The Magic of the Costa Vicentina: A Surfer's Paradise

The Algarve – and more specifically the stunning area surrounding Aljezur, on the south-west coast of Portugal – has always held a special place in The Surf Tribe’s hearts. It was after falling in love with Arrifana and the Costa Vicentina the we decided to organize our first surf trip there in the Autumn of 2019. This is where our adventure got started, and every year we come back here, gather with the tribe and spend some months surfing and sharing good times.

With its mild and temperate climate, the Algarve is a year-round escape for sun and surf seekers. The month of September is one of our favorite to be in southern Portugal: end of Summer gives way to a gentle Autumn, the spirits and the vibes are at an all time high and long-period swells start traveling from the northern Atlantic Ocean, filling up bays and coves with clean and consistent waves. Whether you are looking to ride your first waves, score uncrowded surf or find some endless longboard rides, Arrifana and the surrounding beaches provide endless waves to ride.

Just a three minute drive from Arrifana beach, we spend the entire month with guests and friends immersed in nature in a beautiful glamping set right in the middle of the Costa Vicentina natural park. Surrounded by acacia trees, we spend weeks surfing, sharing and experiencing the magic of this place and of the beautifully diverse community that calls it home.

A quiet moment on top of one of the most beautiful surfing beaches of Portugal: praia da Arrifana.

Connecting through Waves and Shared Experiences

It's in this magical place – and with the help of Stefano, visiting friend and filmmaker – that we tried to capture a bit of why this corner of earth – and the people that we meet every year – are so special to us.

Our love of surfing connects us and traveling with the Tribe is an opportunity to meet in a genuine way with new like-minded friends and to reconnect with old ones. We get the chance to disconnect from the race of daily life, spend our days in nature and find connectedness through the shared values and experiences of surfing.

You might be about to ride your first wave or you might be a seasoned expert but the feeling of spending quality time, getting to know news places, being surrounded by diverse people and sharing together time in the water, that is a feeling that never gets old.

Hike from our base and wave check, somewhere on the Costa Vicentina.

Embracing the Surfing Lifestyle in the South of Portugal

While we were in the Algarve last September running our surf retreats, we got the chance to spend a lot of time (in and out of the water) with Andrea and Julio. Friends, surfers and travelers, inbetween surf sessions and good times the conversation often turned towards this question: "what is it that we love so much about surfing"?

It became soon apparent that we all share the same values and desire to live closer to nature and to make of surfing a daily lifestyle. Each one going through different roads, we are figuring out how to follow the dream of building a lifetime of wave riding, closeness to the Ocean and a sense of community.

While Riccardo built The Surf Tribe with friends and now spends most of the year traveling around surf destinations, Andrea is a longboarder, shaper and top notch ding repairer and Julio works flexibly from everywhere following personal and commercial creative projects.

Sharing stories, laughs and good times back at the camp after a full day of surfing.

Andrea Bonelli learned surfing in the Mediterranean sea and loves giant boards and smooth glides. He is a shaper from Italy under the name of hellpipesurfcrafts and now moved to the Algarve and is pursuing full time his shaping and surfing career.

“Already when I was a kid I surfed a longboard, even if I weighted 20kg with a bible in my hands, I only used giant boards. And I remember the first wave I took where I really started sliding along the entire wall of the wave: I paddled and paddled and as soon as I got on the face of the wave… like a train on its track It’s always the same feeling. It’s incredible.”

Riccardo one of The Surf Tribe's co-founders and fell in love with Arrifana a years ago. Now he takes every opportunity to spend more and more time in the Algarve.

"I got trapped into this fantastic world of surfing and what I love about this life is being able to go into the Ocean every day and to share all of this, to share the time together in the water with your friends, with like-minded people. To share the joy and to share a surf session together, I think that’s the main thing for me. That’s what makes you incredibly happy."

Julio, a Venezuelan artist living in Milano, found himself needing to reconnect to nature and to surfing and moved his life from the city to this small community in Portugal. His surfing is inspired by both his creativity and his knowledge and practice of yoga.

"I guess that a lot of people or a lot of “real surfers” – and I don’t mean real by surfers the best ones, but those people that really feel connected to this way of living, of experiencing things – they all understand a bit each other in a way. We all have differences but we understand what we’re doing somehow. And through these shared values and experiences, you can also understand that it’s not the same the cost of things as the value of things. And that seeing a good friend catching an awesome wave on his self-shaped board can produce a lot of joy.”

Join one of our next surf trips in the Algarve!

Film & Edit: Stefano Petroni @cleancaptureuk

Surfers & friends appearing in the video (in loose order of appearance):

Matias Campus, Julio Jannoni, Andrea Bonelli, Salvatore Cannada, Andrea Font, Tito Erenburg, Luca Goffredo, @uwemurat, Riccardo Marino, Gianfranco Lanzio + all the friends and guests of the September 2022 surf trips in the Algarve.

Thanks to the Soulfarm family for the good times, the friendship and for being the best home we could dream of for our adventures in the south of Portugal.