Silver Coast surf spots

Surfing the Silver Coast

Costa de Prata Surf Guide – Ericeira to Peniche

Silver Coast
Surf Guides

Ericeira put Portugal on the world surf map in the Seventies and its reputation has only got stronger over the years. It offers a huge variety of waves with something for any level of surfer who is prepared to risk being dumped on the rocks beneath the waves. There is not much shelter from the wind or swell here so when things get crazy you need to move northwards to the perfect tubes of Supertubos or the big breaks of Consolação just below Peniche, both sheltered from the harsh north winds by the massive headland that juts out into the Atlantic.

São Julião

The wave: A right and left handed beach break with sandbars that throw up waves in most tidal conditions somewhere along the beach’s extensive length. Busy on summer days and exposed to the wind.
Best conditions: Swells from the south to northwest; winds from the east.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: Easy access across the beach. Finding somewhere to park can be a bigger problem.
GPS: 38.933033, -9.421869

Costa da Prata surf spots – Ericeira to Peniche

‘Wave’ icon from a design by Carol Ourivio for the Noun Project.

Foz de Lizandro

The wave: A generally uncrowded spot with a very average wave most of the time – but when conditions are good it throws up a hollow left which makes for a great long ride. The rights can be good as well at both extremes of the tide. Low tide provides good conditions for learning. Weekends can be crowded when the surf is on.
Best conditions: Easterly winds; swells from the south to northwest.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: Free parking next to the beach.
Watch out for: Dirty water when there has been a lot of rain upriver.
GPS: 38.944613, -9.417069

Furnas – Ericeira

The wave: A right hander over rocks that can’t really compete with the more spectacular waves to the north but is still surfable when everywhere else gets maxed out. Cliffs provide some shelter from north winds. Needs a big sea and high tide to really work but when it does it is pumping.
Best conditions: Offshore winds from the east; swells from the west
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot, sometimes goes to 12
Access: Easy to find as it is right in front of the town.
Watch out for: Rips and pollution.
GPS: 38.959192, -9.417759

Ribeira d’Ilhas

The wave: A long beach with a number of point breaks that are essentially several surf spots wrapped up in one. Pontinha is at the northern end and being a longer walk can be less crowded. There are several reefs down the length of the beach that throw up a variety of waves, the best being a long curling right that this spot is known for. Often crowded but there are a number of spots to choose from.
Best conditions: When east winds meet swells from the west.
Typical swell: 2 to 12 foot
Access: Car park at the southern end of the beach.
Watch out for: Rips, sea urchins, dirty water.
GPS: 38.987737, -9.422123

Coxos

The wave: Known as Portugal’s best wave, this point and reef break stacks up over a series of rocky ledges and peels off into a long and powerful right hander that can go for as long as 300 metres. The swells come right out of deep water and the power can be hair raising. You need to know what you are doing on this wave – getting caught inside is very hairy. A channel in the middle of the bay divides this famous wave from a dangerous break known as Crazy Left that is probably best left to the pros.
Best conditions: Easterly winds, swells from the southwest to the north.
Typical swell: 4 to 12 foot, rising to 16
Access: The wave is not actually on Coxos beach but in the much bigger bay to the left of it.
Watch out for: Jagged rocks at the entry and exit points, nasty rips and locals that expect respect. Crowded on the weekends.
GPS: 39.000503, -9.427465

São Lourenço

The wave: Another well-known wave that ranks high among the heavyweights of Portuguese surf spots. The surf is shifting and powerful, stacking up to 18 feet on occasion. A big board on northwesterly swells give you the best chance on getting on the wave. It is seldom busy and rarely suffers from wind damage but it is for experienced surfers only.
Best conditions: Swells coming from the southwest to north work here on an easterly wind.
Typical swell: 6 to 18 foot
Access: Limited parking but a short walk from the road.
Watch out for: Rocks
GPS: 39.013777, -9.424435

Praia Azul

The wave: A long, long beach with shifting sand bars which mean the waves change from one season to the next. There is a reef on the northern end which throws up a decent right and a less impressive left. The beach break is far more consistent and somewhere along the length there is likely to be a right or left hander worth surfing.
Best conditions: Easterly wind with swells coming in from the southwest round to the north.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: Easy access by car but busy in the summer.
Watch out for: Agricultural pollution, rips, undertow.
GPS: 39.117941, -9.395201

Santa Cruz

The wave: One of the longest beaches on this part of the coast, Santa Cruz offers loads of options even when the swells are only small to moderate. When things get crowded, as they do on weekends and in the summer, it’s worth walking up to the northern end where the surf should be empty. This beach break goes right and left and is great for beginners.
Best conditions: When onshore swells pushing from the southwest to the north are stacked up by an easterly wind.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: Easy – parking can be the only problem.
Watch out for: Rips
GPS: 39.135744, -9.384707

Praia da Areia Branca

The wave: Plenty to choose from on this long stretch of beach. Heading south from the seaside resort of Praia da Areia Branca to Santa Cruz there are several long sweeping beaches and the odd reef to play on. Waves are not outstanding but there is plenty of room and when conditions are right there are good spots for beginners. On the northern end the beach ends at a point break which throws out a right hander suitable for experienced surfers.
Best conditions: Same as nearby Santa Cruz – southwesterly to northerly swells meeting an offshore wind from the east.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: By road; as with most of the resorts along this coast parking can be a problem when busy.
Watch out for: Rips.
GPS: 39.265650, -9.337440

Consolação

The wave: A rocky headland known for delivering a seriously large right hander that carries a lot of weight. A wave for those who know what they’re doing and best ridden on a long board. North of the headland is a less consistent point break with a hollow left that is just as heavy.
Best conditions: Northeast wind works best here when combined with a swell coming from the south through to the northwest.
Typical swell: From 4 foot upwards to a monster 18 footer.
Access: Limited parking on the beach, steep scramble to get down there.
Watch out for: Strong rips, rocks.
GPS: 39.323762, -9.360546

Supertubos

The wave: Said to be the finest beach break in Portugal this is a place that truly lives up to its name. The main attraction is a super-powerful, super-fast, long and heavy tube that has a quirky habit of occasionally slamming the door shut earlier than expected. The wave has won itself a regular spot on the world pro tour and when working at its best is for experienced surfers only. Lefts are generally longer but there is a right coming off the peak as well. It’s a popular spot and you might struggle to find a spot among the locals and bodyboarders.
Best conditions: North easterly winds; swells from south to northwest.
Typical swell: 3 to 10 foot
Access: Park anywhere you find a spot along the approach roads – but don’t leave anything in the car. Theft is common here.
Watch out for: Big crowds, bodyboarders, foul smell from a local fish factory.
GPS: 39.345855, -9.364379

Molho Leste

The wave: The breakwater protecting Peniche harbour kicks out a right handed wedge that rival Supertubos for barrel depth and speed. It has good wind protection but the swell has to be significant before it starts working. This is a very local beach on the edge of town and it is packed when the waves are good.
Best conditions: One of the few waves in the area to work on a northerly wind, especially when combined with swell from the south to southwest.
Typical swell: 4 to 10 foot
Access: Easy parking most of the time; crowded on sunny days.
Watch out for: Territorial locals, rips and pollution.
GPS: 39.350438, -9.369206

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