10 of the Best Surf Camps in Portugal

by Allie d'Almo  |  Updated July 26, 2022

The appeal of Portugal’s wind-whipped coast to surfers of all levels is obvious – and these days almost every surf beach is lined with surf camps and surf schools catering for them. 

The beautifully restored Quinta d’Anta is the perfect place to retreat to after the surf (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Portugal’s surf scene might not have kicked off until the 1990s, but in the past three decades, the country become renowned for its world-class waves. From gently rolling whitewater to gnarly beaches and breakpoints, there’s a swell for everyone. Add to this lovely, laid-back surf towns, year-round surfing conditions and a staggering number of surf instructors, and it isn’t hard to see what makes the destination so popular. There are now countless surf camps dotted around the country offering a variety of surfing programmes for all levels and all budgets. Many of these also offer the chance to combine surfing with other activities, such as yoga, sightseeing and diving too. With so many to choose from, we’ve rounded up the best surf camps in Portugal based on value for money, variety of courses and location. 

Quinta d’Anta Hotel and Surf Lodge

Unlike most surf schools, Quinta d’Anta Hotel and Surf Lodge is set in the peaceful, rural setting of Figueira da Foz. The owners here have thoughtfully reimagined the old farmhouse and transformed it into a  chic boutique hotel complete with a restaurant and bar service, an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue facilities and a yoga centre. There’s a wide range of surfing vacations on offer, from one-day top-ups to seven-day retreats. Surf camps also include surf-orientated yoga classes to help improve strength, balance and flexibility for surfing. Daily surf lessons are run by certified surf instructors at the beach just ten minutes away. From €65. 

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Golden Waves Surf and Yoga Lodge in Porto 

One of Portugal’s most secret surf spots (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Set in one of Portugal’s most secret surf destinations, just 30 km from Porto, Golden Waves Surf and Yoga Lodge offers three and eight-day surfer school packages. Days begin with catching waves at the local beach and wind down with a sunset yoga session. Award-winning international surf instructors are on hand to provide expert guidance for all levels, and kit and insurance are included in the price too. Guests can choose from a range of dorms, singles, doubles and suites with views overlooking the pine-filled gardens. From €129. 

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Guinco Wayray House in Cascais 

This highly reputed surf school is located in Cascais, one of Lisbon’s most popular surf spots. Combining surfing with other physical activities like yoga, kitesurf, SUP yoga and rock climbing, the school is ideal for those looking for a more rounded and balanced trip. Lessons take place on Guincho Beach, which offers the region’s best waves, and are designed for all difficulties. Lessons, wetsuits and insurance, and accommodation are included in the price. Guests can also enjoy mindfulness walks through the Sinta National Park trails and yoga sessions in the spacious Yoga Shala. From €260. 

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The Surf Experience in Lagos 

The Surf Experience offers a wide range of surf vacations (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Billed as the original European surf tour company, The Surf Experience offers a whole host of affordable surf schools ranging from three days to two weeks. There are two accommodation options here, both located in the heart of Lagos. After breakfast, trucks drive out to the coast where guests can enjoy two 2-hour classes both sides of lunch. Participants are filmed at least three times a week to see their progress and identify any stumbling blocks to speed up progress. Courses also include free yoga sessions from Monday to Friday. From €296. 

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Arthouse Yoga Surf in Ericeira 

Nestled into the hills of Ericeira, Arthouse Yoga Surf combines surf, yoga and art into one action-packed retreat. There are currently three different packages on offer, ranging from six to seven days. Retreats merge relaxing yoga practices with exhilarating surfing sessions to keep the mind and body in check. Retreats are available for beginners only or beginners to advanced. Prices include accommodation in the three-storey house with a range of private and shared twin rooms available, as well as surf equipment and access to a fully-equipped kitchen. From €332. 

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Peniche Surf Lodge in Peniche

Peniche is one of Portugal’s best-loved surf spots (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Set right in the heart of Portugal’s capital of surf, Peniche Surf Lodge offers affordable surf safari packages for all levels. While most associate Peniche with point breaks for pros, in reality, most surf spots break over sand, making it an excellent destination for beginners and improver surfers. The retreat encompasses two self-contained lodges moments from the beach. Courses are taught by two Cornish surfing pros and include daily morning surf lessons, surf equipment and transportation. Breakfast and accommodation are also included. From €430 

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Magikvanilla Surf Camp in Ericeira 

Ericeira was declared Europe’s first and only World Surfing Reserve in 2011, so when it comes to location it’s hard to beat Magikvaniilla Surf Camp. Set in a converted traditional Portuguese home, the surf school is a short stroll from the beach and the town centre. Depending on the program, guests can enjoy daily surf lessons, equipment, video analysis sessions and a photo session. Small classes are guaranteed too, ensuring that you can really make the most of those high-density waves, seven world-class surf breaks and the country’s most challenging wave – Cave – best reserved for the most daring surfers. From €455. 

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Russo Surf Camp in Aljezur 

Russo Surf Camp is one of Portugal’s most highly reputed surf schools (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Created by Algarve surf pioneers and led by Luis Marreiros, Russo Surf Camp is one of the most highly reputed surf camps in Portugal. Surf sessions here are tailored to all abilities, from beginner to advanced, and include wetsuits, surf gear and insurance. Set in a sprawling Portuguese manor house, guests can choose from a wide range of dorms and private rooms, and enjoy access to an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and skate ramps too. Best of all is the surf instruction,  a special surf course program designed to ensure students learn the right technique from the outset to learn faster. From €455 per person 

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J’ho’La Surf Camp in Praia da Luz

Located on Portugal’s wind-whipped southwest coast, Jho’La Surf Camp is right next to the popular Luz Beach. The school offers a variety of surfing packages, from dedicated surf sessions to combined surfing and yoga to surfing and diving. Each course is suitable for beginners to advanced levels. Prices include sessions and surf equipment, as well as daily meals and snacks, including a good range of vegan and gluten-free options. Surfers can choose from a range of shared and private rooms – some with balconies – in a private villa. From €545. 

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Shamballah Retreats in Cascais 

An upmarket retreat in the heart of the Sintra Cascais National Park (Photo: Book Surf Camps)

Shamballah Retreats is an upmarket, intimate surf retreat surrounded by the Sintra-Cascais National Park. Set amongst pristine greenery and wildflowers, the house can accommodate up to 11 people in five bedrooms. There’s a large living room, terrace, jacuzzi and mini gym for guests to enjoy too. Guests receive daily surf lessons, yoga sessions and guided meditation sessions. Prices also include healthy breakfasts and delicious vegetarian meals to fuel your day. There’s plenty of time built into the schedule for guests to explore the breathtaking surroundings and nearby beaches too. From €870. 

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