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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Praia do Amado

Praia do Amado

Carrapateira - Algarve, Portugal

Surf, SUP, Bodyboard

This Portuguese spot is one of the main places to surf in the southwest of the Algarve. It can be found in Carrapateira village which is in the Alentejo Natural Park on the Vicentina coastline and remains as one of the few places in Europe that is still virgin. It seems that time hasn't passed there as it has maintained its essence and tradition at the same time as becoming one of the most popular places in Portugal for surfing and bodyboarding. The strong currents that flow north to south, alternating between the deep beaches with rugged cliffs make this area, which years ago was difficult to sail and even caused many boats to sink, today one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It is precisely this extreme configuration that creates the huge variety of surf conditions there.

It's possible to get good conditions in Praia do Amado all year round as its sandbanks are stable and don't change too much despite the strong storms. It is one of the most consistent beachbreaks on this wild coastline and in the summer it is one of the safest bets as its orientation allows enough swell to enter without it being too affected by the typical Portuguese north wind which is pretty constant during the summer. It's easy to get to from Faro by following the A-22 until Lagos, a city which is only half an hour away on the N125 from Vila do Bispo and is next to Sagres, the epicentre of the zone and just a short distance from Praia do Amado in Carrapateira which is towards the north along the N268.

praiadoamado

Conditions

Do Amado is a beachbreak that works with any swell from the W, normally with NW, but depending on the collocation of the banks, it can even give good sessions with the uncommon SW swells as its banks offer longer lefts. The best tide is always when it's rising, low tide doesn't usually give good sessions as it closes out along the whole length of it but tides which fill too much aren't too good either. It's important to know that in this part of the Algarve, a good knowledge of the banks and tides is fundamental and most of the time it's better to wait for the moment than search for peaks among the large amount of possibilities along this incredible stretch of the Portuguese Algarve. You can see the peaks really well from the main viewpoint which you can get to from the walkways that cross the northern part where the car parks are. From there you'll see three main peaks, for which 3 and 4 feet is the best as with more than this it becomes a difficult spot with powerful waves and a lot of currents which require you to be in shape. Anything less and it is an accessible beach which can be fun for all.

The first peak can be seen just in front of the viewpoint. Although it depends on the conditions, it is usually the most appropriate place to enter the water. It's on the right next to the rocks which are clearly visible at low tide. It's the peak which changes its dynamic the most and on occasions can offer long surfable rights and on others it can disappear, leaving the attention to the following peaks. The next peak is located right in the centre of the beach in front of the bars. It is the main peak and alternates rights and lefts depending on the tide but normally works best with a rising mid tide. The next is less busy and it's where the locals show their knowledge on the what is the most challenging peak of this beach. From there onwards, there are some secondary peaks but you'll need to spend some time waiting to find the right moment when they offer the best sessions and above all on these peaks, respect the local community who are relaxed even on the busiest days.

Despite the latitude, in this zone the typical N currents (N to S) make the water cold all year round and it's only in September and October when this stops that the water gets a little warmer, allowing for a shorty. In winter a minimum of 4 mm is fundamental and a 3 mm is sufficient in summer. Some inconveniences are the influx, the windy days and sometimes waveless days which can happen in the summer, but there is less chance of this after July and August. If it is phased out, a recommendation is to go to other more protected beaches like Arrifana which is 15 minutes north, or the south coast of Sagres.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    beachbreak
  • Wind
    E - NE
  • Tide
    Low - Medium
  • Swell
    NW - W
  • Bottom
    Sand
  • Size
    1 to 4 ft
  • Time of year
    All year
Suggested Spots
  • 6 km from Praia do Amado Vila do Vispo - Algarve, Portugal
  • 14 km from Praia do Amado Raposeira - Algarve, Portugal
  • 14 km from Praia do Amado Aljezur - Algarve, Portugal
  • 207 km from Praia do Amado Ericeira - Central Portugal - Mafra, Portugal