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Top Surf Camps for Beginners Across the Globe

by Octavia Drughi

The go-to resource for planning your surf camps. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your surfing to new heights.
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Have you always wanted to learn to surf? It might be time to get around to it.

If you’ve never surfed before, a surf camp for beginners will help you catch your first waves and learn the basic maneuvers. But even if you’ve had a few lessons before, you might still be considered a beginner or novice surfer, and a surf vacation will help you master the basics and improve.

When planning a surf trip, finding accommodation, surf lessons, and board rental separately in a new destination can be daunting. Not to mention that it can cost a pretty penny. This is where surf camps come in! They are one of the most versatile solutions for beginners looking to learn to surf without investing too much time and money just yet.

These surf camps provide tuition, all the necessary surfing equipment, transfer to the waves, accommodation, sometimes even meals and airport transfer (depending on the package). You don’t have to worry about a thing besides getting there, catching your first waves, and progressing to the next level.

Ready for some action? Read on and find out our recommendations of surf camps for beginners across the globe:

» READ MORE: What Will You Learn on a Surf Camp for Beginners?

 

7 Days Surf Camp in Ericeira, Portugal

beginner-surf-camp-ericeira-portugal

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From EUR 335 per person for 7 days/6 nights

This highly-reviewed budget surf camp in Ericeira offers coaching for beginners who’ve never surfed before or novice surfers who wish to get a good grasp of the basic techniques. What’s more, you’ll benefit from free use of the camp’s surfing equipment all day long throughout your stay, which is a great opportunity to surf for as long as you wish outside the lessons.

During your first lesson, the instructor will analyze your level and develop a personalized plan with different objectives for the following days.

You’ll enjoy six surf lessons of 2.5 to 3 hours each. These are held in small groups, with maximum six students per instructor. Each day, the coaches will take you to the best surf spots in Ericeira for your level, depending on the conditions.

Stay in a surf house with seven thematic rooms, located right in the center of Ericeira and overlooking the ocean. You’ll have access to all its facilities: living room, kitchen, lounge area, terrace, barbecue facilities, Wi-Fi, and bike rental.

 

Best time to surf in Ericeira for beginners

Summer months (May-September) bring smaller, less powerful waves that are great for beginners. This is also when Ericeira’s nightlife and party scene is most active.

Because of the cold Atlantic currents, the water is cool all year round and you’ll need a wetsuit even in summer. In July and August, the average water temperature is 18°C (64°F).

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), 31km (19mi) from the camp. Airport transfer is included in the package price.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Ericeira

 

7 Day Multilevel Surf Camp in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

beginner-surf-camp-algarve-portugal

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From EUR 467 per person for 7 days/6 nights

This surf camp in sunny Algarve welcomes all levels of surfers with lessons tailored to your specific needs. 

There are lots of different surf beaches near Lagos and the instructors will choose the best ones for your level, depending on the conditions of the day. If you’re a newbie, the friendly instructors will introduce you to surfing in a safe and fun environment. If you already have some experience, the team offers coaching to help you reach your goals.

Enjoy daily surf lessons, twice a day, two hours each. On a typical day, you’ll have breakfast at 9 a.m., then head out to the surf spot of the day. There’ll be two surf lessons a day, held before and after lunch. 

Stay in the heart of the picturesque historical town of Lagos, in a surf house with a kitchen, lounge area, barbecue facilities, and two large terraces. Everything you need will be right at your doorstep.

Daily breakfast and lunch are included in the price. The camp also offers complimentary surfari weeks and free yoga classes on certain dates.

 

Best time to surf in Lagos for beginners

May through September is the best time for beginners to surf in the Algarve. This is also when the region receives more reliable swells, compared to other spots in Europe.

The Algarve has the warmest water temperatures in Portugal. In late summer and early autumn, the water reaches 21-23°C (70-73°F).

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Faro Airport (FAO), 63km from the camp. Transfer from and to the airport is available for an additional fee. 

 

8 Days Basic Beginner Surf Camp in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

beginner-surf-camp-gran-canaria-canary-islands

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From EUR 235 per person for 8 days/7 nights

This budget surf camp in the Canary Islands offers a program specifically designed for beginners.

The main objectives during your stay will be to learn the correct surf stance, how to paddle to catch waves, how to pop up on the board, understanding the different wave types, use and maintenance of the surfing equipment, as well as the importance of warming up and stretching.

There’ll be daily surf lessons of two hours each, held in small groups with six students per instructor. The lessons will take place at Playa de Las Canteras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where a variety of waves await.

Each lesson includes surf theory, warm-up, practice on the beach, practice in the water, and stretching.

