Looking for a surf destination that combines the best of the beach with one of Europe’s most beautiful and exciting cities? Then a Porto surfing holiday will tick all your boxes. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the best city surf camp in Portugal.
Porto is just minutes from the coast, perched on the steep banks of the majestic Douro river. There’s a choice of surf spots within easy reach making it ideal to combine a city break with surfing.
If you base yourself on the coast, you can enjoy the waves during the day. Then make the short trip into Porto during the evening to experience the food, nightlife and energy of Portugal’s second city.
Porto surfing holiday
Porto’s location on the Atlantic coast on the western edge of Europe means it’s pummelled by large swells and big waves. You won’t find the huge waves here that you can get further south at Nazare or surfing in Ericeira. But there are plenty of reasonable sized breaks to keep you entertained on a Porto surfing holiday.
The semi-sheltered sand bar waves at Luz, just to the north of the Douro river mouth, is the closest spot to the city. It’s a consistent right and a great place to find your feet.
Moving a few kilometres further north is Matosinhos, with two spots to choose from. One is on a beach sheltered by a large breakwater and a good choice for big swells. The other is more consistent at lower tides. This is also where you’ll find dozens of superb seafood restaurants serving up the fresh catch. Perfect for refuelling after a big day on the water.
To the north of the breakwater is Leça where the harbour helps to shape the reliable waves. If it’s flat here, then it’s flat everywhere. But as you are on the best city surf camp in Portugal you can hit Porto instead.
Up and down the coast and within easy reach on a Porto surfing holiday you’ll find plenty of beach breaks. Check out Perafita, the decent lefts at Vila do Conde and waves around the island at Miramar.
There is a choice of excellent beach accommodation and surf school options to stay near the water. If you want to stay at a surf camp in Portugal head to Foz do Douro (Mouth of the ‘Douro’). From here you can access all the city’s best spots in minutes and still be just 15 minutes from the city.
It’s also possible to stay in the city, with no shortage of accommodation options. But if you’re lumping surf gear with you then you’ll need transport, and parking anywhere near the centre of the city is an issue.
The best city surf camp in Portugal?
Porto is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, if not the world. Built on the banks of the Douro it grew around the port trade. The wine warehouses and grand palaces rise out of the steep inclines. With a rabbit warren of cobbled streets and colourful façades nestled around their feet.
If you’re not on the water, then you can take a tour of the port house, catch a boat up the Douro or join a wine tour. Be sure to make your way across the iconic and vertiginous Dom Luis I bridge. It dominates the centre of the city.
There’s also a central train station almost entirely covered in painted tiles, an interesting cathedral and many museums if you fancy a spot of culture. But the food is one of the main highlights. Be sure to try the local calorie-heavy Francesinha – a meat feast that will keep the most dedicated carnivore happy.
There aren’t many cities with such a big choice of surf spots on their doorstep. And certainly not many cities as beautiful as this. That’s why a Porto surfing holiday is not just the best city surf camp in Portugal, but also one of the best in the world.
We hope you found this guide to surfing in Porto useful. Be sure to check out our surfing holiday discounts as you could save a fortune on your next trip.