The homeland of European bodyboarding
Portugal Bodyboard Holiday
Huge variety of epic surf spots
Luxury villa and in-house chef
Beautiful beaches, cracking climate
We’re exploring the new centre of European bodyboarding: Portugal. Come with us as we stay in a luxury mansion in the heart of the action, experience the laidback lifestyle and tackle some of the best bodyboarding waves found anywhere on the continent.
Water Temperature: 14°C to 18°C
Local Currency: Euros
Local Beer: Superbok
Surf 1ft – 8ft
Incredible Beach breaks with an abundance of wedges
Perfect for beginners/intermediate/advanced riders
Incredible villa accommodation with games room, grounds and sun terraces
Private swimming pool
Cultural hot spots and stunning coastline
Portugal is home to endless swell, gorgeous weather, beautiful landscapes and incredible gastronomy, as well as super-friendly people, low costs and epic surf, and the best thing? For our UK and Ireland customers it’s only 2 hours away…
This country is seemingly custom-built for bodyboarding! Able to handle 180 degrees of swell year-round, its beautiful beaches and tucked-away coves offer up an incredible selection of waves, from punchy 1ft wedges to 100ft Nazare bombs making global headlines.
There are few countries where you can surf such a bountiful selection of beach peaks, hollow reefs, long points, massive bomboras, fun shories, wicked wedges, peaking A-frames and super fast river mouths in such an easily-accessible area. Sure, Australia has a similar variety of breaks, you just have to travel for 2 days between them!
So come along and experience bodyboarding in Portugal – an annual favourite on the world tour – with a group of like-minded booging brethren, all looking for the same thing: progressing their riding in epic waves and good weather with new friends, having fun.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll know bodyboarding has taken off in Portugal – it’s absolutely buzzing with local talent. With so many awesome barrels and sections to learn their trade on, it’s no wonder the world tour has seen an influx of Portuguese riders stake their claim in recent years.
Open to all that the North Atlantic dishes up (without draining the swell of its power with a continental shelf), Portugal is littered with options. From our luxury headquarters just 1km from the punchy waves of Praia das Macas, we’re quickly and easily able to hit a multitude of world-class spots.
North of our base, Praia do Norte hits the headlines each winter for delivering the biggest waves ever surfed for a select few jetski-wielding big-wave hellmen. However, despite this, we’d argue it’s at its most fun when 2-4ft and wedging hollow shorey sections almost tailor-made for bodyboarding.
Forget the towering skyscraper A-frames splashed on the front pages, the more accessibly-sized beach wedges on offer the rest of the year have meant bodyboarding has flourished here, and for good reason.
Closer to home is the equally-famous Portuguese Pipeline, Supertubos. Located at Peniche, this aptly-named break delivers super tubes, breaking fast and hollow over a sandbank from the gods. Though it can get busy, time it right and you’ll have a speed barrel here you’ll never forget.
One of the most amazing stretches on the coast north of Lisbon, the beautiful region of Sintra has a plethora of epic beachbreaks, bordered by Ericeira’s famed reefs to the north, and Lisbon’s popular beaches to the south, such as Carcavelos. There are also great amenities along this coast, including public showers, beach bars and restaurants.
Our elevated accommodation gives us prime position, just a few kilometres from perennial world tour spot Praia Grande (home of the Sintra Pro), and the wedgy goodness of Praia da Adraga.
As you can see, whichever direction we travel in on our surfaris, there’s a great mix of mellow waves for developing riders, and technical waves for the aspiring pro. During the week we cruise the coast each day to find the best waves, so expect super fun conditions wherever we end up … from world-renowned bodyboarding spots to entirely off-the-radar secrets.
We’re not going to beat about the bush, we’ve gone all-out on this trip, securing a massive, luxury, private mansion, in Sintra’s posh hills and neighbouring Portugal’s political big-wigs, Benfica footballers and international heads of state.
Nestled among peaceful pine trees in the Serra de Sintra National Park, our relaxing palatial villa (built as a summer house for a famous concert pianist), has masses of living space, a fully-equipped kitchen, huge dining room, full WiFi throughout; games room with pool and poker tables, and lounge with large TV and surround sound.
