Beneath the white-washed village and massive cliffs lies Arrifana Beach. In summer, a busy, beginner friendly beach break that works throughout the tide, picks up most swell and has wind shelter. The real reason to visit Arrifana though is the world-class, right pointbreak at the beaches northern end. Waves here are long, fast and very heavy with shallow boils and barrel sections. It needs to be at least 2m (6ft) to start breaking and holds up to triple overhead (Advanced surfers only)!
A rivermouth break (point and beach) favouring rights at lower stages of the tide. Works best in offshore winds from the southeast. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the best swell direction is from the west. The beach break provides left and right handers. Unlikely to be too crowded, even when the surf is up. Watch out for rocks & rip currents.
MONTE – CLERICO
An average stretch of rarely ridden beachbreak scattered with rocks and can work at any time of the year. It breaks throughout the tide – high tide offers more shorey style waves, whilst low tide gives longer and mushier waves.
Ideal winds are from the east. Windswells and groundswells in equal measure and the ideal swell direction is from the northwest. The river breaks offer lefts and rights. Best around mid tide. Relatively few surfers here, even on good days.
It’s a fast, hollow and powerful right wedging up off the cliffs at the far end of the beach. It can be a mission getting a wave off the locals. Needs a moderate SW or big W-NW swell to break and mid tide to avoid closing out.
The most famous of the Algarve south coast spots and also the busiest with a local crew who are on it at the slightest sniff of a wave. If the scene here is too hectic then a drive around might reveal further goods. Medium consistency in slightly warmer water temps than the west coast.
Another protected spot in big swells is Beliche in Sagres. A beach break that can throw out perfect lefts and rights depending on the sand banks. It needs a hefty NW swell or a standard S to work and is offshore on N winds. When good, it’s a classy left wedge that handles up to double overhead – very hollow and fast, Advanced surfers only!
The most consistent of the Sagres beaches is generally pretty average. Lower tidal stages on the push are better as is a W swell. It doesn’t pick up as much swell as the west coast so it is a popular place for beginner/intermediates and the many local bodyboarders.