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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