Outside you’ll find a big, secluded garden with chill-out areas, follies and water features; a tranquil terrace, a large barbecue arena; a heated, covered, private swimming pool; even a bandstand and a chapel!
Comprising three stories, the accommodation contains five comfortable bedrooms, with fresh, quality bed linen and towels, and housekeeping during the week. To maximise the vibe on the trip and encourage people to mingle and get to know one another, if you’re booking solo you’ll be asked to share a room with one or two other bodyboarders. Private double rooms are available for couples.
By far the best accommodation we provide on any of our trips, this musically-themed mansion is perfect for kicking back in luxury after a top day of bodyboarding.
It’s also in walking distance from vibrant village of Praia das Macas, which has a variety of shops, grocery stores, bakery, pizzeria, bars, pharmacy and a choice of restaurants serving typically delicious Portuguese dishes. Just a short drive from the villa, Sintra is also a great destination for culture vultures and foodie fanatics.
Expect reliably dry, sunny weather with temperatures up to 27°C, falling to 15°C on average overnight. While any coastal climate can occasionally catch a squall, Sintra is usually a banker and can heat up very quickly. Sun cream and a hat are a must!
In the ocean, swell season is year-round! The water temperature rarely gets lower than 14°C in the spring, and can reach 19°C in the autumn, so a 3/2mm or a 4/3mm wetsuit will be fine for either end of summer. It can also be warm enough for a shortie on the hot days, so bring it along as well if you have one, or you can hire one from us.
Seeing as this is a luxury villa, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve enlisted the silky skills of a private chef for the full experience. This option costs an extra 26 Euros per day, and includes a big daily breakfast, a packed lunch and a delicious evening meal. All tastes and food choices catered for with some fantastic vegan or vegetarian dishes for those that request it. You are catered for as an individual, we’ll ask you for your requirements before the trip begins. The end of week Bar-B-Q is always a highlight as our chef – Francisco serves up an amazing selection of food in the grounds of the villa.
Having group meals in this manner means we can all refuel with top-quality Mediterranean cuisine in the HQ while talking shop and exchanging stories about the daily sessions. Guaranteed good food, no hassle and most importantly, no washing up!
If this melts your butter, you’ll need to confirm by email before the trip and pay in cash on arrival at the villa. We take this money at the welcome meeting to pay the chef. Further details regarding the food package will be sent to you before the trip.
The spread of Portugal’s surf breaks means we’ll always be able to find quiet peaks – perfect if you’re a beginner learning the basics or an intermediate rider looking to reach the next stage. Then there are the incredible wedges and more challenging reefs for the advanced rider. We split the group by abilities to cater for all levels of bodyboarding experience.
Foundation level Instruction
Sintra caters for bodyboarders of all abilities, and you’ll often find gentler, mellower waves breaking at one end of the beach, when at the other there are waves offering barrels and steeper sections. This is great if you’re looking to test yourself without jumping in at the deep end. A great mix of waves for all abilities.
Whatever your level, our coaching team is on hand to offer daily guiding and tuition should you want it. This is tailored to your ability, with instructors who are in-house qualified and fully insured, and includes beach, water and classroom-based tuition.
Our team comprises experienced lifeguards, some of whom have 20 years of surfing and worldwide travel behind them, including multiple-times British National Champion and Team Coach Rob Barber.
We’ve got your back whatever your ability, and that’s a promise. Don’t stress if you’re only now giving it a go – on this trip there’s something for everyone, and we all have to start somewhere.
In fact, you’ll be amazed how quickly you master paddling out to catch good-quality waves, and we’re committed to patiently helping you progress.
Beginner coaching includes:
- An oceanography class at the start of the week to understand breaks, rips and currents
- Video and photo analysis
- Bodyboarding safety, beach awareness, and how to catch waves
- How to paddle out, gain speed, duck-dive and wipe out safely
- Learning moves such as cutbacks, barrel rolls and 360 spins
- How to get the most from your equipment, while having heaps of fun
Our instructors are on hand with groups in the water, able to give extra tips on the beach, and give detailed feedback during our informal classroom analysis.
