This summer we’ve been busy popping-up on the South Coast of Portugal’s Algarve, hosting a series of surf and yoga weeks. And we’re pretty stoked to say we’re not done yet – we’ve still got a week in October to come, and another in November (spaces available on both – get in touch…)

Rachel, our yoga teacher and one of our lovely hosts for the trip, told us what it is about Portugal in the autumn that she loves so much…

Surfers look at the ocean from above in Portugal

Leaving Cornwall for the tropics every September has always been bittersweet for me – although I am always so excited about travel, at home we get the beaches back and the ocean is quiet again. But there is such a magic about Portugal at this time of year, and I have fallen so completely in love with this wild, beautiful part of the world.

The Soul & Surf Pop-Ups this autumn have been the perfect opportunity to share this vision of Portugal, and why we love it so much out of season – as well as in the height of summer.

Empty Portugal Beach with Blue Sky and White Sand

Why Autumn?

  • The crowds start to thin.  From September, the water is less busy, more peaceful and a little easier to navigate!
  • The weather is still good – sunny, decent temperatures and usually without much rain. Obviously the Atlantic Ocean is never as balmy as the tropics, but the water is at its warmest in September and October (around 20 degrees!) Even in November, it is still mild.
  • There are so many beautiful wild hiking and running trails near us at Soul & Surf.  As the summer heat dissipates, I love to go for a long run and find a quiet spot to meditate and practise yoga.
  • It’s a time of changing swells; after the smaller waves of the summer months and before the biggest and stormiest of winter.  Autumn provides consistent waves, making it perfect for intermediate surfers. (But don’t worry if you are just starting out, there are so many options for learners at all times of the year.)
  • Surf Portugal at this time of year to make the most of the south coast. These bigger swells wrap around Cape St Vincent, lighting up the south coast points and reefs that don’t often work in the summer.  These beautiful spots can offer smaller, mellower conditions, perfect for allowing me to get my longboard out and head to the nose!
  • The winds of the summer start to calm down, and the waves are glassy and clean.  Offshore sunset session anyone?
  • The Rip Curl Pro surf comp is on 16-27th October, further up the coast in Peniche.  This is held at Supertubos (my favourite wave!*) and is a brilliant event to go and watch.  Peniche is only a four hour drive from us and car hire is cheap, so we love popping up there when we can.
  • September is the beginning of wine harvests across the country, and many vineyards allow you to participate in the harvesting process.  Portuguese wine is delicious, and locally produced wines are still very cheap.

*when it is small. Big Supertubos is terrifying.

Surf Lesson in Portugal Captured from above by a drone

So leaving Cornwall for Southern Europe makes me feel less like I am missing out and more like I am taking something I really love and making it tastier and warmer. There is still so much more to see in between Faro and the wild west of Sagres and its national parks, and I can’t wait to explore it all.

Yoga in a Portugal garden in sunset light

Photography: Peter Chamberlain

Words: Rachel Lingham of Saltwater Yoga

Can’t make it on one of our remaining Portugal pop-ups this year? We got you covered. We’ve been having such a good time on all our mini-adventures, we decided it was about time we went permanent. Introducing: Soul & Surf Portugal, opening April 2019.

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