Often regarded as the surf capital of Europe, Portugal has an array of beaches and coastlines that are perfect for surfing all year round. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Portugal is ideal for beginners and advanced surfers alike which in turn has made the surf industry incredibly lucrative.
With so many surf camps and schools for you to choose from, there are plenty of options for all ages and abilities. So whether this is your first time hitting the waves or you’re wanting to brush up on your skills and techniques, you’ll be having a positive experience in the water in no time.
With recommendations on the best surf camps in Portugal followed by what you need to sort out in preparation, you’ll know everything you need to know when it comes to attending a surf camp in Portugal.
Here are the top 10 surf camps in Portugal you should consider:
For those who want a full experience then look no further than Dreamsea Surf Camp Portugal. With staff available 24/5, this camp is based in the beautiful Praia da Galé which is known as one of the best surf spots in Portugal. Their surf packages are incredibly popular and catered for all ages and abilities.
Whether you’re wanting to venture solo or want to meet a group of like minded people, this surf camp will ensure that you have a great time from beginning to end. Their packages start from €199 for a large group session.
Location: Praia da Galé
Address: Camping Galé, Praia da Galé, 7570-689 Melides, Alentejo, Portugal
If you’re planning a holiday to Sagres then Wavy Surf Camp is a unique choice. Based among the natural environment, Wavy Surf Camp provides a variety of packages for all ages and abilities and can host group or private sessions depending on your preference.
With high quality accommodation and health, delicious food available within the premises, you’ll benefit from a holiday that has the perfect balance between activity and relaxation. Enjoy the packages that start from €419 and you’ll be learning the surfing basics in no time and boosting your confidence.
Address: Camping Sagres Orbitur, Cerro das Moitas 8650-998 Vila de Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
Ericeira is the most popular surfing location in Portugal and Rapture Surf Camp overlooks the Foz do Lizandro beach while also being located 30 minutes away from Ericeira’s Old Town so you can make the most of your holiday. The camp accommodation is a Portuguese 2 story villa and caters for all of your surfing needs.
As the villa is situated minutes away from the ocean, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best waves whilst also taking in the beautiful views. The accommodation is also perfect for those who are travelling with family or friends as it provides more privacy as well.
Location: Ericeira, Milfontes
Address: Rapture Surfcamp Portugal R. do Lizandro 6, 2655-130 Carvoeira, Mafra, Portugal
For those venturing to Peniche on their holiday, Baleal Surf Camp is a family run surf camp that was first established in 1993 making it Portugal’s oldest surf camp. Occupying a beautiful location at the beach front, you’ll be learning how to surf in the best environment possible with beautiful views to match.
The Baleal Surf Camp prides itself on the professional staff who go above and beyond on customer service which has made the establishment one of the most sought after of its kind on the European Atlantic Coast. With packages suitable for all abilities and budgets, this camp caters beginners and advanced surfers alike.
Address: Baleal Surf Camp, Rua Amigos do Baleal 2, 2520-052 Ferrel – Peniche, Portugal
Another surf camp based on the beautiful Ericeira coast is Star Surf Camp whose facilities are located 200 meters away from the Ribeira d’ilhas beach which is one of the most popular surfing locations in the world and hosts two world surfing competitions each year.
With an additional camp located in Lagos, the Ericeira acts as the company’s main camp and attracts an array of clientele ranging from first timers to advanced surfers wishing to go professional.
The accommodation is a two story Portuguese style villa that is extremely spacious boasting a large outdoor area so you can take in the surrounding views. With the town center only 15 minutes away, you can take advantage of the city lifestyle as well for a faster paced break.
Location: Ericeira, Lagos
Address: Ribeira d’ilhas, Ericeira, Portugal
Ripar Surf School and Surf Camp was established in 2001 and is run by a team of passionate and professional surfers who live local to the area. Passion is at the heart of this surf camp and the staff go above and beyond that you are having a fun experience while also learning the basic techniques and ocean safety.
