5 Reasons for a Winter Surf Holiday in the Algarve
The Algarve, Portugal is regarded as one of the best surf destinations in Europe, benefiting from waves all year round at loads of fantastic surf spots across two beautiful coastlines. Although a great place to surf any time of year most surfers will tell you winter is the time to come, from November through to April. So what makes it so great? We've got 5 reasons, but be warned you'll be booking your flight by the time you reach the fifth!
1. Better conditions
The best waves are generated by bigger ocean storms which are far away from the coastline, the longer distance allows a swell to form that has both power and rhythm, making the waves smooth as they roll into the beach with a good amount of time in between each wave (15 seconds+ is ideal). There are more storms in the winter in both the North and South Atlantic which means bigger, cleaner swells hit the Algarve consistently during this time. The beaches on both the South and West coastlines are therefore pumping!
2. The sun is still shining
The sun shines in the Algarve all year round. Average daytime temperatures never fall below 16° in the winter, with highs of 20° in November, 21° in March and 23° April. Lower temperatures also mean you can surf for longer. It's no myth that the 30° heat of the summer makes longer sessions tougher and the wetsuit tan even worse!
3. Quiet beaches
With access to two coastlines, the Algarve beaches never feel like they're overcrowded but in the winter this is taken to another level. In many surf spots, there's a good chance you'll be the only person on the beach, which also means the waves are yours too. This means wave after wave without having to worry about who's turn it is next unless of course, you're surfing with friends! The feeling of surfing a quiet surf spot with friends really is magical and your surfing will progress massively with an increased wave count.
4. More surf spots
The bigger winter swells from the North have enough power to wrap around the Southern point of the Algarve which means more waves on the South coast beaches in the winter. Unlike the summer months, the winter also brings wind and swells from the South East and South West which opens up both coastlines consistently. The South Coast beaches also tend to be smaller and more cove-like, which adds a really nice variety of waves for you to surf. There are loads of great reef and point breaks along the southern coastline that you just can't surf as regularly in the summer.
5. Better coaching conditions
More beaches available to surf in the winter means a wider variety of wave to choose from. Coaches can, therefore, pick beaches and waves tailored to your development needs. The improved conditions in winter also mean a higher quantity and quality of wave, so you'll get more time in the water with your coach who as a result has more opportunity to work with you to improve your skills. Cleaner waves also make video analysis more effective, you'll be riding more waves and therefore coaches have more moments to capture you in action and provide visual feedback directly on the beach.
So there you have it our 5 reasons why the Algarve is the place to surf this winter and to top it off, flights into Faro are also really cheap! So what are you waiting for?