Portugal’s Atlantic coastline is the surfing mecca of Europe and seems to be on everyone’s bucket list these days.
The dramatic coastline is dotted with open beach breaks and some of the best surf spots and biggest waves in the world.
If you’re a beginner don’t worry, there are plenty of smaller waves to practice on and if you want to learn to surf there are also many fun surf camps in Portugal that will teach you the ropes.
My Guide to Surf Camps in Portugal
For those who want to learn how to surf there’s plenty of great value surf camps in Portugal where you can learn in a fun, safe and sociable environment.
Most also include yoga lessons too as the two make the perfect combination for a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga and surf holiday in Portugal.
Where to Learn to Surf in Portugal
While you can surf almost everywhere in Portugal you’ll want to pick your destination and time your visit to suit your experience level.
The Summer months are better for beginners while, Autumn and Winter, see generous and consistent Atlantic swells that create some enormous waves.
Portugal’s surfing hotspots include Ericeira (Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve) near Lisbon, Sagres and Aljezur in the Algarve and Peniche and Nazare on the Central Atlantic Coast for those enormous waves.
If you’re looking for surf camps near Lisbon check out the charming seaside resort of Cascais only 40 mins from Lisbon.
As well as boasting Europe’s best surf spots, Portugal has some of the warmest weather in Europe (although you’ll still want a wetsuit in the Atlantic ocean) some of the cleanest beaches in the world and some of the most beautiful historic sights.
There’s alot of history, culture and beautiful cities and nature to see in Portugal and it’s quite easy to combine a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga and surf holiday with some sightseeing in Lisbon, visiting the UNESCO listed colourful, fairytale castles in Sintra and exploring atmospheric Porto.
Are surf camps worth it?
Surfing is a lot of fun but it isn’t as easy as the pros make it look. If you really want to learn how to surf and make sure you are safe in the sea, or just improve your technique then I’d really recommend getting some proper tuition and joining one of the awesome surf camps in Portugal.
The first time I tried to surf was in Kuta, Bali and it sucked because I hurt myself because I didn’t know what I was doing. A few years ago I did an amazing surf and yoga retreat in Taghazout, Morocco which had me safe in the water and standing up on the board in no time.
I’m still far from being a pro but trust me – having a surf instructor and spending time immersed in the surf lifestyle at a surf camp really helps if you’re serious about learning to surf.
Many surf camps are surprisingly affordable and provide great value for money as they include accommodation, meals, board hire and lessons, some also include yoga classes, transfers, local excursions and other activities.
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Portugal is also a yoga hot spot and as yoga and surfing make such a great combination many surf camps also include yoga classes so you get the best of both worlds in one holiday.
Joining a surf camp or a yoga retreat is a great choice for solo travellers as you’ll get to meet plenty of like minded people and your days will be filled with activities so you’ll never feel lonely or bored. Portugal is a super safe country for solo female travellers too and easy and affordable to travel around.
There is a wide range of surf camps in Portugal to choose from, I find www.booksurfcamps.com really useful, it’s like the Booking.com for surf camps where you can read reviews from people who’ve already been there themselves and make sure you pick the perfect one for you.
The Best Yoga and Surf Camps in Portugal
Affordable Beginners Surf Camp @ Surfcamp 55, Ericeira
Spend seven days in one of Portugal’s best surfing spots learning the art of surfing in Ericeira – Europe’s only world surfing reserve.
This surf camp in Portugal is particularly great for beginners and novice surfers who want to focus on basic surfing techniques. You will get a 2.5- or 3-hour surf lesson each day from amazing, qualified surf instructors from Action Waves Portugal. Plus, all equipment is included.
Days will be spent learning how to catch waves, while nights will be spent in one of Hostel & Surfcamp 55’s dorm, triple or private rooms. The guesthouse is located in the center of the charming historic fishing town of Ericeira on the seafront with a lounge area where you can enjoy meals that you prepare yourself in the communal kitchen. You can also explore the village and try some local cuisine, the seafood restaurants in Ericeria are excellent.
