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Reviewed 15 July 2017 via mobile

Feral Surf is an incredible experience, one that expertly combines the heightened adrenaline of surfing with calm sunbathing slumber.

The holiday begins not at the camp, but the airport. Transfers are usually a tedious necessity but in this case you receive a welcome at the terminal that is warmer than the climate. The ride to the camp was filled with conversation and a pre-induction of what's in store.

Once at camp, I was given a tour of the facilities and welcomed to dinner. Portions were enormous and I was shocked at how easily everyone gulped down their plates. The morning would soon set me straight on why. The atmosphere in the camp was phenomenal and the surf instructors never segregated themselves from the campers. Usual banal opening conversations that focus on what you do for a living do not dwell here. Everyone is far more interested in who you are as a person rather than what fills up your wallet.

Evenings were filled with games and drinking. The bar was a fair price and everyone could choose between relaxation in the hammocks or shots at the bar. On my second night we were introduced to a game called Werewolves. If there was ever a game to split opinion but end in hilarity, this was it. I won't bother explaining it because it has to be experienced to be understood, but I will tell you that it was an instant addition I purchased once home again.

Mornings began with a continental breakfast. You can stuff yourself silly and I'd advise to. When we reached the beach we went through thorough stretches and safety procedures. As I was a complete beginner without much experience of surfboards or even the sea for that matter, I didn't know what to expect.

My first instructor, Joel, quickly set about making us comfortable on the board and how to get to our feet in the easiest manner. Although I was wiped out by the initial waves it soon becomes clear how to ride them rather than let them spin you. The old adage is true and time genuinely flies by as you challenge the water. Once up on your feet on the board , you see what all the fuss is about. Thrilling is an understatement.

It's hefty but rewarding work and a big breakfast is followed by a large lunch. The chef, Tom, creates simple dishes that thrive with quality. His baguettes tasted as they looked, which is the highest compliment I can give them.

My second lesson was with a different instructor, Caesar, who taught me different skills, techniques, and most importantly, style. Caesar doesn't just teach you to surf, he teaches you to look cool at all times, even when walking with the board.

Afternoons are spent relaxing in the hammocks or, if you are constantly on the go like me, you can sign up to optional outside activities. The wine tasting I signed up for was enhanced by the wonderful vineyard we visited, complete with accessible lighthouse.

There is a beach style bar to compliment the evenings and it's prices were very reasonable. Feral has changed my outlook on camping, surfing, and getting away from the city. An absolute must for anyone craving the beach and the sea.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank TomBerwick38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2017 via mobile

Booked this trip for the surfing primarily. Little did I know that I was be camping with some of the finest individuals on Gods green earth! (Big shout out to my brother from another mother, Grant!)
They certainly coached me to stand up on a green wave (finally), but their efforts to make our trip both entertaining and relaxing was amazing! After some fantastic galavanting around Europe and the UK it was just what I needed before I head back to the daily grind.
Thanks so much to Phil, Nel and their fantastic team! Be sure to stay in touch! I'll be back soon!

Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank BrendonAhWong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2017

Brilliant time despite all adversity from unpredictable stormy weather with red flagged beach to glorious sunny days and an amazing group of people.

So our journey to feral surf started two years before when after many episodes of body boarding and paddling in the shallows when on various beach holiday I decided that surfing might be fun but maybe I should learn to swim first ( thanks to Sharon my swim coach) I finally booked to go in Feb with my two teenage sons.
I told a good friend about it and she booked to join us with her daughter and we were all set to go.
In the week she before I weather watched Bordeaux - they were having glorious hot weather so packed light but being a mum threw in a coat just in case ! ( thank goodness)
We left Liverpool airport in the rain and arrived in Bordeaux in the rain !!!!
We were picked up at the airport by Dave who goes everywhere with no shoes on, He immediately made us feel welcome and at ease and was filled us in with what we were to expect when we got to the camp.

We arrived to smiling wet faces and threw everything into our tipis and went to meet the others. Phil ( who keeps everything running smoothly and is very organised ) then came to give us a little talk about the camp and we met Kes who was doing a stint on the bar. She is the friendliest happiest person you could meet ( like a bouncy Labrador puppy ).

