With 1,115 miles of coastline, water sports
are a big deal in Portugal. But surfing is the crown jewel. The Atlantic Coast offers a wide range of world-renowned surf spots, from peaceful beaches for beginners to gnarly big waves.
The central coast has many of the country's best surf spots, like Peniche, Ericeira, Nazaré and the beaches near Porto and Lisbon. The coastal city of Nazare in particular is a hot spot for surfing, with monster waves that have drawn competitive surfers from across the globe.
If surfing isn't your thing, the Atlantic Ocean offers plenty of other watersports to enjoy. In the crystal-clear waters off the Azores Islands and Madeira, scuba diving and snorkelling are popular ways to explore the underwater worlds of shipwrecks and marine wildlife habitats. Finally, if you prefer to just admire the surf or splash in the shallows, Portugal has plenty of beautiful beaches where you can just unwind and enjoy a day by the ocean. The vast, sandy beach at Praia do Norte is one of the best in the country, and while exploring the Algarve Coast, you'll find plenty of popular and secret beaches to enjoy on hot summer days.
But the ocean isn't the only water you can play in around Portugal. On the beautiful Douro River in the north of the country, you can kayak, stand-up paddleboard, water ski, or sail along the river right through the heart of wine country, surrounded by vineyard-covered hills.