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A day at a Stoke Travel surf camp

What’s better than spending a few days learning to surf in Spain over summer? We present to you, a Guide to One day at the Stoke Travel surf camp.

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Learning to surf, Stoke Travel Surf Camp,

While we were travelling around Europe this summer we needed a bit of downtime away from all the pesky crowds. We were exhausted and had to escape from travelling for a few days of just chilling out and relaxing.

Grabbing our togs (swimming gear) we headed to the northwest of Spain to a sleepy village called Zarautz to hook up with the awesome team from Stoke Travel surf camp.

Stoke Travel Surf Camp

Spending a few days learning to surf has got to be right up there as one of the best summertime activities.

A day at Stoke Travel Surf Camp

Every morning you will wake from your slumber in your tent overlooking Zarautz and the Spanish coastline. The sunrises over the jagged Pyrenees and glistens across the oceans surface at your feet.

Zarautz beach, Stoke Travel Surf Camp

Depending on your level of hangover this is the best time to grab a surfboard and head down for a few waves. There is hardly a soul in sight and the wind will most likely be calm to non-existent so the waves will be clean.

No other feeling can even come close to plastering a smile on my face than paddling out with a buddy or two and perfect waves.

With arms turning to jelly after your early morning session you will need to rest. After our first surf we would usually hang around the surf camp waiting for lunch by passing the time with table tennis, catching up on emails (yes there is free WiFi) or even a class of yoga.

Yoga Stoke Travel Surf Camp

Depending on the tides, the surf lessons kick off after lunch for any beginners. The teachers are excellent and the surf lessons small enough that you will get the attention you deserve.

Learning to surf, Stoke Travel Surf Camp,

With the easy to learn on surfboards you will find yourself standing up after just a few waves. Just maybe not for that long…

Stoke Travel Surf Lesson, Michelle Kennedy

Michelle spent 2 weeks at the surf camp with us and was a pro by the end!

Now comes the hard part of the day. Do you:

a) Read your book on the beach;

b) Play a bit of beach cricket, football or volleyball;

c) Grab an ice cream and wander through the cute village of Zarautz; or

d) Have a siesta.

Stoke Travel Surf Camp

It’s a hard life but just keep reminding yourself, someone has to do it.

If you haven’t exhausted yourself by now or chose not to have a siesta then your evening is just getting started. The Spanish seem to only get going when the temperature starts to cool down in the evening.

Again you have a couple of options but either way start with a few beers and sangria’s at the surf camp.

Option A: San Sebastian

Make your way into San Sebastian. It is one of those town in Europe that you could easily live in. Not only is it a gorgeous place to visit during the day but it also awakens when the sun goes down.

There is nightlife a plenty and all the delicious pintxos (tapas) you can eat! It’s the culinary capital of Spain with no less than 16 Michelin stars awarded in this sleepy town.

Pintxos San Sebastian, Stoke Travel Surf Camp

Option B: Watch the sunset from the campground

Sitting on the hillside you can finish off another exceptional day with a bunch of mates and just this view to look at. Not a bad way to spend a few days (or weeks) over summer.

Stoke Travel Surf Camp, Sunset in Zarautz, Spain

Have you learnt to surf before? Tell us about your experiences below.

Extra Travel Information:

Where: Gran Camping Zarauz, 10kms from San Sebastian in Spain.

When: All summer long from June 1st – September.

Cost: €50 all-inclusive (includes 3 x meals a day, accommodation and surf lessons).

Sleep: Camping accommodation (twin share tent, sleeping mat and bag included).

Extras: Unlimited beer and sangria (€5 a day), party trips, horse riding and yoga.