Our accommodation for the week was a the 4 person man tipi with little wooden beds and thin mattresses which were extraordinarily comfortable. English plugs were a bonus find and a light which made all the tipis look very pretty at night.
During the afternoon others arrived at the camp and we all got acquainted, then over the evening we met all the surf coaches as they appeared back from various lessons.

The camp is cosy and the team are onsite. It is part of a bigger campsite where they teach European teenagers in school type camps and so we were invited to sit in on their surf history and surf science lessons after tea. ( more about tea in a min as Tom's food deserves a paragraph of his own )
Simon knowledge of surf science and Joel's surf history lesson were an experience and listening to all their stories of places they have surfed around the world was fabulous. When Nell arrived for the weekend she immediate got to know everyone's names and she introducted us to the best white sangria I have ever tasted. Tom and Johanna also arrived at the weekend and I'm gutted I didn't get to do more yoga with Johanna.

As the weather was so shocking during the first few days we went off site first on a vinyard tour and another day to the markets at Houtin Plage with Dave which was great and we all enjoyed his entertainment in the party bus. We still managed to get in the sea despite the adverse weather and swam and did bodyboarding instead when we couldn't surf.

So to the food, it was was delightful - fresh bread and croissants and pain au chocolate from the local bakery every morning - sandwiches or salad boxes for lunch ( I highly recommend the salad boxes). Then in the evening you all eat together, the tastiest biggest portions known to man kind. I'm not kidding Tom the chef is a genius producing amazing food out of the green machine ( caravan) - fantastic curries with homemade onion bhaji after meals you then you wash up your own plates etc and settle in for the evenings entertainment - games nights , werewolves, quiz night ....

The worst part was : The loos, oh the loos!!! Not gonna lie they had us all talking. They are a bit like the outdoor toilet in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but in a long row. They are cleaned twice a day and you have to take you loo roll with you but as you share with the other camps its not a particularly delightful experience. I would advise really just deal with it. It is a camp after all.
You could get a hot shower though if you went at the right time however I managed to have only cold ones for he whole week and it was still the best thing I have ever felt after being in the sea. Do not even bother yourselves with bringing any makeup. There are only a couple of mirrors in the further away shower room so I dont think I looked in a mirror all week.

So to the surfing ... I got in and surfed ish ... Our initial surf coaches Pat and Sam made me feel at ease and bless them had the patience of saints. I didn't stand up but got to the kneeling position and that was just fine by me. They gave lots of encouragement and tips and even though I had an injury in my second lesson so didn't get to surf the rest of the week I still enjoyed coming down to the beach to watch the lessons. All the coaches were happy to pass on their experiences and didn't laugh when we fell off for the hundredth time !
Lots of our group got up to the standing by the end of the week and so even if you are not a hard core surfer and just a beginner like me I would highly recommend you still give the camp a go as it was the whole round experience that made it one of my all time favourite holidays ever.

They have a tab system at the camp bar so all the drinks you have and chocolate etc you can just pay for at the end of your trip.
You can ask what your bar tab is as you go along if your worried.( being with two teenagers Grant kept an eye on how many beers they were putting on my tab ! )

Tips : Brush up on your General Knowledge and music knowledge as Dave sets up a brill quiz with a few activities thrown in. Play werewolves in the forest if you can !

I am so, so happy I went and have met some fantastic people, came back feeling chilled out and wanting to surf and live on the beach forever.

In all seriousness though, thank you so much to all the staff for making it such an enjoyable experience. I really do want to come back again next year and try again to stand up this time - I've a year to work on my pop ups on the rug at home !

Room Tip: Surf all day and you'll sleep each night throughly exhausted ( in a good way )
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Debbie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2017

I had a great 8 days at Feral. I originally booked for 7 days travelling on my own but ended up staying for an extra night as I enjoyed it so much.

The transfer from the airport was easy, just an hour and Phil was there to pick me up when I arrived. The accommodation is exactly as it is described; the camp sleeps up to 17 guests but when I arrived there were just 7 of us. With the small group who were at the camp when I was there, it was often not clear who the staff and guests were as it was such a laid back atmosphere.

The teepees are basic but were all that you need after a day of surfing. They come with a plug socket and light. Be warned they get very hot in the day but cool down a lot at night. The toilets and showers are shared with the rest of the camp. Similar to the teepees, these are very basic but that is what you should expect when going on a camping holiday!