The camp is situated just 65km outside of Lisbon at Praia Areia Branca which is perfect for surfing holidays. Attracting tourists from all over the world, you’ll instantly feel like a member of the family and get the chance to take advantage of the camp’s high quality equipment and beautiful accommodation.
Ripar Surf School is perfect for those who want to learn more about the Portuguese culture and language.
Location: Praia Areia Branca
Address: Alameda do Golfinho, Praia da Areia Branca, 2530 – 211 Lourinhã
For those looking to attend one of the most popular and successful surf schools then Algarve Surf School is one to look into. With a variety of packages available, this school offers lessons, Surf Camp weeks and surf trips so you can have an experience that is tailored to your schedule and requirements.
The fun hostel accommodation is based in Sagres which is a popular surfing destination and perfect for those who want to meet fellow surfing enthusiasts. With prices starting from €320, this surf school has been a huge asset to the community since its inception in 1996.
Address: Sagres Hostel, Rua Mestre António Galhardo, 8650-384 Sagres, Portugal
For those who want a surfing experience that is immersed in Portuguese culture without the influence of mass tourism, Cliff Surf Camp is the perfect place for you.
The Cliff Surf House is located 45 minutes north of Lisbon in a small town called Santa Cruz which is in the Torres Vedra region. Maintaining the local charm and culture, you can learn more about Portguese culture and the language as you learn to surf.
With a variety of packages available to suit all requirements and budgets, this is perfect for those who want a quieter and more intimate surfing experience.
Location: Santa Cruz
Address: Rua Barrosa de Bocage 14, Praia da Vigia, 2560-051 Vale de Janelas
For those who want to learn how to surf in a smaller group or private session then Tiny Whale Surf Lodge has you covered. Running under the philosophy that participants will learn more if there are small groups means that you will have your instructor’s undivided attention.
This camp runs a variety of programs and brings a personalized approach according to what you want to achieve. With various coaching methods applied that includes video coaching, theory session and in water coaching, you’ll have a well rounded experience and knowledge on surfing that you can apply to other holidays you go on for the rest of your life.
Address: Tiny Whale Surf Lodge, Lote 276 & 279 Colinas Verdes, 8600-074, Bensafrim, Lagos
10. Amado Surf Camp
The final recommendation takes us back to the ever so popular Algarve and to the beautiful Praia do Amado.
The Amado Surf Camp offers packages starting from €255 and will tailor the experience to suit your schedule and requirements. With each session lasting 1.5 hours, you’ll also benefit from the included equipment, accommodation and breakfast which is all inclusive with the price.
The lessons are catered for all ages, abilities and group sizes so you can choose to learn with a larger group or benefit from the personalized experience that comes with a private session if you would prefer.
Location: Praia do Amado
Address: Praia do Amado, 8670-230 Carrapateira, Portugal
How to Prepare
As most of the surf camps have their own facilities, there are usually plenty of options for food and transport easily available that can be arranged with the camp when booking.
Travelling to Portugal from the US requires a Visa as well as full vaccinations against COVID-19 but no additional vaccines required. As it is a long haul flight from the US, it is recommended that you take out travel insurance so you can be assured that your belongings are covered in case of emergency.
Also, a lot of the surf camps can take payment via card before you visit but it is best to have some cash on you just in case of any additional expenses such as further equipment rental meaning you’ll have to take some Euros with you.
Portugal is one of the best places to surf all year round thanks to the consistent warm weather. However, the ideal time of year is during the summer months when the water is warmer and the waves are a lot higher.
It’s always best to check the surf forecast before you book so you can avoid any disappointment, especially if you are an advanced surfer who knows what kinds of conditions you want.
Taking out surf insurance is always a wise decision when visiting a surf camp as this will ensure that the equipment is covered in case of any damage or injury. Not only does this cover the equipment that you have rented, but it also covers any equipment such as waterproof cameras that you may have brought with you.