First off, the Aljezur coast is absolutely beautiful. Waves crash against gold sand beaches and cliffs jetting up 100 meters from the surf. You can sit on the sand to take it all in or admire the views equally as well from above. I highly recommend visiting this part of Portugal if you’re in Western Europe but like most, we made our way to the region for its acclaimed surfing and all the pieces were in place for a killer second surf school experience on our trip.
Our first surfing experience in Brazil was top notch so we had high hopes of repeating it while in Aljezur. To make things even better we met up our friend Stephanie who we met in Brazil at surf school to catch up and hit the waves again. When we arrived everything looked great. The beaches were beautiful, the waves were constant and easy to practice on, there was no reef to crash on and the weather was scorching hot. But we failed to account for one small detail. EVERYONE wants to surf in Portugal in August on the same beaches at the same time. I hate to say it, but the experience was terrible. It was the equivalent of trying to surf in the middle of a Wild Waves theme park. Every time you paddle into a wave and stand up, right in front of you there are 5-10 people with their boards so you have to dive off to avoid moving them over. It came down to the fact that all surf schools don’t cap their classes and all surf at the same time instead of alternating throughout the day. This creates a small stretch of beach with hundreds of people trying to surf. We planned on doing three days straight of surfing but we threw in the towel by the end of the first day. Just not worth paying $100 a day for the two of us to not get to even practice surfing.
On the bright side, this saved us a good amount of money which we promptly switched to enjoying great meals and drinks with Stephanie and her childhood friend, Sylvia, who she was there with. The two of them are so easygoing, fun to be around and great to converse with. We’ve learned that when traveling for as long as we are, it is nice to spend time with people you care about as you can actually have in-depth conversations vs. the usual “where are you from” we have almost daily with other travelers. If you do make it to Aljezur, you have to try the bar, Hello Sailor, which we went to three different times. Really good food, great drinks and good prices. Win-win-win in our book.
The only other thing of note is the cute little town of Aljezur. We had a little hotel(ish) room at the top of a small hill next to the church. The beauty of this is we could sleep with the patio doors wide open for the cool air at night and the church bells would wake us each morning at 7am. While this seemed annoying at first, we actually learned to love it as it got us up just in time for sunrise over the city from our balcony (pictures below). Felt like we were in a movie!