The best windsurfing spots in Portugal

Portugal: a great windsurfing destination | Photo: Carter/PWA

Portugal offers a wide variety of windsurfing spots for all experience levels. In less than 750 kilometers of coastline, you can have it all - from flat waters to wave ramps.

Portugal has been building a reputation as the California of Europe for all water sports enthusiasts.

With its classic Mediterranean climate, the country known for its famous 16th-century explorers has everything a windsurfer can dream of.

Slalom race tracks, 500-meter speedways, wave sailing arenas, river challenges, flat water lakes, lagoons, and dams are all within a mere six and a half hours drive from Caminha (North) and Sagres (South).

As a bonus, you get two beautiful Atlantic islands with breathtaking natural landscapes: 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, this is 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 on the whole planet.

Wind All Year Round

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 windier, but you can enjoy incredible windsurfing sessions all over the 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 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).

From North to 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 practice freestyle, waves, and speed in the large bay area.

In Baleal, near Peniche, go for the wave ramps on offer just a couple of kilometers 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 freshwater windsurf spot.

The same conditions apply 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 back loops in Tonel, near Sagres.

A few miles away, you'll find the stunning beach of Martinhal, an international windsurf center that attracts 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: