Portugal in March (Sun and Surf)

front side wave riding in Albufeira
A cracking little fun wave right bu Lee and Emma,s hotel in Albufeira

We all know that the Algarve has been a favourite for brits looking for some winter warmth for many years. So a trip to the Algarve in March is nothing out of the norm. However there is so much more to the area than a bit of winter sun.

lee catching a wave at Arrifana
Lee,s first wave riding surf session at Arrifana on the west coast

So when my son Lee and his girlfriend Emma decided to take a month out there to sort out lee,s newest business venture. Which proved to be very fruitful. As they were away from all distractions and could just focus on the task at hand. They managed to cram a lot of work in to their trip. Along with a few bottles of wine or maybe quite a few bottles of wine.

a wave at Arrifana portugal
Emma off in to the water with lee for her first taster of surfing. She got so close to standing up.

I had wanted to visit Portugal for a while now to check out the west coast for a potential classic surf road trip. So with Lee and Emma being there for a month. The time was right to go and visit them, Do some sup surfing and check out the west coast around Sagres. I have had an image of the west coast of portugal in my head of endless surf breaks that were uncrowded. With the ability to wild camp at the top of cliffs over looking the sea. Since being there and seeing just a small peice of what Portugal has to offer. A road trip down the west coast is now definately on the to do list within the next 12 months. I mentioned to a friend Richard about a surf trip to

A huge sun dial was uncovered in the famous fort of Sagres.
Possibly one of the largest sun dials in the world. At the fort of Sagres on the south west tip of Portugal

the Algarve and he was instantly up for it. The next thing was booking the trip up. Keeping a long story short it worked out cheaper for a package deal than it did for flights alone.

A picture of the ruins of a 10th century moorish fort.
After a surf at Aljezur it was time for a bit of culture. So a walk up to the ruins of a 10th century moorish fort was the order of the day. Not much leftbut a spectacular panoramic view.

We had hired a car for the week that we were there and the plan was to check out some different beaches with Lee and Emma and for all 4 of us to do some surfing. Well Lee and Emma do some surfing. Richard never leaves his waveski at home and this was no exception and i wanted to catch some waves on the sup. The weather though was not going all our way. The wind forecast for the week was basically northerly winds at about 20 kts for the whole time we were there.  Northerly winds on the west coast of Portugal makes what could be perfect swells in to mush. So the name of the game was trying to find some spots with  shelter from the northely wind. The only problem with this was that every other surfer in the area was doing the exact same thing. Making the breaks with shelter quite busy.

lee building a rock tower at carrapateira on the west coast of portugal
Lee doing his best to build a rock tower at Carrapateira

During our weeks stay in the Algarve we managed to get on the water 4 times. Twice on the west coast at Arrifana and Carrapateira and also twice on the south coast at Praia da luz and Albufeira. We did plan to surf at Sagres one day. When we got there though the wind was howling and all the breaks were completely blown out. So we had to console ourselves with a history lesson. By looking around the fort on the headland of Sagres. This proved very informative and we learnt a lot about the history of the fort and also which i found very interesting. The devistating earth quake and following tsunami of 1755. Which wiped out a lot of places along the west coast of Portugal including Lisbon.

The fort of Sagres
Lee and Emma doing i am not quite sure what. While we were exploring the famous fort at Sagres. On a very windy day

For me this brief trip to the Algarve in Portugal was worth every minute. It was a great winters break and it showed me that portugal has the potential for a classic road trip to match any. So fingers crossed this time next year i will be writing about the month i spent in my camper van. Surfing and travelling down the west coast of Portugal. Cannot wait WAHOO..

the beach at port Imao
The beach at port Imao is absolutely stunning

 

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