A Guide To Surfing Sagres, Portugal

by Candice Land
Published: Last Updated on

The rumors you’ve heard about surfing in Sagres are true – it’s epic!

Our lust for the ocean was strong after a week of not surfing and anticipation for what the famed Sagres had to offer was high. It did not let us down! We left Lisbon and ventured down to Sagres in the Algarve for a week, exploring and surfing the local spots.

If you’re planning a similar Sagres surfing trip, then you’re in for a treat. Here’s all you need to know about Sagres surf conditions, spots, and lifestyle.

Wondering when is the best time to visit Sagres for surfing? Read our blog’s month-by-month surf guide.

* Just to let you know that this article may contain affiliate links. If you click on them we might receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Contents

Sagres Surfing Essentials

When we arrived we went straight to the first Sagres surf shop that we found (of which there were many). The owner of Sagres Bicycle and Company was very helpful and selected the perfect board for each of us.

The two boards cost us an affordable €120 for 6 days – and he threw in soft roof racks and a block of delicious smelling wax as a bonus. In addition, he told us the greatest secret of Sagres – where to find the best wave!

At the time, we were working as digital nomads during the day and sat behind our desks with ants in our pants for the majority of most mornings, constantly refreshing our browsers on the Magic Seaweed Sagres surf report.

We got to explore a few spots and definitely found our favorites. While we were there, the huge swell came in which prevented us from surfing a few on the list – but we’ve included them here anyway!

Portugal is one of the best digital nomad destinations for surfers, explore the rest on our blog here.

relaxing after a surf

Season to Surf Sagres

There are definite seasons to surf in the Algarve.

The best time to surf in Sagres depends on your level. Autumn and winter (September to March) are arguably the best months to surf as the swell starts to arrive.

Intermediate to advanced surfers will particularly enjoy the winter months as there are few crowds, surf consistency is peaking, and the waves are large. During these months, the surf is best enjoyed wearing a 4/3 wetsuit – and possibly even booties and hoodies on colder, windier days.

Are you prepared for surfing cold water? Read our blog on cold water surfing essentials.

During the summer months (June to August) the swell calms down and the crowds flock to the beach. It’s still possible to catch a few waves on the west coast. If you visit during this time, prepare for chilly water and pack a wetsuit (at least 2mm) or budget to rent one.

When you aren’t surfing, there are a ton of other things to do. Check out this Algarve itinerary for inspiration

ollie surfing beliche

Surf Classes Sagres

There are plenty of surfboard rental shops to choose from, and many of the spots are for experienced riders.

With this in mind, Sagres is home to some of the best surfing in Portugal for beginners. To help you get started, and better immerse yourself in Portuguese culture, we’ve shortlisted a few epic surf camps in Sagres.

candi in sagres

Surfing Spots in Sagres

Armed with the necessary information, here is a short guide on the different spots that Sagres has to offer, making up some of the best surfing in Portugal.

Praia do Amado

Praia do Amado is a great spot for intermediate and advanced surfers, with a surf school and rental stand on the beach. The beach break is formed over shifting surf banks, but it’s important to be wary of rock formations that are not always visible.

While this intermediate beach break normally offers a great wave, we got it at the wrong time. Candi ended up in tears and Ollie got smashed trying to make it out to the backline. If anything, we built character and got wet.

Praia do Tonel

Tonel Beach, Sagres, is a favorite among intermediate surfers. As one of the most popular breaks, it can get quite crowded, but the ride is worth it.

The big swell had already hit Sagres when we visited this spot but we still got a beer at the beach bar and enjoyed watching a few of the braver surfers battle the elements. Tonel offers a beach break for various levels, depending on the day. On this particular day, it was huge and intimidating but we can imagine that it can be beginner-friendly on a calmer day.

Praia do Beliche, Sagres

We surfed a few sessions at Beliche, a beginner beach break. It was close to the city center where we were staying and easy to get to. The parking lot sits high up above the beach, giving surfers a full view of the incoming swell, the number of people in the water, and an indication of the wind’s effect on the water.

The first day that we surfed Beliche there were only small close-outs to surf – which Ollie joyfully took advantage of, dodging swimmers in between getting munched. On the second day, the swell was bigger and further out (be sure to pay attention to the tides), and a lot more surfing was done.

Mareta

Praia da Mareta, Sagres, Portugal, was a little treat of a surf. The weather was terrible and we didn’t expect much. We were up at the fort, having a look at the (exquisite) scenery, and saw a group of what appeared to be ants in the water.

Ollie jumped up in the air and yelled: “Let’s go surfing”.

Mareta offered an incredibly fun beach break swell, surfable for beginners. We only got out of the water as we had to check out of our hotel, otherwise, we would’ve been in for a lot longer.

Read our blog on the best surfboards for beginners here.

fresh air in sagres

Top Tips for Sagres, Portugal, Surfing

Here are a few final tips if Sagres is on your list of destinations to visit:

  • Take advantage of all of the surf spots – try them all! There are a lot more spots than what we mention here
  • Be aware of airport tax when renting cars from Lisbon Airport – they add it quite dramatically
  • There are so many quirky and interesting sights, such as the wind turbines and the fort. Make sure that you move around with your eyes open
  • Arrifana and Zavial are also popular beginner spots – we didn’t get a chance to surf them though

How to Get Around Sagres

The best way to get to Sagres from Lisbon is to rent a car. There are more affordable ways, such as using the 4-hour bus journey (costing approximately $20), but a car offers a lot more flexibility.

Considering that the surf spots are not all in a single, central place, having a car allows you to move around as you wish, picking the best spot for the day.

Rent a car from Lisbon here.

rent a car in sagres

Where to Stay in Sagres

Sagres isn’t a huge town, so you probably won’t find yourself stuck in a tricky location (unless you don’t have access to transport).

As a rule of thumb, the west coast offers easier access to more challenging surf spots, while the south coast is known for easier breaks.

There are plenty of cheap hotels in Sagres that can accommodate nomadic surfers, but there are also a few luxury spots to stay.

Browse some of the best places to stay in Sagres here.

view from fort

Things to Do in Sagres, Algarve

When you’re not in the water, then you can indulge in the delicious local food and explore all that the charming town has to offer.

Some key attractions to get you started include:

  • Lighthouse of Ponta de Sagres
  • Fort of Santo Antônio de Belixe
  • Relax on the beaches
  • Visit the local cafes
  • Explore Cabo São Vicente
  • Go hiking

See You in Sagres!

Sagres has a special place in our hearts, and we hope that as many nomadic surfers get to enjoy the beaches as we did.

If you fall in love with Portugal, then we encourage you to explore the rest of the coastline. To help you get started, we’ve put together a blog on the best places to surf and work in Ericeira.

You can also follow us on our other channels here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ollieandthecaptain

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Website: https://ollieandthecaptain.com/

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