Guilia Manfrini (@guiliamanfrini) is one of our newest ambassadors and will convince you to visit Portugal asap, with her Surf Guide on Burgau, Portugal. Guilia is a lawyer who left it all to surf around the world. We had the pleasure to surf with her in Costa Rica, then she took off to teach at a surf camp in Portugal. After reading this guide, we’re booking our tickets and packing our bags to visit her asap. Here is her guide to the area.
The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal and it is the perfect year round surf destination with excellent waves and fantastic weather. It has two coasts, west coast and south coast, so you are able to find waves somewhere every day! Normally, the West Coast receives the majority of the swell, especially in summer. And when it gets really big, the South Coast starts working too.
Where to surf: Burgau is a typical portuguese fisherman village, built on an amazing cliff on the south coast of Algarve. It’s a 5 minutes drive from Lagos, next to Praia da Luz. The spot works mainly with S/SW swells, perfect with N/NE offshore wind, and holds up to 2 meters or more. On the left side of the bay there is a pretty long point break left hander mellow and easy (+- 100 meters). In the rest of the bay A-frame waves break off sand banks and at the right end of the beach there’s a beautiful right hander. So many peaks! Just choose your one and fun is guaranteed! Best tide is mid tide. It’s a spot that everyone can surf, from beginners to pros
When to surf: The best season to surf South Coast is from October to May, when big swells from the South come! If you are lucky you can also get some good south swell in summer!
Crowd Factor: Few people in the water. I have been surfing Burgau with perfect conditions just by myself. Sometimes it can get a little bit more crowded during the day in summer (but not more than 20 surfers).
Other activities to do besides surf: Algarve is a beautiful place, no matter if you just want to spend a day at the beach or going to explore the caves of the south coast in SUP or kayak. There are really good spots to climb on the coast! ASA ( www.algarve-sea-adventure.com ) organizes some surf and climb camps If you are passionate about bicycles or Enduro bikes this is the place for you. Just get lost in the hills around the area of Vila do Bispo, full of off road trails that would bring you to uncrowded perfect waves!
How to get there and where to stay: Low cost airline company RYANAIR flies to Seville in Spain! From there just catch a bus to Lagos (20 euros) and prepare your quiver The Surf Experience (www.thesurfexperience.eu) offers really nice villas, both self-catering and all inclusive, surf camps and day trips to the best surf spots.
Apres Surf: A Praleleira is the best portuguese small bar where you can enjoy the view of the beach and the surf with a cold beer. Sunset live music on Friday and Saturday. After that, you can have dinner at the restaurant Restaurante a Barraca that serves fresh fish caught of the day and typical Portuguese dishes.
Water temperature: In summer, the water gets warm in the South Coast, around 20°C (68°F). Obviously you are not in the Caribbean but you can still surf in your MI OLA bikini! In the winter you need a wetsuit – for sure a 4/3 would be great, but the water doesn’t get so freezing cold! Always bring a wetsuit with you because when the south coast is not working, you can drive to the west coast to find waves, but the water is a bit colder (3/2 in summer and 4/3 in winter).