Need to Know San Sebastián Information

This is where you can find anything and everything about one of our absolute favourite cities San Sebastián and its surrounding regions. Come and get amongst it in 2021 for some world class waves, food so good it’ll ruin your mum’s cooking forever, and a bunch of weird new mates who you’ll probably never want to leave.

Where is San Sebastián?

Alright, so first things first. San Sebastián is in the north-west of Spain. Well, strictly speaking, you’re actually in the Basque Country, an autonomous region of Spain, that also dips into France. Remember this if you want to make friends with any of the locals.

A lot of what we love about San Seb (as we’ve affectionately abbreviated it, because we’re lazy fuckers) stems from the fact that it’s a seaside city, with the river Urumea running directly through the middle, separating the Parte Vieja and the neighbourhood known as Gros (trust us, it’s way better than the name suggests). The coastal city boasts three different beaches, one of which, Playa de la Zurriola, is a surfing hotspot pretty much all year round.

Why go to San Sebastián?

So if you’ve never heard of San Sebastián, there’s a good chance that you are an uncultured swine. But that’s okay – life is about discovering new things. If you have heard of San Sebastián, chances are it will have been for one of two reasons; 1) the food or 2) the surf.

Whilst it may have recently lost its moniker as the capital of European gastronomy (*flips the bird to Paris*) there’s no doubting that the food here will have your tastebuds doing somersaults on every street corner, with the general quality of eateries across the city being ridiculously high. That’s in no small part the reason that, when speaking of San Sebastián, the late, great Anthony Bourdain declared that there are “more outrageously good restaurants per square mile than just about anywhere in Europe – even the bad restaurants are good”.

But while Bourdain may have suggested that his sole purpose in visiting the city was for the food, he’s missing out on the other key draw-card – the waves. While all three beaches in central San Sebastián are surfable, the one that really gets us drooling is Playa de la Zurriola. Situated smack bang in front of the Gros barrio, Zurriola is far and away the superior beach for surfing in San Sebastián, and as such draws in some of the world’s most renowned surfers to catch some of Europe’s best waves.

And although San Sebastián as a city is the crowning jewel of the province of Gipuzkoa, the surrounding areas boast incredible food and consistent waves, all year long – you just have to know where to find them.

Where are the best places to surf in and around San Sebastián?

So as we’ve already discussed, Playa de la Zurriola is a fantastic spot to surf. The only problem is it can get very crowded in the peak of summer – not ideal if you’re just starting out. So we’ve put together a list of a few other spots in the surrounding area.

Playa de Zarautz

Arguably the best beach break in the whole of the Basque Country, Playa de Zarautz is a 2.5km stretch of beach about a 20 minute drive (or half an hour train ride) west of San Sebastián, and the preferred beach of choice for our very own San Sebastián Surf Camp. During the height of summer, Zarautz is perfect for beginner surfers to get to grips with the basics whilst soaking up a bit of sun.

That’s not to say Zarautz is only for newbies and groms – surfers from around the world flock here during the shoulder seasons, as well as June and September, and surf comps like the Duct Tape Invitational and the Pro Zarautz comp for the WSL have been held here in recent years. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch Stoke Travel’s very own Mundaka Pro Series.

Playa de Zumaia

If we go a bit further west, you’ll find Playa de Zumaia. If you haven’t heard of it, you might recognise this beach as Dragonstone from some of the later seasons of Game of Thrones. It’s got some pretty spectacular cliffs either side of this beach, and while it’s way smaller than Zarautz, it still has a bunch of waves perfect for those of us with a little bit more experience. We say that, because of the big fuck off rocks that tend to stick out either side of the relatively small expanse of beach. If you’re sneaky, you can paddle out to the caves where Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen get freaky, but you’ll have to watch out for the lifeguards, since they’re kind of not into it (probably because of the aforementioned big fuck off rocks).

Playa de Mundaka

Not quite as reliable as the other beaches we’ve mentioned, Mundaka is a river mouth wave that is usually best surfed outside of the summer season. But when it’s on, by God is it on, making it another favourite for surfers searching for the wave of a lifetime. Mundaka is a fair way away from San Sebastián, around an hour and a half’s drive, and a lot closer to neighbouring Bilbao, but we just couldn’t leave it off the list. Namesake of the infamous Stoke event (and surfboard) The Mundaka Pro Series.

