Guincho Beach (Praia do Guincho) is Portugal’s kite surfing mecca – it’s where the Kite Surf Pro (KSP) World Championship Tour regularly kicks off. It’s popular with everyone – surfers, kite boarders, body boarders, wind surfers and beach bums. This sandy beach break is best for experts, and can get crowded. Local shops offer kite, surf, body board and stand up rentals and classes, and there are several spots for lunch and dinner in a range of prices.
June to September are the best months for kiteboarding, when the wind blows from 15 to 25 knots, and up to 40 – but good wind comes in from May to October. Best directions are N, NW and W; N and NW are the dominant directions. The saying goes that if there’s sun, you’ll have wind in Guincho – even when there’s nothing in the rest of Portugal. This is due to a cocktail of local thermal effects caused by the mountains in the north, the big sandy beach and a cold water current at the shore.
The NW swell comes in to Guincho with 1 to 2-meter waves over a flat sandy bottom – great for surfing with N wind, a bit choppy with NW winds. Mid-tide is best, and high tide requires a bit more commitment. A good 3/2 wet suit is usually enough, with booties if you get cold; a 4/3 wet suit will get you through any weather.
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