Seeking more manageable waves, we headed south to the beaches around Sagres. A popular town for surfers; both local and foreign. It's variety of beaches and coves, facing differing directions, provides surfable waves in most conditions.
On one particular day we checked Praia do Tonel but didn't see anything to take our fancy. We drove along to Praia do Beliche and were greeted by a quiet, picturesque scene.
There was a handful of people surfing head high peaks that were shifting around the bay. It looked inviting. But soon after the hoards arrived.
Quickly it became insanely crowded and to top it off a handful of locals were paddling up and down the beach claiming every wave that came through regardless of their position. At one point a bodyborder tried to convince me I had broken his 'other' board and I was to pay him there and then. The vibe rapidly soured and a swift exit was needed.
We escaped out of there to Cabo de Sao Vicente which, as a panoramic point had nothing on Cabo da Roca further north. We never returned to eggy Sagres except to check the beaches further out.
When the wind is blowing from the north and swell is well overhead on the west coast, Praia do Zavial may well be pumping. We came down for a quick surf and the size and power of the waves was unexpected.
Perhaps the swell direction wasn't quite perfect as there were a lot of close outs into shallow water. But a couple of big drops and a few fast runners were greatly enjoyed.
After our surf we popped round the corner to Praia da Ingrina. This was a lovely beach for lunch in the sun. As low tide approached, sucky barrelling waves breaking off the rocks appeared, it was too tempting. A surf in only board shorts was a great way to enjoy this little nugget. Although choosing the wrong wave or not being exactly in the right takeoff spot could have resulted in a scar to remember it by. The water was barely a foot deep over razor sharp rocks. Sadly no pics.
We stayed in next door Camping Ingrina, a worn but friendly campsite walking distant from Praia da Ingrina.