Fancy going on a packaged surfing holiday? SE’s got the low down on Europe’s best surf camps for 2006.
Lanzararote, Canary Islands
The eastern most island of the Canarian archipelago, Lanzarote is a spectacular combination of sea and volcanoes, listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Not to mention that Lanzarote is one of the hottest surf spots in Europe, with powerful and consistent swell, a subtropical climate and warm waters year round. The surf camp lies on the sandy Famara beach, where lessons take place. Accommodation is at the surf house or in apartments. Guided surf tours are also available for experienced surfers.
Open all year; 30 km from Lanzarote International Airport.
1-week surf camp/surfari: 375 EUR
Zoco Boardriding Company
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Off the west coast of Africa, the volcanic island of Gran Canaria is ideally located to receive North Atlantic ground swells. The island’s low lying nature means that average swell sizes are generally smaller than the more northerly Canary Islands, making it the perfect place for intermediate surfers to take their surfing to the next level. Not forgetting the relatively balmy water temperatures. For those looking for less crowded spots, Zoco Boardriding also offer camps in Lanzarrote and Fuerteventura.
Open all year; 30 minutes from Las Palmas Airport
1-week surf camp starting at 404 EUR
There are few areas in the world that offer such a high density of quality and world-class surf spots as Morocco. In front of Hash Point, in perfect view of Anchor point, Surf Maroc’s villa has it all on its doorstep. The area is known for its long powerful right hand points but there are also good beach and reef breaks and it’s often possible to find perfect, uncrowded waves for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers all in one day. Other activities include quad biking, motor bikes, camel rides, horse riding, walking trips, fishing, table tennis, shopping in the souqs, trips to Essaouira, Taroudant or Marrakesh.
Open September to April; 25 minutes west of Agadir
1-week surf camp starting at £249
Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
Sagres Surf Camp offers beautiful beaches, trendy bars, a lively nightlife and Algarve’s surfing lifestyle. The clients and staff at the Surfcamp are multicultural and speak many different languages. Private parties are regularly organised at one of the two surf houses, Sagres and Carrapateira. Sagres peninsula provides good surfing conditions on one of twenty different spots regardless of the size of the swell and wind direction.
Open all year; 100km west of Faro International Airport
1-week Surf camp/surfari from 300 EUR
Portugal Surf Camp
Run out of a big mansion with swimming pool, bbq and garden, PortugalSurfCamp delivers more than just your average surf camp, attracting surfers from all over Europe. The camp’s proximity to Lisbon makes it perfect for people who like to surf perfect waves during the day but also want to party at night. For those that want surf lessons, the camp works closely with a local surf school and other activities include scuba diving, fishing, jet skiing, snorkeling and tennis, or you can just chill by the pool.
Open June to October; 45 minutes north of Lisbon
1-week surf camp starting at 288 EUR
On the Atlantic coast a short drive north of Lisbon, Ericeira is a traditional fishing village and Portugal’s surfing Mecca, renowned as one of the best surfing spots in Europe and host to the ASP (WQS) world championships. The surf camp features wooden bungalows, a camping area and a bar-restaurant, as well as a range of leisure activities. The facilities are situated in front of a beach break with perfect waves for all levels.
Open all year; 50km north of Lisbon/55km south of Peniche
1-week surf camp from 420 EUR
Tapia de Casariego, Asturias, Spain
Located on the border between Asturias and Galicia, the Surfhouse surf camp overlooks the beach of Tapia renowned for some of the wildest fiestas in Spain. There are more than 10 different spots all accessible within 15-20 minutes by car, ranging from beach breaks, reef breaks and river mouths. You can either camp, stay in a caravan or rent a room for 1-4 people, and there’s a chill out room equipped with TV, DVD and VHS. Surf lessons are also available and there are plenty of other activities like kayaking, paintballing, go-carting and diving to keep you busy. From November to April, Surfhouse also organise a surf camp in Taghazoute, Morocco for those interested.
Open March to October; 135km west from Aviles
1-week surf camp starting at 195 EUR
Carballo, Galicia, Spain
Running since 1991, Raz Surfcamp was one of the first surf camps to set up shop in Spain and boasts 6km of virgin beach breaks plus a rocky lefthander right in front of the camp. With surf pros such as Pablo Solar on the team, the camp offers great local knowledge and surf expertise, including video feedback and even lessons in meteorology, surfboard shaping and repair. Alongside surfing, other activities include capoeira, beach volleyball and football.
Open June to Sept; 30km from La Coruña/45km from Santiago de Compostela; 9 days starting at 200 EUR
Sopelana, Basque Country, Spain
Located in the popular seaside resort of Sopelana, near Bilbao, this surf camp offers villa accommodation and tuition in the best surfing region of Spain. Perched above the beach, the surf house lies in a condo estate between forest and ocean. A 5-minute walk down the cliffs takes you to the surf school and beach. The thriving bars, town centre and Guggenheim museum are all easily accessible via metro from the surf house, while the world famous wave of Mundaka is but a short drive away.
Open all year; 15km north of Bilbao
1-week surf camp 300 EUR
Between the pine forest and the ocean amidst a nature reserve, this Nomad surf camp combines atmospheric accommodation in a 300 year-old farmhouse with the best surf in France on the famous spots of Seignosse and Hossegor, venue of the Quiksilver Pro and Rip Curl Pro. After surfing, you can use the bikes and canoes to discover the natural wonders of the area. The surf lodge is a ten-minute drive from Hossegor nightlife and half an hour from Biarritz, the cradle of surf in Europe.
Open April to November; 50km north of Biarritz/150km south of Bordeaux
1-week surf camp from 625 EUR
Reef Surf Lodge
Flanked by sandy beaches, with some of the UK’s best swell, the Reef surf lodge and school offers cutting edge accommodation in the heart of Newquay and entertainment for every hour. Famous for hosting international surf contests, it’s the ideal location to see what the surf lifestyle is all about.
Open all year. From £49 for accommodation, breakfast, tuition and equipment.
Surfing Croyde Bay
Renowned for consistent surf and stunning scenery, North Devon is also closer to get to for daytrippers and weekend warriors alike than Cornwall. Surfing Croyde Bay offers a spacious detached bungalow, ideally located in a quiet cul-de-sac, yet enjoying stunning sea views, while still being only a short stroll from the village. Open all year.
For the past few years the world’s best professionals have flocked to surf the secret emerald coastline, one of the most prolific and beautiful surfing backdrops in the northern hemisphere. As well as the surf, the scenery is breathtaking, local history intriguing and Irish hospitality legendary, making for more than just a surf experience. Nestled against a backdrop of the Ben Bulben mountain range, Pure Vacations use quality self-catering accommodation within a five-minute walk of the bustling centre of town.
Open all year; 186km west of Belfast, 211km north west of Dublin
1-week surf accommodation starting at £86.
Girlie Surf Camps
Including camps in Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and Morocco. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced surfer, the Girlie Crew and local surf schools guarantee an action-packed surfing holiday. You’ll meet visiting pro-surfers, visit board shapers, learn to predict the surf and perfect your turns. Side activities include yoga, skateboarding, first aid courses and sightseeing. April to September.