Veerle Helsen spent six months touring the coasts of north-west Spain and Portugal in her campervan and with a surfboard. Her ebook Surf & Stay paperwork the journey in images: the locations to remain, eat at and go to, in addition to the seashores. In this extract we’ve targeted on the Portuguese coast, choosing guesthouses, eating places and cafes that seize the trendy however laid-back really feel of the native browsing neighborhood.
• We’ve prevented Lisbon and far of the Alentejo, which we have already lined.
Stay: Casa Mãe, Lagos
The essential draw of Lagos could also be its seashores however its fairly, historic centre means there’s extra to it than your common seaside city, and when the summer season crowds have gone, it’s an amazing base for catching some out-of-season rays. Casa Mãe’s rooms are unfold over three buildings, a 19th-century property home, three cabañas and – essentially the most reasonably priced choice – a contemporary constructing. Rooms are embellished with the works of native designers: on the partitions hold carpets by textile label Gur, which provides previous weaving strategies a contemporary twist. The resort goals to benefit from the world and native abilities, laying on programs together with cooking and ceramics, plus yoga periods. It additionally organises browsing, SUP, bike rides and mountaineering. The resort is open year-round, and the restaurant, open to non-guests, makes essentially the most of oysters from the close by Ria Formosa.
• Doubles from €95 B&B, casa-mae.com
Surf: Chicks on Waves surf faculty, Burgau
Chicks on Waves’s One Life Lodge. Photograph: Veerle Helsen
Belgian-born Katrien Kegels organises women-only surf weeks referred to as Chicks on Waves. Accommodation is on the fantastically furnished One Life Lodge (open to males and non-surfers too; doubles from €85 B&B) that appears over Praia do Burgau. Kegels thinks browsing is a feminine sport: “The waves, the fluid lines, the poetry of the sea. We dance on the water and we’re out to have fun. Men want to prove themselves. Sometimes they break up the waves with their tricks, whereas women go with the flow of the sea.”
Eat O Lourenço, Salema
This is an easy however scrumptious seafood restaurant within the fishing village of Salema. Order the prato do dia (dish of the day) and tuck in for lower than €7. There’s no sea view but it surely’s an unpretentious place the place the swordfish steals the present. I used to be solely going to make a pit cease however ended up staying for 3 days.
• Rua 28 de Janeiro 11, +351 282 698 622, on Facebook
Drink The Garden, Lagos
At this modern jungle-themed rooftop bar in central Lagos, the meals isn’t memorable however the unique ambiance is pure holiday vibe.
• Rua Lançarote de Freitas 48, Lagos, on Facebook
ALENTEJO AND WESTERN ALGARVE
Stay: Aldeia da Pedralva
Around 10 years in the past, the village of Pedralva was nearly abandoned: simply 9 folks lived there. Since then, Lisbonite António Ferreira has introduced it again to life after shopping for up a couple of homes to show into his personal holiday home. He fell in love with the world and ended up shopping for 30 ruins for renovation. There’s deliberately no wifi however there’s a nice pizza restaurant. And the 9 locals? They caught round.
Surf: Surfmilfontes, Vila Nova de Milfontes
There aren’t as many surf faculties in Alentejo as within the Algarve, however the degree is increased. The instructors at Surfmilfontes have a ardour for the game and for the ocean, and on the web site is a complete information to all of the surf spots within the space.
Eat: Restaurant Choupana, Praia do Farol, Vila Nova de Milfontes
Photograph: Karo Krassel
With a little bit of creativeness, you would say that this seaside restaurant on stilts appears just like the cabins that Le Corbusier constructed within the south of France. Tall home windows look out on Praia do Farol, the place rocks kind a whole bunch of islands solely seen at mid-tide.
• On Facebook
Drink: Sítio do Forno, Praia do Amado
Photograph: Veerle Helsen
No matter whether or not you drive, cycle or stroll alongside the spectacular highway from Praia da Bordeira to Amado, you’re in for a deal with. The shoreline is panoramic, savage and wild, and the mountain climbing trails nearly take you into the ocean. Once on the seaside, you’ll discover a espresso truck that’s been run by the identical man, Acildo, for 25 years. Or cease for a drink and a small serving of sardinhas at Sítio do Forno. The plastic chairs and parasols might not sound inviting however the view is priceless. This is the best-known and hottest campervan spot within the Algarve.
