Praia do Pópulo - Praia das Milicias
Extremely flexible city beachbreak with a massive swell window and many moods. Sometimes small and junky in the regular SW and W windswells with crumbly faces in the onshore breezes but always rideable. The best swells come from the S, often spawned in the southern hemisphere, hitting the rock-anchored sandbanks just right and lining up powerful, hollow peaks in the long period swell. Handles plenty of size.
Close to the main break "Praia das Milicias", this small protected bay is the perfect option for beginners. When the long period S swells get a bit bigger offers nice workable waves suitable for all levels. Left and right depending by the swell angle.
Praia d'Areal de Santa Barbara
Excellent beach break with fast, hollow and bowly waves. The outer reef is part of an extinct volcano crater rim, causing heavy swell refraction and wedging peaks to come in from different directions. Best swell direction N-NW, best wind direction S.
Separated from Santa Barbara by by a small rocky headland is the true north-facing beach break in the Azores. Quality, black sand beach break that picks up a huge range of swells, but best on a NW. Can be powerful with various peaks and a semi-permanent right at the western end.
Long, left point break where cliffs and a large headland protect it from SW-W winds. Can be powerful and lined-up with wrapping, bowly sections over rocks but can also be easier performance walls suitable for beginner/improvers. Gets a bit sectioney at low tide and at high tide access is blocked.
Praia dos Mosteiros / Mosteiros Right
Cruisy righthander off the northern headland of Praia dos Mosteiros. Easy take-off into a long wall best on high tide. Steep performance walls with plenty of power in the pocket. Shallow.
Mosteiros Right is a fun, workable righthand pointbreak on north side of bay. Open to 180º of swell directions and lines up best in W swell. Can be long rides but depends whether dry rocks pop up in the face. Mid tide incoming and any E wind. Less intense than north coast reefs and good for intermediates.
Rabo de Peixe
Only breaks at lower tides and very close to the rocks when smaller but sneaker sets and bigger swells will break further out and wider. Vertical take-offs, powerful pockets and fast sections can change into easier drops and cutback shoulders depending on size, direction and tide.
Other Spots in the area:
Mosteiros Left, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz/Lagoa, Agua de Alto, Vila Franca, Ponta Garca, Ribeira Quente Left and Right.