Portugal may have cold water tempting you to don your winter wetsuit and take a deep breath before you make that first duck dive, but the glittering golden coast is home to some of the best waves to grace the shores of Europe.
Solid consistency even outside the chill of the autumn months, home to the rip curl pro and with decadent stretches of sand perfect for every level, Portugal truly is the mecca of mainland Europe when it comes to the surfing world. Yet the crowds can surge and swarm the waters especially around the populous Algarve meaning that you have to watch for sun kissed swimmers, screaming children and the dreaded water inflatables when cresting that perfect wave. The best thing about Portugal is that there are scores of nooks and crannies littering the coastline that ensure you can have the whole beach to yourself. Nothing beats renting a car, cruising the rolling hills and finding your own little spot of surfing heaven. Take a look at three of the best spots worth seeking out.
This exceptional spot is a soul surfers dream comprising nothing more than a small village with single surf shop and miles upon miles of crisp curling waves breaking onto the long beach. The wilderness of the Atlantic crashes onto shore with waves that can get big, really big – keeping the swimmers firmly at bay. Around this windswept chunk of coastline there are many sheltered coves worth exploring but car rent in Portugal is the only way to get there. Spend your mornings splashing in the pounding surf of Carrapateira, stop for lunch at one of the fresh fish taverns in the town for barbequed sardines then take the car and hit the road to follow the coast.
Praia de Afife, Viana do Castelo
Backed by rising green hills and only a stone’s throw away from the dry heat of Spain Praia de Afife is a rugged spot on the north coast revered for its remote sands, rolling waves and lashings of sunshine. Getting there can be tricky without a vehicle so opt to find your favofite car on RentMama and hit the scenic winding route off the A28 highway and through the golden dunes. Mid-week you will be lucky to see another soul on the sands and across the highway you can find mouth-watering sucking pig specialities in the quaint charm of Quinta de Sao Roque.
Praia do Norte, Nazaré
It may not be much of a secret anymore, not after it threw up the infamous hundred foot wave last year but Praia do Norte truly needs to be seen to be believed. The inconspicuous tiny fishing village 80 miles north of the capital is well worth hiring a car and taking the trip for. The megalith surf that pounds the shore is seriously for experts only but those who love the sport can spend hours with open mouths on the sands watching the pros ride giants.
Bored of routine days in office, now, when the Sun is going the other way? Now might be the best time to go Surfing… In PORTUGAL!
Surfers hoping to escape the crowds and catch a wave at some of Portugal’s best kept secret spots need to look no further. While hordes of excited beach goers flock to the Portuguese coast each year, there are still many hidden gems offering surfers great swells and plenty of space. Although there is great surf year round, the autumn and winter months are best for more experienced surfers as they provide the biggest waves. Storms in the North Atlantic send gnarly waves rushing towards the coastline. The following beaches promise nice waves, wonderful food, and beautiful views. Companies such as RentMama Car Rental make it easy to book a car cheaper from local, independent car rental companies who also offer flexible pick-up and drop-off times allowing surfers the run of the coast on their own time. What are you waiting for? Rent a car, grab your wetsuit, and head on out to some of the best surfing in Europe!
First stop: Praia de Odeceixe
Not only is Praia de Odeceixe home to some sick swells, it is also off the beaten path, and therefore budget friendly. Located at the northern end of Portugal’s Costa Vicentina, Praia de Odeceixe has reliable intermediate level surf year round. Odeceixe offers plenty of small bars and restaurants to enjoy while taking a break from the surf. There are plenty of rooms for rent nearby, as well as a local surf camp. As the sleepy beach town is situated only 124km from the Faro airport, make the drive yourself. The scenic view makes for a leisurely and enjoyable drive.