Although meals are not included, roundtrip airport and beach transfers are and this is one of the most budget friendly surf camps in Portugal located in one of the prettiest fishing towns. You can use the kitchen and BBQ facilities to prepare your own meals or check out the many restaurants nearby.
Fun & Lively Surf & Yoga Holiday @ The Surf Experience, Lagos, Algarve
This multi-level surf camp in Portugal has been running since 1992. It’s located in the beautiful beach town and surfing hot spot of Lagos in the sunny Algarve.
The people behind The Surf Experience will not only help you to develop your surfing skills whether you are complete beginner or a more experienced surfer, but will also teach you yoga asanas that complement surfing.
Hit the waves every morning at around 9:30am for a surf lesson and enjoy a free yoga session afterwards. You will also get breakfast, lunch and six nights accommodation at The Surf House; an adapted townhouse right in the heart of Lagos. It’s a social house complete with barbecues, a lounge area, two large terraces and a modern kitchen for cooking dinner. You can also enjoy the numerous restaurants, beaches and lively nightlife of Lagos within a few minutes walk from the surf camp.
This is one of the best surf camps in Portugal for those who want a bit of everything – great surfing, yoga, a lively social scene while also enjoying all that charming Lagos has to offer and the warmest weather in Portugal.
Luxurious Short Surf & Yoga Retreat @ The Salty Pelican, Cascais, Lisbon
For a short surf and yoga holiday just a 40 min scenic train ride along the coast from beautiful Lisbon head to the charming seaside resort of Cascais and join the Salty Pelican’s popular 4 days 3 nights short surf and yoga package.
Start the days with sunrise mediation and an energizing yang yoga session by the seaside. Following a healthy buffet breakfast take a surf lesson and enjoy time on the beach before winding down with a relaxing yin yoga class back at the stylish and modern luxury surf lodge. A relaxing massage is also included in the package.
There’s also the opportunity to join a nature hike with awareness and meditation exercises and a sunset picnic on one of the most magical beaches in Portugal, explore the charming resort of Cascais, or explore the colourful castles and palaces in nearby Sintra or ride the trams in gorgeous Lisbon.
Thanks to the proximity to Lisbon airport this is the best yoga retreat and surf camp in Portugal for those on a quick visit. They also offer longer retreats which I’d highlight recommend if you have more time as you won’t want to leave after 4 days of bliss!
Surf Camp on Baleal Island at Alex Surf School, Peniche
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer, Alex Surf School will help you take your surf game to the next level. This surf camp is located on the tiny Baleal island which is surrounded by gorgeous sandy surf beaches and the famous surf town of Peniche, home to the world-renowned Supertubos surf break – the beach that hosts the most prestigious competitions in all waves-related sports.
This surf camp doesn’t include yoga but focuses on the surf and includes two lessons each day so, regardless of your starting level, you’re bound to see improvements in your technique over your stay. All surf equipment is included, so all you need to do is turn up and take to the waves. Your expert instructors will take you to one of seven nearby surf spots, depending on the conditions of the day and your ability. Meanwhile, group sizes are kept to a maximum of five students, so each guest has the opportunity to receive tailored tuition.
The shared accommodation at the surf hostel at Alex Surf School has fully equipped kitchens and barbecue area to use and a supermarket only three minutes walk from the camp. So you can save money by cooking your own meals and enjoy social evenings with your campmates on the outdoor terrace.
In case you fancy a break from the surf, there is plenty to do in the surrounding area, from cultural attractions to buzzing nightlife. You can take a boat trip to the Berlengas islands from Peniche harbour or take a day trip to Obidos – the prettiest and best preserved medieval town in Portugal.
This is the best surf camp in Portugal a great option for those serious about improving their surf skills at a world famous surf break while wanting to stick to a budget.
