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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

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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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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