By: Mikael and Thrillism
10 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
Ready to start planning your next surfing holiday? The first step is deciding exactly where to go, and Portugal’s Peniche should be at the top of your bucket list. Peniche is a small town on the Portuguese coast that is the epitome of all things surfing: supreme beaches, barrelling breaks, happy locals, and fresh seafood for days.
Aside from the massive rolling Atlantic waves, Peniche has so much to offer. There is a lot of history here – on a day off from the water be sure to check out the city’s fort that dates back to the Early Middle Ages. But the real attraction that brings tourists from all over the world is Peniche surfing, specifically a famous spot called Supertubos Beach.
Once flights are booked and bags are packed, the next step is to choose a Peniche surf camp that suits your travel preferences and surfing level. There are quite a few surf schools and camps to choose from, so feel free to use this complete guide to Peniche Portugal surfing as your guiding light.
Getting anywhere in Portugal is simple, mainly since this Western European country is so small. Most surfers fly into the capital city, Lisbon, before taking the short trip north to Peniche. Even if you’re itching to get in the water ASAP, try to spend at least a day or two in Lisbon.
The capital is filled with amazing culture, architecture, shopping, authentic cuisine, and a vibrant atmosphere. After Lisbon, there are a few ways to get to Peniche. It’s only a 90-minute drive, so renting a car is a popular choice. Taking a bus is another option, and it’s also the cheapest way to go.
Buses run from Lisbon to Peniche several times a day, and the cost is usually about 8 euros per trip. Uber is available in Lisbon, so if comfort is your main priority, you can try your luck to see if any Uber drivers are willing to make the drive to Peniche.
Portuguese is the main language of the Peniche locals, but Spanish is also very common. Peniche has been a surfing destination for decades, though, so many of the locals speak perfectly fluent English. Learning bits and pieces of the Portuguese language can be fun and challenging, but it’s not overly necessary.
Portugal, like all other members of the European Union, uses the euro (EUR) as the main currency. One EUR is worth slightly more than one USD, so Americans shouldn’t have too much trouble with the exchange rate. Visit an ATM or currency exchange to switch out your local money for euros. The best place to do this is in Lisbon before heading to Peniche.
Finding WiFi is generally easy no matter where you are in Portugal, including Peniche. Travelers can connect in restaurants, cafes, hotels, hostels – there’s even a digital nomad coworking community for those traveling and working remotely. Just be sure to bring a type F power converter or universal adapter so that you can keep all of your electronics charged.
Most nationalities can enter Portugal on a 90-day entry visa, there’s no need to apply ahead of time. This is valid for Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Aussies. This visa works in all EU countries, so if you receive your stamp in Portugal, you can freely travel through most of Europe with just the one 90-day tourist visa.
Peniche is a small town, so there aren’t tons of options for high-quality medical care in the event of an emergency. For medical issues that aren’t life-threatening, you’ll be able to visit one of the local clinics, like Clinica Bom Sucesso. To protect yourself from high medical costs, investing in international medical insurance is a must.
In terms of safe travel, Peniche has a great reputation. Portugal as a whole is extremely safe, so you don’t have to worry about dangerous crime during your time here. Like anywhere else in the world, petty theft still happens here. It is very unlikely, but just be mindful of your belongings. In other words, don’t leave your purse or backpack on the beach while you surf the iconic Supertubos.
It’s easy to see most of Peniche on foot or by bicycle. If you sign up for a Peniche Portugal surf camp, the cost of your stay almost always includes transportation to and from Peniche’s top surf spots. If you’re getting around on your own, local buses connect Peniche’s bus terminals with Baleal, a popular surf spot, several times per day for less than 2 EUR.
Peniche caters to all types of tourists by offering a huge range of places to stay. According to hundreds of Peniche surf camp reviews, some of the best places to stay are actually within the surf camps themselves. If you want to do your own thing, though, you can always book an Airbnb apartment, a luxury hotel, or a budget-friendly dorm bed in a hostel.
Ride Surf Resort and Spa is one of the most-loved accommodations in all of Peniche. They have private rooms and dorm beds, all with a quirky contemporary flair. There’s an onsite restaurant, full-service spa, and tons of packages to choose from for surfers and non-surfers alike, even for families.
It’s a well-known fact that surfing in Portugal is possible all year-round. This is true for Peniche, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be picky about when you travel here. The most consistent beginner to intermediate-level waves happens between April and September. Advanced surfers prefer the waves between October and March since they are heavier and more challenging.
