Porto surfing in April – Notes from the locals

As travelers ourselves we love to know more about the places we visit. How the waves usually are, their consistence, the weather. But also about the people, culture and local habits. This is the first of a regular real life series of articles about waves, surfing and daily life. We choose with Porto surfing in April because that was when we re-open our doors after the low season and because the writing is still fresh. It won’t be a surf guide, but some kind of surfing notes based on a true story. Just like in the movies…



Porto surfing in April, is it any good? There’s an old traditional Portuguese saying that goes like “Abril águas mil”. It refers to the fact that April is known for being a rainy month, with average temperatures, typical around Spring time. Not sure if it’s because of the climate changes, El Niño or whatsoever. But the fact is that April was very friendly in terms of weather conditions: nice warm temperatures that, at least for 2 weeks, made us believe that Summer was here – 24-30º C sunny beach days.

The water starts to get warmer in early April allowing the 4/3 mm wetsuits to go out from the closets.

Early April days had some light breeze, average waves and surfing was going on pretty much everywhere. Some nice sessions happened in Maceda beach (Esmoriz area)- small lefthanders with some nice power. There were some surfing lessons given here, but also in the main spots Esmoriz and Espinho.

Bigger conditions came and Espinho was presented at its best: pumping right-handers with a hollow first section followed by other fun sections that made surfers very happy. Waves sizes went from 1 to 2 meters plus, and conditions were that good for a total of 1,5 weeks in April, with some smaller days in between.


On Easter weekend some really warm days came up and the beach was the best place to be in between surf sessions like it usually is. On these days the surfing was happening everywhere around Porto. Especially the Espinho and Esmoriz area and there were more people in the water than usual. Not like it was packed, but we just weren’t surfing by ourselves. At least not every day… Summer shorts and bikinis were in the sun and people started to work on their tans.

We know that every year we get 3 or 4 days without waves, especially in summer. But not usually in Spring. So it was really weird when the ocean became flat for about a week, and small and windy on the days after. And this is proof that mother nature in general, and seasons surfing forecasts specifically,  will never be an exact science! But it’s also a reminder that in real life surfing does not happen every day. At least in top quality waves, and when the good waves come you just have to make the most out of it and don’t save it for the following days, as they might not come back any time soon. In those days, working out is always a good alternative that pays off later. We went for our functional training for surfers and our friends discovered, some days later, that it actually works!

There were some really nice after-surfing sessions in Esmoriz, Espinho, but also in Porto. From the relaxing seafood snacks in the late afternoon, to the fresh fish in Espinho and the pernil sandwich at the Casa Guedes in Porto We had some really nice moments with our friends/guests. We put Porto’s nightlife to the test and the result was pure fun and laughter in some of the coolest bars in the city. Especially because we knew that the next day surfing would happen in the afternoon only! This was our “Porto surfing in April” experience in 2017