ERICEIRA AND PENICHE
Stay: Magic Quiver, Ericeira
Petrina and Mario have been working Magic Quiver, a surf store in Ericeira, for a number of years. They additionally lease out surf shacks and seaside cabins throughout the resort. The unique inside of the store displays their former life in Kuala Lumpur, and the furnishings, picket lamps and macramé wall hangings are nearly all of the work of Petrina and native designers. Their lodge presents a uncommon service: you’ll be able to rent or take a look at boards by Portuguese and worldwide shapers. This is just for superior surfers, however taking a look at all these goodies in sweet colors will get you dreaming.
• 15A Rua 5 de Outubro, doubles on the surflodge from €56 an evening, magicquiver.com
Stay: Olá Onda, Ericeira
Loosely translated, the title means good day wave! This B&B is operated by Dutch surfer couple Jasper and Darcie. Darcie’s mom is Portuguese, so it was a straightforward alternative after they have been searching for someplace to arrange a guesthouse. They purchased a standard villa, added inexperienced shutters and spruced up the decor. Olá Onda is constructed on a hill of vines, from which you’ll be able to take within the sights and sounds of the ocean. Its web site options a wonderful information to the world’s surf spots.
• Doubles from €80 B&B, ola-onda-ericeira.com
Stay: Roots Ericeira Guesthouse & Ondina
Fred and Marta introduced out the port on my first night of their B&B, despite the fact that I arrived after midnight. The subsequent night time, they took me and a few buddies to Bar Zinho, the place we danced to a neighborhood band till the early hours. This B&B is homely quite than fancy. Fred is a former Belgian snowboarding champion who fell in love with a Portuguese lady. She is aware of the village and the village is aware of her. In the summer season of 2017 they opened a second guesthouse, Ondina. The title combines two loves: Dina (Marta’s late mom) and onda (wave). Fred surfs as properly – to identify him within the sea, simply look out for a shock of white hair.
• Doubles from €46, rootsguesthouseericeira.com; dorm beds from €22, suite from €60, ondinaguesthouse.com
Surf: Oscar Schenk
Oscar Schenk provides a surf lesson. Photograph: Damian Davila
I used to be sitting on a bench in Ericeira when Oscar Schenk’s canine got here as much as me along with his tail wagging. A chat and three surf classes later, I knew that Oscar was the most effective longboard coach in Ericeira, or anyplace else for that matter. His canine, Meneer Janssen, is a surfer too – and has his personal profile on social media.
• One-day lesson from €85pp, hotzonesurf.com
Eat: Tasca da Boa Viagem, Ericeira
Your hardly ever see Portuguese meat in coastal eating places, so the choice at Tasca da Boa Viagem is a deal with. The menu even specifies the breeds, together with the northern barossã and the mirandesa cattle, which have been used way back to tug fishing boats out of the water. Pay by the gram and select the meat (or fish – they have that too) from the refrigerated show case. Then flip round to see the home windows colored blue by the ocean within the background.
• Rua Capitão João Lopes four, tascadaboaviagem.com
Drink: Sol é Vida, Atouguia da Baleia, close to Peniche
At Praia da Consolação, this snack bar stands on the rocks within the sea, making an attempt its finest to not fall off. Visit Sol é Vida (open April to October) at excessive tide, when the waves crash towards the home windows. You can’t get any nearer to the ocean whereas consuming an aperitif.
• Praia da Consolação, hotelneptuno.pt
Stay: Casa Azul, Nazaré
There’s a monster within the sea at Nazaré. A wave referred to as Big Mama, behind the legendary lighthouse at Praia do Norte, can attain heights of greater than 30 metres. Nazaré is the one place in Portugal to carry big-wave competitions. Just off the coast, a protracted, deep underwater trench performs its half, influencing the waves because the water collides towards it. Want to see the spectacle your self? Nazaré doesn’t all the time work – not even more often than not, the truth is. Come in winter in case you’re searching for monster swells. For views of these waves, keep at Casa Azul flats, furnished by Mariana, a Lisboan who supplies a surf-and-city vibe. Her husband, a surfer named João, will gladly provide the lowdown on the close by waves.
