The west coast of the Algarve has gained a reputation as one of Europe’s best surfing destinations, with Sagres as its surfing capital. Its position at the bottom corner of Portugal means that there are nearly always excellent surfing conditions, whatever the weather. The swell “wraps” round Cabo de São Vicente, producing relatively gentle waves in the bays between Sagres and Lagos, ideal for the less experienced. With swell sizes of up to 5m, the beaches north of Cabo de São Vicente face the full brunt of the Atlantic so are best for experienced surfers – legs of the World Surfing Championships are held at nearby Praia do Amado. Indeed, it can be decidedly dangerous and inexperienced surfers are best off going with a surf school – which can give one-off lessons or courses from around €60 a day – or a surf camp, which throws in accommodation and transport to the best beaches. Top surf camps and schools in the Sagres region include freeridesurfcamp.com, algarvesurfschool.com, internationalsurfschool.com. If you use another outfit, check that it’s an approved surf school at algarvesurfschoolsassociation.com.

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