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ARE E Portugal Living Guide E Sports in Portugal

Sports in Portugal

Sports in Portugal

Sports in Portugal

If you find yourself in Portugal, you’ll discover it’s a prime destination for a wide array of sports activities. The country’s excellent weather conditions cater to a wide range of sports, from team games to individual pursuits, and encompassing activities on land, at sea, and in the air. Whether you’re an active participant or prefer to watch as a spectator, Portugal’s diverse sports environment has something for everyone. From traditional sports like football to thrilling experiences like skydiving, and from water sports like surfing to motor sports, Portugal offers an extensive variety of sports to enjoy.

Football | Golf | Surf | Rock Climbing | Skydiving | Sailing | Cycling | Hiking | Tennis and padel | Kayaking | Horse riding | Scuba diving | and more…


Football is the most popular sport in Portugal, however the country’s climate and terrain cater to sports enthusiasts throughout the year, inviting not only athletes but also equine lovers. With its mild winters, international sports teams often migrate here for off-season training, while in summer and spring, sports aficionados of every stripe come to revel in the optimal conditions. Golfers enjoy pristine courses year-round, sailors navigate the inviting seas, and motorsports events attract fans of speed and precision. Surfers, too, find their paradise, with Portugal hosting grand waves and premier surf competitions.

Visiting a football stadium for a match

To someone looking to catch some exciting football action and feel the passion of the fans, you should definitely consider attending a match at one of Portugal’s stadiums. The three major teams that really draw the crowds are Benfica, Sporting, and Porto. Along with these, there are several other teams competing in the Portuguese first league that offer a great match-day experience.

Major sports practiced in Portugal

If you’re into sports, Portugal should be on your radar because the weather is just perfect for being outside all year. It’s sunny most days, and even when it’s cold elsewhere, here you can still enjoy your favorite activities without bundling up too much. Plus, it’s a safe place where you can relax and have fun without worrying too much about your surroundings. It’s an ideal spot for anyone who loves to be active outdoors. Now, let’s delve into the sporting life that Portugal has to offer

Golf — Portugal has around 90 golf courses across the country, with the Algarve alone boasting about 37. Golf really helps portugal’s economy, drawing folks all year to our hotels and restaurants, and it’s a big player in the real estate game too.

Surf – Portugal has an extensive 850-kilometer coastline, which caters to all levels of surfing levels. In the north, Cabedelo’s welcoming waves are a great starting point. As you travel south, Nazaré emerges as a global hotspot for extreme surfers in pursuit of towering waves. Peniche is famed for its ‘Supertubos‘—a magnet for major surfing competitions—while Ericeira, recognized as a World Surfing Reserve, offers iconic spots like Coxos and Ribeira d’Ilhas. The tranquil expanses of Costa Vicentina provide a more relaxed surfing atmosphere with its vast sandy beaches, like Arrifana in Alzejur, Amado in Carrapateira, or Beliche and Tonel in the town of Sagres.

Rock ClimbingOutdoor Rock Climbing in Portugal is practiced across the country from north to south. Major climbing areas include Serra da Estrela, Sintra, Arrábida Natural Park, Sagres, and Rocha da Pena in the Algarve. In addition to outdoor climbing, indoor climbing is also popular, with many facilities around Lisbon, one in the Algarve in Estombar near Portimão, and several in the north around Porto.
(This list in Decathlon website is normally updated with major indoor climbing rockdromes https://conselhos-desportivos.decathlon.pt/onde-fazer-escalada-indoor-em-portugal)

Skydiving – Skydiving in Portugal is widely enjoyed, with 5 main dropzones where anyone can experience a tandem skydive with an experienced instructor. The key dropzones for the sport are located in Évora in Alentejo (https://skydiveportugal.pt/), Alvor near Portimão in the Algarve (https://www.skydivealgarve.com/), Proença-a-Nova in central Portugal (https://www.skyfuncenter.com/), Leiria in central Portugal (https://skydiveeurope.com/), and Porto in the north of Portugal.

For sailing, teams from around the globe head to the Algarve and Cascais to train — our marinas there are top-notch.

Cycling – Portugal’s got a ton of routes with breathtaking views, fit for all skill levels. Plus, our “Volta a Portugal” race? It’s a big deal in the cycling world, with riders coming from everywhere to take on our roads.

Hikers and trekkers love the trails we have too, whether it’s along our west coast, in the Alentejo plains, up in Serra da Estrela, or in the northern countryside.

Football, or soccer as some call it, is everywhere. Every town has a club — it’s in our blood.

Tennis and padel are pretty popular in the bigger cities and tourist spots like Vilamoura, Cascais, Lisbon, and Porto. Lots of places to play.

Kayaking and canoeing are more of a northern thing here, near the rivers.

Horse riding is a big deal, especially with folks coming in from abroad to spend their winters. You’ll find it all over, but the Algarve, Alentejo, Cascais, and Sintra are the hotspots.

Scuba divers tend to flock to the stretch between Lisbon and the Algarve and also hit the islands — the Azores and Madeira are like magnets for divers.

And for the wind and kitesurfers? Guincho is the place to be. But they also head to Cabedelo in Figueira da Foz and Costa da Caparica when the afternoon winds kick in — it’s perfect until the sun sets.

Portugal Sports Ambassadors

Recognized Portuguese sports figures. In football, we have legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s known worldwide, and Eusébio da Silva Ferreira and Luís Figo, who’ve both made significant marks in the history of the sport. Then there’s José Mourinho, one of the most tactical and successful football managers out there.

When it comes to athletics, Rosa Mota and Carlos Lopes have left a legacy with their impressive long-distance running achievements. In cycling, Joaquim Agostinho stood out, and Tiago Pires, Frederico Morais, Teresa Bonvalot, and Vasco Ribeiro have been making waves in surfing.

In golf, Ricardo Santos and Ricardo Gouveia have represented Portugal on the European tour, and João Sousa has been doing the same in tennis on the ATP tour. In judo, Telma Monteiro has been a consistent presence in European championships and snagged a bronze at the 2016 Olympics.

We also have João Rodrigues, who’s been a force in windsurfing, participating in several Olympic Games. Ricardinho has become a futsal icon, often cited as one of the best players globally. In basketball, Ticha Penicheiro made a name for herself in the WNBA.

For equestrian show jumping, you’ve got to mention Luciana Diniz, who has competed at the Olympics, and Filipa Martins in gymnastics, who has appeared in European and World Championships and the Olympics as well.

Then there’s Tiago Monteiro, who has had a career racing in Formula One, and Fernando Pimenta, a canoeist who’s won multiple medals at the World and European Championships in canoe sprint. In judo, Portugal is represented by Jorge Fonseca, who has secured the title of World Champion. Additionally, in the world of motorcycle racing, we have Miguel Oliveira, the first Portuguese rider to win a race in the MotoGP class, which has significantly raised Portugal’s profile in motorsports internationally.

ARE E Portugal Living Guide E Sports in Portugal