Porto Portugal Surf holiday accommodation types, which is best?

If you search online for a Porto Portugal Surf Holiday accommodation, 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 surf holiday 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 the best. Then it’s really up to you…

Surf Camp holiday experience in Porto, Portugal

A surf camp is thought to be for groups of people, large or small, that are looking for a great surf holiday experience in the north of Portugal while spending some quality 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.

Surf lessons match the overall surf camp accommodation spirit: doing all and everything together. Each 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. Several areas in the Porto area can provide this. The night party, both at the camp and outdoors, is part of the surf holiday and tonnes of fun and laughter are included. The average age of guests tend to be lower compared with other surf holiday types. Furthermore, most surf camps in Porto Portugal can provide not only surfing lessons, but also yoga, walking tours, etc., and in most of them you can find surf vacation packs.

Surf Hostel holiday experience in Porto, Portugal

Even though there are only a couple of them, especially compared to other surf holiday accommodation types, a surf hostel is basically a hostel with a surfing theme. It reflects in the look of the decor in the common areas and rooms. They are mostly shared accommodations that hosts 4 or more persons (bunk beds). Surf lessons can be offered as well, but in most of the cases through an external local surf school partner.

Usually this kind of accommodation is located closer to the city’s center than one of the other types of surf vacation accommodations, which allows visitors to get in touch with the city life during the day and party at night. Furthermore, most of these places don’t provide surf vacation packages, but simply bed & breakfast stays plus extra activities that can be requested separately. The usually a bit further away from the beach then the other two accommodation types.

Most of the guests stay for a shorter period of time when compared to other surf holiday types.

So to conclude, a Surf Hostel is a good choice if you are interested in a Portugal surf holiday but also prefer the Porto city feel above the more natural feel of a beach town.

Surf House holiday experience Porto, Portugal

Surf houses are often for small groups of people and, therefore, services provided can be more customized to give them a more personalized vacation. 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 couple of them where that service happens through an external local surf school partner.

The Watermark Surf House holiday experience

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 and surf holidays in Portugal, we were just surfers looking for the best experience like you. We traveled and experienced different types of surf holidays in Europe and beyond. 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 natural surf camp experience on the days you want too.

We offer a surf house experience and we think it’s important to offer our own personall and custom surf lessons. 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 vacation package 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 surf vacation services provided that we think are really helpful in surfing – 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 a surf holiday in Porto, Portugal. 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, more 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 Porto Portugal

Porto Portugal surf holiday accommodation types:

Surf Hostels Surf Houses Surf Camps
Rooms Shared (+)




Shared (+)


Accommodation type B&b (+)

extra activities

Surf vacation packages (+)


Surf vacation packages (+)


Guests Single travelers (+)

Small groups of friends

Couples (++)

Single travelers (+)

Small groups of friends

Groups of friends (+)

Single travelers

Ages (average) Teenagers – 20’s 25-35 20’s
Surfing Lessons Yes, through local surf school partners Yes, both through local surf school partners or directly with the Surf House Yes, with the Surf Camp
Surfing Lessons Days & Schedule Pre-defined Pre-defined (+)

Depending on conditions

Pre-defined (Mon-Fri/Sat)
Services Through partners.


Through partners.

More customised (directly with the surf house)

Packages On extra services only (through local partners) Surf vacation  packages Surf vacation packages
Check –in / out days Flexible Flexible or Pre-defined Pre-defined

So what Porto Portugal surf holiday accommodation is best for you?

Note that each surf hostel, surf house and surf camp in Portugal, also in the Porto were we are located, defines their own surf holiday & services and sets up their own working guidelines. Different wants, different needs. Once you know the type of Portuguese surf vacation you prefer based on the information provided above and your personal needs, you can start to make to find a surf holiday accommodation that offers this. Just follow your gut feeling on this, that is mostly right. Off course we would like it to be us, we are not gonna lie. But our honest advice for surf travelers is to look up the different existing options online. Check their website, social media, and past guest’s reviews. So if you feel good with one of them, just 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 at our Surf house near Porto, you already know what to expect. So no surprises!!! It will be a Portugal surf Holiday you will not soon forget. To give you an idea, a video tells a thousand words..


Watermark Surf House