Founders of Surf School Surf in Comporta and Melides Guesthouse

Seeing Ana and Daniel always feels warm and pleasant. They create a spirit around them, which gives both friends and foreigners the feeling of being long-time friends. If you stay with them at their lovely furnished guesthouse in Melides or if you are taking part in one of their surf lessons or stand-up paddling courses – each time it´s a lot of fun and a unique experience.

The Niche Traveller: Tell us about where are you from?
Ana: We were both born and raised in the area. Daniel is from Carvalhal and I was born and grew up in Melides. It´s a small village south of Comporta, where we are running our guesthouse and live with our family.

TNT: How you became passionate with surfing?
Daniel: I started surfing in Carvalhal, when I was 13 years old. I played tennis before but suddenly realised that if I live so close to the ocean it could be more interesting, funny and relaxing for me doing a water sport.

Ana was dreaming to surf since she was a child, but never had the opportunity to learn it, so she finished her studies of Tourism Management at the University and then decided to make her dream come true and learn how to surf.

TNT: When and why you decided to give lessons and run a surf school?
Ana: 10 years ago, in 2008, after Daniel finished his training to become a Surf Instructor. At this moment, we realised the gap of opportunities, there was hardly any tourism in Comporta at that time, no sportive activities, no surfing classes available. Daniel wanted to give an opportunity to the young people in the area to practice a water sport.

TNT: You are well known in Comporta for your surf lessons, what´s special about it?
Ana: We are real locals, with more than 10 years of experience as surf instructors. We know the area very well and have professional knowledge about this sport. Furthermore, this is our home since forever and we like to share our knowledge about all the interesting things around here with our customers.

TNT: What is the best thing about your job?
Ana: We want to give our customers a good time during their holidays and we hope, they will keep and remember the good experience they had here in Comporta.

TNT: What connects you with Comporta?
Daniel: As Carvalhal is my home town, the connection to this place is very strong. We are especially connected with the nature and the authenticity of the area.

TNT: Best spot for surfing in the area?
Daniel: Carvalhal beach!

TNT: What do you recommend people who are coming to Comporta for the first time?
Ana: Turn off the rush. Spend a day at a deserted beach, feel the nature, eat freshly grilled fish, experience a surf lesson and enjoy the amazing sunset at the beach or at the historical harbour Cais Palafítico in Carrasqueira.

TNT: Where do you like to eat and drink?
Daniel: We like to eat local food, as we live close to the sea. The best is to eat grilled fish with a good and fresh wine from the region in a beach restaurant.

TNT: Besides giving surf lessons, you run a surf shop and a bed & breakfast, how you manage doing all these at the same time?
Daniel: During the winter we always try to organize the summer and the high season very well. Our motivated team supports us very well.

TNT: Where are you going to escape or when you are having a few days off?
Ana: We haven´t been away for a serious vacation since two years. In summer we usually don’t have days off. In low season, we like to spend time with our family, do stand-up paddling, biking and birdwatching. We love doing activities in the winter because it is wonderful to enjoy our region outside the high season.

TNT: Most important in life?
Family and staying healthy.

INTERVIEW: Kerstin Bognár
PHOTOS: Mia Takahara