Last Updated: 19.10.2023
The right surf lessons can make all the difference in your surf journey. From qualified instructors to suitable equipment and safety measures, there are several factors to consider when choosing surf lessons in Portugal. There are many locations, surf camps, and even packages that you can choose from.
In Portugal, Ericeira and Milfontes are a crowd favourite when it comes to choosing a destination for surfing in the country. You’ll have access to a variety of waves that are consistent all year round. Enjoy sunny and warm summers, fresh seafood and delicious specialties, incredible nature, and an alluring local atmosphere.
1. Surf School Vs. Surf Camp Vs. Surf House
When you start looking up at surf lessons in Portugal, you will come across surf camps, surf schools, and surf houses. Those new to the surf scene may often mistake them all to be the same.
A surf house is a lodging facility near surf destinations, offering accommodations, and a social atmosphere for surf enthusiasts. A surf school provides structured surf instructions and coaching, catering to all skill levels, and often includes theory, safety and practical training. On the other hand, a surf camp combines accommodation with surf lessons and may also include equipment rental and additional activities. These camps create an immersive experience for those looking to learn or improve their surfing skills while fully embracing the surf culture.
We have created a detailed guide here for you to understand the difference even better.
2. Choosing the Right Location for Surf Lessons
Once you have decided what kind of facility you are looking for, you need to consider the location of this facility where you’ll be receiving surf lessons from. Proximity and access to the surf spots is one of the main factors to keep in mind. Finding one that has beach access will always have it own charm. Even in the rare occasion of the place offering your surf lessons in Portugal does not have direct beach access, make sure that its not too far.
One popular place in Portugal to get surf lessons is Ericeira. It has been long considered as a surf mecca, which combines the charms of a traditional Portuguese fishing village with the sophistication of a modern European holiday spot, replete with fine restaurants, cosy pubs and a buzzing summer nightlife. The incredible breaks and pristine condition of the local beaches and water prompted environmental organization Save the Waves Coalition, in co-operation with the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the National Surfing Reserves of Australia, to select Ericeira as a dedicated World Surfing Reserve — the first and ONLY one in Europe.
Rapture Surfcamps Portugal surf school is situated just meters from Foz do Lizandro beach, a long and mellow wave that is perfect for beginners. They are also within the easy reach of 9 of Europe’s top surf breaks. The immediate area around the village of Ericeira is home to a cluster of world-class surf spots. It is a small 8-km (5-mile) area of coastline that comprises the most famous of the 7 surf regions of Portugal, including Ribeira d’Ilhas, a regular feature on the ASP World Tour Surf Championship.
Another great aspect of our surf school in Ericeira is that you’ll have access to long, gentle, medium-sized waves like the ones at our local beach, Foz do Lizandro. Other nearby spots, such as São Julião and Praia do Sul, are also suitable for beginners learning how to surf.
Learning to surf can be an exciting, fun and rewarding experience. As you progress you will gain a sense of achievement and pride. But no rush — enjoy yourself and the glory of catching your first wave. It’s a thrill that only surfers know!
3. Cost of your Surf Lessons
Factor in how much your daily budget and your overall budget for the trip is when choosing your surf lessons. Don’t forget to include a small margin to accommodate any last minute purchases. Find out what your surf lessons entail. Does it include any meals? Is there a complimentary board rental feature? If the board rental is not free, how much will it cost? Is it going to be more expensive than carrying your own board? Make sure to understand how far shops and restaurants are and the costs involved in getting to and fro surf lessons, in the case that lodging is not included.
4. Surf Instructors
When choosing surf lessons in Portugal, it’s important to know that you will feel safe and be in competent and experienced hands. First and foremost, make sure that you and the surf instructor have at least one language one in common to communicate with each other. Without effective communication, the surf lessons are a lost lost cause. Do your homework to see what previous surfers have said about the teaching style and methods of the instructor or the surf lesson company.
Surf instructors who can give you a thorough understanding of theory as well. And most importantly if you find an instructor who believes learning should be fun, then you have hit the jackpot!
At Rapture Surfcamps, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or a seasoned expert, our instructors strive to provide you with a stress-free, fun, and enjoyable learning environment where you can advance your skills. We are serious about teaching surfing techniques and knowledge, helping you choose the proper equipment, and getting you to the right surf spots for your specific skill level and taste. We also want each and every one of you to enjoy all the non-surfing aspects of your visit to Ericeira.
Our instructors are intimately familiar with Ericeira’s surf spots as well as other regional breaks, their conditions, and the necessary skill levels required to surf them at any given time. All our coaches hold European surf instructor licenses and have a combined 30+ years of surfing experience.
Get Surf Lessons at Rapture Surfcamps, Portugal
Surf lessons are held every day except Sunday, though you are free to use our surfing equipment on Sundays if the conditions in the water allow free surfing. If you do not wish to take lessons, but would still like to hire equipment, surfboard and wetsuit rental are available on a daily basis if weather conditions allow it.
We also provide yoga lessons on an amazing terrace at our camp, surf-gear insurance (something that is highly recommended), and airport transfers service to and from Lisbon Portela Airport.
About the Accommodation at Rapture Surfcamps
Guests may choose from private and shared rooms at our surf house at Foz do Lizandro beach or private surf apartments which are located in the camp as well.
Stay in our beachfront surf camp in Foz do Lizandro
- 2-story traditional Portuguese villa
- 30 minutes walk from Ericeira town center
- Meters from Foz do Lizandro beach.
- Shared dining room and rooftop terrace.
Stay in one of our apartments
- for more comfort and privacy you can rent one of the 3 apartments we own located close to our surf camp
- Beach and/or countryside views
- Equipped with bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, living room and BBQ
- Suitable for families and groups looking for more privacy
Some of the surfing concepts our surf instructors will teach you in Portugal:
Surf Lesson Beginner
• Safety intro and beach awareness
• Surf equipment
• Catching a wave
• Standing up on your board
• Surfboard control
• How to ride a wave towards the shore
• Improving your stance
• Surf awareness
• Improving technique
Surf Lesson Intermediate
• Paddling out techniques
• Going “out the back”
• Choosing as well as timing your waves
• Riding unbroken waves
• Sitting on your board
• Angled take offs
• Positioning yourself in the line-up
• Using rip currents
• Refining your timing and wave choice