As well as coaching, we’re also keen to develop your learning and understanding of the sport in general. This is why we offer a separate Q&A session, answering all things bodyboarding: equipment, travel, safety, surf prediction, understanding pressure charts and bodyboarding fitness.
Intermediate and Advanced Instruction
There is good reason why there are so many amazing bodyboarders spawned from these shores. The waves lend themselves to high level bodyboarding and we can help you perfect specific moves from reverse spins to airs. Pierre-Louis Costes uses this spot as his APB Tour pre-season training ground for good reason. The variety of the waves in this area is huge and as a result we can focus on every aspect of your riding. Or put more of a focus on guiding you to the best waves each day and letting you enjoy them while being videoed by our team.
We don’t book your air travel, but super-cheap flights are always on offer through budget airlines to Lisbon. It’s only a couple of hours from the UK, with fantastic air links with the rest of Europe and the States.
IMPORTANT – We offer our airport pick up at 8.30pm on the first day of the trip. Our drop off leaves the villa at 4am on the last day of the trip and it is a 45 minute drive to the airport. Please organise your flights for 7am onwards on the last day of the trip. We can’t access our villa until the late afternoon of the first day and we vacate the villa in the morning of the last day. If you would like to arrive or depart at another time of the day we can help you to organise a transfer to or from the airport for around 50 Euros.
You can fly to Lisbon Airport (LIS) from Manchester, Birmingham and London airports with EasyJet and Ryanair. If you are flying from the UK, we work closely with the good people at Dial-A-Flight, so get in touch and they can hook you up – just give them a call and ask to speak to our bodyboarder-friendly agent, Lee (020 7295 1556).
Alternatively, check out SkyScanner to find the nearest flights to your location. When booking, make sure you check the airline’s baggage charges by weight and number, so you don’t get hit with any nasty hidden fees on the day.
Remember – we hire equipment, which works out cheaper than paying extra for a large ‘sports equipment’ bag in the hold, and saves you carrying the thing! Just let us know in advance if this is something you’d like to do.
Once you’ve collected your bags we’ll meet you at the arrivals area. Our representative will have a clipboard that clearly states ‘Bodyboard-Holidays’, and we’ll be looking for people with bodyboard bags. Once everyone has been located, we’ll check you in.
You may have a short wait at the airport as the rest of the group assembles. If this is the case it might be worth bringing a good book, a Kindle or an iPad. There is a Starbucks with WiFi in the arrivals area.
You’re of course free to fly into wherever you choose, but please note you’ll need to find your own way to Praia das Macas if you’re not landing at Lisbon. If you would prefer to make your own transfer arrangements or can’t make the whole week that’s fine – just let us know.
We’ll then transport everyone back to the luxury villa, where you’ll be shown to your room. Shortly after arriving we’ll have a big group welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead.
May, September and October trips: The Bodyboard-Holiday is £649, this is for a shared room (twin or triple)
For a private room the price is £1199
If a non-bodyboarding partner attends their price is £599.
August Prices: The Bodyboard-Holiday is £849, this is for a shared room (twin or triple)
For a private room the price is £1649
If a non-bodyboarding partner attends their price is £749.
For three meals cooked by our private chef the price is 26 Euros per day.
Photo and Video Package
Photographs will be taken through out the holiday to help improve your riding, you can buy the shots at the end of the week for £50 and £30 for the video.
We have pro standard equipment available to hire for the week. Just let us know at the time of booking what you need and your sizes.
Pro standard Bodyboard Hire £40 per week
Wetsuit £40 per week
Fins £20 per week
The Sintra region of central Portugal is unusual in that it sees huge hills and mountains rise up behind the beaches, providing an epic backdrop on our daily surfaris.
Home to the most westerly tip of mainland Europe, this stretch of beautiful coastline sees epic swell sweep in and stack the beaches, coves and reefs with clock-setting reliability.
The area also benefits from the Serra de Sintra National Park, a coastal mountain wilderness alive with colourful flora and fauna, ancient crumbling castles and churches, and stunning panoramic sea views.
It’s the ridiculous wave potential in this region which excites any bodyboarder with a heartbeat – from the desolate sandy stretches south of Lisbon right up to Nazare and beyond.
