Our surf trip from Denmark to Portugal
Hey! My name is Sina Luxor. I’m half egyptian, half danish and here’s my story.
When I was 15 I dreamed of living in a van. I wanted to travel around and park by the ocean. After years of working whilst studying and saving up, that dream came true.
In april 2019 I bought my first van, even before I had a drivers license! It was a beige Mitsubishi 1985 campervan. I thought it looked like a rad safari wagon. It may have been a little rusty and didn’t go faster than 80km/h, but that didn’t bother me. We’re in it for the ride.
I hustled as hard as I could. I was a waitress, a babysitter, a model, a surf instructor, an actor and an artist. I even tattooed people in my van.
Winter in Denmark can be extremely cold and depressing, not to mention the brainfreeze and numbness after each surf session. But the great thing is you almost always have it to yourself, plus the winter swells bring bigger and better waves. When December came it was time to start the journey with my boyfriend, Sylvester. We were on the hunt for good waves, warm weather and tropical surroundings.
Day 1: Dec 16th, 6am. We left from Kolding, Denmark, got a speeding ticket in Germany and ended up on a farm in the Netherlands. We had some fun hanging out in Amsterdam for the day, and then decided the ocean was calling.
From there we passed through Belgium and ended up in a forest in northern France where we spent our first Christmas in the van. We decorated the inside and even had a small Christmas tree decked with shell ornaments and little gifts underneath it. We didn’t have a heater and it was freezing most nights when the temperature inside the van got down to 5 degrees. We headed further down the coastline in hope of finding some warmth.
What we did find were fun waves and empty lineups.
Our daily routine was simple; wake up, pull on an icy wetsuit and surf all day. If there weren’t waves we’d go hunting for skateparks and ramps and explore new places. We spent New Year’s Eve at Lacanau Ocean, a place where the nightclubs were empty but the beaches were packed. It was so beautiful to see how all the locals united on the sand for fireworks, music and good vibes. It did get a bit crazy and dangerous with the fireworks, but what a way to welcome in the new year.
We made it to southern France where we were greeted with bigger and better waves. I sadly snapped my longboard at a heavy beach break in Hossegor, but I bought a new 9’2 shaped in France and it was way better anyway. I’ll never forget dancing and cross stepping along an A-frame in Soustons with nobody out. The sun was shining but it was so foggy you couldn’t see the waves from the beach. It was unforgettable.
Après un mois et demi à profiter de la magnifique côte Landaise et du Pays Basque, nous avons rejoint Madrid pour que je puisse tatouer mon ami Adrian et lui montrer ma belle camionnette. Mais l’océan nous a très vite manqué alors nous sommes partis le lendemain matin : direction le Portugal, ce pays m’a toujours fait rêver depuis mon plus jeune âge. Première étape : Figueira da Foz. Nous avons bien profité des spots de Figueira da Foz pendant un petit moment puis nous avons vu qu’il y avait une grosse houle en direction de Nazaré qui serait sûrement fun à regarder. Par chance, nous avons assisté à l’une des meilleures sessions de l’année à Nazaré où des surfeurs se sont confrontés à des vagues de 12 à 14 m en essayant de les dompter ! C’était un spectacle vraiment unique et qui vous marque à jamais.
After a month and a half of enjoying the beautiful French coastline we drove to Madrid so I could tattoo my friend Adrian and show him my van. But all too soon we started missing the ocean, so we left the next morning and headed to Portugal. First stop Figueira da Foz. We hung out here for a while but saw that there was a big swell heading for Nazare that would be fun to watch. Luckily for us we saw surfers getting towed into 12-14m waves!
Then we ended up in Peniche. We stayed for 2 months, surfing all the spots and going on adventures. Due to Covid-19 surfing was banned, and the police were telling all van livers to go back to their countries. Luckily we met a danish family who let us park at their farm (Pachamama), in Alcacer do Sal, where we were surrounded by animals and happy souls. They didn’t charge us for the stay and instead we helped make a mosaïc wall, did a bit of gardening and painted a van.
Even though it was great we were still desperately waiting for surfing to be allowed, and 2 month later, as soon as they announced that the beaches were open again, we headed to Sines in beautiful Alentejo. We had the sickest waves at a number of secret local spots. (Sorry – can’t say where!)
When we made it to Sagres we found beaches with 100 people in the water and beaches with 0 people in the water. How? A sketchy hike and randomly heading down sand destroyed roads. Barranco has some beautiful caves and cliffs too where we climbed and hiked to find a blue lagoon too.
Eventually we drove back to Peniche since it seemed to be the only place we could park our van without getting fined after a new law came out about van living, we’re still here now! We are really happy, there are good waves, good weather and good people, so why not stay?