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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Arrifana

Arrifana

Aljezur - Algarve, Portugal

Surf, Bodyboard

Arrifana is a small fishing village near to Aljezur in the Algarve. Arrifana Beach has lots of possibilities and is one of the most attractive places to visit due to the quality of its waves, the variety of services available and the good atmosphere. It’s surrounded by impressive cliffs, typical houses, and a port on the right side which is only accessible at high tide. When you arrive and go to the viewpoint you’ll see that this beach is spectacular. 
If you arrive from Lisbon or Spain, the best route is on the A-22 that goes from Faro to Lagos and links directly to the N-120 which will take you to Aljezur. If you’re staying around Sagres, which is the nucleus of the area, it’s better to head north on the N-268.

It’s a spot which has excellent winter surf conditions. The options are beach breaks which are suitable for all levels and, when the sea rises more than two metres, a respectable point break with rights forms over a rocky seabed at the right of the bay. This is only suitable for more experienced surfers. All of the options there will depend on the swell and your skill level. The tall vertical cliffs create a protective wall and on the days when it’s cold and windy in other places, Arrifana will be sunny with a light refreshing breeze. 

For those that are progressing, a good option is when the swell is mid-size as the bay is protected and there are many surf schools operating there. You can normally park quite easily in the car parks that are situated at the top before you go down to the beach. It’s a very busy place, especially in the summer months, with good local surfers and many foreigners. There will certainly be a good atmosphere and a wide range of accommodation options, rental houses being a common option for groups. Thanks to the variety of options and the good quality waves, it’s a surf destination that over the last few years, has become one of the most well-known in the Algarve.

arrifana-surf

Conditions

The best wave at Arrifana is the point break at the right of the beach, near to the port, which only appears in the winter with a NW swell bigger than 2 metres (6 ft). It’s a long, powerful right that’s only suitable for experienced surfers. Be careful of the rock in the middle section which is visible at low tide, but it’s very dangerous in any tide, so unless you know the wave, there’s no margin for error. It’s very popular with the locals but they are friendly and if you respect them, for sure they will let you catch a wave. If you surf at the beach or at the point, the best access is at the right near to the port entrance, being careful of the rocks which may be visible or not.

Most surf at the beach break which is at its best between September and April, although it can have waves all year round. There are normally three peaks along the whole beach. The first peak has a short left and a longer right which is often busy with surfers that are progressing when it’s small. The second peak is in the middle of the beach with various take off zones, the lefts there are often better. The last peak is at the end of the beach and you can often surf alone there although the waves are often poor quality due to them being very sectioned.

With an approximate 1,5 metre swell, more than 11 second periods and good bottoms, there are half metre waves with all tides, being better with a rising tide, avoiding high and low. For the more advanced, a swell of more than 2 metres is a good option, as with 1 metre it breaks powerfully, and if the swell is more than 3 metres, the point is definitely the best option. Arrifana, together with Beliche and Zavial is one of the main options when there is N, NW and WNW wind, above all during July and August when there is a constant wind which the locals call ‘La Nortada’.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Right Pointbreak
  • Wind
    E
  • Tide
    Low - Medium
  • Swell
    NW - W - SW
  • Bottom
  • Size
    3 to 12 ft
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