Learn to surf in the Algarve

One of the best outdoor activities for children is surfing. Not only is it a great form of cardiovascular exercise that will help keep your child physically fit but, once a child learns to surf, they are likely to keep up the hobby for years to come, meaning it’s a fantastic way to teach your child about a healthy lifestyle. Surfing is also an incredibly happy sport. Unlike some team games like football or soccer, where players can be left frustrated at a score or not being picked for a team, surfing is all about relaxing in that wonderful sea air, soaking up the sun.

learn to surf

Why your kids should learn to surf in the Algarve

Of course, not every home – or even holiday destination! – is suitable for beginner surfers. If you want to learn to surf with your kids, you’d be hard pushed to find somewhere better than the Algarve, and here’s why.

What to Expect:

Located in southern Portugal, the Algarve is the surfing paradise of Europe. Home to over 74 blue flag beaches; when it comes to the Algarve, there is literally a different beach around every corner. Meaning that if one beach is too busy, you can simply move on to the next rather than waiting around for a beach to quiet down.

Surfing is extremely popular in Portugal, with numerous surf schools specialising in children’s lessons. These surfing lessons will aim at teaching children the basics in a fun way, that won’t feel like they’re being taught at all. When looking for a school, do some internet research on schools closest to your accommodation and any reviews available. You should also ensure that any lessons booked are suitable for your child’s age and ability.


Portugal also has a year-round surf culture, so you don’t need to visit during the peak summer times in order to find lessons or good surfing currents. Rather, holidays in fall or spring can actually be far more pleasant, with beaches less busy and the sun less harsh.

Even better, with such wonderful surfing opportunities, you might think that the Algarve would come with a premium price for families. However, unlike the rest of Western Europe, the Algarve is a wonderful budget destination with plenty of cheap flights, reasonable cost of food and plenty of low-cost accommodation options. You can even rent your own private villa close to the beach, meaning the kids will be able to surf to their heart’s content between sunrise and sunset. Some hotels, including Martinhal, even provide surf lessons for children. Just think, while the kids are learning to surf, you’ll be able to relax by the pool with a cocktail.

What to Bring:

Thankfully for luggage allowance, surf schools in Portugal will either provide or allow you to hire all equipment needed and will have their own first aid kits in case of emergency. All the kids will really need to bring on the day is a water bottle, sun protection, any personal medication and a towel.

Other Tips:

  • Learning to surf should never be forced on your child, as this can have a seriously negative effect and may even lead to your child being afraid of the ocean. Instead make the idea of learning to surf a fun holiday activity.
  • Children don’t need any previous surfing ability in order to take lessons in the Algarve, however, it’s important that they are strong swimmers first, so you may want to invest in swimming lessons before advancing to surfing.
  • When choosing a surf school, ensure that teachers have experience in teaching children. You may also want to check for qualifications such as first aid training.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. good article

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