La Grande Plage, Biarritz

Going the opposite direction up into France, we like to hit up Biarritz. A swanky little beach town, Biarritz has five beaches in total, but it’s most famous is easily La Grande Plage. Much like La Zurriola, it can be super busy in summer, swarming with locals and beginners alike. But it does also sit right in front of the fancy-pants Biarritz promenade, and makes for quite the picture. Biarritz still maintains its reputation as a getaway for the rich and the famous, which stretches back to the roaring twenties, when it became known as a hub of hedonism and debauchery, attracting the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso and Winston Churchill.

Where are the best places to eat in San Sebastián?

Having previously held the record for the most Michelin star restaurants per capita in the world, fine dining in San Sebastián is amongst the best you’ll find. However, let’s be realistic – none of us can afford that shite. But that doesn’t mean your tastebuds will be missing out. 

We’ve all heard of the humble tapas, right? Small plate Spanish cuisine, either a snack or appetizer, that when accumulated and combined with a couple of shandies can create one hell of a night out? Well the Basque’s don’t do tapas – they do pintxos. It’s essentially the same thing.

A pintxo can be anything from a simple slice of jamon on bread, to a full on gourmet slow-braised beef cheek – served for one. Prices will depend on where you go, and what you’re getting, but expect to shell out around €1-3 for your classics or €4-6 for your fancier fare. Check out our list of best pintxo spots here.

Alternately, if you’re wanting more of a sit-down meal, we’d suggest heading just inland to Astigarraga for a meal at a traditional Basque Cider House – about as much fun as you can have while keeping your pants on (and even then, sometimes we don’t). Astigarraga has over a dozen different sidrerias, but you’ll find these cider houses dotted all over the Basque country. If you wanna get the low-down on what goes on in one of these heavenly saloons, check out our guide here. Prefer a quick run down? Seafood, steaks and a metric shit-ton of cider.

What to drink in San Sebastián

Like the Asturians and the Cantabrians to the west, the Basques are famed for their traditional tipple, sidra. A dangerously delectable drop, Basque sidra shares very little resemblance to your more common Magners or Old Mout (the drink, you dirty bastards). Made solely using fermented apples, sidra is a lot more sour than what you’d usually expect from a cider, and is completely uncarbonated. As such, you need to learn the ways of a Basque sidra pour.

How to pour Basque Cider:

  1. Hold the bottle from the bottom with your dominant hand (not from the neck – you’re not a pirate) and the glass with your other hand
  2. Keep the glass level, and start to pour, whilst raising the height from which you’re pouring, so there’s a good distance in between the neck of the bottle and the rim of the glass. The more your practise, the further you can get.
  3. Fill only around a gulps worth, “txotx” ya mate, and neck it back. 
  4. Repeat.

As the Basques say, “drink little, and often”. The distance is key, so as to aerate the cider, as is the smaller servings, to get the best taste out of your beverage. So don’t be greedy and overdo it with the serving sizes – not only will you look like a silly bastard in front of all your new Basque mates, but your bevy will also taste like piss.

The other typical Basque drink is Txakoli. Txakoli is a tasty little white wine number – a little dry, slightly sparkling, and a tiny bit fancy. It’s relatively low in alcohol for a wine, sitting at 11%, but don’t let that fool you – a bottle or two of these will put you on your arse without you even realising you were drunk. That being said, it’s our tipple of choice if we’re dressing to impress or, you know, if mum’s in town. And even when we wanna party. Speaking of which…

Where to party in San Sebastián

While Ibiza, or Barcelona may well get the party plaudits when it comes to Spain, the Basques certainly know a thing or two about how to throw a shindig and clean up the dance floor. There’s a good selection of clubs across the city that (pandemic notwithstanding) go off, and even more local fiestas that happen throughout the year. We’ve picked out some of our favourites:

Best Nightlife in San Sebastián


The go-to spot for live music in San Sebastián, Dabadaba has played host to some big names over the years, as well as the legendary Stoke Travel 4th of July Party, previously headlined by Art vs. Science and the Dune Rats. 


One of two saucy seaside discotheques that San Sebastián has to offer, Bataplan looks out over La Concha beach where you can find drunken revelers dancing in the moonlight after a big night on the sauce. Popular with surfers, students and a generally younger crowd, Bataplan’s only downside is that it’s a bit fancy, meaning shorts and flip-flops aren’t gonna cut it, and you’ll likely have to pay a door charge. But once you’re in, it’s on!


