Surfing paradise Portugal: surfing in surrounding areas of Lisbon

We had to visit some surf spots as well, as part of our Lisbon trip this summer. Portugal is a hot spot for surf-tourism, due to the fact that the beaches are amazing for surfing and it’s a very close distance for European people.

The special thing about the surfing beaches in Portugal is the fact, that they are very diverse. You can get basically everything from small summer waves for beginners up to huge massive waves for advanced surfers. Portugal is known as the most surf-rich part of the continent- thanks to the countless beach and reef breaks, along the west coast between Moledo and Sagres. It is possible to enjoy a good surf all year long. In winter, the best location for surfing is in the southern part of Portugal between Sagres and Faro. You can enjoy the warm Mediterranean sun even in winter months. It’s very important to choose the season according to your surf level, basically surfing beginners should go during the summer months, and advanced surfers during October and April.

What’s really amazing about Lisbon is the combination of the urban flair and the surfing experience. There are several surfing sports in the greater area of Lisbon, where surfing is possible any time at the year. The most famous surf spot located approximately 20km away is Costa da Caparica. We didn’t test this beach because somebody told us that this one is not for beginners. We can’t judge if this is true or not.



Carcavelos beach is only 20 min away from Lisbon if you take the train. The spots north of the Tejo delta are facing south and are therefore an excellent spot to learn surfing during the summer months. A private lesson was only 20€, and the experience was great. The waves were smaller than the ones in Ericeira but this fact helped me to stand on my board directly. Well, I had to learn afterwards from my next teacher, that this teacher showed me the get-up technique differently, I had to get on my knees first. This can be interpreted as you want but the surfing experience in Ericeira was of higher quality.


The most famous surfing sports of Portugal are around the world-surfing reserve Ericeira. This area attracts a lot of surfing tourists from all over the world, because of its excellent reputation. Although the surfing tourism has increased, Ericeira managed to keep its Portuguese charm and has remained as one of the most beautiful places in Portugal for surfing. We loved the mentality of the people in Ericeira, they were so much nicer and open compared to some folks in Lisbon and Carcevelos.

Plenty of surf-schools are located in Ericeira. We chose a school directly at Ribeira D’Illhas. Ribeira D’Illhas is one of the most famous reef breaks in Ericeira. The good thing about this spot is the fact, that the parking is directly next to the beach, and the surfing school is within 1 min walking distance.

Surfing was simply amazing. The private lessens which cost 60€, were more expensive than the once in Carcevelos but I have learnt so much. The waves were a pretty demanding because of the NW-swells but great to surf. The surf school is located directly at the beach and we can totally recommend it. This surfing experience is surely not my last one at Ribeira D’Illhas.

We chilled in a very cool beach bar after surfing. Driving up north from Riberia D’Illhas, you are able to find some good spots as well.

We didn’t only learn how to surf in Portugal, we learnt as well what it means to surf. Surfing is more than a sport – it’s a life philosophy in pure freedom. If you are caught once in this flow – it’s very hard to escape, we have noticed that. Our trip to Portugal was simply mind opening, and amazing. We agreed, that surfing will be a part of all our trips from now on – if it’s possible of course.


We felt very comfortable as a LGBTQ couple. The atmosphere around surfing spots is totally chillaxed and people don’t care about sexual orientations. We have noticed that the people are very open and just wanna enjoy life.