A week barely scratches the surface here, but we’ll be sure to maximise every minute for you, helping you progress in your riding and getting you the best waves for your ability every single day.
Bodyboarding is one of life’s great pleasures, that’s why we offer an excellent selection of the highest quality kit hire for the week, which can be ordered in advance and that we’ll bring along, saving you the time and hassle and most importantly it works out cheaper than the budget airline baggage prices. It’s cheaper to rent equipment with us than paying to bring your own gear – doing this means all you’ll need to think about is the surf, sea and sun!
Pro-standard bodyboard hire – £40 per week
Swim fin hire – £20 per week
Wetsuit hire – £40 per week
Feel free to call us on 01637 879571 and we can chat with you about what you’d need to hire so it’s ready and waiting for you when you arrive.
While Portugal is smoking hot, the water is cooler than you’d think, so we’d recommend a board with a bit of flex! Therefore aim to bring a board with a low-density PP core.
To help with this, we can supply hired boards which are perfect for use in Portugal’s cool temperatures and wave types.
If you need to hire one, or are interested in trying one different to your own, get in touch and we can get you sorted with the right-sized board so you can get the most out of the week.
With sea temperatures ranging from 14°C to 19°C depending on the season, we’d recommend a decent 3/2mm or a 4.3mm wettie, and a shortie for the hot days if you have one.
It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to get the most from the awesome waves on the camp.
It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming.
Bodyboard travel bag
A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.
Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun, and drying you off as it’s a handy towel. The humble board sock is a great all-rounder.
Fin socks are a regulation piece of kit. They protect your feet from rub and sharp rocks, as well as keeping them toasty on the early morning sessions.
If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rub around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, stop chafe and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin.
Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duck dive and wipeout with both fins still attached.
There are a range of sun creams geared specifically for bodyboarding, and we can attest they actually stay on in the water!
While we can’t guarantee bright blue skies, there’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your sun cream washed off yesterday and today you’re painfully crispy.
Expect warm weather by day, so pack board shorts and t-shirts. It will cool off a little in the evenings so have a jumper or hoodie at the ready.
Our Portuguese bodyboard week comprises 7 nights of accommodation in a luxury villa, and long, fun days tracking down some of the most perfect waves to hit the Iberian Peninsula.
Every day throughout the week we’ll be driven by our expert local guides to find the best waves for your ability, normally getting up early, grabbing a snack and suiting up for some EMGO (early-morning glass-off).
After a couple of hours we’ll head back to the luxury villa for breakfast and a refuel. Once done we’re straight back on it – if it’s been pumping we’ll head back out, or check out different spots to make the most of it before tides drop or winds switch.
Back at the mansion we’ll then go through a photo and video analysis session, and people’s time is then their own to visit local tourist attractions, grab a bite or explore the stunning Portuguese landscape.
The evenings are for kicking back, witnessing a stunning sunset at the beach, using the games room, swimming pool or catching the latest bodyboarding film on the massive TV.
Photography and video analysis will be available throughout all sessions to help improve your riding, and each of these will be available to take away and keep at the end of the week too, for an additional £30 and £20 respectively.
You arrive on the first Saturday of the trip and leave on the last Saturday of the trip. Please see our ‘Travel’ tab for information about flight times and airport pick ups.
Frequently Asked Questions about our Portugal Holiday.
Do I need a visa?
Visas are not required for British and European passport holders for stays up to 90 days. Passports must be valid for three months from the date of entry into Portugal. Non-European travellers should seek advice about visa requirements from their travel agent.
I’m a silver surfer, will this be a problem?
If you’re over 60 years old – or will be turning 60 on the trip – we need to chat on the phone prior to booking. Please call us on 01637 879571, or email us to arrange a time for a call.
Can we contact you if we have travel problems?
On the day that you travel please keep your mobile phone handy so we can stay in touch in case of delays and flight changes. Please inform us at the airport if you’re early or delayed for any reason. If you need help to book your flight then just drop us a line.
If you can’t find our representative at the airport, stay there and wait, they won’t be far away, having tracked your arrival time. However, if you’re having real problems finding them, please call 00351 932 202 427 or 0044 1637 879571 and one of us will be sure to locate you.
