Surfing in the Azores Islands: Sao Miguel Island

Surfboards and uniforms on the beach of Atlantic ocean at the surf schoolThe Azores Islands, which are located in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean about 850 miles west of Portugal (Europe’s most western region) is the autonomous region known as the Azores. The Azores are one of Europe’s low-key surfing spots ever since surfing became popular here in the early 1950’s. It was here on the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira that surfing was introduced by the American serviceman in the mid-1950’s while stationed in the region.Surfer Lifestyle During Summer Travel Vacation. Close Up PortraiWhen compared to the Indian and Pacific oceans, the Atlantic contains very few islands which is one of the reasons why the Azores is becoming increasingly popular with wave enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge; an underwater volcanic mountain chain, that runs the entire length of the Atlantic Ocean, but only breaks the surface in a few places, which makes these islands a unique natural beauty both on land and at sea.Surfing in the Azores IslandsWith 9 unique islands to explore, it is the island of Sao Miguel; the largest and most populated island in the chain that has the best surfing with beaches facing in all directions. Here, you are sure to catch a swell on this island almost any time of the year. It is the only island in the chain with north-facing beach-breaks which are in the city of Ribeira Grande and it is in this area that has the greatest variety of surf spots as well. The surf generally ranges in size from 3-5 feet during summer, reaching up to 15 feet in the winter months.bigstock--183214999Under the influence of the Gulf stream which passes through the island chain. The climate in the Azores is temperate, with a high rainfall in the winter months and a narrow temperature range: an annual temperature of 14ºC, with an average summer temperature of 24ºC, while the sea temperature is on average 22ºC in July and August.2d202-jackfreestone6The island of Sao Miguel is filled with both beaches and steep cliffs that drop into the sea, so always be mindful when surfing in the Azores and feel free to ask the local’s at the beach or use the live webcams that offer views of the different beaches on the islands to see which beach is best for surfing on that day. The beaches of Anjos, Areias, Baixa da Viola, Ponta dos Mosteiros, Populo, Praia Formosa, Rabo de Peixe, Ribeira Grande, and Santa Iria, are among the most surfed spots on the island of Sao Miguel.santababySurfing, bodyboarding and stand up paddling are also all offered on the island of Sao Miguel and can be arranged for groups or individuals looking for a more personalized experience. The increasing awareness of the coastal conditions and picturesque beaches on the island of Sao Miguel has brought more international attention in the surfing community with Billabong hosting their annual surf competition on Santa Barbara beach in Ribeira Grande every September to early October when the surfing waves and water temperature is ideal. This is a fun event to come and watch the surfers from around the world compete in the Azorean waters while enjoying the restaurant and snack bar on site to keep you refreshed. The Azores Airlines formerly Sata Airlines is the major sponsor of the event and accommodates the surfer’s equipment and provide an excellent service to the island by funding an event that brings so much international awareness throughout Europe and the surfing community of how unique and amazing the Azores beaches are. 

Morning waves at Praia dos Mohinos  a popular surf spot on Sao Miguel




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