8 reasons for surfing in Portugal
Portuguese history was marked by maritime discoveries. Numerous expeditions have increased the influence of the country and had an essential role in the creation of world’s maps. Traditional close connection with the sea has helped them in the economic development and progress, so many have already heard about the various beauties of this land and the hospitality of the locals. The proximity of the ocean has played an important role in the development of tourism, and more recently surfing as a sport as well as other water sports. Here are some reasons why to choose Portugal for your next trip and enjoy its unforgettable waves:
1. Long and diverse coastline – With almost 1800km of mainly sandy coast, which extends from the north of the country to the famous tourist region of Algarve located on the warm south of the Iberian Peninsula, it is certain that Portugal is not missing beaches. With two hundred well-known surf spots, and many others which local surfer may help you to discover if you’ll be lucky, the country has recently been recognized as one of the best destinations for surfing in Europe. It’s hard to find similar example of country which on such a small area offers so many possibilities to surf great waves.
2. Waves for everybody – Ideal season for beginner surfer are spring and fall. Summer temperatures are also not too hot to comfortably enjoy on the beach, but sometimes the problem is that famous surf spots tend to be crowded. The waves in the summer on average are slightly smaller and the swells are less frequent, but still there is enough waves for beginner level of surfing. Other minus of peak summer season could be usually higher prices of accommodation and more expensive airline tickets. In winter, the coast of Portugal becomes something totally different, and winter swells attracts more experienced surfers.
3. Country with low costs of living – Shortly said, Portugal is the cheapest country in the Western Europe. Many have been pleasantly surprised that their travel budget is worth more here. Starting from the cheap prices in local stores, to the food in restaurants as well as costs of night life in bars and clubs. Beside that here you will find affordable prices of accommodation compared to other well-known European destinations. Of all the things you may need here on the holidays, only fuel prices and tolls could be costly if you plan to rent a car.
4. Portugal has a great climate – Due to the ocean climate, summers are never too hot here as in some inland areas of southern Europe. Weather is mild even in winter, because the proximity of the ocean causes a relatively comfortable temperatures. In other words, the average temperature in central Portugal in the summer is pleasant 27 °C, spring and fall are generally around 22 °C, and in winter the average temperature is around 17 °C. All in all, nature alone here took care to not sweat in the summer, and not to freeze during winters.
5. Top surfing destination – During the last couple of years people started to recognise Portugal as one big beach for locals but also for foreign surfers from around the world. In the last few seasons, Portugal has successfully passed all exams in organisation of the world’s most important surf competition, which attracted a variety of media and further popularised the sport in the country, and confirmed it as one of the most important surf destinations. Each year the world’s best surfers come back and compete for the world title at Supertubos in Peniche. Every October you’ll be able to stumble upon the greatest names of the sport such as Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina and other winners of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Also Garret McNamara, one of the best big wave surfers, is a regular visitor of Nazaré when big winter swells arrive. In November of 2011, he set a new world record when surfed the biggest wave in the history, which was something around 30m high.
6. Portuguese islands are near – Portuguese Islands are story for themselves, and we mean that literally because Madeira is located deep into Atlantic some 600km west from Lisbon, and the Azores are situated in the middle of the ocean. Name Madeira come from the word “wood” because it is full of trees and diverse vegetation thanks to mild climate. This variety of vegetation and various endemic species which can be found here are the reason why Madeira is on the UNESCO list of World heritage. Beauty of Azores is in the same category as well with numerous magnificent volcanoes, cliffs and dream beaches. Portuguese Islands are part of Macaronesia which also consists of Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Name of this archipelago fits it pretty good, since it could be translated as “Happy Islands”.
7. Rich culture and interesting cities – Most of those who visit Portugal for the first time start from picturesque Lisbon, the westernmost European capital which lies on the hills beside Tagus river mouth, and its southern charm and relaxed vibe will certainly win you too. Be sure to stop by the nearby Sintra, the favourite vacation spots of the Portuguese royal family, where fabulous Pena National Palace is situated. The second largest Portuguese city is Porto, which provides a completely different atmosphere and experience from Lisbon and which also wis not going to leave you indifferent. Of course, if you have time, you should visit its beautiful surroundings and the valley of the river Douro. One of the most interesting locations on which you should stop on the way from Lisbon to Porto is the medieval town of Obidos, completely surrounded by the old city walls and a castle where it seems like time has stopped. Many will also be interested in Fatima, one of the most important shrines of the Catholic church in the world.
8. Place where you can eat and drink well – Good food always had an important place in the Portuguese culture. Due to the influence of the former colonies of Africa, India and the Far East, local cuisine here is different from the rest of the Mediterranean and it is characterised by interesting spices with emphasis on seafood. Be sure to try different types of cod, local sardines and other seafood delicacies, and then treat yourself with Pastéis de nata, we are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised with this simple and tasty dessert. Offer of liquid “specialties” here is on the very high level just like food, so could we could write an entire different story about the Portuguese wines, especially the famous port.
Find out more about Surf camp Portugal here.
Find out more about surf camp Portugal.
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