A Holiday For All The Family!
Portugal Family Bodyboard Holiday
Great value & full daily itinerary
Bodyboarding in a safe and no pressure environment
Fun, friendly, professional instructors
Local knowledge to the best waves, restaurants and attractions
This is an action-packed family holiday that is high in adrenaline, fun for all, stress free, culturally rich yet requires no planning.
Lifeguard qualified instructors
Stunning beaches with year-round lifeguards
Waves for all abilities and levels
Patient, motivating and friendly tuition
Sintra, a historical hotspot
Lisbon, a charming culturally rich capital
Excellent variety of eateries on your doorstep
Lots of family attractions close by (castle, royal palace, tram ride, coastal hikes, horse riding, aquarium, retail therapy in Lisbon)
Yoga and/or massage available
Bi-lingual guides …learn a little of the local lingo
A coffee, wine or beer for less than 1 euro
Wine flows like water
Most families return the following summer
Our bi-lingual bodyboard instructors will take you to the most suitable waves for your family’s ability, and deliver first rate coaching in a safe and no pressure environment. Out the water, they’ll give you a taste of a local’s life in Portugal, recommending the best restaurants, the must sees, an anecdotal historical overview of the area, teaching you a little of the local lingo and organising yoga or massage on demand.
Our men on the ground in Portugal Matt ‘Mave’ Davies and his side kick Joao Veiga will coach and guide you to the very best bodyboarding waves Portugal has to offer.
They will pick up mum or dad each morning and drop them back after their epic session so they can spend the afternoon with the family. Alternatively, bring the whole family bodyboarding and get everyone in the water enjoying the waves. We can also create a family holiday to remember by offering the best on-the-ground advice for your family to get the most of Portugal’s incredible restaurants, tourist attractions and beaches.
The area of Sintra is not only blessed with beautiful mountains, historical richness and a Mediterranean climate but it has an incredible selection of awesome bodyboarding beaches. There are small gentle waves, fun peaky waves, long walling waves to hollow wedges and various reefs. Such variety means Sintra has something for everyone, whether it’s the first time the family is getting to grips with bodyboarding or whether Mum and/or Dad are advanced riders.
Sintra’s beaches are not only perfect for bodyboarding but are incredibly beautiful and boast a range of cafés and restaurants and are lifeguarded throughout the year.
The cottages we use in the heart of Praia das Maçãs have been in the friendly owners, Ana & Ralph’s family for over 50 years, having been bought new by Ana’s grandfather. They have been thoroughly modernised while keeping a traditional look and feel.
Each cottage is surrounded by a private courtyard garden with flower beds and grape vines, the ideal spot for sunbathing and a great space for barbecues!
The cottages are just a short 500m stroll to the beach, with a small yet well stocked convenience store just 200 meters from the door step. The Golfinho shop is run by lovely Fatima and, believe it or not, sells everything! It is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday in the off season and every day of the week during the Summer months. The beach also has an excellent family friendly swimming pool.
Fast fiber optic Wi-Fi is available throughout the cottage.
The cottage comprises of a master bedroom, second bedroom, sitting room, kitchen and bathroom. There is also an outside secure storage area, ideal for suitcases, bikes, surf, bodyboard and windsurf boards, golf clubs, etc. Bed linen & towels supplied.
A modern kitchen and bathroom have been fitted, but keeping with local tradition of decor and materials, such as granite kitchen work tops and terracotta floors throughout. It is fully equipped and the utilities including family sized fridge-freezer, microwave, washing machine, 4 ring hob, coffee maker, toaster and kettle.
The bathroom is light and spacious and has a bath – shower, hand made sink unit and, following local tradition, toilet and a bidet.
The water temperature fluctuates from 14°C to 18°C and air temps between 14°C in winter and 30°C in summer, which means this place is never too hot or too cold, in or out the water.
All of our accommodation have fully equipped kitchens if you wish to prepare your own meals. In the local village there are several grocery stores and a variety of great yet affordable restaurants if you prefer eating out. The choice is yours! Self-catering shouldn’t cost more than 60 Euros for the week. Budget 10 – 15 Euros per meal at local restaurants.
The spread of Portugal’s surf breaks means we’ll always be able to find quiet peaks – perfect if you’re a beginner learning the basics or an intermediate rider looking to reach the next stage. Then there are the incredible wedges and more challenging reefs for the advanced rider.
