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It was another epic journey to the Iberian peninsula, which gave me beautiful landscapes, pleasant and interesting meeting, and top level windsurfing sessions. And that made me even more an Ocean addicted.....


Windsurfing, travels: Galicia-Portugal, summer 2023


By now, it's becoming an addiction that I can't do without... I'm in love with the atmospheres and landscapes of northern Spain. And this year, I also discovered magical places in Portugal. The attraction is so strong that the idea of returning to Oman has been swept away.

I drove another 5400 km by car. Many will think I am crazy. But for me, the journey, mental even before physical, begins as soon as I leave the west ring road of Milan, even if the construction sites in Ligurian highway, this time too, made me suffer (and in fact, from now on I will always spend both on the outward and return journeys from the Susa valley and its passes).

I left on the evening of 26 June, and the following evening, having covered the first 1000 km, I stopped off shortly after Toulouse. The next day, I entered Spain, immediately with a stop for lunch in the beautiful Playa La Franca, in Asturias. Before dinner, on the 28th, I arrived at the Camping Lago-Mar, near Muxia, in Galicia. And it was the first pleasant discovery of this new trip. The campsite is small, but clean and nice, well managed by friendly young people. And it overlooks the sheltered Playa do Lago, with a lovely landscape all around (click here, to enjoy the whole slidegallery of the travel).


Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 002 Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 001

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 011


Here, I met a nice Argentinian family, who fled their country which, they told me, now has serious economic problems. They moved to Valencia, where they have relatives, and when I met them, they were on a motorhome holiday.

I stopped here because I couldn't help but going to Playa Nemina, one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen around the world. And which offers incredibly clean waves, mostly exploited by surfers, but which, with a slightly strong North/North-East wind, can also be windsurfed. And, in fact, here, on June 29th, I spent a beautiful day, and I had a short session with the Da Curve 88 and the Goya Banzai X Pro 5.3, which I rigged here for the first time. The wind enters over the spot side off, almost off, very gusty, but with astuteness and a little technique I managed to catch some of these beautiful waves, in an emerald sea like that of Sardinia.


Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 001



Here I also met Michele, a nice guy from Livorno who moved to La Coruna for years, and who lurks in the spots with his van, spending his days a bit surfing, a bit smart working.... If you stop here, say hello for me and enjoy his nice Tuscan-Spanish speech. Michele also explained to me that at mid-tide or at high tide, the waves of the Nemina push harder.... During the day, I also went to scout the Cabo Vilan spot (Playa da Balea, to be precise ), which did not present worthy conditions that day (even if the wind was stronger and more side, than in Nemina), and playa Rostro, a magical place, where I enjoyed the late afternoon.

Here, when camping in Galicia, I also caught the only rain of the holiday. The Ferrino Svalbard 3 tent has held up very well (with that name, it cannot be intimidated). When it stopped raining, I went out to prepare breakfast, which I enjoyed chatting with the Argentines, putting on my Norwegian jacket, and Moulay's wool hat, enduring a little drizzle that returned again. It didn't last long, and then the magnificent sunny day I mentioned above came out. And anyway, these are the episodes that make the holiday pleasantly more adventurous.


In the following days, an excellent swell would have arrived in Galicia, but not accompanied by a sustained wind.

High pressure in front of Portugal means that Nortada is assured, and so I descended towards the south. 

And I have to thank my friend Max for letting me discover a really beautiful spot: Praia de Areia Branca, in Lourinha, just below Peniche (where I also went around to examine the conditions of Baleal and Supertubos). The spot has perfect logistics: paved parking close to the seafront, which is very well-kept and characterized by the presence of pleasant bars and restaurants; lawn for rigging sails; public toilets and showers .... The sandy beach is beautiful and wide, and has two cliffs, one to the north and one to the south, and a seabed, in front, of hard sand/flat rock plateau which makes raise some really interesting waves.

Here, I had the two best sessions of the whole holiday: June 30 with Ezzy Elite 4.2 and Da Curve 80; July 1st with Da Curve 88 and Ezzy Wave 4.7, but by mid-afternoon I should have switched to smaller equipment again


Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 003

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 004


As mentioned, the waves are beautiful here, they rise in many points, but above all in front of the Foz restaurant, and halfway down the beach, and they also allow two bottoms before closing. On the occasion of my sessions, there was a big swell, with surfable waves of around 2-3 meters, and logo high offshore. Going out to sea was not easy, due to the very strong current that carried downwind, and which made the apparent wind on the sail less powerful, and due to a demanding shorebreak (worse than Haakgat ....), even of 3 meters, especially at high tide.

The tide has a major effect on spot conditions. If there is no swell, it is better to go out with the high to get a little more waves. If there is a serious swell, it is best to go out at mid or low tide, to have more humane conditions.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a fight with the GoPro Camera, but a nice video of a surfing came out, that you can see at the end of the article. I also took some photos and some videos (see slidegallery of the trip) of two Spanish guys (met the days later at the Guincho), who proved to be quite skilled.

Then, for the following days (July 2, 3 and 4) I decided to move to Guincho, which theoretically offered the best conditions. Also because the Orbitur campsite of Foz do Arelho was somewhat disappointing....

But, perhaps, I did wrong, and I should have stayed in Lourinha, or tried Ericeira first.

Guincho is a complicated spot, which can give you beautiful rides, but it can also make you waste a lot of time.

