With waters not as cooled by the Canaries current that cools (and temperates) the water temperatures along Portugal’s west coast, the Algarve is essentially a stretch of beaches and points tucked away under steep cliffs and coves. “The Algarve is a great place to take a trip for anyone from pros to beginners.
Tucked away in the very bottom left corner of Continental Europe, you can’t go any further south and west on the mainland, herein lying the chief appeal of this coast: it’s the warmest and sunniest in Europe.
West obviously gets more swell and is the go-to on smaller days, all manner of beaches and points, but your principal adversary being the wind, you’ll want to be on in the morning.
The south also has favourable aspect, even in the dead of winter on sunny but windy days, that the beaches are sheltered from the wind and feel a lot warmer than it is (i. e. you can bronze your bare bum cheeks on New Year’s Day in the right spot).
The south coast gets less swell but is more sheltered from the wind, thus is kind of comes into its own in winter.
With most of the main surfing regions all being below 40 degrees North, Portugal manages to duck under the Atlantic mid-latitude westerlies, frontal systems and associated inclement weather, but still benefit from the swell they generate.
Meanwhile, when lows track south, south coast can really light up on west or south west swell hits directly without needing to wrap around.
From the giant, deathly A-frames at Nazaré, to sunny, accommodating rolls of beginner-friendly whitewater in the south, from beachbreak pits to rival anywhere at Supertubos to majestic right points, there really is a waveform to suit any level.
Read more here: Surf Europe