My first surf adventure in Costa Rica left me reeling for more in the fine art of surfing. So I planned my next surf trip the moment I could. Surfing in Portugal would be next. In southern Portugal, in the quaint surf town of Lagos, known as the Algarve region, lies a whole culture of surf and surfers. Typically European with cobblestoned streets and century old buildings and homes, Lagos attracts European surfers and wind surfers alike. The town brewed with perfectly tall and blonde-haired babes and handsome men with broad shoulders from Northern Europe such as Denmark and Sweden. A mecca for someone looking for their Heidi Klum dream girl.
After settling into my apartment embellished in antique furniture, run by an old Portuguese lady resembling my Italian Nonna, I walked over a few meters away to the communal surf house. The surf house bustled with people from all over Europe, parents with their teenage kids, or twenty to forty somethings look for a combination of intense surf and evening soirees. Age did not matter. We were all there to celebrate surf and summer!
Surf lessons started early in the morning with our team at The Surf Experience, by far one of the best I've had in the last seven years. I have had some great experiences at surf camps, but nothing beats the team of surfers at The Surf Experience. Picked up every morning at dawn with the surf jeep, we all crammed into the safari type jeep, listening to electronic jams or 1990s alternative rock, humming tunes, bouncing up and down as we drove down dirt roads to some of the most remote areas of the Lagos region. We spent the whole day surfing, with breaks in between, eating lunches made by the in-house chef, while sunbathing and swimming in the cold waters of the Atlantic. Our surf coaches were boisterous and outgoing, offering much entertainment, making time speed by. By the time dusk came, we were exhausted. Most people took an evening nap, only to be out again by midnight or 1am to dance the night away at pool parties, pubs and dance halls in the town itself.
The surf camp offered themed dinners of paella , barbeques and fresh fish. I woke up every morning to a beautiful sunrise, walked over to the nearest bar to drink my espresso while delighting in Pastel de Nata, delicious Portuguese tarts I obsessed over for the entire summer.
The Surf Experience caters to all levels of riders and welcomes all with open hearts. They've been around since the early 90s and bring together a collective group of genuine and knowledgeable surf instructors from the UK and other parts of Europe. I will definitely have to go back and experience this all over again. They pushed me to my limits and depths, giving me the courage to dive face first into waters I would have never imagined diving into.