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Viana do Castelo is an Atlantic city situated in the north of Portugal, some 30 minutes from Porto and 40 minutes from Vigo (Galicia, Spain). With good motorway connections and a sea port, it is very easy and comfortable to get to this city where visitors can enjoy an exceptional standard of living and urban safety as well as its rich natural, monumental and historic heritage and not least its excellent cultural, sports and social amenities.

The estuary, the mountains and the sea don the city with spectacular panoramas that bewitch the senses, providing a psychological climate of relaxation and perfect for the healthy and leisurely use of free time. The city also boasts good, fast-growing hotel capacity not only for tourists but also catering for conferences, seminars and other tourist, business or study meetings; circumstance that is reinforced with the existence of modern and functional auditoriums for such encounters.

Overall the modern cultural spaces - theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums - provide conditions for cultural enrichment to residents and visitors, while the presence of the estuary and the sea offer special conditions to welcome sailing boats and for the practice of all kinds of nautical sports. The unrivalled wealth of Viana do Castelao’s ethnography which makes the city the capital of Portuguese folklore, originality and functionality of its handicrafts, particularly ceramics and embroidery, the frequent and high-class cultural animation, are other attributes that make Viana do Castelo an enormously attractive city for all possible tourists. Surf has been practised in Viana since 1987, on the beaches of Cabedelo, Rodanho, Afife, Vila Praiade Ancora and Moldeo.

The first surfers in the city were Adolfo Stuart, João Paulo Rodrigues, Rui Rego, Luís Filipe, Nuno Silva, João Zamith, Jim Gomes, Diogo Neves, João Santos, Guilherme Bastos, among others. The coast of Viana is one of the most consistent in Europe in terms of waves (independently of the swell) and its beaches are largely beach breaks, producing some spots of reef break especially when there are large waves. It was in the 1990's when Viana started to make surfing in Portugal more structured.


The Sea Centre is integrated as an anchor project in the Cluster of Knowledge and Economy of the Sea and it is viewed as a commitment, among the operations overall, to develop nautical recreation and nautical sports as relevant components for the strengthening of the position of Viana do Castelo as a nautical city on the Atlantic. The Sea Centre comprises an Environmental Interpretation and Documentation Centre of the Sea, three innovative Nautical Centres (Canoeing, Rowing and Sailing) and a High Performance Surf Centre.

SURF CLUB OF VIANA – 25 years surfing…

The Surf Club of Viana, founded in 1989, is a legal entity established under private law, national in scope and non-profit making, whose aim is to promote activities of a cultural, recreational, tourist and sports nature, particularly the promotion of surf, bodyboard, stand up paddle, skate and other “surfing” disciplines. Since 2014, the SCV has become a maritime tour operator recognised by the Tourist Department in Portugal. 

  • Headquarters: High Performance Centre for Surf of Viana do Castelo
  • Affiliations: Portuguese Federation of Surf and European Network of Outdoor Sports
  • Members: 500 | Federation members (FPS): 80 | Trainers: 10 | Judges: 8 | Technical Directors: 4

Historic summary

  • 1990 – 1st Official school of surf and Bodyboard in Portugal
  • 1990 and 1991 – European Surf Championship “Viana Pro”
  • 1992 and 1993 – World Surf Championship “Viana Standup Pro”
  • 1993 – 1st Trainers Course of the FPS (University Prof. Bryan London)
  • 1993 – 1st Judges Course of the FPS 
  • 1994 – Inaugural stage of the world Bodyboard Circuit
  • 1994 to 1996 – Headquarters of the Portuguese Surf Federation and the European Surf Federation
  • 1998 – European Bodyboard Championship
  • 1998 – 1st Portugal Galicia Championship
  • 2001 – 1st Training Action in Surf and Bodyboard for Physical Education Instructors
  • 2003 – Siemens mobile Surf Festival
  • 2004 – 1st Sports Training Centre for Surf in School Sports
  • 2005 – 1st Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in Portugal
  • 2005 – National Clubs Championship – Surf
  • 2006 – Introduction to the teaching of Surf in Higher Public Education
  • 2009 – World Bodyboard Championship “Viana Pro”
  • 2010 – European Championship of “Eurojunior” Teams (ESF)
  • 2012 – Portuguese Cup FPS and 1st Seminar on “Surf and High Performance”
  • 2013 – XIX Atlantic Nautical Games – Surf, Bodyboard and SUP
  • 2013 – 1st Stage of the European Tour of Surf (ESF)
  • 2014 – Founding member of the European Network of Outdoor Sports

Relevant sports persons and personalities in surf

  • Adolfo Stuart – President of the FPS (1992 and 1993)
  • Guilherme Bastos – President of the FPS (2003-2013)
  • Vinício Pereira – President of the FPS (1994 and 1995)
  • Eduardo Freitas – Creator of the brand OMNI (Surfwear)
  • Diogo Marques – International Bodyboard Judge
  • Nuno “Alan” Silva – European bodyboard runner-up 1991
  • João Zamith – European Junior runner-up (1992), European Champion per Team (1997), National Bodyboard Team Coach (2002), ex-sport person in the World Bodyboard Circuit GOB.
  • João Guedes – National Surf Champion 2009 and member of the National Surf Team (2013)
  • Eric Rebiére – Two-time European Surf Champion, ex-sports person in the World Circuit ASP and finalist in the Billabong XXL
  • Filipa Fernandes – National Championship of Promising Bodyboarder (2013)
  • Pedro Martins Lima – 1st Portuguese surfer

Facts and Figures

  • No. inhabitants: 91,000 inhabitants
  • Surface: 314 km2
  • Coastline: 24 km
  • Golden beaches: 2
  • Blue Flag Beaches 6
  • Atlantic beaches: 11
  • Fluvial beaches: 17


  • Making the Surf HPC of Viana do Castelo more dynamic.
  • Training new enthusiasts, performance sports persons and technicians.
  • Carrying out sporting, cultural and social events
  • Environmental education and preservation
  • Tourist promotion and international cooperation
  • Research and development (R+D+T)


The first HPC for surfers in Europe, open to the public, is located on Cabedelo beach in Viana do Castelo. The space has capacity for 30 persons, 3 training halls, 3 administration rooms, meeting room, gymnasium, dining room, kitchen, sauna, massage room and medical booth. It has telephone network, WIFI internet and cable TV.