Next up: Coxos
Coxos is located 50km north of Lisbon with excellent quality waves best suited for experienced surfers. Coxos Break Point is home to a series of rocky shelves, and this reef break can deliver some major swells. Not surprisingly, it is known as one of the best spots in the world. While weekends can become overcrowded, weekday mornings offer surfers a sweet escape. As it’s located a little bit out of the city, and because there are many other worthwhile surf spots in the near vicinity, it is best to go by car. Venture over to the nearby fishing villages to grab a bite to eat, and wash it down with a cool beer while checking out the markets and flower shops.
Last, but not least: Praia do Bico
Praia do Bico, also known as Praia da Arda and Praia da Mariana, is best for intermediate surfers. The crowd level is relatively low, thus allowing surfers the run of the beach. This stretch is rumored to never be flat and to offer a great wave variety, making it a top surf spot in Portugal. Not much English is spoken, but it is relatively easy to get around especially with some basic Spanish. The surrounding area is incredibly scenic, offering spectacular views of the dunes and coastline. There is plenty of free parking, even during the high season, so go by car and enjoy Portugal’s northern coastal views.
Have you ever felt annoyed when tried to find best rental offer abroad? How to find best solution and not to overpay? As a frequent traveler and CEO of rental portal Rentmama.com I would like to share my observation.
It’s worth doing a bit of research before renting a car in any country as this could lead to a better deal. In each country there are the international rental giants with their swanky airport offices compete with a very active local market – smaller companies which can offer lower rates, a broader range of cars and a more personalised service. Renting from a local company can also be easier and cheaper for young drivers and those who’ve only recently passed their test.
Some local agencies don’t even have offices. A representative drops off and picks up the car wherever is most convenient for you – the airport, your hotel or a central meeting point. Take note, the cost of the pick up and drop off service will vary according to the exact location.
Signing of documents takes place in or outside the car. You’ll need to show your driver’s licence and provide a copy of your passport or ID card.
- Read the terms and conditions
You may well have rented a car hundreds of times before but this doesn’t mean you can skim read the terms and conditions. Paying attention to the details is vital, particularly when renting from an agency you haven’t used before.
Did you know that in some countries you as the rentee are often expected to get the car professionally washed prior to returning it? Car wash isn’t included in the price of the rental so this adds another EUR 10 or so to your overall bill.
- Check the state of the car
In some countries, the average age of a rental car is 10 or more so they don’t come picture perfect. Take more than just a mental note of the state in which the car is delivered to you. Are there any marks or scratches on its surface? Be sure to point these out to the company rep before signing the contract so as not to risk paying for damage which wasn’t caused by you.
- Know your insurance
Don’t skimp on pennies. Ensure you get an appropriate insurance plan which covers accidental damage and theft. Some policies might seem like a good, cheap deal but if you look into them you’ll find you have to fork out a fortune in the unlikely event something does go wrong. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
- Plan your trip
How far are you planning on going? Will you be crossing any international borders? These are important factors to consider before renting a car. Some rental companies set limits on how far you can drive each day and some don’t allow international travel.
Mileage limits are set to keep the cars in good shape. If the set mileage is exceeded, you’ll be fined accordingly to cover the costs of potential repair work.
Spontaneous trips across the border are inadvisable. If anything were to happen abroad to a rental car which isn’t meant to be outside Latvia, insurance wouldn’t cover it.
- Rent a car in advance
Car rental is popular in many countries both among locals and visitors so it’s always a good idea to book your car in advance. This way you can also benefit from the best deals and choose from the widest selection of vehicles from budget to luxury class.
Christmas, Midsummer, school holidays – these are all busy times so if you’re planning on renting a car during those periods, start thinking about it soon.
Having considered all the above points you should be good to go. A rental car makes travelling much easier and more fun provided you’ve got a good deal!
If the requested model is occupied please offer another similar vehicle
If you are a smaller car hire company then you may frequently find that you come across situations where the requested rental car is already occupied and so you have to reject an offer, however you probably have other similar vehicles that you could rent out at the same price?
To give you more flexibility we have added a new option, instead of rejecting the offer you can now offer the customer another, similar vehicle. You know have three response options; you can “OFFER”, “OFFER ANOTHER CAR or “NOT AVAILABLE”, remember that you MUST choose one of these options!