Best time to surf in Gran Canaria for beginners

Summer and autumn are the best seasons for beginners, as the water is warmer and most surf spots have gentle waves. That said, there are beginner-friendly surf spots all year round, which makes the Canary Islands one of the world’s best places to learn to surf.

The water reaches 22-24°C (72-75°F) in late summer and early autumn, and drops to 17-20°C (64-68°F) in winter.

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), 23km (14mi) from the camp. Airport transfer is available for an additional fee.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in the Canary Islands

 

8 Days Beginner Surf Camp in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

beginner-surf-camp-fuerteventura-canary-islands

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From EUR 349 per person for 8 days/7 nights

Dreaming of catching your first waves? On this affordable surf camp in Fuerteventura, everyone shares the same goals.

The camp offers surf courses for both beginners and intermediate surfers. The instructors will evaluate your skills and develop the right program for you so that you can improve your technique. This is a totally mobile surf school as you’ll be taken to the best surf spots in Fuerteventura for your level.

Enjoy six days of surf lessons and see real progress every time. You’ll also get free use of the camp’s first-class surfing equipment so that you can ride the waves on your own whenever you wish.

Stay in the center of the picturesque fishing town of Corralejo, in the north of Fuerteventura, in a Mediterranean-style surf house with inner courtyard, lounge, sun deck, common kitchen. Corralejo is Fuerteventura’s surfing capital, with several surf spots for beginners, such as Rocky Point, Flag Beach, and El Burro.

 

Best time to surf in Fuerteventura for beginners

Same as the rest of the Canary Islands, the best time for beginners to surf in Fuerteventura is summer and autumn, when the waves are gentler. That said, there are certain surf spots, like the ones near Corralejo, which are suitable for beginners all year round.

The weather is lovely all year round and the water is pleasant, around 22-24°C (72-75°F) in late summer and 17-20°C (64-68°F) in winter.

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Fuerteventura Airport (FUE), 31km (19mi) from the camp. Airport transfer is included in the price.

» READ MORE: The World's Best Surfing Destinations for Beginners

 

6 Days Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

beginner-surf-camp-tamarindo-costa-rica

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From USD 550 per person for 6 days/5 nights

Tamarindo is considered the best place to learn to surf in Costa Rica, and as soon as you arrive at this surf camp, the instructors will assess your level and fit you into a group of similar abilities. Beginners will surf at Playa Tamarindo, while intermediate surfers can challenge themselves on the nearby waves at Avellanas, Langosta, Playa Grande, and Playa Negra.

There’ll be four days of surfing lessons, two hours each. You’ll also get free use of the surfing equipment outside the lessons so you can surf as much as you wish during your free time.

You’ll stay in a private air-conditioned room in the heart of the chilled surf town of Tamarindo. Other facilities include outdoor swimming pool, kitchen, and Wi-Fi. Tamarindo Beach is only a five-minute walk from the hotel.

The package includes daily breakfast, one snorkeling trip, one yoga lesson, one USB stick with pictures of you surfing, and one free T-shirt.

When you’re not surfing, there are plenty of other activities to try in Tamarindo, from ATV tours to diving, snorkeling, kayaking, horse riding, and more. The staff can arrange these experiences for you for an additional cost.

 

Best time to surf in Tamarindo for beginners

Tamarindo has beginner-friendly waves all year round. However, the dry season, between November and March, is the most pleasant time of year. The weather is lovely, the waves are slightly smaller, and the winds are offshore in the morning.

The water is warm water all year round, between 77-86°F (25-30°C).

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Liberia Airport (LIR), 28.5mi (46km) from the camp. Airport transfer is not provided.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Costa Rica

 

7 Day Exclusive Surf Retreat for Beginners in Baja California Sur, Mexico

beginner-surf-camp-cabo-mexico

  • Availability: September till March
  • Price: From USD 425 per person for 7 days/6 nights

This budget surf camp in Mexico is specifically designed for beginners. Based in San Jose del Cabo, its main goal is to help you live the Baja dream.

This exclusive surf retreat only welcomes a maximum of four participants at a time. There’s no fixed schedule, which is precisely what sets this camp apart. You’ll just go with the flow and surf where and when the waves are best.

On a typical day, you can go for a walk on the beach at sunrise, grab a light breakfast, go surfing, enjoy some beach time, chill at the hostel, walk around the historical center of San Jose, and do some sunset outdoor activities.

Each day, the team of dedicated surf instructors will take you to the best waves in Cabo for your level, on uncrowded beaches with crystal-clear water.

There’ll be five surf lessons of 90 minutes each, plus 15 minutes of yoga flow warm-up before each session.