A bar on a boat – who doesn’t love that? GU is another spot with a cracker view of La Concha, with an outdoor seated area on the hull of the boat and an upstairs dance floor for when you wanna rip up the floorboards with your shit hot moves. Again, an entry fee is usually required unless you get in early doors, but the price of admission usually includes a drink or two.

Bar Victoria

A little deeper into town, you have more live music in Bar Victoria. Good for bands and DJ sets, the downstairs area goes off of a weekend, and the upstairs outdoor area is right next to the illustrious Hotel Maria Cristina.

Best Festivals in San Sebastián

Semana Grande – last week of August

Semana Grande, literally translates to “big week”, and a big week indeed it is. Pop up bars, live music, parties and events spring up around the city throughout the week, and each night is an international fireworks competition that lights up the city. Like all fiestas across the Basque Country and Spain, don’t expect to get too much sleep.

Fiestas de Basque – second Monday in September

Based just over in Zarautz, Fiestas de Basque is one of our local favourites, celebrating all things Basque. Young and old, the people of Zarautz dress in traditional Basque outfits to celebrate their heritage; ornate dresses for the ladies, and for the fellas, a traditional shirt, belt and Basque txupela (beret). Slightly less customary is what goes one whilst wearing said outfit.

A long-established yet slightly less conventional tradition is for the local youngsters to acquire (hint: steal) a shopping trolley, and pimp the shit out of it. We’re talking speakers, flags, decorations, umbrellas – one year there was a trolley with an entire tiki-bar attached. Once you’ve made it look the part, you then wrap the inside of the trolley with a tarp, fill it with ice and then load it with bottles of sidra. You then proceed to get very, very drunk. 

Fiestas de Aia – first week of August

Okay, so maybe we’re a bit biased on this one. This is the annual festival of our local village at the San Sebastián Surf Camp and it’s the event of the year for many of the locals here – and for good reason. The sleepy town square is transformed into a concert space, with bands performing throughout the week. It’s not uncommon for the music to start at around 10pm, and kick on until the wee hours of the next morning. Quite the feat, considering the average age of the village is probably around 50. The Basque Olympics and the paella competition on the opening day are two highlights, as well as the am-dram theatre performance, where they seem to take great delight in taking the piss out of Chris Hemsworth (his girlfriend is Basque).

Bandera de la Concha Regatta – first two Sundays of September

The Bandera de la Concha is not just a rowing regatta, but a whole event in the city of San Sebastián, second only to Semana Grande, and even then it’s a close one. Over two weekends, the local rowing teams from each barrio of Gipuzkoa compete in a fiercely contested rowing regatta. The streets are filled with rural communities, from tiny towns and villages, there to support their local team. And of course, beer, sidra and txakoli soak the streets as celebrations ensue for the winners, while the rest drown their sorrows. An event not to be missed.

San Sebastián International Film Festival – mid-late September

Whilst not out and out a fantastic time to party, the SSIFF at the beginning of September is a real event in the film festival circuit, and has brought the likes of Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz to its shores in recent years. Not only is it an opportunity to see some world class flicks with their stars and directors present, but the whole city has that festival vibe to it, and there’s a real buzz about the place fizzing through the streets.

The San Sebastian Surf House is open for an extended summer season – from Easter until early October! Lock your spot in now for a measly €1 deposit. We sold out in 2020, and with the pandemic hopefully easing we’re sure the house will fill up fast in 2021!

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Surviving Lockdown in Barcelona

10 Tips to keep you sane during Barcelona Lockdown 

So whilst bars and restaurants and our usual indulgent spots may be closed for the foreseeable future, here’s some survival tips from some fellow locked down Barcelona strugglers to the next.

  1. Hike Up To The Bunkers For Sunset
    Need to clear your head and move your body? Probably yes (even if you don’t feel like it). Walk to Bunkers. For whoever doesn’t already know this local gem it’s the perfect sunset spot with panoramic views all over the city. It’s a fair hike but the perfect excuse to tone your butt and drag yourself into shape for summer 2021, when we’re allowed out to play again.
  2. Hit Up The Instagram Hotspots
    Make the most of the Insta spots being free, this has never happened in the history of hashtags. Barcelona right now is officially an Influencers dream. Some of the most photographed streets in the world are empty and free for posing the days away. If you’re a travel blogger lusting mournfully over Skyscanner grab your camera and take to the local streets. Ultimate insta destinations such as Casa Battlo, Casa Milo and the Arc de Triomf are now deserted, now’s the time for the money shot.