The Surf HPC has on-going activities with students (1,500/year), with schools in the town and the Erasmus programme, foreign team training programmes, etc. It caters for nearly 2,000 surf tourists a year. Working in the HPC is a manager, technical coordinator, ten qualified trainers, a doctor, a physiotherapist and two trainees from the Higher School of Sport and Leisure. It also has a communications and marketing office.

The Surf HPC is the headquarters of one of the most emblematic clubs in Portugal, the Surf Club of Viana.

R+D+T Projects (SUP Caramuru 1.1, Cork Boards).

The Ocean and Fishing Training Centre (For-Mar), the Higher School of Sport and Leisure and the Higher School of Technology and Management of Viana do Castelo are partners involved in the "Surf" projects with regard to the design of new methodologies of training, follow-up and monitoring sports persons, developing surfboard prototypes and incorporating new materials (for example, cork) with a view to future commercialisation and subsequent business activation and creation of work posts. 


Portugal is a destination of excellence for surfers as it boasts the greatest number of surf spots, located a short distance from one another, guaranteeing the existence of quality waves.

Surf is gaining ever increasing notoriety in Portugal, being clearly acknowledged as the principal surf destination in Europe and one of the best in the world. The relevance of this sector for the international image of the country is indisputable; consequently the department of Tourism of Portugal maintains a strong commitment to promoting it, in particular via the official website of Destination Portugal

These marketing efforts, fully developed on-line, can be found on the platform, which brings together everything surfers need to know about surfing in Portugal as well as videos of well-known international surfers and a country map of the best spots for waves on the Portuguese coast. Portugal is a destination of excellence for surfers as it boasts the greatest number of surf spots, located a short distance from one another, guaranteeing quality waves throughout the year.

Portugal has the largest wave in the world, in Nazare; the largest in Europe, in Figueira da Foz; the stretch of coastline with more concentration of waves in Europe, in Ericeira; and consistent accessible waves for all levels in Viana do Castelo. It is estimated that the surf industry represents 400 million Euro for the Portuguese economy, according to data from the National Association of Surfers. Tourist animation companies linked to surf increased 13% since the beginning of 2014.

The Surf HPC in Viana do Castelo is the perfect destination for training surfers. The Surf HPC is an emblematic and innovating building suspended above the ground by structural pillars, which makes it possible to maintain the topography and minimise the impact on the system of dunes. Located in an environmentally classified area, ecological materials, such as cork (internationally benchmarked material), were used in its design. Designed with respect for the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency, integrating a geothermal system, solar panels and LED illumination (low consumption).

Facts and Figures

  • Surf HPC 1
  • Surf Schools: 8
  • Surf shops: 4
  • Surf House: 2
  • Surf tourists: 5,000/year
  • Turnover: €1,750,000 / year
  • Tourist companies: 22
  • Rural tourism: 16
  • Camp sites: 2 
  • Local accommodation: 12
  • Youth hostels: 2
  • Restoration establishments: 87
  • Tourist animation companies: 15
  • Travel agencies: 9
  • Tourist information stands: 2
  • Monte de Santa Luzia: 1 million visitors a year
  • Navío Hospital Gil Eannes: 40,000 visitors a year

Viana Nautical Land

Viana do Castelo

Alto Miño to visit


The North region of Portugal is an open economy with a long tradition of international trade. Located in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, its 144 kilometres of Atlantic coast are a determining factor for this economic tradition.

The link with the sea is a significant element in its cultural and historic heritage. The North Region has 3.7 million inhabitants and a population density which is 1.5 times higher than the average of Continental Portugal and the European Union. The North Region, a young, entrepreneurial and industrial region, where you can find outstanding artists and creators, also boasts the title of UNESCO World Heritage for upgrading urban, historic and natural areas with a strong potential in terms of international development and tourist attraction.

Notable enterprises and research centres in the region:


The Surf HPC in Viana has a medical-sports team comprising: Specialist Doctor in Sports Medicine, Physiotherapist, Physical Education Instructors, Sports Science Researchers.

Surf Escolar Project – integrated in the programme “Náutica en las Escuelas” which offers surfing classes to over 1,500 students/year.

Viana Surf Holidays – holiday packages for young people which include accommodation, food and various outdoor sports activities.

Higher School of Sport and Leisure – surf and bodyboarding for students in the higher course of Sport and Leisure in the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo.

Special programmes for socially disabled persons or at risk of exclusion.

Education and environmental awareness programmes.




  • Seminar “Surf and High Performance”;
  • 1st Chat "Surf in the school environment"
  • Beginners classes for all ages (surf and bodyboard)
  • Advanced Surf and Surf Competition Training
  • Performance Training
  • Training of Teams 


Official Representative WSCN/Santos


Town Hall of Viana do Castelo

  • Contact: Vítor Lemos (Vice president CMVC)
  • E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Telephone: +351 258 809 300



  • Contact: João Zamith (President of SCV)
  • E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Telephone: +351 962 672 222