Surf camp Lisbon

The surf camp outside Lisbon is located at Praia das Macas; a beach with golden sand, clear sea and the village offers restaurants wherever you look.

When we arrived at the accommodation, we were overwhelmed by all of the decorations of surfboards, cool signs and testimonials written on the walls from satisfied people who had been there. Judging from this, we could tell that we had arrived to a true surfhouse. Just a few minutes away from Praia das Macas there is an idyllic village, Azenhas do Mar, situated right on the ledge of some cliffs. The view itself is worth a visit.

During our stay, we also got to visit the nearby fishing village, Ericeira, which is also a great place for surfing. Those days the surf lessons were held at Foz de Lizandro, which has a really modern boardwalk leading you down to the beach.

One of the evenings we got the whole gang gathered for a barbecue at the house. I’m getting spoiled with all the tasty food and the nice company, and since we had a barbecue in Algarve too it’s soon to be a tradition!

Leaving Lisbon was even sader than usual since I had to drop off my girlfriend at the airport for her to could go back to Sweden. So now I’m all alone on the road again. But only until I get to the next camp in Porto!

Talk to you soon again.

// Nick

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First wave of the trip

One of the first waves I caught during the trip. This one in Algarve, Portugal.

At the end of my journey, we’ll see if I have improved my skills  🙂

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Some surf clips from Andalucia

The manager of the surf camp in Andalucia, Andy, sent me this video to show you all what the surf spots around there has to offer the more experienced surfers. Enjoy!

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Roadtrip along the Portuguese coast

After a great stay at the surf camp in Algarve, the next destination was the surf camp outside of Lisbon. One of the best things about staying at the surf camps is all the great tips you get from the surf camp managers of places to visit, local dishes that you should try or other points of interest.

Because of all the recommendations, we had planned five different stops on our way to the surf camp at Praia das Macas.

At the first stop, we had a lunch break in Vila Nova de Milfontes, a stunning village with an entertaining story. The locals joke about that the name of the town is based upon three lies;

▪     Vila (village) – Founding the “village”, there was less than the required inhabitants
to claim the state of village.

▪     Nova (new) – It isn’t new.

▪     De Milfontes (a thousand fountains or springs) – There has never been a thousand fountains or springs.

Due to heavy trafic driving into Lisbon, we got a bit delayed and decided to head straight to Sintra, skipping Estoril and Cascais (yet another reason to come back here). It turned out to be a wise decision since there is a lot to see in Sintra. My girlfriend and me decided to take on the challenge of reaching the top of Castello de los Moros through the walking trail. To our disappointment, they hade closed the inside of the castle when we got there but the outside offered some remarkable ruins that made it worth the while.

Since I always arrive to the next place in the evening, the darkness makes it hard to get a grip of the place. Praia das Macas was no exeption, but I’m eager to experience it the following days.

// Nick

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Surf camp Algarve

The summer is the busiest season for most of the surf camps. Considering this, I’m glad that they are all so welcoming and able to make room for me to stay at their places. However, the surf camp in Algarve were fully booked even before I got in touch with them, so me and my girlfriend stayed at a hostel not far from the lodge.

Even though we didn’t live with the rest of the people at the lodge and we joined on the third day of surf school, we felt as a part of the familiar group right from the start. The camp managers, Sarah and Aldo, and the whole staff were everything you can wish for in a host. They made you breakfast, sandwiches for lunch on the beach and dinners at the lodge, every weekday!

Friday evening, we went to a barbecue at the local bar where everyone got to see pictures taken of them surfing and we got to hang out, talking about the great memories of the week.

On Saturday, we went sightseeing to discover the nearby areas. Among other places, we went up to the Castle of Aljezur and to a viewpoint over Arrifana beach. The environment was breathtaking!

Once again, I had to say goodbye to some new friends. But I have a feeling that I’ll meet them again. It’s going to be hard to stay away from a place like this! The tough life as a vagabond, photographing surfer continues…

// Nick

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Leaving Spain, entering Portugal

I felt sad to leave Conil de la Frontera, right when I was getting to know the town, the beaches and the people. The last day of my stay, I even ordered breakfast completely in Spanish. “Hola! Churros para mi, café largo con poco leche y una tostada medio con mermelada de fresa, por favor.” Conil is a lovely place that I’m already longing to come back to. To sum it all up, Surf camp Andalucia ( really set the bar high for the other camps that I’m about to visit.

Before heading into Portugal, I made some stops along the way. First off was Cadiz. The old town district got me thinking about an Italian little village, with narrow streets and flowers hanging out from the balconies. Here I met up with Paula (the german girl I met in Conil) to eat a three courses lunch including some Spanish delicacies. Afterwards, I gave Paula a ride to Sevilla, which I’m also glad I got to see at a close range. Driving through the city, we awed each and every minute over the beautiful churches, monuments and houses we got to see. Although, the one-way streets in the town centre shaped a maze that stalled me for a while before I managed to get out on the highway towards Portugal.

Considering that I’ve got a whole bag full of give-aways to the camps I’m visiting, I was a bit nervous about the customs being suspicious about my purpose of crossing the border. To my relief, there wasn’t any customs at all. Next up, was picking up my girlfriend at Faro Airport. She is joining me for the surf camps in Algarve and Lisbon. Feels great to have some company on the road other than the GPS voice telling me to take the second exit in the roundabout.

There have been a lot of new impressions, arriving to the surf camp here in Algarve. I’ll get back to you soon with an update.

Hasta luego!

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Surf Camp Andalucia

When I arrived to Conil de la Frontera one of the surf instructors at the camp, Andy, met up with me and showed me the apartment I’m staying in. It’s located right in the centre of the village, not very far from the beach and it’s very spacious and clean. At the moment I’m sharing the apartment with one German and two Spanish girls who are all fluent in Spanish, which gives me a great chance to learn some of the language by listening to their conversations.

The first night, we went out dining at a typical Spanish restaurant with tapas of fish, meat and some delicious local specialities.

This Friday I was down at the beach all day photographing the surf school. Conil is really beautiful in the morning with its wide beaches and picturesque white houses. In the evening we went out for drinks with all the people attending the surf school. For being a relatively small village, this place has a lot of pulse and nightlife to offer!

Yesterday we went to a nearby beach called El Palmar, just relaxing and awaiting the sunset. We went on by going to a real gem of a bar called El Pico de la Ola, which means “the peak of the wave”. Being there was like hanging out in a friend’s back yard listening to music, drinking Mojitos and I was enjoying the best pizza I’ve eaten in a very long time.

Tomorrow I hope that I will get to surf a little myself. It’s too tempting just standing on the beach watching the others having the time of their life!

Surf’s up!

// Nick

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