Your stay includes daily breakfast, coffee, fruits, snacks, and water. You’ll go on one guided walk in the art district and historical center of San Jose. You’ll also get one relaxing massage designed to ease the muscles used when surfing. The package also includes one night of glamping on the beach in true Baja style. All the camping equipment is provided.

 

Best time to surf in Cabo for beginners

Thanks to its exposure, Cabo has great surf all year round. On the Sea of Cortez, May to October are the best months. On the Pacific side, November to April offer the best conditions. This is also when the waves are friendlier and more suitable for beginners.

The water is warm water all year round, hovering around 73-84°F (23-29°C).

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). Airport transfer is not provided.

» READ MORE: Surfing in Mexico: Your Guide to the Best Waves

 

8 Days Authentic Surf Camp in Tamraght, Morocco

beginner-surf-camp-tamraght-morocco

  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From USD 534 per person for 8 days/7 nights

This all-inclusive surf camp in Morocco offers coaching for beginners and intermediates. There’ll be six days of surf lessons, with maximum five students per instructor. You’ll enjoy two sessions a day – a lesson in the morning and self-practice in the afternoon.

The instructors will take you to the best waves of the day based on your level. The surf spots may change depending on the weather, tide, and swell conditions. Beginners will start in the whitewater, where they’ll get a good grasp of the basic techniques, then progress to green waves.

Stay in a surf hotel in the heart of Tamraght, with a rooftop terrace and ocean views, only a 15-minute walk to Crocro Beach and Devil’s Rock. You’ll have full access to all the hotel’s facilities.

On a typical day, after a delicious breakfast, you’ll meet with the instructors and head out to the surf spot of the day. You’ll have a morning surf session of around two hours, followed by lunch on the beach. The second surf session of the day is self-practice under the close supervision of the instructors. You’ll then return to the surf hotel and have a three-course dinner on the rooftop terrace at 8 pm.

All daily meals are included in the package price, as well as drinks.

 

Best time to surf in Tamraght for beginners

The most reliable conditions arrive between October and March. The waves are friendlier in spring, summer, and early autumn, but there are numerous sheltered surf spots with whitewater and small waves all year round. Therefore, any time is a good time to learn to surf in Morocco.

Water temperatures peak in late summer, around 20-23°C (68-73°F), and drop to 16-18°C (61-64°F) in winter.

 

Getting there

The closest airport is Agadir–Al Massira Airport (AGA), 33km (20.5mi) from the camp. Airport transfer is included in the package price. If you fly into Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK), you can request airport transfer for an additional cost.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Morocco

 

6 Days Private Surf Camp in Huanchaco, Peru

beginner-surf-camp-huanchaco-peru

  • Availability: Until December 2021
  • Price: From USD 480 per person for 6 days/5 nights

Huanchaco has five different surf spots for all levels across more than one kilometer of beaches. This private surf camp is designed for beginners and intermediates, and you can join solo or with your group. The instructors will adapt the schedule based on your preferences and the swell conditions.

Stay in a small family-run surf hostel in Huanchaco, one of the most famous surf spots in Peru and a World Surfing Reserve. The hostel is less than a five-minute walk from La Curvita Beach, with great waves for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Enjoy five surf lessons of 1.5 hours each, in small groups with only three surfers per one instructor, which ensures a great time in the water and personalized feedback. You’ll also get free surf equipment during your entire stay so that you can surf as much as you wish, whenever you wish.

The package includes daily breakfast, tea, coffee, and water. You’ll also get to go on a “caballito de totora” tour where you’ll have the opportunity to ride one of the world’s earliest surf crafts (reed watercrafts that have been used by Peruvians for over 3,000 years). You’ll also get a one-hour video analysis session.

 

Best time to surf in Huanchaco for beginners

Thanks to its year-round consistent swells, any time is a good time for beginners to surf in Huanchaco. However, the best conditions can be found between April and October, during Peru’s winter. The rest of the year has smaller waves, as well as rainier and warmer weather.

The water temperature peaks in the range of 72 to 82°F (22-28°C) in Peru’s summer and drops to 61-70°F (16-21°C) in late winter. The coldest water is in October.

 

Getting there

The nearest airport is FAP Captain Carlos Martínez de Pinillos International Airport (TRU), only half a mile (1km) from the camp. The staff can arrange airport transfer for an additional cost. If you fly into FAP Captain José Abelardo Quiñones González International Airport (CIX), transfer is also available upon request.

» READ MORE: Surfing in Peru: Your Guide to the Best Waves

 

*Prices may be subject to change depending on the date of arrival.

*Cover image credit: Magikvanilla Surf Camp


The best way to get better at surfing is to surf more. Luckily, budget surf camps enable you to do more of what you love without breaking the bank.

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