This area is dominated by steep and high cliffs that often get seriously pounded by a very active ocean. Only once in a while the rocky coast is interrupted by some coves or, in this case, a deep valley cut into the rocks. Coming down the winding coastal road from the south offers a fantastic view on that valley, the small beach and the fancy little town of Portreath.
Due to the rough ocean Portreath´ little harbour is a bit out of proportion. The tiny anchoring place is protected against the ocean by massiv walls that take more place than the harbour itself. This says a lot about the ocean´s energy in this area.
At the beach there is a parking lot that takes the usual fees combined with the classic fish´n chips “restaurant”. The town is not very spectacular but has a licenced super market that is open ´till 9pm 7 days a week. The beach has fine sand and the water is very clean here.
surfing: it needs some swell before the place comes alive. When it´s on, there is a solid right that breaks along the harbour wall, an inside reform and a little beachbreak to the left of the bay. The right is a real freak as incoming swells refract from the harbour wall. This gives the wave some extra size, power and a good portion of wickedness. And on clean days you can find some sucky tubes.
There´s usually plenty of boogie boarders and due to the crazy way the waves break they dominate the lineup. Very few standup surfers manage to catch waves and even some of them prefer to ride curious things like softboards.
On days with solid swell and strong westerly winds, this is one of the few places still surfable. Many of the locals know this so be prepared to handle crowds.
If you´re not afraid to walk you might find some more secluded waves in the vicinity.
windsurfing, kiteboarding: not recommended. This is a surfers place, or better a boogieboarders place!
there´s more pics in the gallery
for accurate wind an wave forecasts check this: