I finally went to Europe: My fiancé has been wanting to go to Europe for a long time, I have been much more interested in traveling to tropical surf destinations. We compromised on Portugal in the early fall. I was stoked for the trip for so many reasons, the travel crew, the new sites, and most importantly the waves. Learning to surf in the Pacific Northwest, I was excited as ever for the warmer water, all I needed was a 3/2. Since it was a wetsuit trip, my Urban 30 dry bag from Emei was the perfect travel bag. I was actually able to fold the bag up and pack it inside my carry on. The Urban 30 made the perfect day bag for traveling around to different surf spots with wetsuits. I was able to fit four wetsuits in it on our day trips. Not to mention our hikes down to different beaches and even walking around the streets of the small towns this bag came in handy. To make the travel even easier, we didn’t bring any boards. We used the board share program Awayco.
We stayed our first couple of days in Ericeira at Magic Quiver. They have a surf shop, small hotel/lodge/hostel, and cafe all in town in different buildings. I would recommend the hotel and café to everyone, you can ignore the surf shop from my experience, luckily with Awayco you can have as little human interaction as possible while renting boards thanks to the online platform. The number of waves around Ericeira was incredible, a car is a bonus as there are many spots within close driving distance. We definitely had our best sessions at Ribeira D’Ilhas and Foz Do Lisandro. This entire area is part of the world surf reserve which helps protect the coast line.
Our next stop was Santa Cruz, where we stayed at the unbeatable Noah’s Surf House. This place luckily was equipped with some nice demo boards, but I am hoping next time I go back Awayco will have teamed up with them. Noah’s surf house is brand new and right on the beach breaks of Santa Cruz and is equipped with everything from hot tub to a skate bowl. We stayed three days in Santa Cruz but the swell was so big our 3rd day we decided to explore the coast. Since we were only 30 minutes from Peniche, we decided to check it out. The Surfer’s Lodge in Peniche had the Awayco system dialed, we were in the water only a couple of minutes after snagging boards. The beach breaks around Peniche pick up whatever swell is on offer since they face all directions on either side of the headland. We scored some great waves and did not have to hassle finding the right rental shop with our board preferences. These quick day trips were made easy by having a car to rent, although I’m sure you can manage by bus. I was able keep the rental car clean and dry by packing all of the wetsuits inside my drybag! We were only gone for six days and was a quick and easy trip from the east coast. The coastline of Portugal makes for an adventure that never gets boring, it is packed with striking cliffs and beaches that produce astonishing look outs and surf spots. We even saw Matt Wilkinson in Peniche.