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If you can’t decide whether you wish to surf or climb, then do both! SaltyWay offers the perfect package, with three and a half days surfing and two and a half days climbing. Enjoy the similarities of using your whole body while experiencing the best of both worlds, the ocean and the serra. This package provides you with a complete immersion in nature and sport.
The SaltyWay house is beautifully situated off the beaten track, right in the heart of nature in Colares near Lisbon. Here, you will enjoy the tranquility of the serra every day, a silent nights’ sleep, and early surf wake ups with the birds. You can light up a fire in the living room at night and enjoy the cozy atmosphere of this big room with the big windows.
The kitchen offer all you need to make a good meal. You can enjoy lots of nights in the big garden with a bonfire going and the tales of the day. What’s more, the house is just a short walk (12 minutes) and a breathtaking descent down to Praia Grande, via a set of steps famed for its prehistoric dinosaur footprints.
The house is also situated between Almocageme and Praia das Maças. Both are small picturesque Portuguese villages with a range of restaurants, bars, small shops, and cheap local markets (a great place to buy your week’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables).
The house comfortably accommodates 10 to 12 guests and is a blend of typical Portuguese-style furnishings with a cozy and intimate surf vibe. The three rooms are for two or six persons and are clean, functional, have Wi-Fi access, towels, and linen. They have double, single or bunk beds, and can provide girls-only rooms if required. SaltyWay can also accommodate the rooms for families.
The house has a good-sized garden and chill out area with barbecue facilities and an outside shower. It’s the perfect spot for barbecues, sunset beers, sunbathing, afternoon yoga, or chilling out in a hammock with a book.
A key ingredient to SaltyWay's activity holidays is the togetherness of the group. They believe living together builds an unbreakable bond during and even after the holiday. They encourage communal shopping and cooking, and provide a modern kitchen and living areas that are equipped accordingly. In fact, over the years the best evenings have definitely been when the group cook together and share a few glasses of local wine and tales from the day’s adventures.
This is going to be more than just a week of top roping, this is a comprehensive yet exhilarating five-day adult (20-50 years) course. The goal is that you become a self-sufficient climber. Each day, your highly qualified, experienced, and contagiously enthusiastic guide will provide you with top of the range equipment and take you to the best climbing spots in the area, in the mountains or by the sea.
Depending on the weather and local temperatures, you will always try to climb at the most suitable times and places. The guides know this area like the back of their hands, they literally know every stone and crack in Sintra and Cascais, and will share with you the accompanying history and insight into local flora and fauna. Kids are also welcome to join the climbing sessions or can be entertained at home or at the beach with one of the helpers.
Each climbing session is taught in a fun, no pressure manner and goes hand in hand with daily theory lessons that cover climbing safety, communication and belaying, climbing and rope technique, climbing vocabulary, equipment design, and leading. SaltyWay believes knowledge gives you security and security allows you to have fun! So whatever your level, they will provide the practical and theoretical know how in order to take you to the next level.
During the retreat, you will climb in small groups of four so as to keep the teaching personal, the vibe intimate, and not overcrowd the climbing spots. If you are eager for more and wish to climb during your free time, then SaltyWay recommends you to go to a bouldering sectors nearby. Just take the bouldering mat from SaltyWay and off you go.
SaltyWay also offers two yoga sessions a week to compliment your climbing. The yoga will not only improve your balance but it will offer a welcomed relief to sore muscles and a chance to refocus and settle your mind after the adrenaline of each day.
It’s all about having fun at Saltyway. Don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner, there’s something for you. The instructors will always choose spots to suit your level and comfort zone. They’ve got your back whatever your ability, and that’s a promise!
Since SaltyWay is committed to taking you climbing in the most suitable conditions, the day’s schedule is flexible and may change accordingly. For example, the half-day of climbing and theory may take place either in the morning or afternoon.
For the surf lessons, the surf instructor will take you to the surf spots, in the best conditions and with top of the range equipment. Each surf session is adapted to the personal needs of each and every guest. The surf session also goes hand in hand with daily theory lessons that cover wave anatomy, beach safety (currents and rips), reading the waves, forecasting and board design.
SaltyWay guarantees one surf a day with the instructor but often squeeze a second free surf session in if conditions allow and / or if the group agrees. You may also take your board and wetsuit during the free time or on the weekends for a solo session.
What’s more, at least once a week, SaltyWay offers video analysis sessions, which is by far the most effective way of improving your surfing. You will surf in small groups of six so as to keep the teaching personal, the vibe intimate, and not overcrowd the surf spots.
