Portugal and Spain: Wave Height Forecast

Welcome to the Wave Forecast service provided by SurferToday.com and MeteoGalicia.

Check the Wave Height Forecast for Portugal and Spain in the next four days:


Portugal and Spain Wave Height Forecast

Portugal | Surf Forecast Overview

Portugal has always been steeped in seafaring traditions, yet the local surfing population has long been discovering new watery gold along the entire Portuguese coast.

Its wealth lies in the variety, power, and consistency of cool water waves that strike the gnarled, rocky reefs and explosive sandbanks over the narrow continental shelf.

The main diet of W-NW swells pumps in from autumn to spring, plus any summer wind swells, making it a truly perennial destination.

The northern provinces of Minho and Douro have a trove of super-consistent surf, grabbing the maximum from any swell direction.

Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been a trendy urban center and Europe's Leading City Destination for several consecutive years, attracting visiting surfers from all over the Old Continent.

Late spring through to autumn will see lighter north winds that plague much of the country further south, and it is also a good time for the featureless wind and swell exposed beach break of the Beira Littoral coast.

The pinstripe candy town of Costa Nova and Figueira da Foz offer some protection, unlike Nazaré, the world's favorite new big wave spot for insane chargers, which has been added to the Peniche zone.

Just down the coast, Ericeira, like Peniche, offers a truly staggering variety of waves crammed into just a few kilometers of coast.

The Lisbon surf zone has all the big city hassles of crowded waves, polluted waters, expensive living, and traffic nightmares, but it also has some classic waves throughout the year.

The Alentejo remains relatively undeveloped, and the northern half is an unexciting sandy strip of mediocre sandbars and shorepounds on the Tróia Peninsula.

A bit more swell hits around Praias Carvalhal, Pego, and Lagoa do Melides.

South of industrial Sines, the rocky coastline is a mix of pocket beaches like Porto Covo or long, consistent sands at Aivados or Malhão, and though the NW swells may have lost some size, they tend to be orderly and break throughout the tide.

Vila Nova de Milfontes is the main spot to check with a number of waves, including the bowly left reef of Cogumelo, a few slab-style reefs, and a long left that meanders up the river mouth.

The Algarve zone has become the busiest learn-to-surf destination in all of Europe, thanks to the copious sunshine and flexible surfing inventory with the widest swell window in the country.

The beautiful sandy beaches tucked up at the far eastern end of the Algarve do actually get a little wind slop during the strong E/SE Levante winds of the summer, but they won't win any quality awards.

Spain | Surf Forecast Overview

Spain has a huge variety of surf, including some of the biggest, longest, and most perfect waves on the planet.

The wave climate tends to have a fairly large seasonal variation, with conditions quite a bit smaller in summer than in winter.

Sea breezes, almost always from the NE, are a major factor in summer, which means either surfing before about midday or picking a west-facing beach.

In the winter, it's either northerly wind bringing heavy rain, low temperatures, and bad surfing conditions, or southerly wind, delivering dry, sunny weather, warm temperatures, and a constant stream of large, clean W-NW swells.

The Basque Country region of País Vasco contains all types of reefs along with some world-class, big-wave spots and a world-class river mouth called Mundaka.

The coastal geology of Cantabria is slightly less abrupt than that of the Basque coast, so it has a multitude of good beach breaks, plus a smaller number of good reefs.

Therefore, big winter swells are not appreciated here quite as much, and the best spots are those that work on small to medium summer swells.

Cantabria also has a number of areas where one can find smaller, cleaner waves in huge storms or strong W to NW winds.

There are one or two big-wave spots like the excellent righthander of Santa Marina.

Star-rated spots include Liencres, a series of excellent and consistent beach breaks, El Brusco, a hollow beach break, and Santa Marina, which can be ridden up to around 15 feet.

In Asturias, the rugged, mountainous coastline is not particularly conducive for surfing, but there are some excellent west-facing beach breaks and the classic regional Rodiles.

Although the coastal rock formations of Galicia are not particularly good for surfing reefs, there are literally hundreds of beaches facing every different direction, and some of these can produce excellent waves.

Galicia has a wide swell window and one of the highest wave climates in Europe, even in summer.

The surf in Andalucia is mainly centered on the coastline of "La Janda" in the province of Cadiz.

Extensive, white sandy beaches face west out into the Atlantic, but Portugal's Cabo St Vincent creates a swell shadow, so NW swells line up the best, but there is potential for Atlantic hurricane swells, and S to W swells from more local systems.

Andalucia is famous for windsurfing, thanks to the gusty winter Levante from the east and the summer Poniente from the west.

The coastline has some very useful bends and twists, giving rise to clean waves on most winds.

The surfing epicenter really starts in El Palmar and extends all the way down to Tarifa, where both the winter swell and the wind are strongest.

Highlights include the cluster of Canos de Meca, a long left reef break, Hierbabuena, a good right, and Barbate's river mouth lefts.

Words by The World Stormrider Surf Guide

What is Wave Height Forecast? The NOAA Interpretation

The significant wave height is a measure of the wave height and closely corresponds to what a trained observer would consider to be the mean wave height. Note that the highest wave height of an individual wave will be significantly larger.

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration