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Kitesurfing and Windsurfing in Portugal

Get familiar with famous Nortada and enjoy great waves

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
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A great swell of the Atlantic, the beautiful Portuguese coast 1,794-km (1,115-mi) long coastline, and strong, steady winds guarantee plenty of excellent kitesurfing and windsurfing spots in Portugal. Adrenaline-seekers can explore Alvor lagoon, Algarve scenic beaches, the wall of water in Nazare and other fantastic locations. The kite- and windsurfing season lasts from March through October. The waves are quite small in the early summer, which creates a perfect environment for beginners. Towards the end of the summer, waves get bigger, peaking in the fall. In the summer, Portugal receives strong winds from the north and northwest. It is called "Nortada" or “The Strong North Wind.” Water temperature rises to 20-23°C (65-70°F) throughout the summer.

Kitesurfing and windsurfing near Lisbon

If you are based in Lisbon, you can explore central Portugal locations within about a 1.5-hour drive from the city. Guincho in Cascais has the reputation of the best windsurfing spot in Portugal. It hosts many national championships and international competitions over the summer months. It also offers kite rentals and equipment. Kitesurfing is more recent in this area, though; it attracts many kite enthusiasts to Guincho and Praia de Carcavelos (Carcavelos Beach), which is also on the Cascais coastline, but a bit closer to Lisbon.

North of Lisbon, there are other unmissable kitesurfing and windsurfing places such as Praia do Baleal near Peniche and Lagoa de Óbidos near Aveiro. Beginners can head to Obidos, the largest saltwater lagoon in Portugal, ideal for learning both wind- and kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing and windsurfing near Porto

Those based in Porto can hit the waves on the northern coast of Portugal. Esposende boasts a flat-water lagoon, river mouth, and access to the ocean. The shallow lagoon is suitable for beginners, and it can get exciting with strong swells, especially in spring and fall. The scenic area of Cabedelo Beach is becoming more and more popular for its perfect conditions for learning to kitesurf. Thanks to large breakwaters at the entrance to the Viana do Castelo port, flat-water conditions along the beach make it beginner-friendly.

Kitesurfing and windsurfing in Algarve

Algarve in the south of Portugal enjoys the warmest water and the strong Nortada breeze of over 25 knots. Carrapateira beach is popular with advanced kitesurfers looking for open-ocean access. The waves reaching 5 meters may be too rough for beginners. They should opt for a safer Alvor Lagoon instead.

Meia Praia in Lagos is the most popular spot for windsurfers in Algarve, offering conditions for all levels and learning space for beginners. The Windsurf Centre Meia Praia Beach offers lessons.

Practical info

When is the peak season for kitesurfing and windsurfing in Portugal?

Kitesurfing and windsurfing can be done in Portugal from March to October. The best period for water sports is the late spring, summer and early autumn. Nortada winds, coming from the north and northwest, start blowing in the summer, usually between May and September. This wind causes the perfect conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing with wind speeds of over 25 knots. Show more

What are some excellent locations for kitesurfing and windsurfing in Portugal?

It's possible to practice kitesurfing and windsurfing along Portugal's 1,794 km (1,115 mi) long coastline. There are various locations such as Alvor lagoon, breathtaking beaches in Algarve, Guincho in Cascais, Praia do Baleal near Peniche, Lagoa de Obidos near Aveiro, Esposende in Porto and Carrapateira beach in Algarve, to name a few. The Meia Praia in Lagos is the most favoured spot among windsurfers in Algarve. Show more

What is the significance of the Nortada wind?

The Nortada wind is famous for blowing from the north and northwest during the summer months. These winds bring ideal conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing with high wind speed above 25 knots, and these winds cause the temperature of the water to rise between 20°C to 23°C (65°F to 70°F). Besides, the Nortada wind adds to the general pleasant ambiance of Portugal's summer season. Show more

What are the range of water temperatures suitable for kitesurfing and windsurfing season?

The water temperature in Portugal varies according to seasons. During the start of the kitesurfing and windsurfing season (March - May), the water temperature ranges between 15°C (59°F) to 20 °C (68°F). Throughout the summer, the water remains at a pleasant temperature, ranging between 20°C to 23°C (65°F to 70°F). Even during the winter months, if the right gear is used, kitesurfing and windsurfing can still be done, as the temperature in Portugal doesn't drop drastically. Show more

Are there any spots for beginners to practice kitesurfing and windsurfing in Portugal?

There are many popular sites for beginners in Portugal to practice kitesurfing and windsurfing. Obidos is very famous as it is a vast saltwater lagoon that is beginner-friendly. Guincho in Cascais offers rentals and equipment and is ideal for beginners with smaller waves in the early summer. The Esposende lagoon is also beginner-friendly when the wind is not too severe. Alvor Lagoon, Meia Praia in Lagos, and Carrapateira beach in Algarve are all excellent beginner spots to kick-start kitesurfing or windsurfing. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva