The increasing of surf-related tourism in Portugal is something that everyone can easily see. As a result, the crowd is bigger around our waters and nobody likes surfing and being permanently concerned with not being smashed by a flying surfboard, especially when some of the reasons for surfing is relaxing and having fun. Maybe that’s why that on the last years foreign surfers have been looking for less massive crowd surf spots than Algarve, Carcavelos, Ericeira or Peniche. Therefore, in the last couple of years northern Portugal, represented by Oporto, has been setting his space up as a great surfing option, able to combine high-quality surfing and the discovery of great cities with an unique natural and cultural patrimony.
Urban or natural beaches, beach breaks and point breaks and different surf spots that suit all type of surfing levels, here’s our surf spot’s selection for the North of Portugal:
. Moledo do Minho: the river Minho, which is the frontier between Portugal and Spain, forms a sandbank which can produce good left-handers, sometimes with hard rips. A relaxed beach with a really nice landscape. It’s 100 km’s north from Oporto.
. Afife (Arda beach): It’s a surfing and windsurfing destination since the late 70s, due to the quality of the waves and to the strong winds that occasionally appear. It’s about 85 km’s north from Oporto and close to Viana do Castelo.
. Matosinhos (Internacional beach): It’s Oporto beach, near Parque da Cidade (city park), with a lovely seafront area. It is a very popular spot for beginners and it has a large number of surf schools.
. Espinho (Baía beach): The casino right-hander is one of the most popular waves of northern Portugal- a barrel wave with different sections. Southwards, there are more waves near the fishermen’s zone. Since 2014 it’s one of the stages of the World Pro Junior Series. We sure feel blessed for having our house here! It’s 20 km’s south from Oporto (20 minutes by train to the centre).
. Esmoriz, Cortegaça and the surroundings: In this área there are various peaks along the beach, making it accessible to all surfers. There are only a few local surfers, unique landscapes and quality waves. In fact, in 2013 it was considered by the Evening Times (online version, 15th of August 2013) the second World’s Best Surfing Destination, right after Oahu (Haway) and before places like California (USA), Durban (S.Africa), etc.
Because this region, like Espinho, is so close to Oporto, with a fast and easy access, don’t miss a visit to this great town. It’s 25 km’s south from Oporto (25-30 minutes by train to the centre).
– Aveiro (Barra beach): This is a wide open beach, protected by a jetty on the north side. Various peaks and accessible to all surfers. Sure you won’t miss the opportunity of visiting Aveiro, also known as the Portuguese Venice.