As we (my boyfriend, dog and I) enjoy daily surfs in the Algarve, we've explored almost every surfing beach and surf towns around. So here is my top 5 of places to stay for your surf holiday.
Location: Praia da Bordeira
The great thing about the (western) Algarve is you have the exposure of the Atlantic and the shelter of the corner of Portugal. This means you can search for bigger waves on the west coast but when it gets too big or windy, you can find some shelter and beautiful waves on the south coast.
The ultimate surfer town in the Algarve. This town is like it's made for surfing with all the surf schools and shops around. It has many options for beginners, intermediates and more advanced levels. There is almost always a wave to be found. However for intermediates and more advanced levels summer is not the best time to visit Sagres as the waves are smaller. Because of it's location on the corner of Portugal you can always find shelter or exposure at one of many surfing beaches around like Tonel en Praia do Beliche.
Sagres is a small town with many cute bars, restaurants and (surf)shops. It's very low-key and attracts true ocean and nature lovers. The nature here is wild with its huge cliffs and the turbulent ocean. You will find the most amazing views on this most south western point of Europe.
Besides a nice fat winter longboard wave the surf in this town is not so consistent. However, the convenient location makes it very attractive to stay for a surfing holidays as many amazing surfing beaches for or levels are within a 25 minute drive. You easily cross trough the South West corner of Portugal to Beaches like Praia do Amado and Praia da Arrifana but als Sagres, Zavial and Lagos are very close. This makes it a quite ideal location! There are a few camps and schools in Burgau that you could contact for equipment rentals if needed.
Just a 10 minute drive from Lagos in a small bay you'll find the cute and relaxed town of Burgau. It's a small fisherman's town with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, a large sandy beach and a few cute restaurants. It's a great place to stay for a beach holiday, visit surrounding places like Lagos, Sagres and the old town of Monchique and go supping or surfing with the nearby surf schools.
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 Lagos, the surf schools will take you just around the corner to the west coast.
It's perfect to stay for all levels as the west coast is just a half an hour drive and bigger waves usually hit the coast of Lagos between nov-april.
One of the bigger towns in the Algarve. It's famous for the stunning viewing point 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 surfschools and rentals 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 a little less active, hang out at one of the beautiful beaches.
Location: Praia do Amado
This is the place in the Algarve for surf. With Praia da Bordeira and Praia do Amado close to the town you'll be sure to to catch waves. These beaches are best for more experienced surfers as you'll find bigger waves here compared to the south coast.
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! 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 these beaches with a cute restaurant on the way. 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.
Praia da Arrifana & Aljezur
An amazing place to stay if you're looking for a surf. With the many surf hostels, camps and surf houses you'll make sure you meet like minded people in a stunning location. Especially in summer, this place is perfect for learning. Weekends and high season can be very crowded.
It's a picture perfect town with its idyllic white houses situated on the sublime black cliffs with clear blue ocean. The town of Aljezur is also close. In both town you'll find a few cute bars and restaurants. Overall the perfect place for a surfing holiday.