Surf and yoga holidays have become really popular these days, with retreats, surf camps and hostels all vying for your attention. Surf and yoga in Portugal has taken off in the last few years. Dozens of businesses are all competing for a slice of your hard earned pay check. Consequently with so many options and locations to choose from, it’s very hard to know which choice is right for you.
The Algarve region of Portugal is truly stunning. Picturesque small bays and long sandy beaches with amazing golden cliffs in the background are highlights of this stretch of Portugal. Fine white sand meets a clear blue Atlantic Ocean, inviting you to lay down a towel and relax. The sea is generally warm and most beaches are awarded the European blue flag symbol, awarded for safety and cleanliness.
A consistently warm climate guarantees over 300 days of sunshine every year. Making this an ideal location to try surf and yoga in Portugal. The south west corner of the Algarve, an area around Sagres up to Arrifana has numerous beaches perfectly suited to people trying surfing for the first time. Surf and yoga holidays are available throughout the region with most centered around Arrifana, Sagres and Lagos. The Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina is a stunning backdrop to the area. Somewhere to revel in the spirit of nature and get back to your holistic roots.
If sunshine and beautiful surroundings are the most significant factors in your choice of destination, then the Algarve is for you. Keen Yogis will love the climate and surroundings here. Also the holiday season is 2 to 3 months longer, often extending from late March through to November. Whilst it does have plenty of places to surf, there is very little variety in the types of wave available. Above all, this area is more suited to beginner and intermediate surfers. Lastly, the surf in this region can be very inconsistent, particularly around Lagos. More advanced surfers will probably prefer the options available around Peniche and Ericeira.
In a world without financial constraints and knowing everything I now know after 10 years in Portugal. The area around Sintra and Ericeira is where I would probably choose to live. Firstly this is an area of Portugal with everything. The history, culture and social scene of Lisbon is only 30 minutes away. The coastline is beautiful, rugged and unspoilt, also this region contains some of the best surf spots in the northern hemisphere. As a consequence Ericeira was named the world’s first surfing reserve a few years ago. Spots like Coxos and Ribeira d’ilhas are known throughout the surfing world primarily for their quality and consistency. For surf and yoga in Portugal, this is a great choice, as a result, large numbers of surf and yoga retreats and resorts have appeared in recent times.
Ericeira is a charming, mid sized coastal town. Historically regarded as a fishing village, after that better known as a weekend and holiday get away for Lisbonites. In addition, it is now the central hub for surf and yoga in Portugal.
Finally, this is the area most suited to more advanced surfers looking to enjoy surf and yoga in Portugal. The types of waves here are some of the best on the planet. The variety of retreats on offer also means there is something for all tastes.
The weather is not as reliably hot as in the Algarve, but any time from May to October is almost certainly going to deliver good conditions.
Peniche is the Mecca for surfing in Europe and most certainly Portugal. Peniche and Baleal are famous for a reason. Above all, this is somewhere that almost always guarantees waves. Surf rolls in from the north Atlantic all year round and the nature and variety of conditions here, make it a great destination for all levels of surfer. As a result, competition is fierce here. Prices are very competitive, particularly for surf lessons which can be found for as little as 25 euros.
Surf and yoga holidays are very popular here, with high quality and great prices easy to find. Boa Onda located near Supertubos provides a particularly high standard of both surfing and yoga classes. Silvercoast Apartments offers great accommodation, surf and yoga holidays with amazing food all in one fantastic package.
However, Peniche and Baleal are not just about great surfing. The local cuisine, particularly seafood, make this a great place to visit for any foodies visiting Portugal. The coastline is stunning, with long sand beaches stretching for miles, as well as small rocky coves and bays. There’s always a spot to relax and enjoy the sun away from the summer crowds.
The climate here doesn’t match the Algarve for consistent sunshine. Summer and Autumn are pretty amazing, but winter is more a time for great waves as opposed to lounging by the pool.
If, like my better half, sunshine, balmy evenings and a warm ocean are holiday priorities. The Algarve is my top pick for a surf and yoga holiday in Portugal. Flights to Faro are easy to find, often cheap and nowhere in the region is more than 90 minutes from the airport.
Likewise, for those of you who really want to get stuck into the surfing side of things. Peniche or Ericeira are by far the better options.
Ericeira with its proximity to Lisbon and Sintra. Will stand out for those wanting to add a dose of culture to their visit.
Lastly but by no means least. Peniche offers almost certain quality surf, and amenities. Generally it’s very competitively priced and nearby Baleal is a great place to go out and let loose. The choice is yours, take a relaxed attitude, enjoy the fine local food and wines and have a great time.