  3. PICNIC – ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE (currently on hold but anyway)
    So whether you’ve been in Barcelona for a couple of days, weeks or years you’ll be fully aware that people here love to picnic. With restaurants forced into closing their doors again, we have to get more adventurous with our dining locations. Either make your own delicious snacks or keep supporting local businesses with their take-away options. Parc Ciutedella? Parc Guell? Barceloneta? Get adventurous and drag them up Montserrat? Wherever you choose to picnic, the possibilities are endless. Here’s our list of the best picnic spots to head to once we’re given the green light.
  4. Street Art
    Barcelona is home to some of the world’s hottest street artists and pandemic or no pandemic, it’s there and free for all to see. On every corner there’s a new abstract piece of art brightening up the street and ready to take your mind off the end of the world as we know it. Take the long walk home through the Gothic Quarter and see an iconic fusion of historical buildings and contemporary art. This is the heart of the street art scene but the chaos and colour is seen all over the city. Poblenou is another up and coming neighbourhood full of confronting street art to keep you inspired. And if you don’t want to go alone, we have an awesome local street art guide who can take you around the best spots.

  5. Pick up Ingredients at La Boqueria + Cook Up A Storm
    We’re so used to grabbing food out in true city lifestyle in one of Barcelona’s thousands of delicious spots, we forget we can cook up a storm in the kitchen ourselves. Head to the famous La Boqueria Market for an authentic experience full of bright colours, delicious smells and the chaos of Catalan life. This is the best spot in the city to stock up on fresh ingredients before taking on the cheffing world. If you need a crash course in cooking get involved in one of our Barcelona cooking classes and learn to take over the kitchen in true Catalan style.
  6. Revel In The Online Dating World
    Most of us awkward humans rely on a crammed bar and at least 7 drinks to attempt to seduce a beautiful local. This lockdown life is making it much harder to meet people authentically so dating apps it is. You know how this one works in a normal climate – a 5 minute chat and a meet up for a drink etc etc. REMEMBER We can still date without bars. Take a bottle of wine and head out for a romantic picnic in the park (when we’re allowed to) or sunset drinks at the beach, get creative with your dating. Plus if we get to the point we can’t leave the house again, indulge in some full blown virtual romance and set yourself up for disappointment when the world re-opens. Check our more gritty guide to online dating in one of the best looking cities in the world HERE.

  7. Winter Beach Hangouts
    So it may not be the middle of summer, but remember we don’t live in the UK, there’s still enough rays to justify leaving the house. Spain is renowned for its plentiful fun so there’s still time to head down to the beach with a few beers to breathe in some fresh sea air and feel less sorry for ourselves. The water may be verging on a bit chilly now but Barcelona is still the perfect spot for a game of beachfront volleyball, a picnic and a people watch. If you don’t feel like approaching a group of adrenaline pumped strangers App’s such as Meetup are used all the time to organise volleyball games or other beach related fun.
  8. Get Planning For 2021
    Rainy Day? Spend it relentlessly planning the sweet escape. If you’ve done everything else above repeatedly for the past six months and are now losing the will to live, why not put your time into thinking about the future? Think how much better thought out your 2021 travel plans are going to be – and how much more you’re going to appreciate them. For sure the travel world might look a little scary and you’re scared of losing more money on plans that might not happen, BUT there’s some killer risk-free travel deals out there ready to be snapped up. We’re also on the verge of launching our ultimate tool the Stoke App which is perfect for making sure you’re in all the right places for the best cultural events of 2021.
  9. Get Out Of The City
    So although it’s easy to resign ourselves to mournfully roaming the city streets wishing things would open, we strongly advise leaving the city. We can’t travel abroad but remember we’re in the heart of Catalonia and it has so much more than just Barcelona to offer. There’s the mountains of Montserrat just behind the city, Costa Brava up the coast and Sitges and beyond to the south. So during these blissful days of freedom whilst we are still allowed to leave the house, jump on a train or rent a car and experience what Mother Nature of Catalonia has to offer, whilst the city sleeps.
  10. Drink Through The Pain
    If all else fails, wine is still cheap and readily available to drink in the solitude of our own apartments. Think Bridget Jones on New Years Eve – stuck on repeat. We can always just drown our sorrows in wine and self pity this winter and try again when the world reopens next year. If you’ve drunk too much wine and feel the urge to mix up the pity party on a budget, here’s our ultimate Stoke SANGRIA recipe.