Your time at SaltyWay is your holiday so, it’s all about having fun. Don’t worry if you’re used to waves of a smaller size or you’re a complete beginner, there’s always something for you. The instructors will always choose conditions to suit your level and comfort zone, they never throw people in at the deep end. SaltyWay also offers surf classes for kids, but generally the groups are formed of people around 30 years old.
Throughout the holiday, you will visit some climbing and surfing spots with beautiful views.
This surf, climb, and yoga holiday will take place in Portugal. The area of Sintra is a very special and unique place to climb. You can find a variety of climbing disciplines (sport, trad, bouldering, and crack climbing), grades and rock types (granite, limestone, and basalt) set in the beautiful forested mountains or by the turquoise blue sea of Portugal. Whatever your level or experience, there is certainly something for everyone. There is a good climbing guide book for you in the camp.
The enchanting Peninha forest and its majestic moss covered granite boulders look like something out of The Lord of the Rings, and like the movie, they have a truly magical feel about them. With so many boulders and grades ranging from 4a (easy) to 8a (difficult), there is something for everyone.
It is not only a joy to climb, but also a great spot to do some slack lining and relax with a picnic. A top tip if you are there around sundown, head to the nearby Peninha convent to take in a mind blowing panoramic sunset.
Dramatically situated below the walls of this ancient mountain top castle, Castelo dos Mouros offers incredible views of the Sintra hills and the surrounding places. It is a granite slab climbing spot with more than 50 routes ranging from grades 4a (easy) to 8b (difficult). The approach to the crag is a short 10-minute walk through the mystical woods of Sintra.
About 20-minute drive from the house is Guia, the birthplace of sports climbing in Portugal. Guia is 150 meters of vertical or overhanging limestone cliffs, offering 50 or more routes ranging from grades 3c (easy) to 7c (difficult). You climb just meters from the glistening blue sea of Cascais bay. It’s almost impossible to resist a dip in the sea at the end of the day. Not far from the sector is the seaside town of Cascais that offers great restaurants, bars, shopping, artisan street markets, and cultural exhibitions.
For the more experienced climbers or eager novices keen to push their limits, SaltyWay is lucky enough to have a unique basalt crack climbing spot just 20 minutes from the house. The location is truly awe-inspiring with a prehistoric feeling about the place; you can imagine dinosaurs roaming here millions of years ago.
There are around 30 trad climbing routes ranging from grades 5b (intermediate) to 7b (difficult). It’s a great place to experiment with or improve your crack climbing. What’s more, the crag looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and setting sun if you are there until sun down.
This small, semi-secret sector is hidden deep within the Sintra forest, and the adventurous walk through the trees is well worth the effort. Its isolation means it’s often empty so you can maximize your time on the rock while enjoying the tranquility of the forest. Due to its short routes and low grades, it’s the perfect location for learning to lead your own routes. There are no more than 10 routes ranging from 4a (easy) to 5b (intermediate).
Sintra also has amazing surf spots. This corner of Portugal is littered with a variety of breaks suitable for riders of all abilities. From super fun beachies to endless point breaks and rippable reef breaks, you can find every type of wave here.
Since SaltyWay is committed to taking you to the best waves, they on occasions, take road trips north and south in the hunt of optimum conditions. On previous SaltyWay surf holidays when the waves on the doorstep have not been ideal, they have traveled to Costa de Caparica, Ericiera, Peniche, and even Nazare!
Regarded by most as the birthplace of Portuguese surfing and famed for it’s iconic 16th century military fort that proudly sits at the southern end of the beach, this one-kilometer sandy beach produces excellent peaky, punchy, and barreling waves through all tides. It is a good option when the wind is northerly and the west coast is too big. When this place is good, it is so much fun to surf whatever your level.
Guincho is a stunning 800-meter beach located at the foot of the Sintra mountains and surrounded by rolling sand dunes and the turquoise blue of the Atlantic. It’s a pleasure just being there let alone surfing there. Fortunately for you, it’s one of the most consistent spots in the area so there’s a good chance you will get to appreciate its beauty and ride the super fun waves.
The waves predominantly break to the left at the southern end of the beach, while in the middle of the bay produces bowly rights and lefts. On the northern end, you will find more relaxed rights.
It is named the apple beach because every autumn the beach gets covered in apples that have fallen from the nearby orchards and bobbed their way down the Colares River. This is a consistent sand-bottomed beachie just a short distance from the SaltyWay house and famed for its crystal blue water.