Foundation level Instruction
Sintra caters for bodyboarders of all abilities, and you’ll often find gentler, mellower waves breaking at one end of the beach, when at the other there are waves offering barrels and steeper sections. This is great if you’re looking to test yourself without jumping in at the deep end. A great mix of waves for all abilities.
Whatever yours or your families level, our coaching team is on hand to offer daily guiding and tuition should you want it. This is tailored to your ability, with instructors who are in-house qualified and fully insured, and includes beach, water and classroom-based tuition.
Our team comprises experienced lifeguards, some of whom have 20 years of surfing and worldwide travel behind them, all trained by multiple-times British National Champion and Team Coach Rob Barber.
We’ve got your back whatever your ability, and that’s a promise. Don’t stress if you’re only now giving it a go – on this trip there’s something for everyone, and we all have to start somewhere.
In fact, you’ll be amazed how quickly you master paddling out to catch good-quality waves, and we’re committed to patiently helping you progress.
Beginner coaching includes:
- An oceanography class at the start of the week to understand breaks, rips and currents
- Video and photo analysis
- Bodyboarding safety, beach awareness, and how to catch waves
- How to paddle out, gain speed, duck-dive and wipe out safely
- Learning moves such as cutbacks, barrel rolls and 360 spins
- How to get the most from your equipment, while having heaps of fun
Our instructors are on hand with groups in the water, able to give extra tips on the beach, and give detailed feedback during our informal classroom analysis.
As well as coaching, we’re also keen to develop your learning and understanding of the sport in general. This is why we offer a separate Q&A session, answering all things bodyboarding: equipment, travel, safety, surf prediction, understanding pressure charts and bodyboarding fitness.
Intermediate and Advanced Instruction
There is good reason why there are so many amazing bodyboarders spawned from these shores. The waves lend themselves to high level bodyboarding and we can help you perfect specific moves from reverse spins to airs. Mulitple world champion Pierre-Louis Costes uses this spot as his APB World Tour pre-season training ground for good reason. The variety of the waves in this area is huge and as a result we can focus on every aspect of your riding. Or put more of a focus on guiding you to the best waves each day and letting you enjoy them while being videoed by our team.
We don’t book your air travel but super-cheap flights are always on offer through budget airlines to Lisbon. It’s only 2.5 hours from the UK with fantastic air links with the rest of Europe and the States. Please contact us before booking so that we can recommend the most suitable flight arrival and departure times.
You can fly to Lisbon Airport (LIS) from Manchester, Birmingham and London airports with Easyjet and Ryanair. If you’re not flying from the UK check out Sky Scanner to find the nearest flights to your location. When booking, make sure you check airline baggage charges by weight and bag number so you don’t discover any nasty hidden fees and you pack accordingly.
Remember that we hire equipment, which works out cheaper than paying for your board bag and also saves you carrying all your kit!
1 June – 8 June 2019 – 7 nights – £1899
24 August – 31 August 2019 – 7 nights – £1899
You will need to budget for:
Photo and Video Package
Photographs will be taken through out the holiday to help improve your riding, you can buy the shots at the end of the week for £50 and £30 for the video.
We have pro standard equipment available to hire for the week. Just let us know at the time of booking what you need and your sizes.
Pro standard Bodyboard Hire £40 per week
Wetsuit £40 per week
Fins £20 per week
Yoga and massages are also available, please ask for details at time of booking.
Praia das Maçãs (Apple beach) is a small fishing village on Sintra’s West Coast, 35km Lisbon. The name comes from the fact that once upon a time, apples would fall off trees upstream of the (Ribeira de Colares) river that flows along the southern side of the beach. These would then wash up on the beach – hence the name.
Boasting a beautiful lifeguarded beach, breath taking back drop of the Sintra mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage site), plethora of eateries and the 19th century tram line which connects Praia das Maçãs to historic Sintra, makes it a popular summer destination for families. There is also a huge outdoor swimming pool equipped with slides, diving boards and a kid’s pool right on the beach.
It’s important to make sure you have the right kit before your trip starts, so all you need to think about is the surf, sea and sun!
We have pro standard equipment available to hire for the week. Just let us know at the time of booking what you need and your sizes.
