Alwayswanted to visit Europe and wanted to experience surfing on thiscontinent? Vale Figueiras surf camp in Algarve, Portugal is a veryfriendly place to stay - great food, friendly surf guides, lots ofparties, new and comfortable accommodation, proximity to some ofPortugal's best surf breaks, beautiful scenery...
Itconsists of two nice country-style surf houses surrounded by scenery ofAlentejo Natural Park - right next to well-renowned Vale Figueirasbeach, one of the best beach breaks in Portugal. Whether you are abeginner needing to learn the basics; an intermediate who wants to workon some skills; or an experienced surfer ready to rip, the staff therewill help you find your preferred wave so you can make the most of yoursurf trip to Portugal.
Thesouth-western part of Portugal, where the camp is nestled, is one ofthe best surf locations in Europe and this coastline offers good surfingconditions all-year-round, regardless of wind conditions. Next to thebeach breaks there are reef breaks as well for experienced surfers andthe wave size and quality ranges from average to epic. Natural beautyand sunny climate add to your Portugal surfing experience.
The surf camp consists of:
- A new modern surfhouse with 9 double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms (perfect for families or couples).
- An atmospheric traditional Portuguese country-style surfhouse (one dorm for 8 people, one dorm for 4 people and a house for 6) and bungalows (double, triple and quadruple share possible).
Thesurf camp is in the middle of the wild scenery of the Alentejo NaturePark. There aren't really any condos or hotels in sight and very fewhouses here - Nomad Surf Camp is the one that's closest to the beach ofVale Figueiras.
Other surf camp amenities include:
- Satellite TV, DVD to watch movies and surf videos.
- Free WIFI internet access.
- Snooker table.
- Wood stove which makes it very cosy on cool winter nights.
- Bicycles and horses - available to discover the area.
- Moroccan chillout tent.
- Bar with plenty of Sagres Beer.
- Volleyball net at the beach.
Surf & Other Activities
Thequalified surf guide / coach will take you to the best surf spots ofthe day, depending on your skills and the sea conditions. Beginners willreceive all necessary instruction and lessons before they start surfingon their own.
TheSouthwestern tip of the Algarve is a wild and uncrowded stretch ofcoast yet only minutes away from the famous resorts of Lagos and Sagres,both with plenty of nightlife. It is a surfing destination unrivaledanywhere in Europe and unique in the way that it will give you a genuinetaste of surfing lifestyle. The Western coast is one of the majorsurfing destinations for serious surfers from around the globe as thelong Atlantic rollers sweeping onto the west coast beaches offer idealsurfing conditions. Wave size and quality range from average to epic,with an assortment of reefs and beach breaks.
The Algarveis also the warmest place in Portugal and the most touristic one, withplenty of night attractions. The surf itself is surrounded bybreathtaking scenery, with steep reddish cliffs, wide sandy beaches andno real estate developments or seaside resorts in sight. The whole areais protected and part of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. The access tothe beaches is usually by dirt tracks twisting through spectacularscenery.
Regardedby many surfers as Europe's great hidden secret for surfing for bothbeginners and experts, Sagres offers you blue skies, crystal clearwaters and uncrowded waves. Thanks to its unique location on Europe’ssouthwestern-most cape, Sagres enjoys the best of both coasts, Southernand Western, always providing a surfing alternative according to theswell and within a maximum thirty minute drive. The West Coast receivesswells from the north and southeast. This coast has consistent wavesthroughout the year and a variety of point breaks, mostly sandy.The South Coast receives swells from the south and large swells from thewest. This region is not only known for its natural beauty but also thequality, perfection and consistency of its waves in winter.
From Maytill October, when the swell is small and waves gentle, the surf guidestake you to the chosen beach of the day in the West coast, usually goodbeach breaks. In winter from October till May, when the swells arebigger, surfaris involve more driving and much more adventure, and anentire new dimension opens up in the South Coast, including secretspots... In this season, surfaris for beginners, intermediateand experienced surfers are much more exciting and you will be able toexplore many different beaches along the entire Southern Coast fromSagres to Lagos. While the west coast can be maxing out, there isbeautiful beaches on the south coast breaking perfect glassy head-highwaves. e.g. Mareta, Barranco, Zavial, Ingrina, Cabanas Velhas, RochaNegra, Burgao, Meia Praia, Furnas, Portimao etc.
Beforeyou start any exercise, the instructor spends 15 minutes of theory inthe sand to explain what the exercise will consist of.
Introduction to waves without surfboards, introduction with the surfboard always laying down, practice balance, timing, exercises to get up on the board in and out of the water, stand up and balance position, left and right turns etc.
Paddling,sitting on the board, turning direction while sitting, explosivepaddling, paddle to the outside, techniques to pass the waves whilepaddling out (eskimo roll, etc), catching green waves with the help ofthe coach pushing, timing and reading of waves to know in whichdirection to paddle and when to get up, video analysis.
Introductionto shortboards. Duck dives, bottom turns, turn on the top (re-entry),trimming, tides, currents, introduction to reefs, getting in and out ofthe water, reading swell charts. Surfaris to secret spots. The coachwill be video recording and will correct you with an analysis at thebeach and also at the surfcamp.
Alocal surf guide will drive you to to the best surfbreaks of the areaof each particular day depending on the swell and wind conditions. Theguide will paddle out with you to the peak to introduce you to the localcrowd. No problem with locals ... Some days it may be a reef, or even alonely secret spot... only found if taken by a local.
There will be a yoga teacher and a massage therapist from March onwards.
Some Famous Spots
- Praia do Amado (West): Most famous surf spot. Large sandy beach with dunes ideal for beginners - this is where many surf schools do their teaching. Only holds up to two meters. Respect locals!
- Carrapateira/Bordeira (West): Adjacent to Praia do Amado. Splendid surf spot with sandy beach accessed through a lagoon surrounded by dunes. Perfect for beginners, but watch out for the undercurrent. Great left handers if the banks are on.
- Arrifana (West): North of Carrapateira, a scenic surf spot and beach showcased by a high cliff topped by a picturesque whitewashed village. Beach break, usually half the size of other west coast beaches - good when others are too big. To the right of the beach, you have a good right reef break, but it only breaks with at least 1.5 meter swell. Watch out for the "hamburger" or "Kangaroo" rock. Only for Kamikazes!
- Sagres (West/South): Europe's southwestern most point, this peninsula is surrounded by the Atlantic to the south and the west, providing numerous surf spots and surfing options according to swell conditions.
- Meia Praia (Lagos), Portimao and Faro (South Coast): On the Algarve's southern coast. Surf spots with good breaks offering a good alternative to the western coast when the swell is too big there, or when the SE wind (Levante) blows.