No matter the time of year, you can expect the water to be cold – yes, you will need to wear a wetsuit. In the summer months, the water temperature rarely reaches more than 72°F, and in the winter it can be as cold as 57°F.
Baleal is the northernmost beach of Peniche. Many surfers claim that booking a stay at a Peniche surf camp Baleal is the best way to get in on all the wave-riding action. Baleal Beach boasts the most ideal conditions for beginners and intermediate surfers, it has even been dubbed “Europe’s prime learning-to-surf location.” This is why Baleal Surfcamp is one of the most popular camps in the area.
“We’re the original Portuguese surf camp at one of Europe’s top surf regions, 25 years celebrated in 2018… We are literally based on the prime learning spot.”
– Baleal Surfcamp
Baleal Surfcamp is all about value for money. It’s not the cheapest school in the area, but for the price, you’ll have access to everything you could need. Accommodations are located within a 10-minute walk of the Cantinho da Baía surf spot, which is perfect for beginner surfers traveling to Peniche. The most popular package includes accommodation, surf lessons, and equipment rental for your choice of 3, 7, or 14 nights.
Peniche Surfcamp is a 5-minute drive from Baleal, but there are also plenty of surf beaches within walking distance. This surf school Peniche organizes everything for you as soon as you arrive in Lisbon. The surf camp package includes an airport transfer from Lisbon, accommodation (for 1, 7, or 14 nights), surf classes, beach transfers, and surf insurance.
“You can find more than 20 surf spots for all levels of surfer, from beginner to advanced.”
– Peniche Surfcamp
There are plenty of surfing spots nearby to keep you busy, even if you opt for the 2-week long package. Supertubos, Molhe Leste, Lagido, Cantinho da Baia, and Belgas are just a handful of the waves you’ll be riding when you book your stay with Peniche Surfcamp.
Peniche’s Bukubaki Eco Surf Resort is all about getting back to nature and finding the perfect wave in the process. The entire resort is eco-friendly – this is a place for adventurous people wanting a break from the craziness that is life. Bukubaki wants to take your journey to Peniche to the next level, and they do this by uniting adventure with peacefulness.
“Bukubaki Eco Surf Resort complements the best of surf experience in a familiar atmosphere with an ecologically committed glamping accommodation…”
– Bukubaki Eco Surf Resort
Guests have plenty of opportunities for adventure activities – surfing, skateboarding, hiking, mountain biking – while also enjoying the peacefulness of the area through yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. You’ll have the option to stay in a tent or stilt house and eat wholesome meals that are inspired by Mediterranean, Italian, and Portuguese culture.
The Maverick is located about 15 minutes south of Peniche in a town called Lourinhã. The surf and guest house here overlooks the water with scenic views of the ground’s gardens. There are 5 luxurious villas, so there’s a good chance that this place will be booked up for Portugal’s high season. But if you’re lucky enough to reserve a spot, you’ll love everything about staying here.
“Close to scenic beaches, surf spots and places of cultural interest, the houses are the perfect getaway for your holiday away from the crowds.”
– The Maverick Surf Villas
The Maverick has several packages to choose from, ranging from wellness retreats to surfing adventures. The weeklong surf course is a popular choice for beginners, but if you’re in the mood to mix and match surfing and yoga, check out the weeklong surf and yoga retreat.
Ferrel Surf House was made by a surfer for surfers. If you’re looking to kick back, relax, and catch a few waves in the process, you’ll love what Ferrel is throwin’ down. The surf house is surrounded by surf spots that work at almost any given swell or wind direction, so you can count on consistent conditions for all surfing levels.
“If you are looking for the perfect surf trip to Portugal, we have special packages which take care of everything you will need to enjoy your stay.”
– Ferrel Surf House
The surf house is the perfect spot for surfers. It’s got a relaxed yet edgy vibe, and you’ll be making yourself at home within your first few minutes at Ferrel. The owners of this surf house/surf school even cater to digital nomads by offering a workroom lounge with high-speed internet.
Spending surfing holidays in Peniche means that you’ll be eating more than your fair share of seafood. If you’re not a fan of seafood or you’re strictly sticking to a veg/vegan diet, you certainly won’t starve. But this is the time to gorge yourself on all things seafood, all while you sit by the sea. These are a few of Peniche’s most-loved restaurants: