What to do in Portugal without wind for kitesurfing?
We hope we could make you feel better about Portugal with our two contributions 8 reasons why Portugal is better for kitesurfing than Tarifa and 10 tips for low-budget kite travel to Portugal. As Kitesurfers we depend on wind to exercise our beautiful sport. As you know, natural forces cannot be influenced and there will be days in Portugal where you have to leave your kites in the bags. In this article, we would like to introduce you to sensible and fun alternatives for windless days during your surfing holiday.
Surfing waves in Portugal
A few hundred kilometers off the Portuguese coast is the Iberian deep sea, through which canyon gigantic quantities of water penetrate. The further the canyon moves to the Portuguese coast, the narrower it becomes. The water is squeezed through a natural funnel, which creates energy and waves. Depending on how tight this funnel becomes, the larger waves can arise from it. The coast of Portugal is therefore the perfect location to the largest swell machine in Europe and is considered the most secure wave region in the European Union! There are waves all year around. Here, however, we have to distinguish between the season and the area, which we would like to provide you with a brief summarized overview. In principle you can say that in the summer, rather smaller waves are found on the coasts and the large ones roll in in the winter months.
North of Portugal (Viana do Castelo to Porto)
Here you will find mainly small to medium waves. The most famous spot here is Leca, which is found a little north of Porto.
Central of Portugal (Aveiro to Lisbon)
Here you can also find small to medium waves but also big waves. The most famous place here is Nazaré. In the area of Lisbon, there are the western beaches with the most constant waves.
South of Portugal (Setúbal to Portimao)
Air and water temperatures are significantly higher in the south of Portugal than north of Lisbon. In the Algarve, you will find the best waves outside of the high season.
If you are interested in a detailed overview of the waves and locations, we recommend waveculture.com
For those who are tired of lying on the surfboard and paddle for hours to catch a wave, you will have the opportunity to rent a SUP at the numerous surf schools. The density of surf schools in Portugal is very high. The advantage of the SUP over the normal rippler is that even very small waves can be ridden and because of the paddle you are very mobile on the water. This increases the fun factor for surf starters immensely! Of course, there are also numerous wakeboarding facilities in Portugal! They can be found mainly between Porto and Lisbon and the Algarve. However, if you don’t have your own material and depend on borrowing, the fees can be a bit expensive.
Alternatives outside the water
Portugal also provides plenty of employment outside the water. Not only the beautiful and varied spots for surfers attract tourists every year to Portugal. Portugal, with its many churches, national parks, Portuguese lifestyle and ancient cities, is also an interesting place for visitors interested in culture.
Fado is a Portuguese style of music. Sitting in a café with live music, in which Fado is also sung, is an absolute compulsory program in Portugal. Fado is, however, more regional and mainly located in Lisbon and Coimbra.
The Peneda Geres is located in the north-west of Portugal and is the only national park in the country. The national park is distinguished by its beauty, naturalness, wild horses, untouched nature, mountains and lakes. Definitely worth a visit!
Cataratas do Tahiti Geres
Cataratas do Tahiti Geres is a river near Ermida. The river is reached via a descent. Here you can bath under a small waterfall in the river. Beautiful landscape, beautiful water and few tourists
The Cidade Velha is the old town in Faro. The special feature is the size and the completely preserved city wall. Cidade Velha has only a diameter of 500m and is completely surrounded by its city wall
This is the place for wave enthusiasts. The greatest waves of our planet are measured here! Big wave surfers like Sebastian Steudtner spend their winter months here and wait for the day to catch the perfect wave and break records. Own surfing not recommendable but watching these monsters is intense!
Guimaraes is a beautiful city and offers a lot of history. Here you will find the castle, the Palaco dos Duques de Braganca. Shopping is also wonderful here!
This is just a small selection of the sights of the country. The big cities of Porto and Lisbon are not just worth a day to look at. For more information and other recommendations about the country, visit the Lonely Planet. Here, not only the absolute tourist attractions are shown and described, but also the slightly less visited corners of the country. In general, the north of Portugal is hardly developed in tourism, although it is much greener than the south of the country