Disclaimer: We were guests at the Stoke Travel surf camp. However, as always our opinions and words are always our own. 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Lucy

    August 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I’m a dreadful surfer – my first time was on a hen weekend in Cornwall in the wind and rain, it even hailed at one point and I nearly got knocked out by my own surfboard. Your trip looks a lot more civilised. I might have to give it another try somewhere warmer one day!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      Hahaha that is why we don’t surf in the UK. In Scotland I would freeze to death. Definitely try it again in Spain 🙂

  2. Laurence

    August 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    So nearly would have been in San Sebastian at the same time as you guys. Ah well. Looks like you had a blast. I really want to learn to surf properly some day 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      We were only a few km’s apart I think at one stage! Lots of opportunities along the coast of France to learn Laurence 🙂

  3. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    If I was going to learn to surf, this is the place where I would want to do it!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Warm water, summer sunshine and friendly people. Couldn’t ask for a better spot.

  4. Arti

    August 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    What an amazing place! The captures are gorgeous, looks like you had a ball out there!!
    Thanks for sharing, have a nice day 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Was such a fun 2 weeks Arti. Bit boozy every day but the surf was really good and super friendly people 🙂

  5. Callie

    August 22, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    This looks like a great way to learn how to surf! I’ve only tried once and was pitiful (I like to blame the jellyfish that stung me, but it’s my own fault).

    • Cole Burmester

      August 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      How can it be your fault if a jellyfish stung you? 🙂 Definitely try it again Callie. It gets easier each time!

  6. Jeremy Branham

    August 22, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Surfing isn’t my thing but looks like a lot of fun and some good exercise. After a long morning of surfing, I think I would go all Spanish here and opt for a siesta! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      The siesta’s each day were one of the best parts of the camp 🙂

  7. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    August 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Surfing is great fun, I learned in Puerto Escondido in Mexico. Surfing just works so well for a holiday, you just lay on the beach, surf, and then party in the evenings! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 24, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Pretty much sums of what we did for 2 weeks Jarmo!

  8. Audrey (@BackpackingTB)

    August 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I like the series of shots that goes from standing on the surf board to the elegant belly flop. 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      Hahaha my friend Michelle is a bit annoyed that I included those photos 😉

  9. Angela

    August 25, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I would look so clumsy on a surfboard 😛

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      Everyone looks clumsy the first few times. Doesn’t take too long to master though.

  10. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    August 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    This looks fun. And as I learned in Central America, teaching yourself to surf does not work so well 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      The first few times sucks for everyone, especially if learning by yourself. Really need to visit Central and South America to go surfing!

  11. Gina

    August 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Looks so fun! I’d love to take a surf camp sometime. I live in California and have tried it a couple times with friends and it’s HARD! I think I need some consistent classes to figure out how to conquer the board. Doing that in Spain would be even better. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      Spend one week in Spain and you will have mastered it Gina 🙂

      By the way, we love California. We have friends and family in San Francisco and Laguna Beach area.

  12. Alexandra

    August 29, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Born and raised on Maui yet I don’t surf! I plan to be in Spain this fall so maybe I will get myself a few lessons. I’m too embarrassed to do it here at home 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Will swap places with you and maybe we can go to Maui 🙂

      • Alexandra

        August 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

        Paradise is in the eye of the beholder

  13. OutsideTheGuidebook

    September 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Lovely article! Although truth be said, I was more impressed by the photograph of the Tapas than anything else!! :-)) Did try surfing once.. in the frigid waters off the British Atlantic coast. Ice cream headaches deluxe.

  14. Simon

    September 15, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Crazy, I did the same trip a year or so back! I spent two days at this camp with Stoke travel and, while I had a brilliant time, I never did manage to stand up on my board. That I learnt in Bali, where you can get one-on-one surfing lessons for but a fraction of the price it would cost in Europe.

    • Adela

      September 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      Yea we would love to do that in Bali. The surf looks great there and the 1 on 1 would be a great help.

  15. Jessah Robinson

    October 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Hey Cole,
    It’s Jess from the surf camp, I finally remembered to check out your blog,
    and it’s so good!
    Where are your next travel destinations?
    🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Cheers Jess and great you finally made it to our blog 🙂 How are you?

      We are heading to Oslo this weekend then I will be back in New Zealand for a few weeks in November/December. After that we will probably move to Berlin or somewhere in the French Alps for some skiing! What are your plans? Hopefully see you again on your travels.

