Beach lovers who visit Lisbon can get some great surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing in beaches not far from the city centre.
You can catch awesome waves, take lessons, and your instructor will guide you to an appropriate spot. Gear you need is also included, avoiding the hassle of transporting it.
Renting a car is an option if you would like to catch world-class waves in Nazaré.
Keep in mind the Atlantic Ocean is a bit chilly, so expect to wear a wetsuit even during the summer months. Here are some of the best beaches, surf and kitesurf schools around Lisbon for all levels.
Quick guide: top surf and kitesurf spots around Lisbon
West of Lisbon
North of Lisbon
South of Lisbon
Costa da Caparica
Fonte da Telha
Closest to the city centre is Carcavelos, part of the Estoril coast, a stretch of shore that goes from Lisbon to Cascais. World-class waves so close to downtown Lisbon often mean crowds in the water.
The shores to the north offer a full westerly orientation on the Atlantic, stretching from Guincho (some 35 minutes from the capital) to Nazaré a bit further north (an hour and a half drive from Lisbon).
Finally, a 30-minute drive south of Lisbon takes you to an extensive less crowded stretch from Costa da Caparica to Fonte da Telha.
Carcavelos, which is an easy train ride from Lisbon and can be reached within 30 minutes, attracts mostly new surfers. It’s an especially beginner-friendly place to learn because you can catch smooth rides.
Where to Learn: Lessons are found near the beach. Carcavelos Surf School is the longest-running surf school in the area, and it is certified by the Portuguese Surf Federation. Prices start at €30 for one lesson, including board and wetsuit.
Angels Surf School is another option. Founded by Marcos Anastácio, former Portuguese surf champion, the school offers surf lessons for all levels and ages from €30. Transport can be arranged at request.
See Also: Carcavelos is half way from Lisbon to Cascais.
Usually windy, Guincho is a beautiful beach with kites blowing in the wind and windsurfers riding their blokarts, but also a great spot for surfing. There is also a 9km shoreline path from Cascais to Guincho suitable for cyclists to take in the beautiful seafront scenery.
Where to Learn: Moana Surf School is considered of the best surf schools in Portugal. It is located next to Bar do Guincho. Group and private lessons are available from €40.
Kitesurfers will find Kitesurf Adventures also next to Bar do Guincho. Beginner and intermediate lessons are available from €65, including certified instructor and equipment.
Magoito beach in Sintra is a less crowded surf spot than its surrounding beaches of Praia Grande, Praia Pequena and Praia das Maçãs. It usually provides surf at all tides, and the cliffs act as shelter from the prevailing northern winds.
Where to Learn: Founded in 2005 at Magoito beach, Lisbon Wave School offers group and individual lessons from €30.
Ericeira is another coastal resort some 40 minutes from Lisbon, famous for its beauty as well as its surf break. Ericeira was the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe, with seven surf spots. You might want to check out two of the most popular – Ribeira d’Ilhas and Coxos in Ribamar. The best surf season is from October through May.
Where to Learn: Ericeira Surf School offers lessions for all kinds of levels and ages, provided by certified instructors by Portuguese Surfing Federation. Surf Riders Ericeira has two surf shops in the village where you can book classes and activities as well as rent or buy technical equipment. Surf lessons start at €30.
Head to Santa Cruz for a beautiful uncrowded stretch of sandy beach. About 1h10 from Lisbon, it offers awesome waves for all surfing levels. Locals catch waves year-round (especially during winter swells). It’s ideal for beginners in the summer.
Where to Learn: Check out Atlantic Coast Surf School in Praia Azul, near Santa Cruz, for private and group lessons, as well as additional services such as Surf & Accommodation and Surf & Explore Packages.
Peniche surf spots are some of the most popular in all of Portugal. The town is about 1h15 from Lisbon. Once there, beaches spread in both directions from the wild coast north of Baleal all the way to the legendary Supertubos beach break. There are sand-bottomed options for beginners. There good A-frame spots for intermediates. And there are rocky reef sections for pros.
Where to Learn: Check out Baleal Surf Camp, Portugal’s first surf camp, established in 1993, and Peniche Surf Camp, another well-established surf camp and school.
See Also: How to Get from Lisbon to Peniche by Bus and Car
Nazaré is known for its big waves, where Garrett McNamara rode its record-breaking wave back in 2011. But beginners should not be intimidated as the sea can be easy to tame in the summer months.
Nazaré Surf School and Surf4you are two of of schools where you can take lessions.
See Also: How to Get from Lisbon to Nazaré by Bus and Car
Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica across the River Tejo from Lisbon is just a 30-minute drive. Caparica beaches are recommended for beginners, intermediate and advanced surfers. Occasionally there’s a strong tide.
Where to Learn: Several surf schools offer lessons for all levels starting at €20. Caparica Surf Academy (Praia da Riviera/Rainha) and Caparica Surf School both have instructors certified by the Portuguese Surfing Federation and offer group and private surf lessons.
Fonte da Telha
South of Costa da Caparica, Fonte da Telha is a great spot to learn kitesurfing, and it’s so close to the capital.
Where to Learn: Here you’ll find Gustykite, one of the oldest kitesurf schools in Portugal and also one of the most recognized, with over 18 years of experience.