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The Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Lisbon

If you’re a wave-riding pro or you’re just entering the surfing world, you have to get to Lisbon. Lisbon is known as one of Europe’s star destinations for surfing and surf camps because of its countless picturesque beaches and massive waves that crash all year long.

As Portugal’s largest city and capital, Lisbon has a lively nightlife, close to perfect weather, and a fantastic location along the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is also home to the only World Surf Reserve in all of Europe, found south of Lisbon in a small beach town called Ericeira.

There are multiple surf spots in Lisbon, so you might not know where to start. To help you choose where to surf in Lisbon, here is an ultimate guide that explains Lisbon’s top beaches and surf spots. 

Main Surf Spots in Lisbon, Portugal


If you want to surf at one of Lisbon’s top-rated beaches, definitely head to Carcavelos. Carcavelos surf beach is famous for its waves’ consistency and its excellent location. The waves are just 10 minutes away from Lisbon’s city centre, and you can quickly get here by train for around 2€. Now fair warning, this beach is a hot spot, so the waters will be crowded with tourists and dominating surf locals.


Poca is another great surf spot in Lisbon. This beach has a rocky coast and some brutal waters, so this is not the place if you’re looking for beginner-friendly surf spots in Lisbon. Once the waves start going (the best time is at mid-tide), the swells from the North winds make massive waves that only experienced or intermediate surfers should take on.

Sao Pedro

Sao Pedro has some great surf that is fit for both advanced and beginner surfers. The waves here are known to be chill and long if the waves are working right. The majority of the surf comes from southwestern swells, and the rising tide is usually when the waves are working best here.


Bafureira is a popular surf spot in Lisbon that has great wave breaks nearly the entire year. You can get here from Lisbon’s centre in 30 minutes by driving. The waves work best around mid-tide, and though it’s generally known for having right breaks, both left and right are possible depending on conditions.

Lagoa de Albufeira

The sparkling blue waters of Lagoa de Albufeira are found in the south of Lisbon, just around 20 kilometres by car. Its exposed location is open to many swells, so you can expect many types of excellent waves here, no matter the season. The beach is also long and spacious, making it the perfect place to relax while you’re not surfing.

Santa Amaro

Santa Amaro is a great go-to for intermediate or advanced surfers who want to practice their skills in less crowded waters. There are wind and ground swells here, and the waves continue to work well during the winter. High tide is the best time to surf at Santa Amaro, but be sure to watch out for exposed rocks.

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Ericeira is a beautiful and chill town north of Lisbon, just 40 minutes away by car. This majestic little beach town has many gorgeous beaches and places to visit. Being the only World Surf Reserve in all of Europe, so it attracts many international surfers from around the globe.

Even with its constant international visitors, the town of Ericeira still has kept up its traditional, laid-back vibe. Though there are plenty of locals, this is also one of the best spots in Portugal to make friends with other international surfers. 

Many surfers of all levels come to surf camps in Ericeira that are state-of-the-art surf schools and fun ex-pat communities all in one. Our Ericeira Surf Camp may be the perfect place for you if you are a digital nomad or freelancer wanting to spend time abroad and learn how to surf from the pros.

If you’re looking for beginner-friendly surf spots, you should go with the southern areas in Ericeira because they are known to have easier waters. Altogether, there are around ten beaches in Ericeira, each containing one to three spots to surf, but listed below are the 5 main surf beaches in Ericeira that you should definitely check out while you’re here.

2. São Julião

São Julião takes the cake for attracting the most swells in Ericeira. Like Foz do Lizandro, São Julião is also a fantastic beach option for first-time surfers to hit the waves. Here the waves work best between low and mid-tide, and the beach has a sandy bottom, so no need to worry about hitting rocks.

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3. Coxos

Expert surfers: this one is for you. Coxos’ big barrels can be absolutely wild when the water really gets going. The breaks here are fast and furious and can often crash into reefs full of sea urchins. Definitely do not attempt these waves if your skills aren’t there, and be sure to mentally note the locals’ strategies before you even start paddling in.

4. Praia da Empa

Another surf spot in Ericeira for the pros is Praia da Empa. Jagged cliffs surround this beach with nearly no sand in sight, so you’ll definitely have to be on the lookout for rocks here. Waves work best at mid to high tides, which is when you’ll spot some speedy interior-tube rights.

5. Praia do Sul

Prai do Sul is a great beach for beginner surfers. Located in the south of Ericeira, this beautiful long beach has a nice sandy bottom and both left and right peaks. It’s one of the more famous beaches, so many tourists and locals come here to soak up the sun and hit the waves. 

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