For a couple of years now I’ve been visiting Sintra in Portugal on a regular basis to bodyboard. I stay with the surf school Sintrasurf and surf the Lisbon/Sintra area with bodyboard coach Nicolas Rosner.
This year I decided to go with him and his on Bodyboard trips´ specialized branch Boogietrips for four days to Sagres in the region of the Algarve. This region in the south of Portugal offers a lot of versatile surf opportunities.
Because of Sagres location with it's surrounding beach breaks, it is possible to find at any swell direction and height a suitable surf spot according to your own capabilities.
After the first day at the Sintra surf house and a proper welcome surf at Praia Magoito I went with Nic, Michel and Claus to the South by car.
First things first: right after our arrival we checked after the famous spot Praia do Beliche. Because the waves were still too high and disordered and the sunset was just around the corner, we entered our apartment and made ourselves at home. The accommodation offered an own room for everyone including bathroom and shower.
For dinner, Nic directed us to a rather hidden fish restaurant. One can choose freshly caught fish directly out of a cool box and it will be grilled immediately next to the counter then served slightly salted with salad and potatoes. Just simple and delicious. For dessert we picked a selection of the home made cakes and were once more excited. We finished our dinner with (which became the trip’s running gag) the tasty regional schnapps. This is a liquor from the strawberry tree fruits, the so called Aguardente de Medrohno. Not hard to guess that every restaurant, pizza bar or kiosk told us that they have the best schnapps available around.
But we are here to surf. After a good and cheap breakfast in our hotel lobby, the Intermarché cafeteria right around the corner, and some spot checking, we picked Praia da Mareta for a start. The spot was relatively empty and offered good waves. After our first session we got back to the Intermarché for a quick and tasty vegetable soup for lunch and a little chill out. Then back to Mareta for a second session, where the incoming tide now ensured clean waves.
To finish the day, Nic drove us to a nearby village to a pizza place and after our meal we finally got, of course, the best schnapps around.
On the second day we first checked Beliche, but because of the low tide and the unclear swell we decided for another session at Mareta. Today the spot offered a relatively small but powerful wave. A good chance to train technique and tricks. But then, in the afternoon, after all Beliche it was. The three other guys jumped into the still powerful waves while I took a moment to rest my body at the beach. After the session we went on a short trip to the lighthouse at the Cabo de Sao Vicente and the Forteleza de Belixe.
„Today, everything goes, surfing or marinating at the beach or in the line-up“ -Nic
On the last day we concentrated completely on Beliche. A whole sunny beach day alternating between marinating at the beach and surfing and marinating at the line-up. In contrast to the other days Beliche offered really clean waves but was also a little bit crowded. But because of Nic’s knowledge it was possible to time our rides in less crowded moments. But even without surfing ourselves, from the beach we could watch finest surf action from both stand-up’s and bodyboarder.
In the evening we took the road back to Sintra. But this time we chose the route via the country road trough the amazing Alentejo region. In between we took a break in a small village, the so called „sweet potato land" to pick up some sweet potato cake at a kiosk. Nic knew the owner and after business we now got the, honestly, best of all schnapps for a good bye.
Back in Sintra we stayed for two more days and took advantage of the good swell at the Lisbon beaches Torre and Carcavelos.
With a lot of new impressions and after a really good and funny time with our small crew it was time to go directly from the wave to the airplane and back home.