Peniche surf spots guide
Your ultimate Peniche surf spots guide.
Peniche is one of the most famous surf towns in Portugal and perhaps in the world. Its unique shape creates spots for everyone. From easy, beginner waves to perfect reef breaks, from long point breaks to punchy, barreling beach breaks. The best thing about Peniche is that there will always be good waves somewhere if you know where to look. Distances are quite small, which means that every spot in the area is reachable within a 15 minute drive. Through a bit of local knowledge, this article aims to help get the best out of a surf vacation in Peniche.
Before you head down to Peniche, you should check the forecast and keep in mind that it will change very quickly .
CC Image courtesy of Jorge Bras on Flickr.
Supertubos is the jewel in the crown. One of the best beach breaks in the world, it channels the raw power of the North Atlantic into heavy barrels. It’s the place to go when the wind ranges from North to East. At low tide it’s a neck-breaking close out so avoid it completely. It’s best at mid to high tide. If the swell period is in the high range there will be lots of close outs at high tide. The more northerly the swell is, the less it will hit Supertubos, so pay attention to the swell direction. I found it giving the best at a low period, mid size, mostly westerly swell. The crowd is a big factor out there. Don’t mess around with the locals.
CC Image courtesy of Bruno Amaral on Flickr
Molhe Leste is the spot on the right side of Supertubos, right next to the jetty. It’s the most sheltered spot in Peniche so it will work when everywhere else is way too big to be surfed. It’s a nice righthand wave, loved by locals and bodyboarders. It works at any tide but full high and needs North, even a bit of North West wind. It can be the only option during stormy winter days.
Photo courtesy of sandy & alan js on Flickr
This enormous beach goes from Peniche downtown until Baleal, offering various peaks that can satisfy beginners as well as advanced surfers. Best to be surfed at high tide with southerly or easterly winds. The closer to Peniche downtown, the smaller the waves will be. The middle of the bay picks up quite a lot of swell. This spot depends entirely on the quality of the banks. Exploring the beach could give unexpected surprises. It gets very packed with surf schools in summer.
Cantinho da baìa
CC image courtesy of Brian LeRoux on Flickr.
One of the most consistent waves in Peniche, it works with pretty much any swell size. Best conditions are found at high tide with a North to East wind. This beach break used to have very good sandbanks but unfortunately last year’s incredibly stormy winter ruined the sandbanks. Nowadays it’s mostly a very fast left that breaks into a channel and closes out very easily. The odd right can give some nice rides though. When Cantinho is working there will be local rippers, foreign surfers and complete beginners all fighting for a spot in the lineup. Surf here only if it’s the last option.
Lagide is a lefthand reef break that features a powerful drop section followed by a wide open section and a long manoeuvrable wall. The paddle out is very easy due to a channel situated on the left side of the drop area. This wave needs quite a bit of swell to start working nicely and high periods are welcome. The wind direction can range from South to West. This spot gets very very crowded especially when a big swell mixes with west wind, making it one of the few surfable spots in Portugal. Don’t expect to catch many waves here, locals rule.
CC image courtesy of MarkYourWaves Surf on flickr.
Almagreira is a beautiful surf spot a couple of Km North of Baleal. The access can get a bit tricky in winter when the dirt roads become very muddy. The scenario is one of the most beautiful in Peniche: red rock cliffs jutting out above a long sandy beach. This spot picks up a lot of swell and works at a high to medium tide with South to East wind. There’s a left hand point break on the left side of the beach and various other peaks on the right side. During off season you can easily find your own peak. Just watch out for the rocks that pop out at low tide. One of the best choices in the area!
Pico da Mota
CC image courtesy of Carlos Laruça on Flickr.
Going North from Almagreira, cliffs get lower and lose the characteristic red color and sandbanks are still good. Called after the wreck of a motorbike that used to lay in front of the spot, Pico da Mota is a very good beach break that in its best days can give good walls to smash as well as powerful barrels. The peak right in front of the parking can get a bit crowded but a short walk down the beach will give the reward of uncrowded waves. Small swell, South to East wind and a highish tide, that’s what Pico da Mota needs.
Praia del rey
CC image courtesy of Marc Smith on Flickr
Praia del rey has been one of the latest discoveries from the mainstream surf media. A couple of Km North of Pico da Mota, this beach break gives high quality peaks combined with low crowd levels.This spot picks up any bit of swell and works on a low tide, as opposed to the other beach breaks in the area. South to East wind are the best here. It’s a punchy beach break with barrels that are way more makeable that the ones at Supertubos. A connoisseurs’ choice!
CC Image courtesy of Kike Pereira Vázquez on Flickr
This point break, situated at the end of Supertubos’ beach is a nice option if in need of a good righthander. It starts working with a medium size swell and it holds up to almost any size. It’s best with East or North winds and at a low tide. It doesn’t usually get too crowded. Watch out for rocks and urchins.