The food, prepared by chef Tom, was fantastic. Breakfast is continental style, lunch is a baguette or salad box, and then dinner changes every night. You will not go hungry! His onion bhajis were a winner.

The surf lessons were just what I needed, with a small group and very attentive and experienced coaches. These were 90 minutes each morning. After that you could go out of camp on an excursion (we did wakeboarding), hang around the camp in the hammocks/in the shade, or go for an afternoon surf if you rented a board - very good value at just EUR10 for the afternoon. On a couple of evenings after dinner, we would go for a twilight surf with the staff and the coaches.

There is a fully stocked bar throughout the day for soft drinks, snacks and alcoholic drinks, which get charged to your tab throughout your stay. If you were to need extra food throughout the trip there is a small supermarket and some cafes nearer to the beach.

All in all I had a great time and couldn't recommend this enough. You have to appreciate that you are camping so do not expect 5 star accommodation. However, what Feral manage to achieve at this campsite is fantastic and is an experience you won't forget.

Thanks to all the staff and coaches for making it a great 8 days.

Old Gregg... x

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
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    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank matthewhopkins13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2017

I stayed at Feral last August, and whilst the food and the people were nice, it was the surfing I came for, and this is what I experienced:

- Out of the 7 days that I had surf lessons, the surf instructor came in the water ZERO times with us. First of all I thought 'ok, he is just watching us to keep us all in view', but then it became apparent that he would just rather not put in the effort of helping us to learn in the water, and on occasion, would rather just talk with his friends/girlfriend on the shore. There were a few days when he said he would come in with us, but it never happened. As an intermediate surfer, who is fine on white water but would have liked to build more confidence surfing green waves, his approach didn't leave me with anything to praise. During the seven days of surfing twice a day, I can honestly say that I didn't progress at all.

- On my first day there was no wetsuit that fit me (just a small ladies size). Luckily they found one from a neighbouring camp later on, but it was tattered and really thin, and left me really cold in the sea, every day. I was lucky that I brought my boots along, as there was no selection that they could offer me. In hindsight, I would have brought my own wetsuit. Either that or they should check that they have appropriate wetsuits for guests. Also on my first day I wasn't told where or when my lesson would be. I found out that my group had already gone down to the beach without the instructor having told me or given me a board. I had to wait until some other guests came back early from the lesson for them to show me where to go. Not a welcoming start.

- Boards have to be hired every time you want to use them outside of the lesson. So if you're staying for a week, you may want to factor in quite a substantial cost for board-hire. This was disappointing. Also, they only had foam boards for hire. If you want to improve on a hardboard, you need to bring your own.

- The surf (now this wasn't feral's fault at all, so this is definitely not a negative point about them) was average to poor. Either too big and messy, with strong onshore winds and fierce rips, or really small with no power. And it was REALLY tide dependent, which was frustrating when your lesson was scheduled to be at high tide in a sandbank. If you are paying to go on a holiday at a great surf location, there are hundreds of better locations than this.

All in all, the surfing experience was poor. I came to improve my surfing technique, but ended up surfing choppy white water for seven days straight. The teaching was non-existent (made to do pop-ups over and over when I've been surfing regularly for five years), the instructor, though a friendly boy, didn't put any effort into us, and as an actual surf location - not to be visited again.

The camp, as some other people have mentioned, was really noisy and cramped, with teenagers surrounding the sectioned-off 'feral' site. There were drinking games happening every night in the feral camp until 12am, so if you want a decent nights' sleep you'd have to bring earplugs and be able to retreat from the clique. The teenage camps wake up at about 7am, so no scope for lie-ins.

The washing facilities are poor. Think sandy, wet, unflushable toilets where you have to bring your own toilet paper and soap. Teenagers in surrounding camps can lock you in from the outside, so best to pick your toilets wisely. This usually involves a walk to the other side of the camp site.

There were a few magical things - the sunsets, the white sands under full moons, the friendliness and fun of living in a dirty, sandy tipi with complete strangers. But really, it wasn't a place I'd think about returning to. I've been to other surf camps which have been excellent and this was by far the poorest experience.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
1  Thank surfer_872
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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