The best surf towns in the Algarve

As I enjoy daily surfs in the Algarve, I've explored almost every surfing beach and surf town around. So kick back and dream away about your upcoming surf trip and read al about surfing in the Algarve and my favorite surf towns. 👇


The best surf towns in the Algarve
Praia do Amado, 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 Algarve's 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.

What's in this blog?

The Algarve south coast surf towns

• Sagres (southwest)

• Burgau

• Lagos

• Portimão

The Algarve west coast surf towns

• Bordeira

• Arrifana & Aljezur

• Monte Clérigo

 

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. 👇


The best surf towns in the Algarve
Sagres, Algarve

Sagres (southwest corner)

The ultimate surfer town


Surf

The ultimate surfers town in the Algarve! The town of Sagres is located on the south west corner of Portugal and is made for surfing. You'll find a wide variety of surf schools, rentals and shops here. Sagres provides many options for beginners, intermediates and more advanced levels. Because of its geographical location on the southwest corner of Portugal, you can always find shelter or exposure at one of many surfing beaches around like Tonel and Praia da Mareta. The perfect surf town to stay if you're more advanced or want to take your first lesson! There are waves for every level.


The best time to visit Sagres for surfing

Beginner

May - October

​Intermediate

Whole year round

Advanced

​October - May

Stay

Sagres is a small town with many cute bars, great coffee, good restaurants and many surf shops. It's very low-key and attracts true ocean and nature lovers. The nature here is wild with its huge cliffs and a turbulent ocean. You will find the most amazing views on this most southwestern point of Europe. Sagres also has plenty of surf houses, hostels, apartments and more luxury hotels for you to book your stay at. The perfect surf town for everyone!


Premium surf lodging in Sagres



The best surf towns in the Algarve
Burgau, Algarve

Burgau

Tranquillity and cuteness overload


Surf

Besides a nice fat winter longboard wave (works best with bigger north western swells), the surf in this town is not very consistent. However, Burgau's convenient location makes it a very attractive place to stay for a surfing holiday as many amazing surfing beaches (for or levels) are within a 15-25 minute drive. You easily cross trough the southwest corner of Portugal to beaches like Praia do Amado and Praia da Arrifana. Sagres, Zavial, Praia da Luz and Lagos are all just a 5 - 20 minute drive away. This makes Burgau quite an ideal town to stay for your surf trip! There are a few surf camps and schools in Burgau that you could reach out to for equipment rentals if needed.


Best time to visit Burgau for surfing

Beginner

​September - May

Intermediate

October - April

Advanced

October - March

Stay

Just a 10 minute drive from Lagos in a small sandy bay you'll find the cute and relaxed town of Burgau. It's a small fishing town with cobbled streets, crooked whitewashed houses, a large sandy beach and a handful cute restaurants. It's a small low-key traditional town with the more lively towns of Praia da Luz and Lagos just a short (5-15 min) drive away.


Premium surf lodging in Burgau


The best surf towns in the Algarve
Lagos, Algarve

Lagos

Beautiful beaches and liveliness


Surf

The town of Lagos has two main surfing beaches. Porto de Mos (beach and reef break) and Meia Praia (beach break). You'll find many surf schools, rentals and hostels in Lagos and if there are no waves hitting the coast of Lagos, the surf schools will take you just around the corner to the west coast. It's the perfect surf town to stay for all levels as the west coast is just a half an hour drive.


The Best time to visit Lagos for surfing

Beginner

​September - May

Intermediate

October - April

Advanced

October - March

Stay

Lagos is one of the bigger towns in the Algarve. 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. A town with many options for everyone!



Premium surf lodging in Lagos



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

Portimão

Winter surf escape at Praia da Rocha


Surf

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. Summer here is flat but mid season is already perfect for beginners and learning how to surf like at To the Sea Retreat. I actually learned how to surf here when I was younger and still surf here quite a lot in fall and winter! 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.


The Best time to visit Portimão for surfing

Beginner

October - May

Intermediate

November - April

Advanced

December, Januari, Februari, March

Stay

To be honest, Praia da Rocha is known for its tall 90's buildings stretching along the entire beach. Even though the beach is beautiful, the view to the other side is not so much. You also won't find to many surf logging 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. Yes, there are tourist but also many local Portuguese (unlike the surrounding beach towns) and you'll expereince some Portuguese culture here and very very good fairly priced local food like at my favorite restaurant Avo Casimiro.


 

West coast

The scenery and weather changes dramatically ones you cross the southwest corner of Portugal to the west coast of the Algarve. The surf gets significantly bigger, temperatures are lower and nature is wild and unspoiled. You'll find amazing and empty surf spots here with clear water backed by dramatic cliffs.


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 best surf towns in the Algarve
Carrapateira, Western Algarve

Bordeira (Carrapateira)

Wild nature and spectacular beaches


Surf

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.


The best time to visit Bordeira for surfing

Beginner

June - September

Intermediate

Year around

Advanced

October - May

Stay

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. You'll find a beautiful dirt road along cliffs with stunning views that takes you to the surfing beaches. Praia do Amado also has 3 surf schools and 2 beach bars that are the best for a sunset beer and one of the most beautiful sunsets you'll ever see.


Premium surf lodging near Bordeira


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

Praia da Arrifana & Aljezur

Dramatic cliffs and perfect surf


Surf

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

Stay

It's a picture perfect town with its idyllic white houses situated on the sublime black cliffs with clear blue ocean. The (slightly bigger) town of Aljezur is also close but a little further from the ocean. In both towns you'll find a few cute bars and restaurants. Overall the perfect place for a surfing holiday.


Premium surf lodging near Arrifana


The best surf towns in the Algarve
Monte Clérigo, Algarve

Monte Clérigo

Stay in the Costa Vicentina natural park


Surf

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.


The best time to visit Monte Clérigo for surfing

Beginner

June - September

Intermediate

All year

Advanced

September - May

Stay

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.


Premium surf lodging in Monte Clérigo


 

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