Surf Silver Coast

Surfing the Silver Coast

Costa de Prata Surf Guide – North of Peniche

Silver Coast
Surf Guides

The Peniche headland and the coastline either side of it is probably Portugal’s best known surf destination. Offering an insane variety of waves, all year round and in almost any conditions, it has a deserving place on the world pro circuit. North of the town there is something for everyone – forgiving breaks for beginners and intermediates and some kicking waves for those who know what they are doing.

Praia do Cerro – Peniche

The wave: A beach break on the edge of the city that goes right and left over a sand bottom. It’s a consistent and regular wave, often uncrowded because there are so many other waves in the area to lure surfers away.
Best conditions: North, northwesterly swells; southerly wind is offshore here due to the shape of the coastline but the wave can work in an easterly or westerly wind as well. Best on a mid to rising tide.
Typical swell: 3 to 8 foot
Access: Easy – free parking and a short walk across the beach.
Watch out for: Kitesurfers.
GPS: 39.365017, -9.372124

Baia – Peniche

The wave: A consistent double-handed beach break that attracts a lot of intermediate surfers. Waves can be sloppy and powerless but fun to ride. When it is truly cooking here it gets big – 16 foot is not unknown. It’s a big ocean here so there is plenty of room even on busy days.
Best conditions: North to northeasterly swells; offshore wind is south to southwest.
Typical swell: 3 to 16 foot
Access: From the car park it is a 5 to 10 minute walk through the dunes.
Watch out for: Side currents and rips.
GPS: 39.360867, -9.362979

Costa da Prata surf spots – North of Peniche

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

Baleal Sul

The wave: A lot of surfers head for this beach break when Supertubos gets too much for them. Right and left-hander over a sand bottom. Shelter from the twin headlands of Peniche and Baleal often makes conditions calmer here but the result can be a crowded backline on the weekends.
Best conditions: Northwesterly swells with a southerly offshore.
Typical swell: 3 to 10 foot
Access: Parking is on the left on the coast road about a kilometre north of Peniche. The beach is a 5 minute walk through the dunes.
Watch out for: Strong currents
GPS: 39.360170, -9.356428

Baleal

The wave: A very popular right and left beach break, swamped with surf schools and learners in the summer and crowded on the weekends all year round when conditions are good. But surf here in the winter or after the surf schools leave the water and you’ll get some great waves.
Best conditions: Northwesterly swells, south or southeasterly winds.
Typical swell: 3 to 10 foot
Access: Short walk from the car park but parking is insane here in the summer so the walk will be longer.
Watch out for: Strong currents, learner surfers, flying surfboards.
GPS: 39.367174, -9.339907

Cantinho da Baia

The wave: A great beach break for learners with waves breaking to the right and left over a sand bottom. Relatively safe and fun in the summer and exhilarating in the winter when the power turns to full. On summer weekends the surf is as packed as the car park.
Best conditions: Swell from the northwest, winds from the east.
Typical swell: 3 to 8 foot
Access: Large car park and short walk to the beach but parking anywhere nearby is impossible in July and August unless you get there early.
Watch out for: Learners and flying surfboards.
GPS: 39.371491, -9.340919

Lagide

The wave: Considered by many to be the best surf spot on the north side of Peniche. This left hander breaks on a rocky reef and gives a long and mellow ride which attracts the crowds. There is a right hand break as well which is soft most of the time and ideal for learners – as long as they’re willing to risk annoying the more experienced surfers who come here for the reef.
Best conditions: Winds from the south or south east are offshore here. Combined with a north to northwesterly swell the result can be a seriously good break.
Typical swell: 3 to 10 foot
Access: Easy walk from the car park. Parking is crazy in the summer.
Watch out for: Rocks, sea urchins and crowds.
GPS: 39.373509, -9.337886

Almagreira

The wave: A long beach with shifting sand bars that throw up a wave somewhere along its length no matter what the tide is doing. North winds make a mess of things but apart from that this is a fairly consistent wave. It goes left and right over sand so it is safer than nearby reef breaks like Lagide. Can be crowded at the weekends.
Best conditions: Easterly, southeasterly wind, swells from the southwest to north.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot
Access: Dirt track from Baleal. Not kind on cars. It’s a lengthy walk in a wet suit.
Watch out for: Strong currents.
GPS: 39.379937, -9.313980

Belgas

The wave: An exposed beach break with loads of swell and a rideable wave even when it is small. It breaks right and left over sand and can get busy when pumping, but even then there is normally plenty of room for everyone.
Best conditions: Northerly swell, winds from the south and southeast.
Typical swell: 3 to 6 foot
Access: By car along dirt tracks followed by a short scramble down to the beach.
Watch out for: Undertow, strong currents.
GPS: 39.417385, -9.252599

Foz do Arelho

The wave: This beach break gets the full force of the Atlantic and is prone to wind messing with the waves. The river coming out of the lagoon mouth throws up some interesting sand banks which deliver a right and left hand wave. It is seldom crowded and there are some great beach bars for chilling afterwards.
Best conditions: Southwest to northerly swell with an east wind.
Typical swell: 2 to 8 foot – has been known to hit 16 foot.
Access: Easy road access to the beach with plenty of parking – but packed in the summer months of July and August.
Watch out for: Strong side currents, undertow.
GPS: 39.434799, -9.229459

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