If you hear stories about surfing Portugal you normally hear about the amazing surf that the half island Peniche offers. Most likely you will hear about the outstanding reefs that are found around Ericeira, too. But have you ever heard about Figueira da Foz and the quality waves around there? Not? Well, then you should read what we’ve found there..
Figueira da Foz looks a bit like a summer weekend destination for the olderly beach goers of Portugal. Not only the Casino close to the beach, but all the small apartments and holiday houses support this impression. Besides this huge holiday flair, there is (unfortunately – considering the influence on the water pollution) quite a big harbour and some minor industry as well in Figueira de Foz.
But most importantly, there are two fairly good waves to be found:
Buarcos – High quality point break close to the main beach of Figueira da Foz
This long (up to several 100 metres!) high quality right point break is mostly more of a carving wave, but there are some steep tubular sections. Actually, there are at least 3 point breaks that can connect with the right swell and form a really long wave. Unfortunately it needs a bit of smell to work (around 3ft should be enough, tough) but it can handle double overhead. It has never been crowded during the time we’ve been there. The strong currents that come with the bigger swells are the biggest hazzle. Close to the upper end of the wave is a freecamp spot, not too nice, tough. No beach facilities close by and quite a lot of rubbish lying around. You are better of freecamping in front of the other quality wave in the region, Cabedelo.
Cabedelo – jetty formed right and quality beachbreak just on the other side of the port of Figueira da Foz
The two waves here, a swell magnet beachbreak and an ex WCT contest site jetty formed hollow right are often having offshore winds. The jetty generates fast hollow waves, the beachbreak too, but not as consistent. Just in front of the jetty is a small parking lot which is perfectly for freecamping. It has a shower, the surf-bar / cafe close by and Wifi at the camping restaurant / shop and it only takes around 10 minutes to get to Buarcos from Cabedelo.
Other facts about Figueira da Foz
The Foz Center is woth mentioning, too. It is on the road when driving from Cabedelo to Buarcos. It has free wifi, a big Jumbo center that has everything you might need in stock and in the food court is surprising good food to find. Pizza for only 4€ or some healthy food for around the same price. It is not beautiful in there, but it can be quite handy.
Anyway, it takes 2 hours from Figuera da Foz to Peniche with the car and really is worth the drive. On the way from / to Peniche are some nice smaller beaches / coves to discover that might offer good surf on smaller swells. Or if you are into big wave surfing, there always is Nazaré, where in 2011 the (up to this date) biggest wave ever was surfed (almost 90 feet). I wish it would work somewhen when we are around. I’ve never had the chance to watch tow-in big wave surfing live.
Next stop are the famous waves Lagide, Molhos Leste as well as others in the Peniche / Baleal region.