OFFER – The car is available, send your offer.
OFFER ANOTHER VEHICLE – The requested car is not available. Select a similar car or more from the list and send your offer.
NOT AVAILABLE – The car is not available and no other cars can be offered.
We have great news for our vehicle rental companies who have a larger selection of fleet. Previously you may have found it difficult to provide the renter with a specific car model, but now RentMama has made things easier!
Currently customers can search for and reserve their exact car model, however this may be difficult for you if you do not have the exact car model that the customer has reserved through RentMama.
As more and more larger independent car hire companies are now joining RentMama daily, we have decided to make changes to our site that allow rental companies the option to offer the customer a particular car or a similar vehicle of the same class.
If you cannot provide your customer with the particular car as shown on RentMama then you can select “OR SIMILAR” in the car catalogue section.
When the customer is searching for a particular car on RentMama they will also see “OR SIMILAR” next to the make/model of the vehicles.
Therefore it is important that you offer similar vehicle and by this we mean of a similar size, fuel type and gear box.
Add more pick-up/drop-off addresses
Good news for you car rental company! Now under our ‘Settings’ section you can add more than one car pick-up/drop-off locations.
This is particularly useful if..
- Your company has a number of receipt/delivery points in one city (in this case if the renter searches for a specific location on the map, then they will find the your nearest location).
- Your company operates in several cities. Please note that in this case your fleet must be the same in all listed locations, if not you need to create a new profile in RentMama
- You want customers to find your cars in specific locations. For example if you originally based in city centre and but you want to offer your cars at an airport that is outside your 30 mile radios from the city. Please note that in this case you should be prepared to deliver the car to the specified location.
Well its been a very exciting week for RentMama! We have officially launched and our brand spanking new website is live for the world to see.. and we couldn’t be more excited!
Along with our launch we’ve also had a few press mentions too, which is all very flattering!
John Hill from The Journal wrote a great artical which was printed on the first page of the Science and Technology section, you can read the full article online here! This newspaper has a circulation of approx 88,000 so were delighted that RentMama got a mention! Thanks John!
We also had an article on TNW website, Paul Sawers titled the piece 'RentMama.com plans to transform the local UK car-rental industry', the article caused quite a buzz on twitter and we got some excellent feedback…
We can’t thank people enough for their kind words and mentions this past week you have really helped us to get RentMama’s name and message out there, its amazing the impact that even a retweet has on our website hits so thank you all!
Its great to see that people from around the world are beginning to use RentMama as a sevice for their car rental needs. The fact that we can help and assist our customers in finding the best deals for them makes us want to appeal to even more people and to keep on growing.
I’m sure you’ll see and hear plenty more about RentMama and what we’re up to so please keep a look out! We do still need your mentions, follows and tweets too so please keep them coming..and we hope you now know who to come to if you ever need a great car rental deal :)
Have a lovely weekend all and I hope its not as cold as it is in Newcastle where you are!
New Website Is Live!!
Today we are very excited to announce that our brand new website is live!
So quick.. go and check it out at www.rentmama.com!
Please tell all of your friends about us and we would love to hear your feedback on the site as well as our service so get booking your car rental deals!!
Heres to a good year!!
Happy New Year from RentMama.com!
From all of the RentMama team dotted around the world on this friday afternoon, we would like to thank you all for your generous support in 2011!
Your advice, help and time has been very appreciated and you have thankfully provided us with the passion and determination to drive us forward into the new year!
2012 is promised to be a big year of great change for RentMama.com which I am sure you will all witness, firstly with our brand new platform release which will be coming very soon!
We look forward to seeing you next year and we hope you have a very good one indeed!
Happy New Year and see you next year!!
So we’ve come to the end of the year as well as the Ignite100 accelerator scheme and what a year we’ve had!
Its been a very enjoyable and progressive 13 weeks working with Ignite100. We pitched to the investors at Tyneside cinema a couple of weeks back which went extremely well and all teams were very impressive.