're not into surfing, this is not the town for you but if you're looking for stunning nature, beaches and amazing surf, this is! The beaches of Praia do Amado and Praia da Bordeira are close and are both equally as beautiful.


The best time to visit Bordeira for surfing

Beginner

June - September

Intermediate

Year around

Advanced

October - May


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The best surf towns in the Algarve
Praia da Arrifana, Aljezur


Praia da Arrifana & Aljezur

Dramatic cliffs and perfect surf


Surf & Stay

An amazing town to stay if you're looking for good surf. With many surf hostels, camps and surf houses you'll be sure to meet like minded people in this stunning location. Especially in summer, this place is perfect for learning. However, weekends and high season can be very crowded. I personally like to avoid busy surf and visit on early mornings and weekdays and/or off season. Arrifana is not just great for surf but in my opinion it's also one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.



The best time to visit Arrifana for surfing

Beginner

May - October

Intermediate

September - June

Advanced

October - March



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The best surf towns in the Algarve
Monte Clérigo, Algarve


Monte Clérigo

Stay in the Costa Vicentina natural park


Surf & Stay

The surf in the town of Monte Clérigo, about 10 minutes from Aljezur, is an exposed river break that offers reliable surf. It's situated on the north side of beach of Vale da Telha. The beautiful dreamlike beach is one of the better surfing beaches in the Algarve and is almost never too crowded, not even on the really good days! The perfect surf town if you like some peace and quiet and love beautiful wild nature.


This is one of the better Algarve beach towns if you're a surf lover. Located on the Algarve west coast, nature here is more wild with big waves hitting the Atlantic coast. Praia do Monte Clérigo is part of the Costa Vicentina natural park and is characterized by lovely colourful houses, located on a hill on the south side of the beach. The beach town has a chilled vibe and is mainly visited by surfers and local Portuguese families. You'll find a handful of restaurants and places to stay here. The town also has 2 surf schools for renting a board and taking lessons.


The best time to visit Monte Clérigo for surfing

Beginner

June - September

Intermediate

All year

Advanced

September - May


Premium surf lodging in Monte Clérigo



 

I also want to give a little shout out to friends from The Sweet Lemon 3 in Vale Covo. If you're expanding your surf trip up north to Ericeira (I can only recommend), make sure to have a look at their beautiful brand new b&b apartments! 🍋



 

There are many more beautiful beach towns in the Algarve where you'll easily find a surfschool to take you out on a surf lesson on a beautiful beach. Check out bay blog the most beautiful beach towns in the Algarve to explore more beautiful towns in this piece of paradise. 👇




the best surf towns in the algarve
Praia do Zavial, Algarve

1 Comment


Guest
May 06

Very helpfull surf guide, thank you

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