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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Zavial

Zavial

Raposeira - Algarve, Portugal

Surf, Bodyboard

Zavial is a large beach in the south of the Algarve, only a few minutes away from Sagres. Its cliffs protect it from the strong winds which often batter this area. It’s surprising how when there is a hard winter like day with onshore wind on the west coast, in Zavial it can be a nice day with a little offshore and organised sets. It’s easy to get to by car from the main road and it’s well signposted. Between the easy access, the wave quality and its proximity to Sagres, Vila do Vispo is one of the busiest places, especially when the west coast phases out. In this case, it’s better to get there early to be sure to get a parking space.

There are two main peaks which you can see from the rocks on the right side of the beach. The first peak is in front of the parking area and it could possibly be the best right-hand barrel in the Algarve. The second peak can be seen by looking towards the west. It’s right in front of the cliff on the right. The second peak is mechanical, very rideable and fun for manoeuvers so it’s popular with the locals. The most important thing is that in general, Zavial offers quality waves for all levels. When the sea isn’t too heavy, there are various peaks along the length of the beach towards the left. Many schools go there and there is always a good atmosphere. When the sea is heavier, the best surfers in the Algarve meet there and you’ll be able to see some high quality big barrels. There’s always a good reason to visit Zavial, one being to eat in its famous restaurant which provides excellent sea views.

zavial-surf

Conditions

For many, it’s the best wave in the region and it honours its fame during the winter months, between November and March, with a high probability of good days. If the waves are bigger than 5 feet or if it phases out on the west coast, Zavial will surely be working. It works best with moderate W or strong NW swells and the good wind directions are N, NW and even W. The best tide is from low to mid, bearing in mind that at high tide the two main peaks will be without waves, in addition, you can see how they are affected by the rebound of water from the rocks in front.

It starts working from 2 feet and from there onwards it’s very good along the whole beach. With 5 or 6 feet it requires a good level because the two main peaks at the right of the beach are fast. The wave can hold until about ten feet but logically there are few who accept the challenge because the wave and the currents require the highest level. It’s important to ask about the sandbanks here because they are very changeable throughout the year.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Beachbreak
  • Wind
    N - NW
  • Tide
    Low - Medium
  • Swell
    S - SW - W
  • Bottom
    Sand
  • Size
    3 to 10 ft
  • Time of year
    From September to May
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