- 12 November 2013 | Windsurfing
Portugal offers a wide variety of windsurfing spots for all levels of experience. In less than 750 kilometers, you can have it all, from flat waters to wave ramps.
Portugal has been building the reputation of California of Europe for all water sports enthusiasts. With its classic Mediterranean climate, the country of the famous 16th century explorers has everything a windsurfer can dream of.
Slalom race tracks, 500-meter speedways, wave arenas, river challenges, flat water lakes, lagoons and dams, within a mere six and a half hours drive, from Caminha (North) and Sagres (South). As a bonus, two beautiful Atlantic islands with breathtaking natural landscape: Azores and Madeira.
The annual average temperature in mainland Portugal varies from 12–13 °C (53.6–55.4 °F) in the mountainous interior north to 17–18 °C (62.6–64.4 °F) in the south.
Summer is warm, and if you're looking for fun, it's the perfect destination. Portugal is one of the sunniest regions in Europe, with around 2500–3200 hours of sunshine per year.
Portugal is one of the largest wind power producers in the world. So, if you add water, waves and wind, you get one of the most exciting windsurfing destinations in the whole planet.
The European country enjoys N/NNO/NO winds during summer. The Portuguese trades kick-in during April and last until September.
Strong afternoon winds are typical on the western Atlantic coast. In the South of Portugal, along the Algarve coast, the northerly summer winds are often replaced by land and sea breezes.
During winter, expect westerly and southerly winds, in the mainland. The North of Portugal is usually more windy, but you can get incredible windsurfing session in all territory.
Windsurfing is not the most popular water sport in Portugal. Surfing, bodyboarding and kiteboarding lead the way, so there are not many windsurf centers in throughout the country.
Nevertheless, you'll be able to find a windsurf shop within a two-hour drive, in Viana do Castelo and Costa Nova (North), Guincho and Carcavelos (Center), Martinhal and Meia Praia (South).
In the North, you'll find a nice speed strip in Cabedelo, near Viana do Castelo. In Matosinhos, near the iconic city of Porto, you can enjoy a freestyle, waves and speed in the large bay.
In Baleal, Peniche, go for the wave ramps on offer just a couple of kilometer north of Supertubos. Guincho, in Cascais, is the home of Portuguese wave windsurfing, and it was part of the PWA World Tour schedule, a few years ago.
In the Caia dam - also known as Barragem do Caia - you'll enjoy plenty of slalom opportunities in this sweet water windsurf spot. The same conditions applies to the Alqueva (Barragem do Alqueva), where you'll get one of the largest dams and artificial lakes (250 km2) in Western Europe.
Wave fanatics will get another chance to pull massive backloops in Tonel, near Sagres. A few miles away, you'll find the stunning beach of Martinhal, an international windsurf center attracting dozens of riders every day.
If you're in the Azores islands, get your windsurf board in the water at Praia da Vitória. If Madeira is your pick, head to Caniço and enjoy the local winds. Take a look at the best windsurfing spots in Portugal.
|Alto Rabagão||Montalegre||41,755434, -7,807621|
|Cabedelo||Viana do Castelo||41,68260, -8,83322|
|Ria de Aveiro||Costa Nova||40,60686, -8,74840|
|Lagoa de Óbidos||Lagoa de Óbidos||39,409840, -9,202027|
|Cova do Vapor||Cova do Vapor||38,665923, -9,249609|
|Praia de São João||Costa de Caparica||38,657266, -9,250679|
|Lagoa de Albufeira||Lagoa de Albufeira||38,509024, -9,174867|
|Sol Tróia||Tróia||38,458766, -8,854640|
|Albufeira da Barragem do Caia||Barragem do Caia||39,005314, -7,140384|
|Barragem do Alqueva||Alqueva||
|Meia Praia||Lagos||37,11233, -8,65762|
|Praia da Vitória||Açores||38,727158, -27,061464|