Matt has lived in Portugal for more than 10 years, so he knows the difference between the ‘need to bring’ stuff and the ‘nice to bring’ stuff. Please don’t hesitate to email us if you have any questions.
If you need equipment, we recommend the Bodyboard-Depot, which offers free shipping on every sale over £50, a free pro leash with boards costing more than £100, and free fin savers with fins costing more than £35.
The mild waters of Portugal suit a PE or low-density PP core. If you need to buy a new board, ask for Guy at the Bodyboard-Depot – he has a huge range in stock, and can source any board from any brand at the best price.
It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to get the most from the awesome waves on the trip.
It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget – bring an extra leash. The day you snap one you’ll thank yourself.
Bodyboard travel bag
A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.
Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the harsh South Sumatran sun, and drying you off as it’s a handy towel. The humble board sock is an awesome piece of kit for travelling (or home use).
Fin slippers and socks prevent rub on the foot and Achilles heel, and also save you from needing to wear full-length fin socks. Absolutely worth picking some up.
If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rub around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, stop chafe and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin.
Finserts are (in our opinion) the ultimate foot protection from fin rub! Definitely have a look at buying a pair.
Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duckdive and wipeout with both fins still attached.
Shorts and rash vests
On any tropical trip, it’s important to invest in a good pair of high quality, lightweight, stretchy board shorts, and a good lycra vest to help keep the sun off. In fact, make that two pairs of shorts – it’s not worth risking getting caught short if you rip a pair.
There are a range of sun creams geared specifically for bodyboarding abroad. We can attest they actually stay on in the water, and we’ve tested them in some searing conditions.
We strongly advise you buy some bodyboard or surf-specific sun protection. They’re much more effective than regular creams – there’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your suncream washed off yesterday and today you’re painfully crispy.
Maximise your surf time by keeping the sun off your head. If you don’t already have one, please purchase a surf hat, especially if you have a shaved head or have fair skin. Trust us, it will make your trip much more enjoyable.
General things to make your life more comfortable
- You will be sleeping in fairly close proximity to others in traditional buildings, and noise travels through this jungle area. Whether that is the wildlife, people listening to music in the bar/eating area or somebody snoring in your room, it’s a good idea to pack some ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.
- Cool, light clothing. You will spend most of your time in just shorts. Make sure they are lightweight and ‘quick dry’ – heavy denim shorts will be uncomfortable in the tropics, especially when travelling.
- Lycra shorts to wear under your boardshorts. Just in case you missed it, here it is again: Lycra shorts to wear under your boardshorts.
- A good book or a Kindle, a stack of music on your phone, and movies to watch on your tablet.
- Sunglasses (and spares if you are prone to losing/breaking them).
- Flip flops / sandals.
- Your own refillable water bottle – always stay hydrated.
- A waterproof bag to help keep your kit dry if you go out on a boat.
- Earplugs for use in the water.
First Aid Kit
While we do have a trained medic on-site throughout the trip, it is always best practice (and polite) to bring your own first aid kit.
Accidents can happen when travelling and/or around camp, and there is the ever-present danger of connecting with a sharp coral reef at some point during a session. It’s important to expect this, and to bring a first aid kit with contents ready for it.
- Mosquito repellent (an obvious one, but easy to forget)
- Antiseptic wipes / wash / cream
- Sterile saline solution
- Steri-strips / sutures
- Wound dressings
- Bandages / sterile gauzes
- Band aids / plasters (a good selection of sizes)
- Waterproof tape / duct tape (basically fixes everything)
- Latex gloves
- Cotton tips
- Stainless steel scissors
- Stainless steel fine point tweezers (key for removing bits of coral)
- Safety pins
- Tourniquet / triangle sling
- First aid manual (or better yet get some training)
- Deep Heat / muscle rub gel
- Hydrogen peroxide / iodine water purification tablets
- Scorpion sting remover
- Anti-histamine tablets
- Super glue
- Compeed (pads for fin rub)
- Hydration sachets
- Imodium / travel sickness tablets
- Zinc lip cream
- Cold and flu tablets/Lemsip
- 7 night’s accommodation
- 7 days guiding and coaching to the best bodyboarding waves in Portugal. (You may be joined by other bodyboarders during some coaching sessions)
- Pick ups and drop offs at Lisbon Airport
- Bodyboard guidance to the best waves for your ability
- Video and photo analysis
- Expert daily coaching geared to your ability
- Pro standard bodyboard kit available to hire at great prices
- Good times!
