Senior Editor
Staff

The Inertia

A few years ago, about a month before Europe shut down because of COVID, I took a trip to Portugal. I was there for an event called The Perfect Chapter, or Capítulo Perfeito, which was held at a beach called Carcavelos. I stayed in the most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. I was there for a week, and the event was only one day, so I spent quite a bit of time exploring on a rented bike. That town was called Cascais, and it was stunning. The waves in the area, of course, were ridiculous — Ericiera is just a stone’s throw away and Carcavelos is unreal on its day — but more than that, I was blown away by Portugal in general.

I wish I had more time to get to know the country better, but at least I have something to look forward to. I surfed a bit with Nic von Rupp, that Portuguese big wave surfer/most stoked man in the world, and played a few holes of golf, and he asked me if I’d seen anywhere else other than Cascais. I told him no. He told me I needed to. He was right.

Over the course of the last few months, Nic’s been exploring his home country. Finding not only waves, but looking at just how much Portugal really has to offer. Any good surf trip requires waves, yes, but it’s the stuff out of the water that really makes it memorable. The food, the people… it’s all part and parcel. In his most recent jaunt, he headed to Porto, the second largest city in Portugal.

Porto’s not really thought of as a surfing destination, although judging from the waves Nic and his longtime friend and Swedish surfing star Freddie Meadows rode, it should be. It is, however, known for its culture, its architecture, and of course its wine. Port wine, in fact, is named for the place. Back in the day, the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia were the ones packaging, transporting, and exporting the fortified wine, and they’ve perfected the art of eating good food and drinking good wine with good friends. Pair that with amazing waves, and you’ve got yourself a must-visit destination.

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