The beach is not to be discussed. It is heartwarmingly beautiful..... Theoretically, the conditions on July 2nd should have been beautiful. I arrived at 11 at the parking lot of the spot. The wind entered well in the southern part of the beach, while it was weak and onshore (returning from offshore), in the northern part of the beach, where windsurfers usually go out. The tide was expected to rise, peaking around 2.30pm. And with it the shorebreak grew dramatically, reaching even 2 metres, making the spot unviable (even some Kiters, downwind, where they start, were thrown back onto the beach).

I waited until about 16.00, when, after also speaking with some Spanish guys, I decided to go for a ride to the beautiful Cabo da Roca, both because I'm not able to stay on the spot waiting to do nothing, and because the Portuguese sun risked dazing me. I went back to the spot around 17.30, still noting unfavorable wind conditions. Indeed, as read in some reviews, I noticed that the intense heat of the day determined, on the shore, a rotation of the wind from the East, which kept the Nortada (moreover, strong) further offshore. And I also noticed that Cabo da Roca didn't have the classic hat of clouds that bypassed it. I decided to go for a swim in the swimming pool of the Orbitur del Guincho campsite, where I had pitched my tent, and which proved to be a pleasant and good establishment (although not as impressive as the campsites in Galicia).

And then, the next day, I learned from an English boy I met on the spot, that the wind came in from 4.2 at 19.00, and that the Guincho gave a good ride with good and reasonable waves, until the last light of the day .....


Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 001

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 003

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 003


July 3 started in the same way, so, in the early afternoon, I preferred to go and explore the Ericeira spots, which turned out to be another great discovery. The town is well cared for and nice (even the campsite, seen from the outside, looked very nice), and has amazing beaches: Foz do Lisandro, and Ribeira d'Ilhas seen from their respective Miradouros are fascinating. These are beaches, especially the second one, mainly frequented by surfers, with excellent service structures behind them (schools, rentals, toilets, bars, car parks). Foz do Lisandro is also a windsurfing spot, which, at the time of my inspection, did not present difficult conditions, if not a high tide shorebreak to be managed with that minimal experience, always required by oceanic spots, but which did not present really surfable waves . Instead, Ribeira showed all its fame as a world-class surf spot, with wonderful waves that rose on the windward reefs, and which was invested quite well by the Nortada. But I must say that the stories of localism and aggressiveness by surfers against windsurfers have discouraged me a bit from trying to go out here. Maybe, I'll give it a try next time, even if I have to say that, beyond everything, trying windsurfing, when there are dozens and dozens of surfers everywhere in the water, seems to me not very feasible.

Unfortunately, I did not immediately understand where the 3rd spot for windsurfing in Ericeira, Matadouro, was, which is not actually in correspondence with the Praia do Matadouro, but in correspondence with the reef called Pedra Branca. I found out the next day, July 4th. It is not an easy spot, because it is surrounded by rocks, low rocky bottoms. You only go out at high tide, and they say it has very nice waves. When I went there on the 4th, with the swell almost over, it had waves that became steep only too close to the rocky reefs, or to the beach, and therefore could not be ridden in windsurfing with an adequate margin of safety. I can't say what conditions the spot offered on July 3, because I went to see Praia do Matadouro, which had good conditions only for expert surfers.

Thus, towards the middle of the afternoon of the 3rd, I returned to Guincho (50 minutes by car from Ericeira), where in the meantime the wind had also entered the shore.... a blast! With the ebb tide, the shorebreak had become easy, and also the waves, offshore, contained within two metres.

Tried to rig my battle gear: Ezzy Elite 3.7 and Tabou Da Curve 80 with K4 fins. I went out to sea twice, but it was impossible for me to do anything decent. The wind, above 40 knots, tore my sail while maneuvering, and made it difficult to bear away to set the bottoms. Some heavy riders went out with the 3.3 ..... It was a survival ride, which I ended after an hour, when I preferred to start taking some pictures and videos to give an idea of the conditions ( see slidegallery and video accompanying the article). Even Stew (short for Stewart), the English boy from Sussex, known on the spot, confirmed my impressions.


Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 007

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 012

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 008

Windsurf Galizia Portogallo 012

The next day, I took it relatively easy. While camping, I met John, a New Zealander, my same age, who told me about his windsurfing sessions in Wellington. A good empathy was immediately created between windsurfers. New Zealand is one of my dreams (not so much for windsurfing, but for the beauty of the country), and John's words evoked beautiful images in me. Unfortunately, I fear that it will remain only a beautiful dream..... Who knows...

After passing by Ericeira again, to learn more about the spots, I decided to play my cards again at Praia de Areia Branca, in Lourinha, which, when I arrived, had apparently beautiful conditions (easy waves of about 1.5 meters).

Unfortunately, the light and unstable wind did not allow me to fully enjoy the session, not even when I tried to go out with the powerful Banzai 5.3 (and the Da Curve 88, of course). I was too slow to be able to  catch the waves without letting them go under my board. So I decided to end the last day calmly.


I had a nice shower in the public toilets, spotlessly clean, and I got ready for the octopus-based dinner, which I had at the "100 Pratus White Sand Club", after the many camping dinners (where, however, I didn't miss som pasta with sardines, and other Italian recipes).

After dinner, I enjoyed the last sunset over the ocean, walking by the sea.

The return journey began the next day (about 2100 km) and went smoothly, except for a bit of confusion in southern France (if there hadn't been traffic on the state road to Briancon, I would have done Montgenevre instead of Frejus) .

Once again, the journey deposited very pleasant images and memories in me, before the tasks of daily life caught me up again. But that's okay, I'm not going to complain.

See you in the next adventure. Fabio


Click here, to enjoy the whole slidegallery of the travel


The video of the holyday



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