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This is our pick of the 7 Best Surf Camps in Algarve.
Surfing isn’t just a sport; it’s a way of life. The thrill of riding the waves, the sun on your skin, and the salt in the air – it’s a combination that calls out to adventurers and water enthusiasts from around the world.
And when it comes to learning to surf in Portugal, there’s no better place than the stunning Algarve region. With its golden beaches, azure waters, and consistent waves, it’s no wonder that surfers from around the world flock to this stunning region in search of the perfect ride.
To help you navigate this surfer’s paradise, we’ve curated a list of the 8 Best Surf Camps in Algarve. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just dipping your toes into the world of surfing, our selection has something for everyone.
Join us as we explore these top surf camps, each offering its unique blend of surf instruction, comfortable accommodations, and a taste of Portuguese coastal charm.
Table of Contents
The Best Time of Year to Learn to Surf in Portugal
The best time of year to learn to surf in Portugal largely depends on your experience level, your comfort with different weather conditions, and your personal preferences.
Portugal is known for its consistent surf throughout the year, and each season offers a unique experience. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons and what you can expect:
Spring (March to May):
- Wave Conditions: Spring is a great time for beginners. The waves are typically smaller and more manageable, making it ideal for learning the basics.
- Water Temperature: The water begins to warm up during spring, but it can still be a bit chilly, so a wetsuit is recommended.
- Crowds: This season tends to be less crowded compared to the peak summer months, offering a more relaxed and uncrowded learning environment.
Summer (June to August):
- Wave Conditions: Summer is perfect for beginners looking for gentle waves. The surf is typically smaller, which is great for learning and improving your skills.
- Water Temperature: The water is at its warmest during these months, and many surfers can comfortably wear boardshorts or a short wetsuit.
- Crowds: This is the peak tourist season in Portugal, so surf spots can get crowded. Be prepared for more people in the water.
Autumn (September to November):
- Wave Conditions: Autumn is an excellent time for learning to surf, especially for those who want to progress to larger waves. Swell sizes increase, offering a good mix of beginner-friendly and more challenging waves.
- Water Temperature: The water remains warm during the early part of autumn, gradually cooling down as the season progresses.
- Crowds: Crowds start to thin out after the peak summer months, providing a more relaxed atmosphere.
Winter (December to February):
- Wave Conditions: Winter brings larger and more powerful waves, which may not be ideal for beginners. However, if you’re an intermediate or advanced surfer, this season can offer some excellent opportunities for improving your skills.
- Water Temperature: The water is cooler in winter, and a thicker wetsuit is necessary to stay comfortable.
- Crowds: Crowds are significantly reduced during the winter months, so you’ll find more space in the lineup if you’re experienced enough to tackle the bigger waves.
In summary, the best time to learn to surf in Portugal for beginners is generally in the spring and summer when the waves are smaller and conditions are more forgiving.
However, if you’re looking to progress quickly and are comfortable with larger waves, early autumn can be an excellent choice.
Why Algarve is the Perfect Place to Learn to Surf in Portugal
Algarve is often considered the perfect place to learn to surf in Portugal for several compelling reasons:
Consistent Waves: Algarve offers consistent surf conditions throughout the year, making it an excellent destination for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced rider, you can find suitable waves that cater to your skill level.
Variety of Surf Spots: The Algarve region boasts a diverse range of surf spots, from gentle beach breaks to more challenging reef breaks. This diversity allows beginners to start in forgiving conditions and progress to more advanced waves as their skills improve.
Warm Climate: Portugal’s southernmost region enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm, sunny summers. This means you can surf comfortably year-round, with no extreme temperature fluctuations.
Beautiful Beaches: Algarve is renowned for its stunning coastline, featuring golden sandy beaches and picturesque cliffs. The scenic beauty of the region adds to the overall surf experience, making it an enticing place to learn and practice.
Professional Surf Schools: Algarve is home to numerous surf schools and instructors who are experienced in teaching beginners. They provide expert guidance, safety measures, and equipment rental, ensuring that you have a safe and enjoyable learning experience.
English-Friendly: Many surf schools and instructors in Algarve are English-speaking, making it easier for international visitors to communicate and receive instructions effectively.
Laid-Back Atmosphere: Algarve’s coastal towns and villages have a relaxed, laid-back vibe that perfectly complements the surf culture. After a day in the waves, you can unwind in charming beachside cafes or explore the local culture and cuisine.
Suitable for All Ages: Algarve’s surf schools and camps cater to surfers of all ages, making it a family-friendly destination. Whether you’re traveling with kids or as part of a group, there are suitable programs for everyone.
Safety Measures: Algarve’s surf schools prioritize safety, with instructors well-versed in ocean safety, wave dynamics, and first aid. This ensures a secure environment for beginners to learn and progress.
Surf Community: Algarve has a thriving surf community, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for newcomers. You’ll find like-minded individuals who share your passion for riding the waves.
The Best Surf Camps in Algarve
Whether you’re seeking a laid-back introduction to surfing, an immersive learning experience, or a chance to perfect your skills, these 7 surf camps offer it all.
The Surf Experience
First on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is The Surf Experience.
This lively Surf Camp is located in the beautiful old Portuguese town of Lagos, just 45 minutes from Faro Airport.
Designed to be as sociable as possible, the accommodation consists of comfortable shared rooms, a large modern kitchen, free Wi-Fi, a secure boardroom, and two huge terraces with a barbecue area.
