2 Jul

Surf Hostels, Surf Houses and Surf Camps in Portugal – is it all the same?

 If you search online for a surf related accommodation in Portugal, or around Porto to be more precise, you’ll find several results, most of them surf camps, then a couple of surf houses and a few surf hostels. But for those who are not that familiar with these type of accommodation, such a variety of results can be confusing and hard to understand.

Which are the main differences between a surf hostel, a surf house and a surf camp in Portugal? Once you know them you can decide which will suit you better. Then it’s up to you…


Surf Camps Porto, Portugal

A surf camp is thought for groups of people, larger or shorter, that are looking for a surfing experience and spending some good time around. Most of the accommodation is shared, usually 4-12+ persons per room in bunker beds. Check-in/out days are predefined in most of the camps and guests may count with a weekly agenda. Surfing lessons also happen in pre-established dates, Sunday being the most common day off.

Surfing lessons reflect the Surf Camp type of accommodation spirit: the group usually surfs together and fun moments are always present. Besides surfing, guests also travel together for sightseeing, partying and even shopping, depending on the distance to the closest supermarket. The night party, both at the camp and outdoors, is part of the surfing holidays and tonnes of fun and laughter are included. Guest’s average ages are usually lower when comparing to some other surf-related accommodation types.

Surf Camps in Portugal can provide not only surfing lessons, but also SUP tours, yoga, walking tours, etc., and in most of them you can find surfing packs.


 Surf Hostels in Porto, Portugal

 Even though there are only a few of them, especially compared to other accommodation types, a surf hostel is basically a hostel with a surfing theme. That goes for the decor in the common areas and rooms, most of them, if not all, in shared accommodation that hosts 4 or more persons (bunker beds), to the fact that surfing lessons can be offered as well, but in most of the cases through a local surf school partner.

Usually this kind of accommodation is located closer to the city’s centre than other surf-related accommodations, which allows visitors to get in touch with the city life during the day and party at night. Most of these places don’t provide accommodation packages, but simply bed & breakfast accommodation plus extra activities that can be requested separately.

Most of the guests stay for a shorter period when compared with other accommodations type.

A Surf Hostel is your best choice if you are interested in surfing but also want to get in touch with the city life and meet other people.


Surf Houses Porto, Portugal

 Surf houses are often for small groups of people and, therefore, services provided can be more customised. Guest can decide if they want to spend their time on their own or simply join the group. Couples, single travellers or small groups of friends are the typical guests, usually 25+ years old.

Most of the surf houses don’t have fixed check-in/out date. Even though most of these places offer surfing lessons, you can find a few ones where that service happens through a local surf school partner.

Those who already surfed know that relations get stronger when surfing happens together: new friendships are born and bonds can last a lifetime. Water can definitely leave a mark! As a Surf House ourselves, we think it’s important for us to lead the surfing lessons and that’s why we keep saying that most of our visitors arrive as guests and leave as friends. We try to think about them individually and make our services the more personal we can. That goes for the surfing (equipment choice, surfing conditions that suits each guest, surfer/teacher ratio having in consideration not only the number of surfers but also their skills) and for the other services provided that we think are really helpful in surfing – functional training and yoga for surfers.

We like to chat with our guests about surfing, but also about our culture and local habits, music, surfing, politics, football, surfing and fairy tales as well! And we’re not that concerned with hosting large groups but in getting close to each guest, which reflects our close attendance purpose.


Main differences between Surf Hostels, Surf Houses and Surf Camps in Portugal and Porto

Surf HostelsSurf HousesSurf Camps
RoomsShared (+)




Shared (+)


Accommodation typeB&b (+)

extra activities

Surfing packs (+)


Surfing packs (+)


GuestsSingle travelers (+)

Small groups of friends

Couples (++)

Single travelers (+)

Small groups of friends

Groups of friends (+)

Single travelers

Ages (average)Teenagers – 20’s25-3520’s
Surfing LessonsYes, through local surf school partnersYes, both through local surf school partners or directly with the Surf House


Yes, with the Surf Camp


Surfing Lessons Days & SchedulePre-defined


Pre-defined (+)

Depending on conditions

Pre-defined (Mon-Fri/Sat)
ServicesThrough partners.


Through partners.

More customised (directly with the surf house)

PackagesOn extra services only (through local partners)Surf packsSurf packs
Check –in / out daysFlexibleFlexible or Pre-definedPre-defined


Note that each surf hostel, surf house and surf camp in Portugal, and in Porto area to be more exact, define their services and set up their working guidelines. Having this in consideration, and once you know the type of surfing vacations in Portugal you pretend, we think it will be easier to decide in which type of surfing accommodation you would rather stay. Then, our advice to surfing travellers is to search online the existing options and check their website, social media, and past guest’s reviews.

Later, if you decide to stay with us, you already know what you can expect… No surprises!!!


Watermark Surf House

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