• From €58 an evening (sleeps four), airbnb.com
Surf: Surfer’s Camp
Owner Rui Enes has been dwelling by the seaside for so long as he can bear in mind. Before he began the camp, he labored in a number of faculties in Portugal and in Brazil and Mexico. Finding a superb surf faculty as an grownup will not be all the time simple. Rui and his workforce will make you’re feeling welcome irrespective of your age. He’s a salty soul, and earlier than you understand it, you’ll be sharing sea tales.
• Praia De Esmoriz, Rua Senhor dos Aflitos 433, surferscamp.com
Eat: SWELLcafé, Figueira da Foz
Grab breakfast or lunch at this bar within the port of Figueira da Foz, the place there aren’t any condominium blocks or resorts to spoil the view. Enjoy the quirky ambiance and the scent of the Atlantic as you wash your (veggie) burger down with a scrumptious smoothie.
• Rua Cabedelo 1, on Facebook
Drink: Costa Nova Beach Club
At the doorway of Costa Nova Beach Club an indication reminds you of one thing Very Important: don’t overlook to construct a sandcastle. Everything on this bar is sea-proof: there are hammocks, old school seaside chairs and tables the place youngsters could make footage with shells or stones. The bar serves cocktails, contemporary lemonades, small dishes and selfmade batatas fritas. Only open throughout summer season.
• Praia da Costa Nova, on Facebook
PORTO AND NORTHERN PORTUGAL
Stay: Mar Dentro Surf Farm B&B, Carvalhos
Photograph: João Sousa
A 15-minute drive from Porto, however a world away, José and Joana’s Surf Farm lies subsequent to a forest. The three bedrooms, constructed round a lush courtyard, have been renovated by the couple in Portuguese surf-chic type, and there’s a caravan for rent near the forest. Boards and previous surf posters adorn the partitions, mixing with the vintage furnishings. José, who has a set of boards and wetsuits in his backyard home, takes company looking for waves. If you’re fortunate, Joana will mild the barbecue within the meantime and get cooking.
• From €40 a room with entry to kitchen, mardentro.com
Surf: Salty Waters
You can discover surf instructors anyplace, however the good ones stand out. My paddling method abruptly improved after one lesson from Pedro Santos. And it is a man with huge plans: he’s aiming to introduce Wavegarden (the bogus wave system developed in Spain and used at Surf Snowdonia) to Portugal in 2019.
• Group classes from €20, personal classes from €50 (1hr 30 minutes), saltywaters.pt
Eat: Salta o Muro, Matosinhos
Rua Heróis de França in Matosinhos is lined with household eating places. They all have no-nonsense interiors with fluorescent lighting, and there’s just one factor on the menu: fish. Ask the locals which is the most effective place to eat and so they all say the identical: “The food in all the restaurants is good – but Salta o Muro’s is the best.” That’s as a result of Moreira and his spouse Dona have been cooking right here for 30 years, because the days when fish was introduced by boat to the wall behind the restaurant (therefore the title: “jump over the wall”).
• Rua Heróis de França 386, Matosinhos, saltaomuro.pt
Eat: Tasca do Necas, Santa Marta de Portuzelo
The proprietor doesn’t converse a phrase of English, which doesn’t matter as a result of few vacationers come right here. The purple wine is served from a carafe into tiny cups and the menu revels in soups and selfmade sausage. Construction staff drink pints on the bar and households come for the home speciality: petisco de moelas (poultry gizzards).
• Santa Marta 151, Santa Marta de Portuzelo, on Facebook
Drink: Ibar, Porto
You would stroll straight previous Ibar, by Praia do Aquário, on the Atlantic coast south of Matosinhos, in case you didn’t understand it was there. Look out for a terrace with purple parasols and white lounge chairs tucked between rocks. Don’t count on revolutionary cocktails or waiters in stylish outfits, since you received’t discover them. But the ocean view is priceless: Ibar actually sits on the sting of the ocean.
• Av. de Montevideu 516, Praia do Aquário, on Facebook
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