One out of five of the best surf camps in the world is a surf camp in Portugal, according to the recommendations of SurferToday.com. While the listing is not exhaustive, it places Portugal in competition against much larger countries such as Spain and Australia. So why is there such a large surf camp ratio in Portugal?
First thing is the fact Portugal has a very long coastal line and is one of the most consistent surf locations in Europe, most of the surf spots in Portugal allowing for surfing all throughout the year. A key factor here is that when Autumn and Winter comes, water temperatures in most places drop significantly, but Portugal's well balanced climate keeps water temperatures well above 10ºC in most places.
Portugal: a surf camp country
Since 1993, when the first surf camp in Portugal opened to the public, the number has increased dramatically, making Portugal the country with the most surf camps per capita. Local authorities have been quick to take advantage of the potential of surfing for tourism, while local surfers have been instrumental in maturing the sport in the country, aided undoubtedly by the number of international pro surfers who have settled in Portugal or have been very supportive of the surfing conditions here, such as Max Doucet, Anthony Walsh and of course, Garrett McNamara with his "The North Canyon Show by Garrett McNamara".
Portugal is therefore becoming an ever increasingly popular surf destination in Europe. But looking for a surf camp in Portugal also means that you're fortunately looking into a very democratic market, meaning there are options for all budgets and desires, so unlike what happens in other locations you won't have to cash out large sums of money, and you'll still have access to very interesting living conditions and a lot of surfers from around the world to meet and create new bonds. With a lot of beachbreaks, Portugal has no lack of surf spots ideal for beginners and, in consequence, also has a market geared towards full family vacations.
That means that, should you be looking for surfing opportunities for yourself or the whole of your family, there is a surf camp in Portugal that will fit your needs.