If you’re looking to surf Europe, Portugal is the place for you. There is a LOT of open water between the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas and that, my friend, makes for some truly amazing, record-breaking waves. Add in some old-world charm, great food and friendly people for an unforgettable sandside vacation.
If you’re ready for some of this, we’ve unearthed the best Portuguese surf camps for you.
THE BEST SURF CAMPS IN PORTUGAL: AT A GLANCE
|Single Fin Surf Camp||Costa da Caparica||$$$||Book|
|WSG Surf Ranch||Azeitao||$||Book|
|Nice Way Cascais||Cascais||$$||Book|
|Santa Beach Hostel||Santa Cruz||$$||Book|
|J'HoLa Surf Camp||Praia da Luz||$$$||Book|
|Arrifana Surf Lodge||Aljezu||$$||Book|
|Best Surf Camps||Ericeira||$$||Book|
|Matosinhos Surf Camp||Matosinhos||$||Book|
THE BEST SURF CAMPS IN PORTUGAL: IN REVIEW
Surf camp location: Cascais, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes accommodation with daily buffet breakfast, daily surf lessons with board and wetsuit included and transfer to the beaches with the best waves wearing your free surf poncho. Top off your stay with a sunset trip to “Cabo da Roca.”
The surf instruction here takes it one step further, incorporating ocean-awareness, environmental-awareness and body-awareness to provide a more holistic experience and to ensure the highest degree of safety possible. Their approach is individualized to meet the needs of different groups and is perfect for friends, families or singles. If you are there during high season there is photo/video coaching every Wednesday.
This is a hostel with dormitory type rooms. Inside you will find various communal spaces for relaxing, wi-fi, 24-hour hot water, fully equipped kitchen. Outside there is a shower and a place to stash your board, seating areas and a pool. Previous guests have noted the attention to detail and the convenience of the location in Cascais – just a 10minutes’ walk to a train station where you are 40 minutes away to the center of historic Lisbon.
Note you are responsible for meals and airport transfers.
Surf camp location: Costa da Caparica, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Includes accommodation and healthy buffet breakfasts. Professionally taught surfing classes catered to your level, board and wetsuit rental.
Approximately 10 minutes away from the airport, and only a few minutes on foot to the beach you will be charmed by the 3-story villa with spacious rooms, all of which can have bedding added for extra guests. Your package will include insurance and all the equipment you need on your 5-days of lessons with the certified surf instructor. If you fall in love, there are discounts available for guests on Lufi boards. You also get 3 meals a day, just ask for vegetarian and gluten–free if needed, and there is a take away box for those days you are out with the surfing instructor.
Single Fin realizes we can’t live by surfing along and offers a full menu of other activities, like table tennis, or yoga classes by request and the “Keiki” kids program which allows the whole family to enjoy the stay. Of course, simply lounging by either the indoor or outdoor pool is also always an option. For those with additional energy even more activities can be arranged for additional fees: Dolphin watching, diving, hiking, a Lisbon walking tour, Costa da Caparica and Lisbon art tours, pub crawl, boat trip, wind and kite surfing, tennis and wine tasting.
Note they do not provide airport transfer.
Surf camp location: Maiorca, Figueira da Foz, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Accommodation, surf lessons, equipment, transfers to the best surf spots and insurance included. At the hotel breakfast is served daily. Free use of swimming pool, lounge with pool table and mountain bikes!
Perfect as your comfortable basecamp to improve your skills and explore the area. Surf instruction is catered for each individual and, depending on daily conditions, your lessons will take place at different locations throughout your stay. Photos of you in action are included, and for a fee you can receive video and further feedback on your technique. When you are finished with the waves come back to enjoy the pool and a barbeque with us, maybe book a massage to help psych you up for tomorrow’s adventures. We also provide access to paddle boarding, table tennis and gps tracking devices to help you find your way on our mountain bikes.
Or, if you need a bit of nightlife, take a trip to one of the nearby cities for a dose of people and taste of Portuguese culture. A 15-minute drive away is Figueira da Foz, where you will find authentic Portuguese seafood and the romantic casino in the center. This scenic town offers strolls overlooking the sea or more strenuous hikes up mountain paths. UNESCO World Heritage site Coimbra is 35 minutes away for those interested in the history of the Portuguese maritime empire of old. Or perhaps you fancy a channel-boat trip through the lovely Aveiro, 45 minutes away.
Surf camp location: Azeitao, Setubal, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes surf lessons with use of surfboard and wetsuit, video or photo coaching and transfers to the beach. Accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, and a Surf Ranch t-shirt.
Located in a neighborhood of Azeitao, WSG Surf Ranch is about 17 miles from the Lisbon Airport. You will receive transfer to best surf spots each day. Accommodation has variable levels of privacy but all are comfortable and overlook either the pool or the garden. The vibe is casual and they take pride in their customer service. You are also welcome to use the communal living room during your stay where you can mingle with other guests and have a drink to unwind. The property has a garden, pool, halfpipe and volleyball court to keep you busy and active. Bicycling, skating and yoga are also on offer at this camp. If the idea of being close by civilization appeals to you, there are over 100 restaurants within a 5 miles radius!
