Summer Camp Portugal Santa Cruz

A stunning location with numerous beaches and a coastline of rare natural beauty. The Portuguese summer weather offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy inland and seaside outdoor activities in the sunshine.

Programmes/ages available

All campers choose a country and base programme for their stay, and with a few exceptions these activities are during the morning period of 3 hours. For the rest of the day campers from all programmes come together for a variety of general camp activities. For more information about individual programmes, please choose below.

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On the west Coast of Portugal, the town of Santa Cruz is a delightful coastal resort with a palm-tree lined promenade full of colourful shops, cafes and restaurants.

About an hour’s drive from the capital, Lisbon, our camp base is located just a short 15 minutes’ walk from the town centre, shops and beachfront. Along the surrounding coastline and its majestic cliffs and coastal paths, there are over 20 beaches with long stretches of golden sand.

The region is considered as one of the best surfing spots worldwide. Competitions of the international surf circuit take place nearby. The local surf school, staffed by qualified and very experienced surf instructors, provides instruction and guidance to our campers attending the Surf programme.

The Adventure programme is spoiled for choices of outdoor activities available in the area. There are walking paths, mountain bike trails and coastal paths right by our doorstep. Nearby there are plenty of other activity centres such as water sports in a lagoon, high rope courses, as well as plenty of pine forests to explore and learn survival skills.


Our accommodation is superbly positioned a mere 15 minutes’ walk from the beaches and the town centre of Santa Cruz, with shops, cafes and restaurants as well as historic buildings and quaint streets.

The recently constructed residence is exclusively contracted to Village Camps for our summer programme. The apartments are fresh, spacious and each accommodates 4-6 campers. All the apartments have full en-suite facilities.

Campers have open access to a large private swimming pool, games court, fenced grassed gardens, and exclusive use of two activity rooms to chill out and enjoy our busy evening programme.

During free time, campers in small groups enjoy the traditional village cafes and shops in town, which they can visit with their new-found friends from all over the world (younger campers are always accompanied by counsellors on their outings).


Campers are provided with three nutritious, healthy and varied meals, every day. A salad bar with fresh daily produce is available at all meals. At breakfast time there are choices from cereals to pastries and fresh fruit and more. We cater for healthy young appetites so ‘second helpings’ are always available.

Some excursions include a packed lunch that campers will take with them.

Most special dietary needs can be accommodated, but please check in advance with the Village Camps Head Office.

The Residence includes:
Summer Camp Swimming Pool
Summer Camp Games Court
Summer Camp Dining rooms
Summer Camp Grassed Gardens
Summer Camp Common Rooms
Summer Camp Games Equipment
Facilities in Santa Cruz include:
Summer Camp Beach
Summer Camp Shops
Summer Camp Cafes
Summer Camp Restaurants
Summer Camp Beach Volley
Summer Camp Museums
Outdoors nearby facilities include:
Summer Camp Hiking Trails
Summer Camp Mountain-biking Trails
Summer Camp Adventure Trails
Summer Camp Beaches
Summer Camp Unspoilt Forest Areas
Summer Camp Watersport Centre
Summer Camp Activity Centres
Summer Camp Museums
Camp Organisation

At Village Camps children are assigned to groups according to their choice of programme as well as age and/or skill levels. The morning period (3hrs) is devoted to the campers chosen specialty programme. In the afternoons, campers from all programmes join together and choose from a selection of ‘sign-up’ activities.

Always present for all activities (at an average ratio of 1:6) are experienced counsellors, trained by Village Camps before camps start. Counsellors are enthusiastic young people from around the world and their role at camp is to take care of your children making sure they are comfortable, safe and happy at all times. The majority are in the age frame 21-35 and bring with them a variety of cultures and languages, creating a wonderful international environment, which is a Village Camps trade mark!

Evening Activities

Evenings are filled with exciting imaginative games, spectacular events and relaxing activities. These include:

Summer Camp Carnival Night - Counsellors work hard to transform the whole camp into a Carnival filled with fun parlour games. Campers spend their afternoon playing awesome games like Strong Man, Oily Pig, Balloon Stomp, Hot Shot, Candy Guess, Karaoke and much more!

Summer Camp International Night – A night to learn about and represent countries other than your own. All of our campers are divided into different groups that represent countries around the world. Each group has to create and act on a special performance which can include singing, dancing, sharing fun facts, games, etc. Some of the campers are charged with preparing samples of national dishes from different countries for all campers and staff to try before dinner.

Summer Camp Movie Night – Campers settle in with their duvets and lots of pillows for a comfortable night in on one of the common rooms. With a big screen and lots of popcorn, this is a welcomed relaxed evening after a long tiring day of activities.

Summer Camp Forest Games –Campers go to the nearby pine forest and split up into teams and compete in a Village Camps favourite game called “Capture the flag”.

Summer Camp Campfire on the beach – Just before sunset campers enjoy treats and ice-cream and sit around the campfire for an even of singing, joke telling and fun.

Summer Camp Beach Olympics – Campers compete in specially design beach events in teams and individually.

Summer Camp Special Farewell Dinner – A very special dinner event complete with a beautifully decorated dining room and slideshows of all the best moments at camp. Campers are pampered with table service provided by their very own counsellors!

Summer Camp Sand Creation Competition – Each team has to decide a theme and the design of their sand sculpture. The most creative and well executed sculpture wins and the team members get a special treat.

Summer Camp Final Evening Festivities - There are awesome presentations by campers and a special edition of ‘Secret Friends’ hosted by special guests. And then finally it is time to dance the night away at our very own Disco.

Evening activities are often run independently for each separate age group but sometimes are organised as all-camp events where the entire camp comes together for some of the spectacular and much-anticipated Village Camps all-time favourites.


On all excursions we ensure free time for cultural visits, shopping and walking around in small groups. On visits to places of interest admission fees are included.

Highlight of excursions that take place over the two weeks are:

Summer Camp Obidos - a charming, walled medieval village, which is a UNESCO protected site. There are lots of small traditional shops selling souvenirs and local delicacies that include delicious chocolate covered local cherries.

Summer Camp Obidos Lagoon – the lagoon is a beautiful spot for a picnic but also perfect for the practice of various water sports.

Summer Camp Dolphin-watching – a memorable experience that starts by boarding a sailing catamaran to spot the indigenous Sado Dolphins, and includes a taste the famous Portuguese doughnuts “Bolas de Berlim” as a snack on board.

Summer Camp Lisbon –a day trip to the capital city that includes sightseeing some of the amazing monuments, a visit to one of Europe’s biggest Oceanarium and and lots of fun and learning in an Interactive Science Museum.

Sample Daily Schedule **

Monday to Friday
Mornings 07:30 - 08:00 Wake Up
08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 - 10:30 Period A - Speciality Programmes
10:45 - 12:15 Period B - Speciality Programmes
Afternoons 12:15 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:00 All camp meeting
14:00 - 15:30 Period C - Sign-up Activities
15:45 - 17:15 Period D - Sign-up Activities
17:15 - 18:15 Free time
Evenings 18:15 - 19:30 Dinner
19:30 - 21:30 Evening Programme
22:00 Lights Out - (10-12 years old)
22:30 Lights Out - (13-14 years old)
23:00 Lights Out - (15 and older)
Saturday Excursion Day
Sunday Morning: Late wake up call, breakfast and relaxed morning
Notes: ** This is a sample schedule and may be subject to change