  16. Jessah Robinson

    October 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    I’m really good, have been travelling with my Mum for a few weeks.
    We did Italy, and are leaving Switzerland to go to Amsterdam tomorrow. 🙂

    That sounds so exciting, is Oslo in Sweden?
    I really want to go to Berlin, and the French Alps is beautiful I went to Morzine last January and we loved it!

    I’m actually going home in just over a month, due to lack of funds, but have really enjoyed my time here.

    Enjoy your travels!
    🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      Oslo is in Norway 🙂

      Pity you are headed home but sounds like you have had quite a few adventures! Hopefully we see you back soon. And keep reading our blog haha

      • Jessah Robinson

        October 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        Oh, haha, sorta close. 😉

        Yeah, I am a little put out by the change of plans, but plan on saving up straightaway, and hopefully doing North America and Canada next. 🙂

        Will keep reading the blog, and hope you have an amazing time on all your travels!
        Keep up the good work!
        🙂

  17. Hol

    April 3, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Come back to Zarautz this summer?! If anyone’s keen to join us for a day (or more) at the Stoke San Sebastian surf camp book with the promo code SHARKWEEK for free unlimited beer and sangria during your stay!

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Yacht Charter Destination Of The Month: The Middle East

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Mysterious and exotic, the Middle East is full of surprises, blending fascinating cultural heritage with stunning contemporary architecture. What’s more, with guaranteed sunshine and warmth, the winter months of November and April are the perfect time to visit. That’s why we’ve made the Middle East our yacht charter destination of the month.

What makes the Middle East such an exciting yacht charter destination?

Dubai: Glamour and shopping

An ideal starting point for your luxury yacht charter, Dubai is famous for its tax-free designer shopping, five-star resorts and world-class gastronomy. Thrill seekers can head into its vast desert for four-wheel-drive adventures across the dunes, while families will love the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Legoland, or the magnificent water park at Atlantis on The Palm.

Abu Dhabi: Art and architecture

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi offers a more relaxed yacht charter destination – here, lovers of art and architecture will appreciate the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, which boasts some 9,200 m2 of galleries within its striking contemporary design.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest, and its open-door policy encourages visitors from around the world. The elegant Qasr Al Hosn museum, former home of the ruling family, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest standing structure, and displays artefacts dating back to 6000BC.

Oman: An understated gem

The understated, hidden gem of the Middle East, yacht charter destination Oman has an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and wind-blown deserts to a pristine coastline.

At its northernmost tip, visit the red-hued fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Action-seekers can admire the rugged Al Hajar mountain range by microlight, while land-based activities include desert sand-boarding, jeep rides and quad biking.

Capital city Muscat is steeped in history, with centuries-old souks where you can pick up fine pashminas, spices and frankincense, or even dazzling jewellery in the Gold Souk.

The Kingdom of Bahrain: Home of diving

It is said that diving was invented in Bahrain, and pearl diving is considered the quintessential Bahraini experience. Expect to find up to 30 types of coral and over 200 species of fish, too, making this yacht charter destination ideal for underwater enthusiasts.

Bahrain’s rich trading history is palpable in the Qalat al-Bahrain fort and museum, a registered UNESCO world heritage site. The Bahrain National Museum, found next to the Art and Cultural Centres, blends cultural heritage with contemporary ambience. Or, to indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy a traditional shopping experience at the Manama Souk, selling natural-oil perfumes and incense, fabrics and handicrafts.

The Red Sea: Reefs, diving and beaches

The Red Sea is another popular Middle Eastern yacht charter destination due to its year-round sunshine, warm water, coral reefs and incredible dive sites, including one of the world’s best wreck dives, the WWII British cargo ship SS Thistlegorm. In the south, the relatively undiscovered Marsa’ Alam promises incredible shore or beach diving around its natural fringing reef.

Mysterious, timeless and alluring, the Middle East is a yacht charter destination full of contrasts and surprises. Better still, it’s best visited in winter. What are you waiting for?

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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