There are fun rights and lefts throughout the tides and on occasions a point break style wave can form off the rocks making for long rides across the bay. Praia das Maças also has a variety of good bars and restaurants boasting cheap tasty food and sea views.
Or big beach and little beach as they translate in English, are swell magnets and some of Portugal’s most consistent beach breaks. Fortunately for you, the surf house is set back in the hills overlooking these impressive beaches.
Praia Grande is a one-kilometer long sandy beach that produces super fun lefts and rights all along the beach, a perfect surf spot beginners in the summer. Praia Grande boasts a number of great cafes and restaurants to kick back and relax in with a coffee whilst watching the action unfold in the water.
In contrast, Praia Pequena has a completely different set up and mellower vibe. It is a small cove with restricted access and a crowd that rarely exceeds ten guys. This beach is known for it’s playful wedgy right and left hand peaks. It’s a great place to escape to when Praia Grande is busy.
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You will have the chance to taste a Queijada, a delicious cake of Sintra, during your free time.
During your stay in Portugal, you may try several fun activities such as going sightseeing in Sintra, Lisbon or Cascais, playing beach volleyball, going wine tasting, enjoying sunset beers and barbecue, trying out the dishes in restaurant with Fado music, or relaxing with a massage. You may also spend your day chilling out on your own with your favorite book. Either way, there is no pressure and the decision is all yours.
Almoçageme is a quaint farming and fishing village which lays claim to the best chocolate cake in the area and a great weekend market selling local organic produce at affordable prices. A short walk from the center, you’ll find Praia d’Adraga which is considered one of the 20 best European beaches by the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper. This idyllic craggy cove is also home to an excellent seafood restaurant. The fish soup is a must!
The sun shines approximately 239 days a year in Lisbon, making it the sunniest capital in Europe. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is known for its unique light, sweet pastries, white cobblestones, Fado music, café culture, and yellow trams. Situated on seven hills, Lisbon is renowned for its Miradouros strategically built look out points that give breath taking views across the cities pastel-colored buildings, iconic 25 de Abril suspension bridge, and the river Tejo.
You're going to be blown away and captivated by the golden sands, the crystal clear Atlantic waters, the towering cliffs, and night time silence that Praia Grande has to offer. But don’t despair, if you’re missing a little hustle and bustle, you are not far from Praia das Maças.
Praia das Maças is a small seaside village that has a supermarket, a weekly organic market, several souvenir shops and a variety of fine restaurants, and lively bars. It is also famed for its 18th century red tram that takes you on a scenic 45-minute journey to the historical and culturally rich town of Sintra.
Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a fairy tale town famed for its 19th romantic architecture. A long time sanctuary for the nobility and elite of Portugal, its mountainous and forested terrain is dotted with exquisite palaces, extravagant villas, and decorative gardens.
Just a short journey from the SaltyWay house, this enchanting town proves popular among culture vultures and foodies. Top tip, bring along a camera for the breathtaking views and a couple of Euros for a Queijada, a deliciously typical cake of Sintra.
Please book your flight to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). On arrival at the airport, take the airport bus which costs about 3,50 EUR to Rossio bus station in central Lisbon. Walk from Rossio airport bus stop to Rossio train station.
Take a train (they leave every 30 minutes) to Sintra train station. Once on the train, drop a message to the SaltyWay Camp to say you’re on your way and they will come to collect you.
On arrival at the station, get out on the top end of the station and turn left at the exit. Turn left again and you will find the staff waiting for you in Rua Dr. Vasco Vidal. This street runs parallel with the train tracks.
"Julika is a super teacher! Together with my children, I surfed for three weeks with Julika some years ago, and we had a fantastic time both on and off the water. Julika is really good at seeing each and every person, and their needs, in a way that makes all participants feeling well taken care of. We still miss surfing and Julika!"
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"Great camp for water and mountain experience! Surfing and rock climbing with professional guides at a beautiful Portuguese scenery."
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"If you are looking for an unforgettable surf trip at a beautiful place with amazing people, there's no better choice than coming here! See you in summer!"
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"Julika is a really good teacher! I felt always secure with her and spent two weeks in her camp in Portugal this year! Moreover, Julika made sure that you are having a good time by offering other activities you can do such as horse riding, massages, climbing, and others. Will be back in 2016!"
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"It's been the greatest experience and even excelled what I was expecting. Great location, perfect waves, and the best teacher you can imagine made the holiday a unique experience. Keep going with the great work! "
SaltyWay Facebook page, edited