SURFING IN PENICHE AND BALEAL
Guide to the spots, conditions and tips for a surf trip in Portugal
Peniche is probably the surfing capital in Europe , the most popular surfing destination in Portugal and also one of the most famous because of the incredible number of spots that are found in this area and in particular between Peniche and Baleal. In this corner of Portugal quality waves are found throughout the year, among which the most famous is undoubtedly Supertubos, the European pipeline, (not counting the XXL waves of Nazarè less than an hour's drive north). Peniche is a small town, originally a fishing village, enclosed within the walls of a fortress on a peninsula that was once a small island separated from the mainland. Peniche is located at the southern end of a bay. At the north end there is Baleal: a tiny peninsula linked to the mainland by a very narrow strip of sand that divides two beaches.
The coast around Peniche is a continuous succession of incredible spots, surf camps and surf shops where you can find dozens, even hundreds of different surfboards.
Surf spots in Peniche and Baleal
In this region of Portugal there are surf spots with the highest frequency of swells from all over Europe, even in summer. If in fact there is no doubt that autumn is the time of the great swells, even in summer it is easy to find quality waves and above all suitable for all levels, including beginners.
Supertubos . Any self-respecting guide to the spots in the Peniche and Baleal area cannot fail to start with the world-famous superbreak tubing that houses a stage of the WCT surf circuit every October. Powerful and fast tubes up to 4 meters, right and left, spot suitable for experienced surfers.
Molho leste is a right point break that breaks on sand in the same bay as Supertubos, near the pier. Swell intercept from the west and south. This is a spot that is also accessible to beginners up to 3 feet, while it becomes challenging when it is bigger.
Praia do Baleal is the very long beach that connects Peniche to Baleal. Along the beach there are countless beachbreaks ideal for beginners, like Cantinho da Baía in front of the famous Bar do Bruno . The beach works with swells from the north and west and is best at low tide. The only difficulty here is the crowding in the water, but thanks to the kindness of the Portuguese it will not seem to you a negative aspect!
Lagide is a long left that breaks on a rock platform. He works with swell from the north and is better with the half tide. It can be large, even up to 4 meters. In this case, beginners can surf in the nearby Prainha spot.
Almagreira is a beach break north of the lagide with good and sinister breaks that break on sand, but at low tide be careful of some rocks. On good days there can also be very long and hollow waves.
Period and Climate
The district of Leira in which peniche is found is characterized by dry and not too hot summers, with temperatures around 25 ° - 27 ° and rather cold winters with temperatures that do not however fall below zero. The waves have a good consistency all year round even if the period of the great swells is autumn, particularly October and November.
The wind here in summer is almost always absent or mainly off shore (unlike the region south of Lisbon).
Muta: when needed and which to wear.
The ocean water at peniche is always quite cool, even at the end of summer when at most it reaches 20 °, while in winter it drops to around 15 °. Even in the height of summer a good 3/2 long suit is necessary.
Surf schools and courses
There are plenty of surf and surf camp schools. I do not recommend one in particular because if there is one thing that you will not really find it hard to find is a good surf school. You will not be spoiled for choice and given the high level of surfing in this area you will surely fall on your feet.
Where to sleep
If you travel alone or with a small group of friends the Surf House is undoubtedly the right choice. In Baleal in particular I saw really beautiful Surf House.
If, on the other hand, you are traveling with your family or prefer to have a house all for yourself, there are plenty of apartments for rent. During our surf trip we stayed in a small two-room apartment in Baleal, directly above the Lagide spot. A perfect accommodation in my opinion that I recommend without hesitation. The aspect that we most appreciated of the apartment was the large roof terrace, equipped with deckchairs, hammocks and tables ... simply perfect for relaxing with a beer while watching the spot.
Click on this link to view the house and book.
A rental car in my opinion is recommended to be able to move freely between the spots.
To compare the prices of rental cars you can use rentalcars.com
How to get
The easiest way to get to Peniche is to fly over Lisbon , which by the way is worth a visit. There are several lowcoasts that fly to Lisbon from various Italian cities, including Ryanair. From Lisbon it takes about an hour by car to reach Peniche.
The Portuguese are truly a friendly and extremely kind people, always ready to help and give you a smile. At sea they are no exception. Even in the most crowded spots I never felt in difficulty, thanks to the serenity and kindness that one breathes.
1) Quality waves also in summer
2) Many spots for all levels
3) Landscapes and beautiful beaches
4) Low coast and near destination
5) Relaxed environment and very kind locals
1) rather cool climate even in summer
2) Spot quite crowded
The Pros win abundantly, so what are you waiting for?