Eco Yoga & Surf Retreat at Vida Pura, Aljezur, Algarve
Vida Pura is an eco-friendly resort that offers both yoga and surfing at the first prize-winning beach of Odeceixe in the sunny Algarve, making it one of the best surf camps in Portugal.
Spend eight days having a daily surf lesson, a daily yoga class in different styles including Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, and Yin, and refuel with a hearty, energising breakfast. It’s the perfect combination of yoga and surfing that will leave you feeling renewed and energized and the stunning natural environment will bring you closer to your own inner nature.
An amazing thing about the accommodation at this Portugal surf camp is that everything is natural or recycled. Cork, wood and stone are used, as are recycled and re-used materials. It truly is an eco-friendly experience, right down to the sofa made out of recycled jeans and the surfboard kitchen shelves.
Plus, the resort itself sits in the middle of a peaceful reserve. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the beautiful surrounding area and traditional villages or just relax by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment at this friendly eco retreat.
This is the best surf and yoga retreat in Portugal for those who really want to escape from it all and relax and recharge in nature in a beautiful eco friendly environment.
Sagres Sun Stay is a brand new eco-friendly hostel and surf camp with a wide range of very affordable surfing and windsurfing packages located in Sagres – the biggest surf town in the Algarve and the most south-westerly point of Portugal.
They offer an expertly designed learn to surf program has been created by coupling professional knowledge and teaching method with a friendly and interactive coaching approach combing theory and practical skills that guarantee quick, fun and safe progression.
Choose from dormitory rooms to deluxe private rooms depending on your budget and enjoy all the facilities including a T-shaped salt water pool, fitness machines, communal kitchen, yoga classes and a bar and cafe. A varied and healthy breakfast and dinner is served and packed lunch boxed provided for when you’re out surfing.
For the best surf camp experience in Northern Portugal head to Aveiro, a charming town with boats and waterways that have earned it the nickname of the ‘Venice of Portugal’, 30km from Porto.
Golden Waves eco lodge sits peacefully between powder soft beaches and rich pine forests near to picturesque Porto, Aveiro and Costa Nova. The ideal setting to reconnect with the elements. Whether you’re a surf newbie or a veteran on the waves, your instructors offer expert tuition to help you get the most out of the experience.
With several nearby beaches to choose from, your hosts will choose the best spots for the day based on the conditions. After an active day on the waves you can cycle the local area, visit the nearby lagoon, and soothe any aching muscles with a yin yoga class.
Arrifana Surf Lodge, Aljezur, Algarve
The Arrifana Surf Lodge is a cosy, welcoming, home away from home, located at one of the best surf spots in the Algarve and one of the most popular surf camps in the Algarve for all levels. The friendly hosts are dedicated to creating a personalised experience – balancing fun and adventure with relaxation and reconnection with nature.
The surf school offers three levels of tuition: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – each designed to guide guests to take their surf to the next level. There are three incredible surf spots within ten minutes of the surf lodge, and your experienced hosts will decide which beach to head to depending on the conditions of the day and your experience level.
After surfing join the yoga class to help you ease out any sore muscles, take a dip in the plunge pool or hang out in the hammocks and sun loungers for ultimate post-surf relaxation. The package even includes an transfer from Lagos.
I hope this post has helped you to find the perfect surf camp in Portugal and that you have an amazing time.
If you’re still undecided or want some more tips and visiting Portugal check out my other blog posts too.
- Where to Stay in Lisbon
- My yoga retreat packing list
- The best surf camps in Peniche, Portugal
- The best surf camps in Ericeira, Portugal
- The best surf camps and yoga retreats in the Algarve
- The best surf camps in The Canary Islands, Spain
- The best surf camps in Fuerteventura
- The best surf camps in Costa Rica
- The best surf camps in Bali
- The best surf camps in Sri Lanka
Have you been to an amazing surf camp in Portugal? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!