Some relevant patterns for the wave energy spatial distribution in the Portuguese nearshore are analyzed in this work. A medium term analysis of the wave climate in the target area was first carried out based on recent buoy measurements covering the 10-year period 1994–2003. A wave prediction system based on the two state-of-the-art spectral models, WAM and SWAN, was used to evaluate the wave conditions. In order to design better model configurations, validation tests with this system are performed. Special attention is paid to the whitecapping process which is considered the weak link in deep water wave modelling. The spatial distributions of the wave energy were analysed in three different computational domains for both high and average wave conditions. Four case studies were considered for the wave energy assessments. The first corresponds to a common energetic peak, whereas the other three to different patterns of average energetic conditions. In this way some areas with greater potential from the energetic point of view have been identified.