Today I want to write about something that differs a bit from my usual content. I’m not a travel blogger but I’d love to share my latest experience with you: One week in an enchanting little town called Espinho.
Surfing has always been pretty high on my list of things I want to do. However, at the end of July we decided to pack our bags and leave for Portugal. We landed in Porto and went on to a lovely little place named Espinho. We checked into a Surf House that is now on my list of favourite places I ever stayed.
Just around the corner of the train station, the Watermark Surf House is located. I was absolutely delighted to find out that we only needed to cross the street to get to the beach (and we also had beach view from our room). Although we arrived in the middle of the night, one guy from the Surf House came to pick us up at the train station and even showed us around town a little bit.
The next morning we went to have breakfast at one of the best bakeries I ever had the pleasure to eat at. By the end of our stay I had tried almost every cake in the shop – you wouldn’t believe how delicious everything was.
In the afternoon it was time for our first surf lesson. I was really excited but also a bit sceptical as I thought it would take me all week simply to stand up. However, with the help of our awesome instructor Paulo I managed to get up on the second try. Couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. I just loved the surf lesson – and of course also the rest of our trip. Read on to find out more!
Watermark Surf House:
I’ve been to many places in my life, but this one is definitely among my favourites. The place itself was lovely. The room was quite big and had a beach view. There was a kitchen so we could prepare our own stuff and a very nice common room. You only had to walk down the stairs to get to the surfing equipment and cross the street to get to the ocean.
The guys from the Surf House were just so nice, I wanted to stay forever. You could call them up whenever you needed something, they gave us lots of great tips about what to do and where to go. They even took us to some medieval festival in the next town and had a beer with us! How many landlords would do that?!
The surfing instructions were great and I loved every single lesson we got. On top of that we also had one yoga lesson included. The girl who came to practice with us was just adorable. She was so nice and the lesson was also amazing.
I can’t wait to go back. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else to surf.
Let me tell you a bit more about Espinho itself. It’s a cute little town half an hour south from Porto. Located right at the ocean it has some great surf spots to offer – fortunately this is still a rather undiscovered jewel, the beach isn’t crowded, it is very clean and there are only very few tourists. The people are extremely friendly try to help you whenever they can.
But what amazed me most were the prices. I was stunned how cheap everything was. For me being a student, the price aspect is always very important and I was highly delighted to find out that in Espinho you can get an entire (huge and delicious) meal for two people and drinks for under 15 euros. Let me highlight for you: a coffee at a restaurant costs 0.70 € (Yes, you read that correctly, it’s only 70 cents) and a bottle of wine at a restaurant is 4 €.
Espinho itself may not be big or fancy, but taking a walk at the beach (there is also an endless pier) is gorgeous.
During our stay we made two day trips to Porto. It’s about 30 minutes away and once again I have to point out how cheap the train was. You get there and back for about 5 € and the trains are very punctual and also clean. We got out in the heart of Porto and stumbled right into the historic center which is simply beautiful. We spent an entire afternoon walking around and taking it all in. There is so much to see. I briefly want to mention my new favourite place on this planet: the Livraria Lello. This is the most beautiful bookshop in the entire world. Rumor has it that Joanne K. Rowling was inspired by this very shop to write Harry Potter. Once you enter the building you know why. It has a mystical and wonderful aura and you just never want to leave this place.
My second favourite spot in Porto is the park surrounding the Palacio de Cristal. The building itself was not as beautiful as I had imagined but the park blew my mind. It is so green and filled with marvellous plants and animals, it almost feels unreal to stroll around there.
This was our second day trip. About 25 minutes south from Espinho is what you could call the Venice of Portugal. Aveiro is a charming little town with canals filled with colorful ships. My favourite thing was a street covered by a net. And in this net a bunch of fish were draped. This may not sound like much, but all the fish were either knitted or crocheted. Cutest thing ever!
Have you ever been to Espinho? Or somewhere else around Portugal? Ever tried surfing? Let me know in the comments! =)