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It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Lisbon, but this city makes for a great surfing vacation. Lisbon is the only European capital on the ocean and there are several beaches with beautiful waves all year round. In winter, when the sea is rougher, the waves can reach spectacular heights. That is why more and more surfers are planning a holiday to Lisbon.
Those who prefer a warm beach vacation should visit in summer. In those months, the average maximum temperature hovers around 28 degrees Celsius and rarely drops below 20 degrees Celsius. But even in spring and autumn it is often nice enough to jump in the water with a wetsuit. Below you can read about the best surfing spots and find some great tips on how to make the most of your surf experience in Lisbon.
Ericeira lies just north of Lisbon and is a popular destination for surf fans. The charming fishing village filled with typical white Portuguese houses harbours several small surf beaches. Most surfing spots are located just outside of the village. Like Ribeira D’ilhas – although it can be busy, avid surfers flock here on days when the wind blows in from the mainland and the ocean current comes in from the west. This creates perfectly regular waves that curl smoothly at just the right moment.
Beach resort Cascais, only a half hour drive from Lisbon, offers special surf and yoga vacation packages. Both surfing and yoga are growing in popularity and these 2 activities can be perfectly combined. Balance, coordination, control and strength are key in both yoga and surfing. Yoga lessons are usually offered before surfing to warm up the muscles and increase concentration. However yoga is also good to do after surfing as a way to relax the body and mind. Choose from private lessons or family group lessons, such as those available at Karma Surf Retreat.
Most surfers are of course driven by fabulous waves. But fun is a close second. The surfing culture is known for its friendly, laid-back free-spirited vibe that attracts many social hedonists. To immerse yourself in the surf culture, book a stay at an authentic surf hostel. The Lisbon Surf House is your best choice in Lisbon. The hostel is near the coast, west of the city centre. Furnished in a typical Portuguese style, the house can accommodate 18 surfers. You may book a private room or sleep in a fun dormitory. At night people often cook together and everybody is welcome to grab a spot at one of the long communal tables. Another favourite feature is the barbecue in the garden that is available to all guests. The garden is also perfect for laying out surfboards and hanging up wetsuits.
R. Direita de Caxias 38
To feast on bounties from the sea where you just showed off your surf skills, head to restaurant Solar dos Presuntos. This fun bustling restaurant has been around since 1974 and is an institution among the locals. Mostly because of the delicious fish. Watch as they pluck your lobster from a large aquarium. The restaurant also serves traditional Portuguese dishes such as dried and salted cod (bacalhau). Fun detail: if you order Portuguese wine with your meal, the staff will hand you an iPad with the wine list.
Solar dos Presuntos
Rua Portas de Santo Antão 150
‘Don’t trust us, we make the worst surfboards’ – this text on the website of Lisbon Crooks and Surfers may not inspire confidence. But this is one of the best spots to buy a new board. Here you will find every type of board: long, short, with a round or straight end, one or more fins… Even more fun is to design your own board that the company will then make to order. Contact the store ahead of time to check the delivery date. Another great advantage: everything is made from recycled materials. The shop also rents boards, a great way to ‘test drive’ one of their products. Just keep in mind that the showroom is in the centre of town and that the staff are not always on site, so call ahead to make an appointment.
Read more about surfing and the best surf destinations on surf.klm.com