02 Feb The 10 Best Things To Do in Portugal When We’re Not Surfing!
Golden beaches, white-washed fishing villages, buzzing nightlife and oh so many waves to choose from makes the Algarve on the south coast of Portugal a dream surf destination. And even better, it’s just a quick hop across from the UK! Whilst we’re all about the stoke, there’s loads more to this sun-drenched corner of coastline than just surfing. At our Portugal surf camp you’re free to surf as much or as little as you like, so you can soak up some of the local culture and see the place from different perspectives – be that from a kayak, a clifftop or a cobbled street café!
Here’s a roundup of our 10 favourite things to do in Portugal when we’re taking some time off from the surf!
1. Head to the beach for sea swims and sunbathing
With the beach just a 10-minute stroll away from our accommodation, there’s always time for a quick dip! Porto de Mos is our local spot, a long stretch of golden sand lapped by turquoise waters and backed by rugged cliffs. It’s the perfect spot for morning sea swims and afternoon snoozes in the sun – don’t forget to bring a good book for that ultimate summer holiday feeling!
2. Become obsessed with Pastéis de Nata
Did you even go to Portugal if you didn’t eat at least three of these traditional custard tarts a day? Once you’ve had a taste of the caramelised custard, flaky pastry and creamy centre, you’ll soon learn that one is never enough. In between surfs we’ll take you to our favourite local coffee spots to try a pastel de nata (or five), best served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and washed down with a cheap espresso. They are dangerously delicious – you have been warned!
3. Walk along the coast and take in the stunning scenery
The Algarve is known for its dramatic coastline – all honey-coloured cliffs, secret sandy coves and pine-covered hills – so if you’re still feeling active after the surf, there are plenty of trails to explore by foot. Within striking distance of our accommodation you’ll find Ponta de Piedade, a headland walk that looks down on caves and rocky arches half-submerged by the sea. Just west of Lagos the Costa Vicentina begins, a wild enclave of protected coastline with one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the country and some stunning beaches.
4. Stretch out surf-sore muscles in our yoga classes
Yoga is an amazing compliment to surfing, not only for keeping your body physically limber and prepped for your next session, but also for helping you connect deeper with that flow state of mind when riding a wave. We’ll be guiding you through some yoga-inspired stretching before and after the surf throughout the week to look after your mind, body and soul.
5. Spend a day exploring Lagos
On our surf-free day we’ll take you into the pretty port town of Lagos, filled with cool cafés, cobbled lanes and a mix of stunning architecture surrounded by 16th century city walls. From Aussie-style breakfasts of avo toast and Eton-mess pancakes to historic churches and picture-perfect coastal walks, you can jam-pack the day as much as you like!
6. Indulge in some retail therapy
Whilst you’re there, Lagos has some great shopping to splash out on! We love the street markets and little independent boutiques selling everything from vintage treasures and handmade ceramics to cute baskets and cork-made souvenirs. You’ll also find the coolest skate apparel at Good Times skate shop, and if you’re in the market for a new board or wetsuit, we’ll take you to the local Quiksilver shop and give you our advice on what to look for if it’s your first time buying.
7. Go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding
This beautiful stretch of coastline is dotted with hidden caves, rock formations and lagoons, and the best way to explore them is from the water. So if you don’t fancy a day in Lagos, we can book you onto a kayak or stand-up paddle board tour instead! The tour will lead you through the grottos of Ponta de Piedade, where you can moor up on a secret beach and jump in for a swim in the crystal clear waters.
8. Chill out by the pool or in the sauna
Need a bit of R&R on your surf holiday? Our accommodation has a lovely pool, sauna and hot tub that you can use whenever you feel like taking some time out from the surf. But it’s not just about relaxing – the sauna can actually help your body bounce back after a surf! The heat is said to improve blood circulation, helping any damaged muscles repair and speeding up your recovery time. Follow it up with a soothing soak in the hot tub and you’ve got a dreamy afternoon of self-care.
9. Share dinners together at our favourite local restaurants
Food-lovers, you’re in for a real treat on this trip! From local Portuguese cuisine and fresh seafood at cute beachside restaurants to Mediterranean tapas and homemade sangria, Mexican burrito bowls and surf-and-turf ramen in Lagos, we’ll be taking you to all the best foodie spots in town. You’ll also have some free time to head off and find your own favourites!
10. End the day with sunset drinks
There’s no better way to end the day than watching the colours of the sunset light up the sky over the ocean – and the sunsets can be pretty spectacular here on the Algarve. We like to enjoy them all together with a glass of Portuguese vino in hand, either around the pool or on the beach with our toes in the sand – how lush!
So will Portugal be your next surf trip?! Join us in the sunny Algarve from the 14th – 21st October this year to boost your surf skills, top up your tan, eat ALL the pastéis de nata and meet a tribe of like-minded water women!