Surf’s up! The Algarve’s top spots

2 surfers looking out to sea

The giant waves in Nazaré may make the headlines, but Portugal’s southernmost coast is the perfect destination for surfers of all levels.

Throughout the winter, experienced surfers flock to the centre and north of the country to enjoy the world-famous Atlantic swells. But in the Algarve, the region’s popular beaches also provide waves for all levels.

The winter months are better suited to more experienced surfers, particularly towards the west coast where the wilder Atlantic crashes along the shoreline. But the summertime is ideal for beginners, with several surf schools located in each beachside town.

Praia da Rocha

One of the most popular beach destinations in the Algarve, Praia da Rocha is also home to some of the region’s most consistent swells. Surfers can often be found close to the jetty, but novices are best suited to the waves a bit further to the right of the beach. There are several schools that provide individual and group lessons to all ages and levels.

Praia da Luz

The equally popular beach town of Praia da Luz (with similar conditions to Porto de Mós, closer to Lagos) is also a great surf spot. The conditions are beginner-friendly in the summer, but surfers should take extra care with swimmers during these months. In the winter, the north swells and the beach’s two point breaks make it a perfect spot for veterans.

Praia do Zavial

Further west, where conditions become more challenging, Zavial is a popular beach for both beginners and experienced surfers, as well as bodyboarders. With medium and large swells from the west and north, those starting out should contact one of the many surf schools around Vila do Bispo that visit the beach regularly.

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