Kitesurf at Esposende, Cavado River

Where the River meets the Atlantic Ocean

  • Overview
  • Good to know
  • Getting there


The small fishing town, located 45km north of Porto, sits upon the Càvado Estuary where the Càvado River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Long sandy beaches stretch north and south of the town; protected, in areas, by an outside reef which slows the Atlantic swells into some of its beaches and provides a variety of wave conditions suitable for all levels of kitesurfer. Within the inlet the Càvado River offers shallow and flat water, due to sheltering from the peninsula, making it the perfectly flat water spot for beginners and freestyle riders. The town has a very coastal culture, and within walking distance, you will find anything you will ever need: plenty of restaurants, where you can enjoy local produce and fresh seafood; supermarkets, cafe's and shops, bars, and a few nightclubs that come to life in the summer months. To double that, the vibrant city of Porto is only 30 minutes drive away. There is also plenty to do on the non-windy days: try a nearby cable park or explore the town of Porto. If you are into surfing or would like to learn, you will find plenty of schools and fantastic surf to explore. If you are a more experienced surfer, take time to go to Ericeira (a three-hour drive South), there you will find some of the best waves in Europe. Additional activities like paragliding, canyoning, mountain trekking, paddle trips in the river, mountain biking etc., can be arranged too.

Good to know

VISAS: Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days; some nationalities will need a Schengen visa. Contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate before travel for more details. CURRENCY: EUR PRICES: Beer: €1-2 Food: Lunch €3-10 Accommodation: €15-80 pp Kite Lessons: 6H €200 Kite Gear rental: €25 per hour LANGUAGE: Portuguese INTERNET: Wifi freely available TRAVEL ADVICE: We recommend joining one of the kite schools or camps for the daily boat trips to the peninsula. This is also a very good way to meet fellow kitesurfers and get some insight knowledge about the area and recommendations for other activities. TEMPERATURE: The air temperature can reach 30°C / 86°F and more in the summer months and can drop to 11-20°C / 51-67°F in the early season. There is plenty of sunshine all year round, and the weather is warm, but a sweater and a pair of jeans will come in handy after sunset. Water temperatures range from 15 – 22°C / 59 - 71°F depending on the season, so a light wetsuit is required most of the year. For the windy days, a windbreaker jacket may be handy.

Getting there

NEAREST TOWN: Esposende NEAREST CITY: Porto NEAREST AIRPORT: Porto - Francisco Sa-Carneiro [OPO] 40 km away, or Lisbon International [LIS] over 3H drive. If you fly to Porto airport you will need to take a taxi to Esposende, ask your accommodation provider to organise a reputable transfer. If flying to Lisbon, you can rent a car for your trip or take a direct bus to Esposende or train to Porto and then a transfer taxi. GETTING AROUND: everything is effortless to reach by foot or bike in Esposende, but for further trips, you may want to rent a car or a scooter. Taxis are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

  • Beach
  • Wind
  • Rules/Hazards


The Rio Cavado estuary creates the perfect knee-deep flat water almost exclusively for kitesurfers. You can launch the kite from the town side, or you can use a boat transfer from the kite schools, to reach a small peninsula of a nature reserve, where you can enjoy fewer kiters and beachgoers. The daily or seasonal pass for the boat service and additional perks can be arranged at the main kite schools or camp providers. You can also reach this nature reserve by driving a few kilometres around the peninsula and then walking for around 20 min. The flat water lagoon is perfect for those wanting to improve their riding or learn new tricks; also there you will find some kickers and sliders provided by the local schools to try out. Those who like to ride waves, can cross the beach with your kite in the air and walk straight out to the ocean and ride the waves. If you are looking for some bigger waves you can head to VIANA DO CASTELO, only 15km away from Esposende. Nearer the pier at the north end of the beach, you will find some flat water spots and nice right-handers waves outside the pier. It's an easy onshore wave, 2-4 feet side (best waves during the full moon). AMENITIES: Kite School, Gear Rental, Rescue Boat, Beach Assistance, Gear Storage, Kite Shop, Kite/Gear Repair, Toilets, Shower, Parking, Accommodation.


There’s wind all year round in Esposende, but the most wind reliable time is from early April to late October when the daily forecasted winds are ramped up by the local thermals quite consistently. The standard wind direction is northerly and its called "Nortada" - translated as the strong North wind. In the summer months, due to the heated land, kicking in at about noon and staying almost till sunset. The average wind speed is 15 to 25 knots, but the thermal wind can add to the wind forecast by 50%, therefore bigger kites will be used in the morning and the smaller size ones in the afternoon. The most used kites 8m to 12m. WIND DIRECTIONS: N, NW WINDIEST MONTHS: High Season: June, July, August, September. Mid Season: May, October.


There are no such rules, just a common sense - the beach area is relatively large, sandy beach; therefore, the usual precautions when launching and landing the kite should be considered. At certain times of the high tide, the current can be intense, and for those still learning a safety/transfer boat service is recommended. *If you need kite related service like kite repairs, lessons or beach assistance please contact with the local kite centre or camp. ** We always recommend seeking additional knowledge about the spot from local Kite School or qualified instructors.


Rider Level:
beginner, intermediate, advanced
freeride, waveriding, foiling
Spot Type:
Flatwater; Small wave (up to 1m); Medium wave (up to 2m); Lagoon; Open water; Estuary.
Launch area:
Windiest Months:
Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct,

Around Esposende, Cavado River

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