Tuesday, May 21, 2024
TravelEuropePortugal's Premier Wave Riding Destination: Viana do Castelo Kitesurfing Guide

Portugal’s Premier Wave Riding Destination: Viana do Castelo Kitesurfing Guide

Quick Facts
Getting There: Porto Airport (OPO) – 49 min drive
Cost Factor: Low to Med
Best Wind: April – September
Conditions: Excellent Freeride / Accessible Wave Riding
Sports: Ideal for Kitesurfing and Wingfoiling
Local Hotel: FeelViana

Viana do Castelo in Portugal remains a hidden gem among kitesurfing destinations, often overlooked by watersports aficionados. Known for its affordability, Portugal offers a unique European travel experience and some of Europes best wave riding. It was Matt Pearce from the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) who spotlighted Cabadelo Beach in Viana do Castelo during the 2018 GKA tour, revealing its potential as a top kitesurfing locale.

Cabadelo beach / Photo: Diogo Cardoso / Photo: Diogo Cardoso
Righteous rights! / Photo: Juvenal Vieira (Feel Viana)

This is the first time the tour has visited Portugal, and it’s got a lot of potential to become a firm favourite of the tour. If you’re thinking about checking out Viana do Castelo yourself, then here’s an overview of what you need to know.


Wind: Generally speaking, this area gets some of those most consistent wind on the entire Portuguese coastline. The most reliable months for wind are from May to September, when the thermic El Nortada winds blow in cross / cross-off from the right. That makes it an ideal spot for wave riding when the Atlantic swells roll in.

Protected, clean and glassy. Dreamy / Photo: Juvenal Vieira (Feel Viana)

Waves: The waves don’t get huge here, but they’re usually clean and peeling and the wind direction helps them to hold up nicely for some lengthy down-the-line rides.

Wetsuit: Viana is on Europe’s Atlantic coast of course, so a wetsuit is required but a light one will do the trick in summer and a 4/3 will be enough for the rest of the year.


The crew takes in some culture / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Viana do Castelo is a lot smaller than nearby Porto (where the closest airport is) but that’s part of the appeal. The GKA riders went exploring this week and discovered a traditional, charming town with an authentic old town, enchanting hidden little streets and epic views across the river and over the kite spot from the Santa Luzia church that sits high above town.

The local food and wine is also pretty epic, and you can find everything from traditional dishes to unreal sushi in Viana itself.

Culturally and architecturally it’s totally unlike anywhere else the GKA KSWT has visited up to now, so the riders and crew were stoked to spend some time checking it out!


Wind is a fickle beast but that’s when finding other activities to do becomes key. Luckily that’s pretty easily done in Viana. Viana do Castelo also has its impressive mountain backdrop of the national parks to explore which are just a short drive away. Watch the video below to get an idea of what Viana’s all about and to find out what the competitors have made of it so far.

Best Kitesurfing Accommodations
Local Hotel: FeelViana

A stunning beachfront property boasting a full-service spa, caught the attention of Kitesurfing Magazine during their stay for the 2023 North Actionsports dealer meeting. The magazine team was notably impressed by the excellent kitesurfing conditions, prime location, delightful cuisine, and the warm, hospitable staff.

Check Availability and pricing: Hotel FeelVianna

Kite Schools:
FeelViana Kite School
Duotone Pro Centre

For an idea of what it’s like when the conditions are on in Viana, watch this Charlie Wise and James Carew’s video filmed just before the KSWT Portugal.

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