Sagres is the place to be this summer if you are craving a surfing break. This is thanks to the superb beaches to the south of Portugal in the famed Algarve region and the cool atmosphere found here. Of course there are all kinds of aspects to consider when jetting off on a surf holiday, so today I will be running through everything you need to know for catching the curl in Sagres and making the most of your trip.
“Why Sagres?” I hear you cry. Well, I am recommending this vibrant town this summer due to the affordability of the destination, the consistent waves that cater to all abilities and the potential to see some monster waves. In addition to this, Sagres is a real gem with friendly locals and a thriving surf scene. It is a small village, but it is filled with restaurants, bars, surf camps, surf shops and everything else you need for an unforgettable surf trip. So really, the question is: “why not Sagres!?”
When to go
One of the best attributes of the area is that there is never a bad time for surfing due to its fantastic location – even the harsh winter conditions do not reach these shores. May through to August are the best times to visit, however, due to the brilliant climate, surf-able beach breaks and the general summer party vibe.
What to Bring
- Wetsuit – A standard 3/2mm wetsuit should be fine for most days and you may want to consider a shorty if you are visiting in the middle of winter – temperatures soar in August!
- Surfboard – A regular shortboard is the best type of board to bring when visiting in the warmer months of the year. If you decide to hit up Sagres during the winter, then I suggest taking a bigger board to tackle the heavier spots (wedges). This will get you into the wave sooner and allow for a nice barrel instead of wiping out!
Away from the Waves
- Local economy – Sagres has some cool shops, bars and restaurants around the town, so be sure to contribute to the local economy – this is also a great way to meet a few of the locals (and maybe get some insider surf tips!)
- Nightlife – There are a handful of lively bars to choose from in the area, but you will find three stood next to each other on the main street – which are an absolute must visit. They practically merge into one giant party during the summer and you’re very likely to make a few surf and drinking buddies here. If you are looking for a really big night out, you may want to consider travelling to Lagos which is 20km away, or possibly even Portimão which is a 60km drive. These are the big party towns in this part of Portugal.
- Food – Unsurprisingly, they are all about seafood here and you can sample the local produce for reasonable prices in many of the local restaurants.
- Exploring – You are surrounded by natural beauty in the Algarve, so be sure to spend a day exploring the hills by bike or on foot – a great way to beat a hangover!
Another reason that I love this town is the fact that is has a pair of surf camps that make it very easy to immerse yourself in the scene, improve your abilities and make friends.
- Amado Surf Camp – Regardless of your skill level, Amado Surf Camp will help you progress thanks to the lessons available from top level surfers who know the waters better than anyone. The camp has a range of accommodation and a classic surfer atmosphere, so you can expect to have plenty of chilled out times during your stay as well as catch the best curls.
- Sagres Natura Surf Camp – A family-run surf camp and hostel that is well positioned only 5 minutes down the road from the town centre, you are very well looked after by the friendly staff here. Although the shops, restaurants and bars are nearby, you will also find that you don’t need to leave the property as they have a hot tub, tropical garden, BBQ’s and ping pong. All abilities are catered for and you are split into different groups for daily lessons, with the afternoon sessions ending with a beer on the beach – ideal!
How to Get to Sagres
Sagres is best reached by flying from the London airports into Faro (FAO) with easyJet, Monarch or BA (returns are as cheap as £38!). The flight time is around 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The town is then a little over an hour away by road, so you will want to arrange transportation from the airport. This can be tricky with a surfboard and all your gear, which is why I recommend booking a Shuttle Direct transfer in advance. In addition to being the easiest way to reach your destination, they can also transport your board for no additional fee (as long as you declare it during the booking).
Where to Stay:
Pontalia Apartamentos Turísticos – Surfing is easily done each day here as you are only a 2-minute stroll from the beach. The air-conditioned apartments come with kitchenettes, modern furnishings, private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. They also have large balconies which overlook the swimming pool. In addition to the pool, guests have access to the gym and sauna. Location-wise, it is hard to top these highly rated apartments!
Apartamentos Atalaia – These self-catering apartments are 5 minutes from the beach and the friendly staff can arrange surfing and diving lessons or enjoyable boat trips along the coast. Although you can make your own food, you are also a stone’s throw from the local restaurants. The apartments feature a large terrace, wooden furniture, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Previous guests have commented on the cleanliness and attentive staff.
Cozy Apartment Vila do Bispo – Does what it says on the tin – this great value apartment focuses on creating a cozy feel that is just what you want after a long day on the waves (also great for spending one hung over!). You can keep food costs down thanks to the kitchen, plus there is a television, balcony and free Wi-Fi. Castelejo Beach Surf Spot in Vila do Bispo is 2.2 miles from the property.
About Shuttle Direct:
Every surfer knows just how tricky it can be getting around a foreign country with a board in tow. Eliminate the stress of onwards travel with a Shuttle Direct transfer – we take pride in our reliable, affordable and comfortable transportation and can even take your board for free if advised at the time of booking.
Use our online form today and a friendly local driver will be waiting to pick you up at the airport.