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Discover: Baleal Surf Camp

Discover: Baleal Surf Camp

Baleal Surf Camp nestles among the dunes overlooking one of Europe’s most dramatic and beautiful surf spots. 

The camp, founded in 1993 was Portugal’s first and although it started off as a humble wooden beach tent, now 24 years later Baleal Surf Camp is hailed as one of top surf operations in Portugal attracting beach lovers and surfers from across the globe and offering a rare but welcome ‘old school’ focus on customer service and the environment.

It’s secret:  first class accommodation and surf tuition combined with an all inclusive beach-party vibe that few who visit once can resist returning for. Novices mix with experts; a clean beach is as much a priority as clean waves, and good music, food and company underpin both the family run business and its wider location. 
It all started in 1980, when I was 11 years old and rode my first wave in Prainha, with a Safari surf board bought by my Dad from Duarte Baltazar. I remember that first wave as if it were yesterday, and the influence that moment had on me. In 1993 I started giving my first lesson to some kids from Baleal island who asked me from help, I never imagined that surf would revolutionise Peniche in the future and this would be my calling for the next 24 years. When surfing picked up with the tourists and more surf operations began to emerge, I realised for us to be different and stand out from the crowd we would have to work harder and better. That’s exactly what we did – I built a beach bar and a surf centre on one of Portugal’s best beaches, my brother Marcos took on bookings and online marketing and we managed to take Baleal Surf Camp to a prominent position in an extremely competitive market.
Bruno Bairros

Baleal Surf Camp Founder and Director

Baleal itself sits on the northern edge of the Peniche Peninsula, about an hours drive north of Lisbon and is the center for surfing in the area. Over the last few years it has won international attention after becoming an established stop on the ASP World Tour. There are waves for experts but also plenty of shelter and security for novices. It’s one of those rare places where, on one beach, the waves can be head high and barreling, while five minutes away its a mellow longboard day. In short, there is nearly always a wave for everyone.

The surf camp has its own excellent bar and cafe,  a place famed locally for chilled days, followed by long nights of live music and dancing. And if food and wine is your thing you will be spoilt for choice. The area is famed for its seafood, which is delivered live and fresh to the port of Peniche each morning and the local restaurants are excellent, serving fish and meat dishes that put most big-name city chefs to shame on both quality and value.

To celebrate the camps many years of surf camp history, check out this video to get a real feel for things:

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