2 Jul

surfers accommodation types, which is the best?

If you search online for a surfers 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 surfers accommodation types, such a variety of results can be confusing and hard to understand.

So what 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 to be for groups of people, large or small, that are looking for a great surfing experience and spending some good time in general. Most of the accommodations are shared, usually 4-12+ persons per room in bunk 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 match the overall the surf camp accommodation spirit: doing all things together. 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. The average age of guests tend to be lower compared with the other surfers 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 couple of them, especially compared to other the other accommodation types, a surf hostel is basically a hostel with a surfing theme. It reflects in the decor in the common areas and rooms. They are mostly shared accommodations that hosts 4 or more persons (bunk beds). Surfing lessons can be offered as well, but in most of the cases through an external local surfschool partner.

Usually this kind of accommodation is located closer to the city’s centre than one of the other types of surfers accommodation, 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 surf vacation packages, but simply bed & breakfast stays  plus extra activities that can be requested separately.

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

So to conclude, a Surf Hostel is a good 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 customized. Guest can decide if they want to spend their time independently or simply join the group. Couples, single travelers 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 dates. Even though most of these places offer surfing lessons, you can find a few ones where that service happens through an external local surfschool partner.

Those who already surfed know that bonds get stronger when surfing happens together: new friendships are born and memories can last a lifetime. Water can definitely leave a mark! (hence the name Watermark, get it ;)! Before we started to offer our professional services, we were just surfers looking for the best experience like you. We traveled and experienced different types of surfers accommodations in different places. Although we enjoyed each one in it’s own right, we knew we wanted to combine the best of all types. The flexibility, independent nature and comfort of a surf hostel, combined with a surf camp experience on the days you want too.


The Watermark surf house experience

We offer surf houses and we think it’s important to offer our own personalized custom surf 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 that reflects in our services. That goes for the surfing (equipment choice, surfing conditions that suits each guest, the surfer/teacher ratio; where we not only keep in mind 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 have been YOU several years ago, when there weren’t many choices and therefore we like to offer our services to those who seek that personalized relaxed down to earth approach to surfing. That is who we are and that is the type of people we would like to invite to give us a try.

We like to chat with our guests about surfing, but also about our culture and local habits, music, surfing, politics, football, surfing and whatever comes to mind! And we made a conscious decision to not host large groups because we want to have a offer a personalized service to each of our guests. That is how we like to run our services, it makes everything more fun.


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

Surfers accommodation types:

Surf HostelsSurf HousesSurf Camps
RoomsShared (+)




Shared (+)


Accommodation typeB&b (+)

extra activities

Surf vacation packages (+)


Surf vacation packages (+)


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 vacation  packagesSurf vacation packages
Check –in / out daysFlexibleFlexible or Pre-definedPre-defined


In conclusion:

Note that each surf hostel, surf house and surf camp in Portugal, and in Porto area to be more exact, defines their own surfers accommodation & services and set up their working guidelines. Different wants, different needs. Once you know the type of surf vacation you prefer, we believe it gets easier to decide which type of surf accommodation fits best to your personal needs. Off course we would like it to be us, we are not gonna lie. So our honest advice for surf travelers is to look up the different existing options online and check their website, social media, and past guest’s reviews. So if you feel good with one of them, follow your instinct.

We show us, so when you come over, you can be you. therefore no need to act a certain way. If you decide to stay with us, you already know what to expect. So no surprises!!!


Watermark Surf House

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