Looking for an easy, affordable surf trip destination somewhere in Europe? A place where the waves are consistent and cater for all abilities — home to wide open beaches, nooks and crannies, beaten paths and not-so-beaten paths, friendly men and womenfolk, naughtiness in the summer, niceness in the winter?
Want somewhere to “go with the lads”? After a spot to “take the Missus”?
Look no further! Portugal’s southernmost reaches will tickle all your boxes and then some.
Words by Ricardo Bravo
Sagres, Lagos, Vila do Bispo.
Mainly easy beachbreaks but also the odd pointbreak and some powerful hidden wedges that can get you in trouble on bigger days.
When to go
The best season to go is really all year long, although it partly depends on what you’re after. Rainy days are a rarity around here so you can count on warm weather and lots of sun, even during harsh winters when generally European shores are freezing. Smaller waves from May to August, but still plenty of surfable beachbreaks. Winter can deliver some epic uncrowded days, but there’ll be little in the way of a party scene.
The basic 3/2mm should be enough for most days and a shorty for summertime is a good option for those days spent on the beach with quick sessions. If you’re 3/2’s a bit knackered then a 3/4 back-up suit can be nice for morning surfs in winter, but it’s by no means essential.
Your regular shortboard will do the trick, unless you’re coming in the winter and looking for some adrenalin on the heavier spots (wedges). For those spots, a bigger board will get you sooner into the wave making the difference between a nice barrel and a nasty wipe-out.