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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

Take A Moment and Go Visit Iceland Today

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We have all been quite busy this year, but have we stopped and taken a breather? We made new year’s resolutions, stuck to a couple of them, made some progress, and stayed relatively healthy.

But the fact is that we like, the fictional character Walter Mitty might be bogged down by our many day to day cares. Tunnel vision, myopic attitudes, and more significant concerns take us away from our dream of exploring fascinating places and countries such as Iceland or other Nordic countries.

We might indeed hesitate and put these trips off to another day. Yet, we know that the things that we keep out of our sight, stay out of our mind. When we push something to tomorrow, it rarely happens.

We continue to look forward to the endless tomorrows that will bring more joy than today.

Wise people reminded us of the importance of carpe diem, that notion of seizing the moment and grabbing life by the horns, thus, basking at the moment.

Don’t delay travel in style with a service such as Voyage Privé, and you will be delighted by your decision.

Remember that we only have concrete evidence of having one life, we must live it in the best manner possible.

Have Fun and Add A Little Flair To Your Year

The year is coming to a close. When was the last time that you did something fun and worthwhile? When was the last time you did something that you can be proud of and can remember for decades to come? For most of us, the answer might surprise us. The memories are distant and might be a bit far off.

Take the Nike mentality, and do it, book a flight to an exotic and delightful place like Iceland.

Iceland offers plenty of activities, scenery, and opportunities for the wandering spirit. We’llWe’ll talk about just a few of these fantastic places that you must visit in the beautiful Nordic nation of Iceland.

Must-See Destinations in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a natural spa. The locals dubbed it the “spa of the volcanic earth.” The natural landscape allows weary travelers to rest, disconnect from their devices, and connect with the beauty of nature.

Travelers may indulge in luxurious experiences and enjoy great dining, events that are undoubtedly much needed in our always-on, digitally connected lives.

Remember to dine at the Lava Restaurant and lounge at the Silica Hotel or the Retreat Hotel.

The Gullfoss

Bask in the breathtaking beauty of the Gullfoss. Remember that the Gullfoss Waterfall is one of the most beloved waterfalls all over the world. Additionally, the Gullfoss is open to the public and is free for all to see and immerse themselves from a safe distance. Millions of people have gone to this waterfall to have a glimpse of this wondrous beauty, and you deserve to go as well.

Asbyrgi (Shelter of the Gods)

Do not forget to visit and hike in Asbyrgi. Many tourists come here and set up camp to have a little peace of mind in the general turbulence of the world. Asbyrgi is surely idyllic and is one place you must have on your to-do list.

We have only scratched the surface on the beautiful experiences in Iceland, book your trip today, stay for a while.

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Adventure Travel

Top 4 cities for bingo fans

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Some people travel looking for the best parties, others travel to find the best beaches, while foodies are looking for the best restaurants and the best street foods. If you are looking for top-notch entertainment, there are plenty of cities where you can do some exciting and unusual activities. You probably know that the best karaoke parties are in Japan and Korea and Las Vegas, Macau and Monaco are the places to visit if you are looking to play casino games. 

This time we’re going to talk about the best cities for bingo fans. If you’re thinking that all bingo venues are the same, think again, because bingo has changed significantly lately. One of the key contributing factors to the modernisation of bingo in general and bingo venues as such is the emergence and popularisation of online bingo. Players started switching online as it is a lot more convenient, so conventional bingo venues had to adapt and try to offer something new and exciting for a change.

 

London

London is definitely the bingo capital of the world, and there’s definitely a reason why it founds its way to the top of our list. In the old days there were more bingo halls in UK’s capital than there are now, but we have bingo venues now. You may wonder what’s the difference between a hall and a venue, and to put it simply, venues are modern and offer more exciting bingo variants.

Nowadays bingo games are organised at a lot of non-standard venues, it’s not just dedicated halls/venues. 

Have you ever been to the Breakfast Club Battersea at Clapham? They’re now doing bingo nights as well, with party mashup, quiz nights, and other fun activities for all visitors. Tickets are available from £7, which is not a lot for an amusing and unusual bingo party. 

Selecta Saturday Special is a bingo party that takes place at UKG Bingo at Camden from 6pm until 9:45pm. If you fancy bingo and garage music, this is the right place for you. 

Finally, if you’re a fan of house, you’ll have a blast at Brixton’s Cattivo where Bubbles & Bingo events are held. 

 

Paris

The city of light is another great city for bingo fans. You may think of the UK as a top bingo destination, but the game was played in France long before it made its way to Britain.

Bingo made it to France towards the end of the 18th century and the French elite grew quite fond of it in the next decades. Nowadays there are a lot of standard bingo halls in the French capital where you can play bingo every evening. One thing that’s typical for Paris is Bastille Day Bingo which takes place every year on the 14th of July in memory of the French Revolution and the attack on Bastille prison that took place in 1789. One thing that’s specific about Paris and Parisian bingo is that you need to yell ‘King’ when you hit bingo and not ‘bingo’. 

 

New York

If you look at any list of top cities, regardless of the topic, New York will surely be on it. So, it is hardly surprising that New York is also one of the best cities for bingo fans. 

The Fifth Avenue bingo hall is one of the fanciest and most popular New York bingo venues. It opens every evening at 6pm and the most interesting thing about it is that there’s table service, so you can get your food and drinks without any interruptions to the game. 

Le Poisson Rouge Bingo Hall is located on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village and you can enjoy a game of bingo with a cocktail in your hand. If you are a fan of the funky sound you will enjoy the standard DJ sets at this venue. 

 

Glasgow

Despite the fact that London is the largest city in the UK and its capital, Glasgow has often been called UK’s bingo capital due to the popularity of the game in Scotland’s largest city. 

Carlton bingo hall in Partick is one of the most famous bingo halls located in Glasgow’s West End. The place is sometimes referred to as the effs (F&F), since it used to be called that when it was just a dance hall. Then there’s Buzz bingo located on Hawthorn Street and this venue opens at 11am. There are few Mecca bingo halls for more traditional bingo fun. Finally, there’s the Hillhead Bookclub where the Lady Balls Bingo takes place.

 

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Adventure Travel

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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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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