Frederico Morais’ Guide To Portugal
Portugal’s one of Europe’s barrel aged countries. It’s beautiful, rich, engulfed in waves, food and culture. Frederico Morais hails from Cascais, just outside Portugal’s capital of Lisbon, which was leveled in 1755 by an earthquake. In this tender year of 2016, interest in Portugal’s piqued. We found it suitable to have Mr Morais give us a run down on how to do the country on the Iberian Peninsula with style, aided by the photography Carlos Pinto, Frederico’s main man with a keen eye.
Stab: First off, what breaks are most fit for a wiggle?
Frederico: Portugal is pretty easy with that. From North to South there’s so many good waves. Around where I live (Cascais) there’s more than plenty. Within 100km my go to spots are: Costa da Caparica, Cascais, Ericeira and Peniche; Portugal’s pretty small so it is easy to chase waves. You can also score some really fun waves down South around Lagos, Sagres and Costa Vicentina. The water down there’s a bit warmer and there’s not as many people as in the other areas I mentioned. Coxos is my favourite point break. It’s the sickest right hander you can find in Portugal. You can get it really hollow and heavy or playful depending on the swell. Everyone is nice over there, just show respect to the locals.
Mr Morais and a long swooping carve on the most magnificent righthander at Coxos.
If you’re trying to boogie, slam back a few too many and get lucky, where’s should we stumble into?
There’s only one spot in Lisboa. It’s called Lux and you might have heard of it’s rated among one of the best clubs in the world. Most beautiful girls, best drinks, best spot- it’s an old warehouse on the river bank right next to the international train station of Santa Apolónia and the port of Lisboa. Best DJs and live acts, coolest crew. And it doesn’t come with that bullshit VIP area bracelet, so you can basically be chillin’ right next to local legends like movie director João Botelho or the owner of the club himself, Manuel Reis, or international crème like John Malcovich.
If you met a gal the night before and want to woo her, where’s best for dinner?
To start with a smooth drink at the bar and continue to a table there’s two spots; 100 Maneiras from Chef Ljubomir Stanisic and Bica do Sapato. Also for the best steak in Portugal, go to Café de São Bento, but you might want to save that for a second date.
Well, Azores sure looks pleasant, don’t it?
No surf? What’s the best way to spend your time?
Lisboa is a great city to get lost walking around small old neighbourhoods like Alfama and Mouraria. I do the tourist thing a lot here, there’s so much to discover there that I didn’t know before. Then, of course, go out, have dinners that last for hours, hit Lux and make it to the best brekky at Garrett, in Estoril, then go to bed with all the sugars leveled.
What sets Portugal apart from elsewhere?
It’s like California with less people, better food, less plastic, less crowd and less fake. It’s like a big neighbourhood and that’s sweet. It’s in Europe, which means you can enjoy an enormous variety of cultures in a couple of hours. Also, Portugal is cheap and there’s no violence, no danger, no terrorism, and that’s probably the best thing ever. It’s a good place to say the least.
Here’s a friendly reminder of just how dreamy Supertubos can get.
Recommendations for anyone traveling?
Make sure you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, flat shoes (for the girls) and lots of hunger for fish and pastries.
Best way to soak up the culture?
Well, if you ask specifically for “soak”, I am forced to answer, through food. Soak your body in Portuguese food. Don’t come to Portugal on a diet, ever. Seriously, I think eating is the best way to really understand the Portuguese and how happy they are; after all, the Portuguese were the ones who developed food preservation techniques so they could sail away and discover the world… So yeah, from the way tables are set – whether it’s at restaurant or someone’s home – to the way we cook and serve our meals, food is the best way to get to know Portugal and the Portuguese. Make sure you eat cod fish cooked in as many ways possible and grilled sardines in the months with no “r” – May, June, July and August. Wherever you go, come rain or shine, ask for a bowl of soup. In Portugal there’s amazing soup everywhere. Oh, and don’t forget to taste some seafood at Ramiro or Pinóquio, please. Portuguese people are very friendly and will welcome you anytime. They’re fun, cool and great guides, we know our culture and identity very well.
Look ahead to the next section, wrap the turn, carry on and be merry.
In Portugal you can actually spot dolphins and whales swimming very near the shore. The furthest and most occidental spot in Europe is in Portugal. We host some of the best independent music festivals in Europe and the surf industry is growing bigger each year.
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