Portugal: plenty of wind and waves for surfers and sailors

Portugal has 1,793 kilometres of coastline, over 300 days of sun per year and stunning white sandy beaches. Moreover, Portugal has some of the best surf spots in the world.


The country is currently discussing the potential of wave sports to boost national economy. A recent study has revealed a growing number of boardsports enthusiasts: 212,000 surfers enjoy waves from North to South and in the Madeira and Azores islands.

Portugal, also commonly known as the "European California", has been trying to get the most out of the oceanic economy, which were the pillar structures of the foundation of the country, back 1143.

Surf tourism is now part of the daily life of Portuguese citizens. From Viana do Castelo, Matosinhos, Espinho, Aveiro and Figueira da Foz to Nazaré, Peniche, Ericeira and Sagres, Portugal offers incredible conditions for surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, bodyboard, skimboarding and other water sports.

In 2009, the Portuguese government announced the construction of seven high performance surfing centres that would upgrade the training conditions of the Portuguese surf riders.

Recently, the Portuguese Surfing Federation, the coastal municipalities and the governmental authorities have discussed what should be done to multiply revenues coming from surfing and surf tourism, as it can be seen in many cities and towns such as Huntington Beach, Mundaka, Biarritz, Tarifa, Newquay, Sydney and many others.

The Portuguese Permanent Forum for the Maritime Affairs has also published several guidelines that may place Portugal in the centre of world water sports. Improving the conditions of the sailing marinas, establishing international partnerships, promoting world championship stages and linking sports infrastructures to coastal cities are some of the main issues presented by the Portuguese ocean lobbyists.