While some people’s idea of a dream vacation is sitting on a beach with a mai tai in hand, others like a little more adventure and thrill. Taking a surf vacation is the best of both worlds, as you’re able to still get in those beach days while also staying active in the water. If you don’t know how to surf or you want more guidance for improving your skills, we suggest signing up for a surf camp. This way, you’ll get an awesome sense of community along with customized surf lessons by professional instructors. Whether you’re a beginner surfer or an experienced one, this guide has the best surfing camps in the world for you to pick from.
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6 Awesome Surfing Camps
Location: R. das Curveiras s/n, 2655-099 Carvoeira, Portugal
Price: €499/person for seven nights
Lapoint has surfing camps in six countries across the world, but our favorite has to be the one in the Portuguese fishing town of Ericeira. Here they give you an authentic taste of the surfing lifestyle as well as providing some awesome social activities for you to connect with other surfers. Ericeira was awarded the World Surfing Reserve status back in 2011 because of its perfect water conditions. No matter the season, the slightly sunny weather always makes it a great time to ride the waves.
The Lapoint Surf Camp in Portugal is headed by coach Joao Durao who strives to make surfing a fun experience for everyone. Whether you choose the 2 or 3-week package, you can expect theory lectures and fitness training across your five lessons, along with yoga, breakfast, and accommodation.
Location: 849 Almar Avenue, Santa Cruz, California 95060
Price: Starts at $120/person
If you’re looking for one of the top beginner surfing camps that will teach you all the basics, look no further than the Richard Schmidt Surf School. This retreat is awesome for those who have always wanted to crash some waves but never built up the courage. The camp is led by Schmidt himself, a professional big-wave rider who’s been teaching people his tricks since the 1970s. Richard and his instructors always give beginners the help they need and watch proudly as their students ride a wave after their first lesson.
Your six-day retreat will kick off with a hearty breakfast before you hit the Santa Cruz waves. On the following days, you’ll get much-needed sports massages as your coached on your surfing technique. For those wanting a luxurious beach experience, however, this might not be the best fit for you, as you’ll be tenting in a KOA Campground. However, it does have some awesome amenities, like a pool and hot tub along with an arcade and ping-pong tables.
3. Go Surf, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Location: Unstadveien 39, 8365 Unstad, Norway
Price: Starts at £442/person
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and slate-blue seas, Lofoten is truly one of the most scenic cold water surf locations in the world. But don’t let the word ‘cold’ scare you away. Wearing a wet suit while you surf will keep you warm enough to spend hours in the ocean. If you do get cold, there’s a sauna in the surf house where you can relax and defrost. Go Surf’s founder, South African Shannon Ainslie, often describes Lofoten as the most beautiful place he’s ever been, so the chilly weather will be well worth it.
For those who want a lot of guidance in their lessons, this surfing camp is a great option, as the groups are small and they give each student lots of individual attention. During your four-night surfing vacation, you can expect three days full of lessons and accommodations. The package also includes yummy breakfast, hiking trips, and airport transfers for everyone.
Location: Polzeath, Beach, Wadebridge PL27 6TB, United Kingdom
Price: Starting at £200/person
Hidden somewhere in Polzeath in North Cornwall is George’s Surf School. It’s owned by George Stoy who has an exceptional level of passion for surf instruction. His surfing school was even recognized as a center of excellence by Surfing England. Stoy’s main focus is to build confidence in his students, so you can expect to leave this place as a knowledgeable surfer. He also believes in making surfing an experience that’s open to everyone, which is why his surf school takes both adults and children as little as four years old!
You can choose between a two-day beginner course, a three-day improver one, or a five-day advanced course. Or book a private surf lesson with Stoy if you want some real one-on-one guidance.
Location: C. el Cjón., 4, 35558 Caleta de Famara, Las Palmas, Spain
For those who want to customize their surfing experience, Surf School Lanzarote is the ideal option. It’s based at Famara Beach on the north coast of the Canary Islands. Even though the place often looks deserted because of the Atlantic storms, it’s a super dramatic location to take surfing lessons.
Surf School Lanzarote is run by the charismatic coach Tim Jones who has more than 35 years of experience as a surf instructor. He wants to make everyone’s surfing experience as comfortable as possible, which is why the school offers transport from the nearby Famara Apartments and gives tailor-made coaching plans. They offer three, four, and five-day courses which can be designed according to your requirements. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can fly down to their school in Sri Lanka’s south coast which is one of the top surfing camps for medium-level surfers.
6. Australian Surf Tours, New South Wales, Australia
Location: 14 29/23 Bourke St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia
Price: Starts at $150/person
This top-rated, all-inclusive surfing camp in Australia is truly the place to be for a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience. They offer camps and lessons for all levels of surfers, including beginners who are just learning to ride the waves. All their camps have a young and international vibe, so you’ll get to meet a bunch of people from around the world. The coolest part about the Australian Surf Tours is that they have exclusive access to 10 different beaches for their surf camps. Another bonus is that their local team of hand-picked instructors are all Surfing Australia qualified, so you know you’ll be learning from the best.
No matter what course you take, the team makes sure you pay a visit to the National Surfing Reserve called Killalea, a quiet cove with crystal clear waters and lots of marine life. You can choose between their 1-day, 2-day, 7-day, and 14-day surf camps depending on how long you want to stay. Every day, you can expect to be coached through video lessons, have breath enhancement sessions in the spacious pool, and even experience the true Aussie culture by skateboarding!
Additional Resources For the Best Surfing Camps