Guests can choose from a 6-day, 10-day and 14-day all-inclusive package when staying with The Surf Experience. Each package includes daily surf lessons, shared or private accommodation, surfboard and wetsuit hire, and complimentary yoga.
Guests at The Surf Experience are also encouraged to make the most of the nightlife in Lagos, with many bars and nightclubs just a short walk away from the camp.
If you’re looking to surf hard and party harder, this surf camp is the perfect place for you.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at The Surf Experience in Portugal.
Tiny Whale Surf Lodge
Next on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is Tiny Whale Surf Lodge.
This luxury surf camp is situated in a peaceful countryside setting near Lagos, a 1-hour drive from Faro Airport.
The spacious accommodation consists of a combination of private and shared rooms. There is a large garden with an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, yoga deck, and a outdoor bar with a lounge area and firepit.
Guests can choose from a 1-week beginner, 1-week intermediate and a 1-week women’s only all-inclusive package when staying with Tiny Whale Surf Lodge. Each package includes daily surf coaching, shared or private accommodation, surfboard and wetsuit hire, a daily breakfast buffet, and evening meals.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at Tiny Whale Surf Lodge in Portugal.
Sagres Sun Stay
Next on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is Sagres Sun Stay.
This well-equipped hostel is located in Sagres, a small village 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Faro Airport.
The newly-built villa is made up a combination of private and shared rooms. There is a salt water pool, a selection of fitness machines, board storage and personal lockers, and a poolside cafe and bar for guests to enjoy.
Sagres Sun Stay offers a 1-week all-inclusive package. This includes daily surf lessons, shared or private accommodation, surfboard and wetsuit hire, and a daily breakfast and dinners.
For digital nomads or more experienced surfers looking for more flexibility, Sagres Sun Stay also offers a room-only option.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at Sagres Sun Stay in Portugal.
Jho’La Surf Camp
Next on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is Jho’La Surf Camp.
This peaceful retreat is located in the rustic village of Vila da Luz, just a 50 minute drive from Faro Airport.
Jho’La Surf Camp offers guests an 8-day package, which includes daily surf lessons, yoga, surfboard and wetsuit hire, daily breakfasts, and comfortable accommodation in a private or shared room.
The villa has two floors and allows a maximum of 8 guests at any time. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the house and cable-TV in the living room. Outside, there are several balconies with hammocks and beanbags, which are perfect for relaxing with fellow travellers after a long day of surfing.
This is the perfect surf camp for those looking for a relaxing and more intimate experience.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at Jho’La Surf Camp in Portugal.
The Kite House
Next on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is The Kite House.
This high-energy surf camp is located in Lagos, a 1 hour drive from Faro Airport.
The Kite House offers guests an 8-day package, which includes daily surf lessons, wetsuit and surfboard rental, weekly yoga, optional wakeboarding, optional SUP, daily breakfast and dinner, and accommodation in a private or shared room.
The house features a pool, barbeque area, a large garden with trampolines, and an outside multi-sports court. You can enjoy a cold beer while relaxing in the garden, using the complimentary Wi-Fi, watching TV, or playing pool.
While this is not a wild party house, you are only minutes away from the lively nightlife in the center of Lagos.
This surf camp is perfect for active travellers who are keen to get the most of their stay in the Algarve.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at The Kite House in Portugal.
Arrifana Surf Lodge
Next on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is Arrifana Surf Lodge.
This family-run surf camp is located in the town of Aljezur, a 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from Faro Airport.
The owners of the Lodge, Aldo and Sarah, are dedicated to bringing guests awesome surf tuition, great food, comfy sleeping quarters, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Arrifana Surf Lodge offers guests an all-inclusive 8-day package, which includes daily surf lessons, complimentary use of surf equipment, optional yoga, daily breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, unlimited tea, coffee, and juices, and 7 nights’ accommodation in a private or shared room.
The Lodge has four large private bedrooms and one shared dorm. There is a shared lounge and kitchen facilities, and two huge terraces with views out to the Atlantic Ocean where breakfast and dinner are served daily.
The Lodge also has a plunge pool, a yoga terrace with mats, hammocks, sun loungers, outdoor bean bags, free Wi-Fi, and free use of bicycles.
If you’re looking for a more personal and immersive surf experience, Arrifana Surf Lodge is the perfect choice for you.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at Arrifana Surf Lodge in Portugal.
Hostel on the Hill
Last on our list of the Best Surf Camps in Algarve is Hostel on the Hill.
This budget-friendly surf hostel is located in Vila do Bispo, a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Faro Airport.
Hostel on the Hill offers guests a low-cost 7-day package, which includes daily surf lessons, use of a wetsuit and surfboard, daily breakfasts, and accommodation in a shared dorm.
The hostel offers spacious rooms, a communal kitchen where you can prepare your own meals, a large inside seating area, and plenty of outdoor terraces to chill in the sun and enjoy the view.
If you’re a solo traveller on a budget and you’re looking to meet fellow travellers, this is the perfect surf camp for you.
Click HERE to check the latest rates and book your stay at Hostel on the Hill in Portugal.
Surf Camps in Algarve
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a complete beginner, the Algarve’s consistent waves, picturesque coastline, and warm Mediterranean climate make it an ideal destination to learn, progress, or simply indulge in your passion for surfing. So, pack your board, don your wetsuit, and get ready to ride the Algarve waves.
Enjoyed our guide to the 7 Best Surf Camps in Algarve? Be sure to check out our Guide to the 16 Best Surf Camps in Portugal here.