With its broad, sweeping beaches, cool bars, and relaxed atmosphere, Porto is a surfer’s dream come true. In summer, this coastal city teems with young adults looking to catch some swells. If you and your mates aren’t all equally steady on your surfboards, there are plenty of surf school and easier beaches where everyone can have a good time.
For those bringing their own boards, don’t forget to read our handy guide to travelling with windsurfers or surfboards.
Where to Surf
The beaches in Porto itself tend to be quite rocky, so you’re best off going slightly north or south of the city to surf.
For those of your mates who are just starting off, we recommend:
Torreira Beach – Located about 40 kilometres south of Porto, this Blue Flag beach is located on a narrow, sandy strip of land that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Ria de Aveiro estuary. The Pontoeste surf school, situated right on the sand, offers full-day lessons, surfboards, wetsuits, fins – even lodging and breakfast! After a few lessons with Pontoeste’s top-notch instructors, everyone in your group will be hanging ten.
Surf School in Torreira, R. Dr. Joaquim Lívio 3680, Veiros, Portugal
Tel: +351 965091947
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
Prices for day courses start at €75, which includes lodging and transfers to and from Estarreja train station.
São Jacinto – This beginner-friendly beach is situated just 20 minutes south of Torreira Beach, on the same spit of land that separates the ocean from the estuary. Broad, pristine, and backed by dramatic sand dunes, you’ll have plenty of elbow room at São Jacinto. Be aware of the fact that this beach is only partially covered by lifeguards during the summer months.
The more experienced surfers amongst you will enjoy:
Matosinhos – Just a 15-minute car drive north of Porto or a 40-minute ride on the blue line of the Porto metro, Matosinhos beach gets medium-sized waves perfect for intermediate surfers or for those with a lesson or two under their belt. Equipment rental is very reasonably priced at any of the surfing schools based at the beach: about €15 for a two-hour rental of a board and wetsuit. Definitely don’t skip the wetsuit – the Atlantic Ocean is cold even at the height of summer!
Esmoriz – This urban, Blue Flag beach is very popular with young adults. With four surf camps right on the beach, this is a paradise for surfing fanatics of all levels. The beach is also a hotspot for body boarding and fishing fans. Esmoriz is easy to reach from Porto.
You’ve heard of après-ski, but après-surf is just as important! After a long day in the waves, hit up Porto’s nightlife scene or simply chill out with a beer or two.
Espaço 77 – If you’re looking for a good, cheap bar with no frills but a lot of fun, this is the place for you. Enjoy a few beers with locals and tourists alike, or shoot pool with your mates. With its relaxed atmosphere and friendly, chatty bartenders, this is the perfect way to start your night.
Tv. de Cedofeita 22, Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 22 321 8893
Hours: Mon-Sat 22:00-04:00
Catraio Craft Beer Shop – For something a little different, sample an array of craft beers from the long list at Catraio. This relatively new establishment is helping to popularise unique, small-batch craft beers – an alternative to the ubiquitous local beers, Super Bock and Sagres.
Rua de Cedofeita 256, 4050-174 Porto, Portugal
+351 934 360 070
Hours: Tues-Thurs 16:00-midnight Fri & Sat 16:00-02:00
090 Pub Crawl – Don’t want to pick just one bar? Try a sampling of Porto establishments with the 090 Pub Crawl. Unlike other pub crawls you’ve been on (or heard of from friends), this boozy tour veers off the beaten track to show you the authentic, local spots beloved by locals.
Torre dos Clerigos, Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 934 653 597
Hours: Thurs-Sat 22:00-01:00
How to Get to Porto
With nonstop flights from British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair, you and your mates can be in Porto in just over two hours – and for reasonable rates if you book ahead! Once you’ve landed, you’re probably looking for a fast, low-cost way to get from Porto Airport to Porto proper. Consider booking a group airport transfer for your party – it’s the easiest, fastest way to get to Porto so the real fun can begin.
Where to Stay:
Surfivor Porto Surf Hostel – Situated in a renovated 19th century beach house, this best-loved surfer hostel boasts ocean views and easy access to the sparkling beachfront. Long a favourite destination for those who ride the waves, Surfivor Porto Surf Hostel is the perfect place to mingle with fellow surfers from around the world and even pick up some tips. And with several bars and restaurants just metres away, this hostel proves an excellent jumping-off point to the city of Porto itself.
About Shuttle Direct
For the most convenient, easy to book airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct’s fast and friendly service offers peace of mind and exceptional service. Book a shared or private transfer online before you leave home and our experienced drivers will meet you at the airport and transport you to and from your holiday accommodation without delay. Choose Shuttle Direct for the best airport transfers in the business.