Wondering where to surf in Central Portugal? We’ve got your back!

This world-class surf zone has clear water, a few semi-secret spots and excellent waves – making it the perfect spot to catch a few rides.

In this blog post, we'll give you all the information you need to know about surfing in Central Portugal. We'll tell you where to go, when to go and the best surf spots there.

So whether you're still figuring out how to surf or you've been shredding for years, Central Portugal is definitely worth checking out!

Central Portugal at a glance

While an Algarve surf trip will definitely be on most surfers’ bucket lists, the central zone of Portugal’s has its own unique appeal that make it a top spot for surfing in Europe.

Central Portugal is home to some of the best waves in the country – stretching roughly 150+ kilometres from just south of Lisbon to the beginner-friendly peelers of Baleal and beyond, this zone boasts a diverse array of different breaks and plenty of charm.

If you're looking for where to surf in Central Portugal, you'll also be happy to know that there are waves for a variety of wind and swell directions. Translation?

This means if the waves are flat or crowded at one spot, there's a good chance we can find another great break just by traveling a short distance.

Friends checking the big waves from a cliff, while on their bikes in Santa Cruz, Portugal
Surf check in Santa Cruz, Central Portugal.

When is the best time to surf in Central Portugal?

Knowing where to surf in Central Portugal is important, but so is knowing when to surf.

Summer generally sees warmer weather and stronger winds. There are lots of bluebird days and it’s the best time to visit if you’ve never surfed before or you’re a beginner. What’s more, the water warms up slightly starting from late spring through to late summer, so you can get away with wearing less neoprene than in the colder months.

Spring and Autumn are also epic seasons to surf in Central Portugal, but for different reasons. The waves are bigger and more challenging, which is great for intermediate and confident surfers. The water can also be surprisingly warm. Plus, the crowds start to thin out as the summer tourists go back home. This means you could potentially score epic waves without the crowds... a surfer's dream!

Just remember to check out how long it takes to learn to surf and contact us about the best time to book before you pull the trigger.

Where are the top 6 surf spots in Central Portugal?

When it comes to where to surf in Central Portugal, we’ve got the inside scoop!

With years of experience surfing Portugal and plenty of local knowledge, we know where all the very best breaks are located. Here are 6 of our favourite surf spots in Central Portugal!

Costa da Caparica - An incredible amount of peaks, a short drive south of Lisbon

Just a 15 minute Uber drive from the center of Portugal's capital, a series of jetties separate the various small beaches of Costa da Caparica. The sandbanks are often in good shape and during weekdays crowds are few, meaning it is not difficult to find an uncrowded peak and score some fun beach break waves.

Add close proximity to a bustling town, a wide range of delicious restaurants and entertainment options and it becomes clear why Caparica is an incredible surf destination on its own right, with waves for beginner and intermediate surfers alike.

surfer doing a bottom turn on a crystal clear wave in costa da caparica, portugal
Ready to hit a clean wall in Costa da Caparica.

Carcavelos - An amazing barreling beach only 20 km west of Lisbon

The surf break of Carcavelos in Portugal is well-known due to its proximity to Lisbon city center and the fact it can offer some seriously heavy rides.

With a picturesque fort on the southern headland, views back towards the city and plenty of cafes close by, it's also very easy on the eye. Surfers of all levels will enjoy this beachbreak when it's smaller, however, Carcavelos is at its best when it's head high plus and barrelling over shallow sandbars.

Because of this, Carcavelos is popular with both professional and amateur surfers, and it's been the site of many international competitions.

bodyboarders enjoying some playful peaks in Carcavelos, Central Portugal
Playful Summer conditions in Carcavelos and the local bodyboarders ruling the spot.

Ribeira d'Ilhas - A popular pointbreak with mellow righthanders

Every year, surfers from all over the world descend on the small town of Ericeira in Portugal. And they come for one reason (no... not the delicious sardines) - to ride the wave known as Ribeira d'Ilhas.

This wave is unlike any other, with an often mellow but sometimes challenging righthander that breaks over a rocky bottom. It's a dream for any surfer (but especially for regular footed surfers) and many people say it's an unforgettable ride.

Like Carcavelos, it's played host to multiple surf competitions over the years. It's also located in Europe's only World Surfing Reserve, which makes it a bucket-list break for beginners and shredders alike!

surfer looking back at the waves and the sunset
That one last look back at the waves after a perfect sunset session.Unknown surfer, Ribeira d'Ilhas.

Santa Cruz - A consistent sand-bottom break that's fun for all levels

Looking for a quiet yet quality surf spot in Portugal? Then Santa Cruz might be for you. It's a small but beautiful surf beach located just to the north of bustling Ericeira.

The beach is known for its great waves and stunning scenery. It's also the perfect place for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing when the waves are flat, and there are many restaurants and cafes located nearby.

Finally, the people of Santa Cruz are friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere at the beach is always positive. Maybe that's because there's generally enough waves for everyone who visits? It's hard to say.

What’s sure is that Santa Cruz is a hidden gem and a consistent alternative to the busier breaks at Ericeira.

surfer getting some shade - winter in santa cruz, Central Portugal
One of the Surf Tribe's co-founders, Gianfranco, enjoying the peaks of Santa Cruz last Winter.

Supertubos - A world-class wave with multiple barrelling peaks

Sitting just to the south of Peniche is the wave of Supertubos - a break that's synonymous with surfing in Portugal.

At its best, it's an intimidating beachbreak that offers world-class rides. But it can also be an excellent place to surf for beginners looking to take their skills to the next level given that the waves break over sand and not rock or reef.

In saying that, there are lots of other options within close proximity to each other if Supertubos is too big or too gnarly.

If you're looking for where to surf in Central Portugal and you're not afraid of wiping out though, Supertubos has to go on your list... just be sure to bring your A-game!

A perfect empty barreling wave breaking at sunset in Supertubos, Peniche
Supertubos, the queen wave of Portugal, deceptively perfect.

Baleal (Baia and Prainha) - Forgiving beachbreaks that can get epic

Baleal is the name of the longish, crescent-shaped beach located on the other side of Peniche only a short drive north from town.

Like Supertubos, it attracts surfers from far and wide. Unlike Supertubos though, Baleal won't punish you for making a wrong move. That's because the waves here are typically quite gentle, with peeling lefts and rights that are perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers.

The more protected part of the beach is the Baia in the northern hook of the beach. It's fun in a big northerly swell but also popular amongst surf schools when it's small. Prainha is located a short walk north on Baleal Norte. It's a cruisy beachie that's also quite forgiving with both lefts and rights.

A surfer riding a mellow righthander wave in Baleal, Peniche
With waves ranging from mellow rides to thumping barrels, the area of Peniche and Baleal are a dream for surfers of all levels.

That's all, folks!

Whether you're seeking a memorable surf house experience in Santa Cruz or Costa da Caparica or you simply want to ride unreal waves in Central Portugal, we've got you covered!

Surf Central Portugal with the tribe - Book now!