Can I use my mobile phone overseas and at the villa?
Nearly all European mobile networks work in Portugal, and from the UK it should be no different using your phone than it is at home. Contact your network to double check any charges it may impose.
There’s also an abundance of public phones using coins and cards in the local towns, and international call charges are relatively cheap. For internet calls, there’s WiFi access at the villa with a decent connection.
What’s the best way to transport my bodyboard and kit?
Remember we have hire boards, fins and suits in the location so it will likely work out cheaper to hire. But if you are travelling with your kit it’s best to check the baggage size and weight allowance with your airline, as well as read their guidance for carrying bodyboards. Baggage handlers can be unforgiving, so a tough bag and intelligent packing are a must.
Firstly, pack your board(s) in a protective, padded board bag, and write FRAGILE and TOP LOAD ONLY on it with the largest, most permanent marker you can find. Make sure you wrap your towel and wettie around your board inside the bag for added protection. Place your shampoo and other wet toiletries in a separate sealed bag in case of leakage. We also recommend locking your bag zips with a padlock.
Do I need personal travel insurance?
Please advise our coaching staff of any medical complaints or conditions prior to your trip.
We will ask for travel insurance details upon booking, so please organise this nice and early. We will also ask you to fill out an enrolment form with these details before the holiday.
How can I find out about medical advice for travelling?
Health and safety medical advice for travellers can be found at www.doh.gov.uk. Otherwise, contact your GP or the Department of Health (DoH) for further information.
Alternatively, from the UK you can call the helpline on free phone 0800 555777. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues up-to-date information on safety issues for countries world-wide. Contact the FCO travel advice line on 020 7238 4503/4504 if you have any concerns.
What if I arrive some days before the trip starts, or want to stay on longer?
Yes this is not a problem, just contact us with your dates and we may be able to organise some additional coaching and accommodation for you.
What currency should I take?
The currency in Portugal is the Euro, which you can pick up from travel agencies, banks or post offices. There are exchange facilities in airports as well as ATMs.
Please get your money changed before the trip, or bring a valid card to take money out from the ATM in Praia das Macas, which is walking distance from the villa. We plan to be surfing and chilling as much as possible, so please don’t bring currency other than Euros.
How much should I budget for the trip?
There are local markets and shops in the nearest towns if you’re looking to take presents home, just make sure you add this to your daily allowance.
26 Euros per day will cover the food package from our chef, and it might be wise to budget an additional 5 Euros per day for coffees and snacks.
How do I make payment?
We require full-trip payment at the time of booking. However, in certain circumstances we can accommodate a payment plan, so please contact us if you need to discuss this. You must pay in full no later than six weeks before the weekend begins.
To pay with debit or credit card, we will send you an online Stripe invoice, which is quick and easy to pay. This applies to both UK and international customers.
Can I make contact from abroad?
If you are based outside of the UK and would like to chat through the weekend details, we can be contacted through WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype, just let us know by email and we can arrange this with you.
How do I pay?
Payments are all made via our online invoicing system called Simple Invoices. Once you have confirmed you wish to join a trip we will send you an online invoice via email. Within this email there will be a link where that will take you to our secure payment system where you will need to enter your credit or debit card details to make the payment. In some circumstances we can facilitate a payment plan, just let us know if you wish to discuss this. Full payment must be made 12 weeks prior to the holiday start date.
What happens if I want to cancel my booking?
If you can no longer join the trip please let us know as soon as possible via email, your cancellation will be effective from the date which it is received by Bodyboard-Holidays. Cancellation charges are payable as follows:
Over 12 weeks – deposit only (one third of the total trip price)
36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total cost
21-35 days – 75% of total cost
Under 20 days – 100% of total cost
However if your cancellation is within the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim. Further information here. https://bodyboard-holidays.com/terms-conditions/
How to book
Once you have read all the info and made your selection. Book your holiday in 3 easy steps
Fill in the enquiry form below
We’ll confirm availability and explain payment plan options.
Pay your deposit, book your flights and complete the enrolment form. You’re on the trip!