The Good Feeling Guide to Surfing in the West Algarve #1 Surf Spots

This summer the surf’s been very unusual – with lots of south swells in July, it’s been hot hot hot with non-stop waves!
Normally the west coast is the best place to surf in summer, but the weather gave us a surprise and it was one of the best! And it reminded us how changeable the conditions can be around here, which gave us the idea to write some tips for surfing in the area… 

The great thing about surfing on the southwest tip of Portugal: 20+ beaches to choose from, all within a 5 - 30 min drive from the hostel. And the choice of south and west coast means you can always surf somewhere! 

The difficult bit: working out which spot to go to and when.
It takes a long time to understand well the effect of tides, swells and winds on the surf spots, so we had an idea to write you some tips – to save you driving round for hours, wasting time and fuel.

If you stay at the Good Feeling, you can go with us every day to the best spot with our free beach transfers.
Or if you want to go in your own car just ask and we’ll give you good advice.

But if you want to get up early and explore by yourself?
There’s a lot of science to working out where to go on what day, so we give you just some helpful tips* to the most popular surf spots**.


West Coast (from Sagres direction north)
Castelejo - Cordoama - Amado - Bordeira - Arrifana - Monte Clerigo -Odeceixe 

South Coast (from Sagres direction Lagos)
Beliche - Tonel - Mareta - Ingrina - Zavial - Burgau - Luz - Porto de Mós - Meia Praia 

Small N-W Swell
West coast: All spots
South coast: Maybe Tonel

Medium N-W Swell
West coast: All spots
South Coast: Tonel, Zavial, Beliche

Big N-W Swell
West coast: We don’t advise it!
South Coast (biggest first): Tonel, Zavial, Beliche, Mareta, Burgau, Luz, Porto de Mós, Meia Praia

Small S Swell
West coast: Maybe
South Coast: All spots, maybe not enough for Tonel, Beliche

Medium S Swell
West coast: Most spots
South Coast: All spots

Big S Swell
West coast: All spots
South coast: All spots

Best shelter from wind: Arrifana, Amado, Beliche, Burgau


Best tides*
Most spots work at all tides with a small swell.
As swell gets bigger closeouts more likely at low.
Tonel, Zavial and Beliche especially partial to low tide closeouts.
Mareta with big swell usually gets heavy shorebreak at high tide.

*General tips - Depends on many factors (swell period, length of time with the  weather conditions, size of tidal range, shifting sandbanks) the spots can vary a lot! Confused? Just ask us, it’s much easier :)

** With easy access & parking, restaurant/café/toilets + lifeguard (in season)


Photos by Karo Krassel,

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