22nd December 2016
Tarifa is known to be the mecca for surfing in Europe. But is that the case? We give you 8 reasons why Portugal is better for Kitesurfing than Tarifa!
Backdrop near the spots
Who knows Tarifa has very quickly become accustomed to the monotonous landscape. Like liquid silver, the sea glimmers in the sunlight. The talk is about the Costa de Prata which lies between Porto and Lisbon. These beautiful reflections of light gave their name to the Mediterranean coast of the Atlantic coast. This "silver coast" is lined with fine sand beaches with rough cliffs and wide dunes. The west coast of Portugal is characterized by its inspiring cities, rough coasts, wide beaches and roaring waves. In the south of Portugal is Algarve, whose beaches, with steep and rough cliffs and sparkling water, offer a backdrop that could not be more beautiful. Ideal conditions for an unforgettable kite session.
Varied Spots in Portugal and Tarifa
The conditions in Tarifa are often the same. The long sandy beach is bordered by large party of kelp water. If you get a lucky day you can also find waves that reach 1.5m – 3m. In contrast, the most diverse spots are found in Portugal along its coast. From shallow water to spots with small to medium waves up to Big Waves, which will find their coronation in Nazare. This was also the record for the highest ever surfed wave, an impressive 30 meters! There is entertainment provided for every skill level.
Wind - Most important factor for kitesurfers
Tarifa is connected with two winds for water sports friends: Poniente and Levante. Because of the strait, Levante is additionally accelerated, which is unfortunately also very rough and partly too strong for kiting. However, Portugal is in no way inferior to it. Here is the Nortada, which sweeps from the north across the coasts. The Nortada is a Passat extension, which is strongest and most stable from May to September with over 4Bft. The advantage for morning crouches is that the Nortada goes gangbusters from midday. With very strong Levante you can feel its impact at the Algarve and is even strong enough for windsurfing and kiting.
Although there are almost perfect conditions for Kiter on the coasts of Portugal, the mass tourism is absent, especially on the west coast of Portugal. This has a very simple reason: the Atlantic is here a few degrees colder than on the south coast of Portugal or in Tarifa. While the spots there are often overcrowded, especially in the main season, the west coast of Portugal, due to fewer visitor numbers, offers plenty of space for all. Not only for beginners and kiters, who are still partly unsure, an uncrowded spot is clearly an advantage.
Kitesurf schools Portugal
You can find kitesurf schools in Portugal along the coast. These starts on the west coast in Viana do Castelo and end on the south coast in Faro. As in any area, individual training leads faster to progress than mass training. Due to the lack of mass tourism and the reduced number of participants in the kitesurf schools of Portugal, fast progress in learning is largely guaranteed. While a kite instructor in Tarifa is responsible for six or sometimes even more students, students at kite schools in Portugal can be individually trained and guided.
Through globalization and international competition, the Portuguese economy has been under great pressure. One of the consequences of this is the high unemployment rate among young people and young adults. Since they find no work the try to help themselves by opening bars or hostels. The competition is rising and lowering prices. This makes it very convenient to stay in Portugal, especially near the spots, which are located outside the large cities. Prices for services such as restaurants are also very low in Portugal.
Airports near the spots
The nearest airport to Tarifa is in Malaga. Once landed there you have a good two-hour trip to Tarifa by car. If you want to avoid road tolls to Tarifa the trip can already need an hour longer. The airports in Portugal are well-distributed in terms of spots and schools. Cheap flights fly to the airports of Porto, Lisbon and Faro. Every spot and every kite school in Portugal can be reached in no more than an hour by car from the airports.
For adventure-seeker, who do not want to rent a normal car or have a normal accommodation, Portugal also has alternatives. Suppliers like hanggtime (link) offer you the possibility to rent a fully equipped VW minibus at numerous locations with which you can experience Portugal again with a completely different feeling. To park your own four “walls" on the steep coast of Portugal and to enjoy the backdrop makes your heart leap higher.
Our conclusion – Portugal VS Tarifa:
If you want to go on varied spots with fantastic scenery you should definitely fly to Portugal instead of Tarifa for your next kite surfing trip.