Surf camp location: Santa Cruz, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes accommodation with delicious breakfasts, transfers and all necessary technical equipment for surf lessons by quality instructors and video analysis sessions.
More for beginners and intermediate surfers rather than the truly advanced, this camp partners with 3S Surf Company to get you the best materials and quality instruction to improve your skills. Tranportation to 2 lessons a day, wetsuits, lycra, surfboards, wax and leashes appropriate to your level are all provided. Personal accident insurance gives just that little bit more peace of mind and depending on level, video analysis sessions are available.
Back at the hostel, conditions are light and friendly. Rooms are either dorm style or double occupancy. There are plenty of common areas to hang out with your friends, or make some new ones. There is a kitchen for preparing your own meals, or you are within easy reach of options in Santa Cruz. Tennis and swimming are options on the grounds or you can rent a cycle for further adventuring.
Surf camp location: Praia da Luz, Lagos, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Surf lessons with certified instructors and complimentary equipment use and transfer to beautiful beaches with the best waves. Camp includes accommodation and delicious daily meals.
Newer surfers will enjoy the support to get going in the sport – 3 to 4 hours of surf coaching every day. Everything you need to enjoy the waves is included, though you aren’t allowed to use the equipment without a staffer present. After your hours on the beach transfer is provided back to the villa in the afternoon or evening.
With maximum 8 guests the vibe at the hostel is pretty chill. There are shared bedrooms and a toilet on both floors. You’ll find decent wi-fi and various nooks and crannies to have a chat or chill a bit. And, with all the meals included, there’s no need to go anywhere in a hurry.
Surf camp location: Aljezur, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: All-inclusive surf camp with yoga classes, delicious organic food, and surf lessons.
Arrifana Surf Lodge combines surfing and wellness in their all-inclusive surf camp package where you can progress your surfing with the help of qualified coaches, dine on buffet-style organic lunches, and recharge with 3-course meal dinners. The camp suits all skill levels–so friends with mixed abilities are more than welcome. The lodge itself has a large swimming pool, barbeque area, bicycles that guests are free to use, and a large lounge area. At night, surfers swap stories around the camp’s fireplace.
A typical day at Arrifana Surf Lodge starts with a yoga session, breakfast, and surf lesson. Then, surf campers take a lunch break before paddling back out onto the water. In the evening, enjoy getting a massage, take a hot shower, and enjoy dinner. Then, do it all again the next day.
Surf camp location: Ericeira, Mafra, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes accommodation (several configurations available and daily housekeeping) and 3 meals a day will sustain you while you enjoy surf lessons with complimentary equipment and beach transfers.
You will be transferred to your surf spots and our instructors await the chance to cater your lessons to your level. You are welcome to use the gear around the clock, but when you’re finally ready to put your board away, this location is well suited who want to balance the beach with a little more civilization and provides easy access to nightclubbing and visits to the town center. Massage and yoga are also on offer for those evenings in.
Best Surf Camps offers a nice variety of accommodation from entire houses or apartments to 8-bed dorm rooms. The oceanfront apartments are particularly lovely. Clearly attention was paid to details and every level of room has its own personal thematic artistic touch. There are daily housekeeping services and a local chef is waiting to treat you to traditional Portuguese cuisine, if you are accommodated in a room.
9. FEEL FREE
Surf camp location: Cascais, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes accommodation and breakfast, surf lessons taught by accredited instructors, equipment, and beach transfers.
Stay in 4-star luxury on the seaside within easy walking distance to the town center. Gorgeous swimming pools and lovely gardens await you at the hotel, you know, the kind that make you sigh and say ‘This is the life.’ Your time on the waves will be well spent, our instructors will help you make the most of the skills you have and push you to new challenges. Everything you need is provided, including surf insurance.
Our central location means you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what to do when you come in from the beach. Boating, fishing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, volleyball, scuba diving, stand-up paddle boarding and trekking are all on offer in the area. Or maybe you are trying to convince a less sporty-type to accompany you? Entice them with the health club or nearby shopping. There really is something for everyone with this option.
Surf camp location: Matosinhos, Portugal
Surf camp highlights: Camp includes accommodation with breakfast, daily surf lessons (2 per day!) with all necessary gear and photos and video analysis with surf theory. Complimentary use of skate boards.
This camp hostel offers a fun, casual vibe and a great location. With a 5 minutes’ walk to the Matosinhos beach and even less to the “Brito Campêlo” metro station, you are within easy reach of the natural beauty of the Portuguese coast as well as some of its gastronomic and cultural treasures. Yes, that means you can easily go clubbing or try your luck at one (some?) of the numerous bars. On the other hand, if your budget is more DIY, Matosinhos also offers full kitchen facilities and plenty of cozy spots to bond over a bottle with friends.
The surf instructors are well versed in theory as well as practice and are excited to help surfers of all levels. With frequent lessons, you will be well and truly immersed in the surf lifestyle during your stay with Matosinhos Surf Camp. They will do their best to make a memorable experience!
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