surfing in the algarve

The Algarve is really well-known as a paradise for surfing, and it‘s because of a few important reasons.

Why surf in the Algarve?

Firstly, it‘s a geographical location. The Algarve has two coasts-one facing the West and the other facing the South. This means that depending on swell and wind direction there are constant waves on one of the coasts, or even on both. This helps spread out surfers among different spots based on their skill level and avoids overcrowding.

Secondly, the weather in the Algarve is great for surfing all year round. The air and water temperatures are moderate, so even in the winter, you can enjoy surfing without getting too cold.

Thirdly, the Algarve has waves for any level. When the West Coast has big waves, the South Coast has smaller waves, perfect for beginners.  That means that beginners can enjoy small gentle waves on the South Coast or surf on the West Coast practicing on white waves, while more advanced surfers can surf challenging green waves.

When to go?

Although the Algarve consistently offers waves, it's important to note that it's practically never completely flat. If you're planning a surf-focused trip, consider that the summer typically brings smaller waves. During this season, the South Coast might even become quite flat, while the West Coast offers enjoyable medium-sized waves.

On the other hand, the winter season brings significantly larger waves on both coasts. This can result in spectacular waves on the South Coast when the West is experiencing wild conditions. Alternatively, you may find small enjoyable waves on the South Coast, contrasting with the larger waves on the West Coast.

Despite all the advantages we have in the Algarve, it‘s essential to remember that Nature always has her plans. There might be days with storms and strong winds, making surfing difficult and even dangerous. While it's rare to have days with absolutely no possibility to surf, especially in the winter, it's essential to be aware that it can happen.

Summer Vibes:  During the summer months, from May to September, the air in the Algarve carries a warm embrace, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). The water temperature reaches a comfortable 18°C to 22°C (64°F to 72°F).

Winter Comfort: In the winter, from November to March, the Algarve maintains a mild climate. The air temperatures cool down to a pleasant 8°C to 22°C (46°F to 71°F), offering a refreshing escape from colder climates. The ocean, while cooler than in summer, still retains a relatively mild temperature, ranging from 14°C to 18°C (57°F to 64°F).

Where to surf?

In the Algarve's surfing haven, there are no rigid distinctions between spots for beginners and advanced surfers. Instead, in the Algarve anyone can surf! It all depends on the swell and the wind. So, you can try surfing at any Algarvian surf spot, depending on the conditions. It's like a big, natural playground for everyone to enjoy the waves, whether you're just starting or already a PRO! Some of the most popular surf spots for surfing in the Algarve are Zavial, Cordoama, Amado, Castelejo, Arrifana, Monte Clérigo, Ponta Ruiva, Tonel, Meia Praia (Lagos), Praia da Luz, and more. With so many amazing surf spots, you can surf almost every day.

West Coast Surf Spots:

South Coast Surf Spots:

  • Meia Praia, Praia de Porto de Mos, Praia da Luz, Burgau, Praia das Cabanas Velhas, Praia do Zavial, Praia da Rocha (Portimão).

When you're eager to surf and see the many surf spots, you might wonder where to go and stay. Wherever you choose to stay, there's a surf spot waiting for you! Here's another great thing: the destinations in the Algarve are close! Whether you pick Lagos, Sagres, or Aljezur, you're never far from awesome surf spots. For instance, if you stay in Lagos, it only takes about 30-40 minutes to reach Cordoama or Arrifana beach. So, you not only have fantastic choices for places to stay, but you can easily drive from one surf spot to another or from the South Coast to the West Coast. It's all close and convenient for your surfing adventure.

For beginners and even intermediate surfers, selecting the ideal place and time to catch waves can be a bit challenging. At Filsurf School, our experienced instructors make this decision easier for you. Every day, they carefully choose the surf spot for the surf lessons based on current surf conditions and the level of crowd at various surf spots.

Monte Clérigo beach view with waves on the ocean and wooden stairs to the beach
Praia de Amado
Arrifana beach
Praia da Luz beach
Ponta Ruiva beach
Carrapateira beach
Cordoama beach