1 June – 8 June 2019 – 7 nights
24 August – 31 August 2019 – 7 nights
Frequently Asked Questions about our Portugal Family Holiday.
How do I get there?
There are a number of budget airlines offering cheap flights to and from the UK. There are also good international air links to Lisbon. Check www.skyscanner.net for a selection of the cheapest flights. Please let us know your proposed flight time prior to booking. If you need help booking your flight then drop us a line.
Do I need to arrange my own flights and transfers?
You need to book your own flights to Lisbon airport. From there your personal surf butler Matt ‘Mave’ Davies will pick you up and take you to your accommodation.
If you are arriving by other means or at an airport other than Lisbon, then you will need to find your own way to Colares, Sintra. We will supply the address in your pre-trip information.
Please note, you needn’t pay for excess baggage / sports equipment. It is cheaper to hire kit from us on arrival in Portugal. Contact us in advance for this service.
How will I know where to go once I’ve arrived at the airport?
Once you’ve collected your bags Matt will meet you at arrivals, he’ll have a clipboard that clearly states ‘Bodyboard-Holidays’ and he’ll be looking for a family with bodyboard bags.
Can we contact you if we have travel problems?
On the day that you travel please keep your mobile phone handy so we can stay in touch in case of delays and flight changes. Please inform us at the airport if you’re early or delayed for any reason. If you’re having any problems, please call our representative Matt on +351 932 202 427.
Do I need a visa?
Visas are not required for British and European passport holders for stays up to 90 days. Passports must be valid for three months from the date of entry into Portugal. Non-European travellers should seek advice about visa requirements from their travel agent.
Can I use my mobile phone overseas and at the accommodation?
Nearly all European mobile phone networks work in Portugal. Contact your network regarding call charges. International call charges are relatively cheap.
Will there be WIFI?
Yes, all of our accommodation has free Wifi access with a decent connection. What’s more, many of the beach bars/restaurants we frequent at lunchtime have WIFI.
Can I rent equipment?
We offer our guests the opportunity to avoid extortionate excess baggage prices and to rent top of the range equipment. Check out the prices tab for details.
What’s the best way to transport my bodyboard and kit?
Baggage handlers can be brutal so a tough bag and intelligent packing are a must. Firstly, pack your board(s) in a protective, padded board bag then write fragile and Top Load Only on it in permanent marker. If you’re travelling with a wetsuit, wrap it around your board inside your board bag then wrap towels around as well for added protection. Place your shampoo and other wet toiletries in a separate sealed bag in case of leakage. We recommend locking your bag zips with a padlock.
Baggage handling at Lisbon airport can on occasion be slow. Please also be aware that oversized bags are collected at the left-hand side of the baggage collection hall, not with the rest of the hold luggage. You’ll probably need to check there every five-ten minutes or so until your bag appears.
How much bodyboarding will there be on the holiday?
Depending on the conditions/tides/wind and client’s stamina, each day we aim to have one morning session and one afternoon session. Each session will be approximately 2 hours.
How many of us (the family) can bodyboard?
The more the merrier! Assuming everyone has the necessary equipment, Matt or Joao can run sessions of 1 – 8 persons.
We have more than 4 in the family, can we still book?
Yes, of course. For each additional member there will be a cost of £399 per person.
What is a typical day?
If it is the whole family that are bodyboarding, then Matt or Joao will collect you around 09h00 – 09h30 and head to the beach for two surfs, or a morning’s surf and an afternoon’s cultural activity. In both cases, lunch is normally at a beachside restaurant/café. You’ll be dropped back to your accommodation around 16h00 to review the day’s footage. The rest of the evening is your families’ free time.
In the case of only one or two family members wishing to bodyboard, then we will head to the beach earlier (07h00 or 08h00) and get you back for lunchtime so that you can spend the rest of the afternoon with your family.
Will it just be us bodyboarding?
It may be just you or you may be joined by other riders on some days. You will be told in advance about the plan for every session.
What about beach safety?
Our guides, are not only trained SLSGB beach lifeguards but they know the beaches in Portugal like the back of their hands and have more than 20 years of ocean experience. In addition, during the summer months May to September all the beaches are lifeguarded.
