Kitesurfing Portugal overview

There can be few other places to kitesurf that are as diverse as Portugal. From the incredible waves of the west coast to the lagoons of the south, it is a country that really does have it all. To kitesurf Portugal you could do with a week or two and it’s a great idea to rent a car and to travel around to check out some of the awesome varied kitesurfing areras. As well as the many options to kitesurf Portugal, you also have the incredible beauty of cities like Lisbon and Porto which offer plenty to do in the evenings or if the wind isn’t playing ball, as well as real party towns like Lagos. Portugal has an incredibly friendly vibe and cheap living costs and it is easy to see how kitesurfing Portugal has become one of the most popular options in Europe…

Where to kitesurf in Portugal

There are three main areas to kitesurf Portugal:

1. 
The north – the north of Portugal offers prime conditions year round, although really comes into its own between March and October. The Nortada wind blows from the north and, especially through the summer months, kitesurfing Portugal pretty much guarantees wind every day. For freestyle there are miles of beach with kickers as well as some lagoons and rivermouths, and for waveriders there are some truly world class waveriding spots such as Viana de Castelo.

2. The central west coast – there are options to kitesurf Portugal all along the exposed Atlantic facing coast, but the hub is around the country’s capital, Lisbon. Here you can kite in the renowned waves of Guincho, as well as other spots to the north and the south of the city. There are numerous schools and centres who have the set up dialled and can get you on the water every day.
3. The south – kiting in the south and you can either opt to kite the exposed beaches of the west coast – such as Carrapateira – or you can head around the corner and uncover an incredible number of summertime flatwater spots along the Algrave coast… The coast from Lagos to Faro has plenty of rideable beaches and lagoons (such as Alvor) as well as safe places for learning – and it’s boardie and bikini weather in the summer…

If you had to pick one kitesurfing spot…

If kitesurfing waves is your thing then kitesurfing in Portugal has plenty of options. But if we had to choose one wave then it would be the epic righthander at Cabadelo, Viana de Castelo… Whatever your kitesurfing level this has plenty to offer – for beginner waveriders you can start off closer to the shelter of the harbour wall and you can work on your skills in waist high waves, then as you become more confident you can move further down the beach as the wave progressively increases in size until the main part of the break, which can hold head high waves which reel for 300 metres on a good day… Kitesurfing Viana de Castelo should be on the list of any discerning waverider.

Portugal kitesurfing conditions + what to take

If you are kitesurfing Portugal in the north or centre of the country then you’ll need a wetsuit for most of the year – a shorty would be fine in July and August, a 3/2 for spring and autumn and then a 4/3 or 5/3 for the winter. You should also be aware that the Nortada can blow away the warm water pretty quickly in the middle of summer so the water temperature can take a real dip. For kites then if you’re kitesurfing Portugal it’s best to be prepared. On a stonking Nortada afternoon you’ll need a 5m, but for those morning or sundown sessions you might be reaching for a 13 or 14m.

For kitesurfing the south of Portugal the climate can be more Mediterranean, particularly as you come along the southern coast towards the Spanish border. You’ll be fine in a 3/2 for the whole year and can expect plenty of boardie and rashie sessions through the summer months. As you move away from the west coast the Nortada has less effect so the wind is less strong and an 8 or 9m would be your typical kite although again it would be a good plan to also have a bigger kite for morning and evening sessions.