Portugal is home to some of the world’s greatest surf locations. One, in particular, is Baleal, a small island situated 3 kilometres north of Peniche on the west coast of Portugal, one hour’s drive from Lisbon.
Baleal has become a very popular destination with surfers over the years for its incredible weather and surf conditions, as well as the famous World Championship competition. Read on to discover all about this surfers’ paradise in Portugal!
Where is Baleal?
How to get there
Getting to Baleal from Lisbon is very simple, quick, and inexpensive. You can either journey by car or bus, which will take around 1 hour. See the RedeExpressos website for all the bus timetables and ticket prices.
If you’re travelling from Porto, the journey will take around 2.5 hours by car. You can also take the train or local bus routes #787 and #990. The journey by bus and train will take a bit longer, on average about 6 hours with interchange. See Rome2Rio for all the ticketing information.
Hiring a car in Portugal? Read all about driving in Portugal with our ultimate guide here!
The Rip Curl Pro Portugal
In October every year, the world’s top professional surfers head to Portugal for the Rip Curl Pro World Championship. The competition is part of the World Surf League Tour, held in both Peniche and Cascais.
The selected beaches include Carcavelos, Guincho, and Supertubos, which are known for their large, tubular-shaped waves. The surf conditions in these cities are excellent and well known amongst surfers.
- Start Date: 16 October 2019
- End Date: 28 October 2019
Weather in Baleal
August is the hottest month in Baleal with an average temperature of 22°C while the coldest month is January at 11°C. The region experiences dry periods between June and August, while December often experiences the most rain.
Best Beaches for Surf in and near Baleal
There are plenty of different locations for surfing in and around Baleal, each with different winds, swell sizes, directions, and tides. Baleal is situated right in the Atlantic Ocean, so the water is rarely flat.
- Supertubos – Europe’s most famous beach break. It is a sandy beach, with northerly winds, waves between 1 and 5 metres. The conditions here are fast and heavy, best suited for advanced surfers.
- Almagreira – A sandy beach with some small rocks, south-easterly winds and waves between 0.5 and 3 metres high. This beach is suited for all experience levels.
- Cantinho da Baia – Sandy beach with northerly winds, waves between 1 and 3 metres, good for beginners through to advanced surfers. Also popular with beginners because of the many surf schools.
- Meio da Baia – A sandy beach with southerly winds, waves between 0.5 and 5 metres. Good for all surf levels.
- Papôa – Rocky beach with southerly winds, waves between 4 and 10 metres. This is a big wave beach so fit for pro surfers only.
Want to visit more surf beaches in Portugal? Discover the 20 Best Places to go Surfing in Portugal today!
Why is Baleal Considered a Paradise for Surfers?
Baleal is actually one of the first surf spots of Portugal, with the first records of surfing here dating back to 1965. The annual surf competition nearby Supertubos has also exploded within the surf community, making it a popular surfing destination with a range of surf breaks.
The area is unique because of its many different types of breaks, winds, swell sizes, winds, and tides all within a short walking distance. The varied conditions make the destination suitable for all surf levels.
Important Tools for Surfing
You can access the Baleal surf report and beach cam on Magic Seaweed, for each of the beaches in and nearby Baleal.
Where to Take Surf Lessons in Baleal
There are countless surf schools and camps along the Baleal coastline. Here are some of our favourites:
- Baleal Surf Camp – Family-run surf school offering all types of classes and camps, for beginners, intermediates, for singles, families and groups.
- Peniche Surf Camp – Surf lessons and accommodation for all ages and levels.
- Shark’s Lodge – Surf school offering all sorts of packages from lessons to kids camps, and other activities.
- Go4Surf – Surf school providing surf lessons, rentals, transportation, and accommodation.
- Alex Surf School – Small surf camp with a friendly environment, also offer a hostel and other group activities.
Surf & Suit Hire
If you don’t need surf lessons, you can, of course, hire a wetsuit and surfboard to use at your own disposal. Prices vary according to each hire shop but here are some averages:
- 1 day hire: between 10-20 Euros
- 1 week hire: between 50-80 Euros
Surfboard & Wetsuit
- 1 day hire: between 15-20 Euros
- 1 week hire: between 75-115 Euros
Where to Hire Surf Equipment?
- Drop Surf Centre – Surf rentals starting from as low as 9 Euros for 2-hours.
- 3House Beach Bar and Surf Centre – Surf shop and beach bar, great for a meal after a day of surfing.
Apart from the surf shops you can also rent equipment from the local surf houses and hostels.
Other equipment for hire
Besides surf boards and wet suits, you can also arrange to hire boogie boards, SUPs, kite surfing equipment, snorkel and scuba-dive gear, amongst others.
Restaurants in Baleal
- Xakra Beachbar – Amazing beach bar, perfect for a sunset drink and meal. The seafood is delicious!
- Taberna Do Ganhao – Popular and friendly restaurant serving great food, and playing jazz music. Try the octopus.
- Bar do Bruno – Cosy spot with an incredible beach view, delicious burgers, and cocktails!
- Restaurante & Cafetaria Nau – Local Portuguese restaurant serving simple yet traditional meals, tasty and cheap. Try the seafood or a mixed grill plate.
Want to discover more of Portugal’s typical cuisine? Read this guide here!
Where to Stay in Baleal
- Ride Surf Resort & SPA (from €102/night) – A really cool concept surf resort, where you have the option to spa and/or surf. There is also a restaurant, bar and plenty of other activities to get involved with.
- Baleal Surf Camp (from €55/night) – Offering a range of hostels, villas, and apartment accommodation so you can choose which option is fit for you. Price also includes surf course and equipment.
- Another Surf Camp (prices on request) – Fun surf camp hostel with a great team of people offering a range of packages, lessons, and rentals.
- Baleal Guest House (from €102/night) – Beachfront guest house with a common kitchen, bbq facilities, and a family vibe inside.
Other things to do in Baleal
Need a break from the waves? Here’s some other fun activities to get up to in Baleal while the wetsuit is drying.
- Yoga Center Peniche – Take a yoga class in Peniche! No need for bookings, so just drop in 5-minutes before a class and get stretching.
- Baleal Cocktail – A nice way to start the weekend or merely enjoy a refreshing cocktail after a long day in the surf. Come here for the best cocktails in town!
- Massage Peniche-Baleal – Treat yourself to a relaxing massage. The centre offers a variety of wellbeing treatments, the perfect solution to those sore muscles.
- Royal Obidos Golf Course – Take a swing on one of Portugal’s best golf courses.
- Berlengas Archipelago – Visit a Portuguese archipelago just off the coast of Peniche. Ferries run to and from the island everyday. Read more about the set of islands here.
See you in Baleal!
Baleal is quite a small town, popular mostly for its great surf conditions. If you like surfing the waves and spending time in the water, it is a must-do when visiting Portugal!
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I'm a freelance copywriter and free-spirited traveller from Australia. I fell in love with Portugal when I arrived here and hope to share with you all the reasons why.