Will the waves be big?
The coastlines of Sintra and Lisbon offer such a variety of beaches and waves that you’ll always be taken to a safe beach that best suits your experience and ability. There is no pressure to bodyboard at a particular spot and should you wish bigger or smaller waves our guides happy to take you elsewhere.
What if I don’t wish to bodyboard one day?
If you fancy a break from bodyboarding or the conditions aren’t great one day, you can choose to trade (up to) two sessions and make use of our guides’ local knowledge and have them guide you around the areas of local interest.
What else is there to do other than bodyboarding?
There are a myriad of interesting options for the whole family in the local area.
Visit Lisbon, Cascais or Sintra
Pena Palace (Sintra)
Moorish Castle (Sintra)
Quinta de Regaleira and its magical caves and gardens (Sintra)
SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) in the bay of Cascais
Hiking in the nearby hills or along Sintra’s breathtaking coastline
Donkey sanctuary (Sintra)
Air museum (Sintra)
Visit a local vineyard (Colares)
Can I do yoga or get a massage?
Matt’s colleague is a qualified Yoga teacher and masseuse. She can come to your accommodation morning, afternoon or evening to give a 1h15min yoga class or 45min massage for 60euro and 45 euro respectively. Discounts are available for multiple sessions.
Do I need personal travel insurance?
Please advise our coaching staff of any medical complaints or conditions prior to your trip. We will ask for travel insurance details upon booking so organize this nice and early. We will also ask you to fill out an enrolment form with these details before the holiday.
How can I find out about medical advice for travelling?
Health and safety medical advice for travellers can be found at www.doh.gov.uk. Otherwise, contact your GP or the Department of Health for further information. Or call the Help Line on free phone 0800 555777. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues up to date information on safety issues for countries world-wide. Contact the FCO Travel Advice line on 020 7238 4503/4504 if you have any concerns.
What are the eating arrangements?
All of our accommodation comes with fully equipped self-catering kitchens and so most guests take advantage of this and have both breakfast and their evening meal back at the accommodation. Lunch is normally at the beach in a beachside bar or restaurant.
What currency should I take?
The currency in Portugal is the Euro that you can pick up from travel agencies, banks or post offices. There are exchange facilities in airports as well as ATMs. It is better to get your money changed before the trip as the banks in Portugal charge a lot for changing money. Alternatively bring a card to take money from the cash point.
How much should I budget for the trip?
Food is generally cheap by international standards. E.g. a loaf of bread, a pint of milk and bottle of beer can all be bought for less than 1 Euro each. There are a number of local markets and shops selling competitively priced and fresh produce, so 50-60 Euros should cover the weekly shop for a family of four.
Will we need a hire car?
Matt or Joao, your surf butlers will be at your service from 9am to 4pm. They will take you bodyboarding, take you to the cultural hotspots and accompany you to the grocery store. However, if you wish a bit of freedom in the evenings e.g. eating out or taking a trip into Cascais or Sintra then hiring a car is recommended.
Can I make contact from outside the UK?
If you are based outside of the UK and would like to chat through the trip details, we can be contacted through WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype, just let us know by email and we can arrange this with you.
How do I pay?
Payments are all made via our online invoicing system called Simple Invoices. Once you have confirmed you wish to join a trip we will send you an online invoice via email. Within this email there will be a link where that will take you to our secure payment system where you will need to enter your credit or debit card details to make the payment. In some circumstances we can facilitate a payment plan, just let us know if you wish to discuss this. Full payment must be made 12 weeks prior to the holiday start date.
What happens if I want to cancel my booking?
If you can no longer join the trip please let us know as soon as possible via email, your cancellation will be effective from the date which it is received by Bodyboard-Holidays. Cancellation charges are payable as follows:
Over 12 weeks – deposit only (one third of the total trip price)
36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total cost
21-35 days – 75% of total cost
Under 20 days – 100% of total cost
However if your cancellation is within the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim. Further information here. https://www.bodyboard-holidays.com/terms-conditions/
How to book
Once you have read all the info and made your selection. Book your holiday in 3 easy steps
Fill in the enquiry form below
We’ll confirm availability and explain payment plan options.
Pay your deposit, book your flights and complete the enrolment form. You’re on the trip!