The post Surviving Lockdown in Barcelona appeared first on Stoke Travel.


Reasons Our San Sebastian Surf House Is A Safe Haven For Solo Female Travellers

Calling All Adventurous Women

In 2020 we’ve all spent a lifetime in our comfort zones. We’ve watched every series on Netflix (twice), consumed dangerous amounts of pizza and spent more time with our fellow quarantineers than ever recommended. Chances are you’re experiencing symptoms of Lockdown Syndrome and you’re relentlessly planning your adrenaline fuelled escape. If you’re a female wanting to catch a solo travel wave, we’ve got your back at the San Sebastian Surf House. Solo travel as a woman can sometimes be intimidating, everyone gets a few anxieties and beating them is part of the thrill. It’s time to take the plunge.

At some point in the Netflix void a hot girl Baywatch running down the beach, sun bleached hair and surfboard under arm would have popped up to taunt you. Let this inspire you but not put you off – we don’t look this good, ever. Getting on board with surfing is more adventure than posing and a lot more face planting and drowning than looking good, but that’s the real fun of it. Our female friendly Surf House is a safe space for first time travellers and surfers. Don’t be phased if you’re a bit nervous to put yourself out there, you just need the right place to touch down and the right people there to greet you. 

The San Sebastian Surf Camp Specialises In First Time Surfers

If you’ve never touched a board before but desperately WANT TO, well the pressure is off. We’re not here to judge or show you up, we just want to help you do your thing. If learning to surf, or even just ticking it off the bucket list is what you want, you’ve got to start somewhere. We’ve got super experienced surfers on board to show you the ropes and literally push you off into the waves (then pull you out if you need it!).

Did Someone Say FEMALE Surf Instructors?

Surfing has always been a male dominated sport, but this is changing, fast – it’s 2020 everybody. We’ve got some talented women on board, which for a lot of us self conscious souls is a massive breath of fresh air. Women understand women and surfing can be an emotional ride. There’s lots of new fears to overcome and challenges to face and we sometimes need a little push in the right direction. Female surf instructors are a great way to soothe your nerves and level with you if you’re struggling. Women’s surf is on the up and finding a group of surf sisters to weather the storm with is an essential part of the process. 

If you’re panicking about that bikini bod, don’t! No–one is here to judge you – or creep on you. We provide wetsuits for all shapes and sizes to avoid board rash so we all officially look as non–sexy as each other. Forget Cameron Diaz and Pamela Anderson, we’re talking more Power Rangers beach edition. ALSO future surf babes, take care of yourself whilst surfing!

Slap that zinc on your face and coconut oil in your hair to keep sun damage at bay.

Do you HAVE to Surf?

Quick answer: absolutely not, and you won’t be alone in this! The San Sebastian Surf House life is more of a lifestyle than a sport. Don’t be put off by nightmares of squeezing into wet suits and getting beaten up by waves. You might not even want to touch a surfboard – and that’s OK.  It’s just as fun lusting over beautiful surfers from the shoreline. Our ‘Beach Bum Deal’ takes off surf costs if it’s not your thing, so you won’t be paying for something you’re not using. We’ll even get the insta shot of you running towards the waves you never plan to enter with a surfboard you never plan to use if you like – no judgements here!

What’s the San Sebastian Surf Hostel vibe?

Female Only Dorms

Don’t want to share a dorm with a bunch of guys you only met yesterday? Totally understandable – you don’t have to. We have a female only option which is ideal if you want to roll around in your underwear in peace. Sorry boys but this luxury also means less snoring, less farting and less awkward nipple flashing encounters. Walking into a room full of guys can throw people off – our women only only dorms can be less intimidating. They’re also smaller and more intimate which gender regardless is an easier setting for integrating and a better night’s sleep.

Getting Some Down Time

If your kind of fun is reading your book, practising yoga or pondering the meaning of life with like minded souls – we’ve got you. We have yoga classes every day to relax your muscles 

after a surf and clear your mind after what could have been the most stressful year of our lives! We also have huge amounts of space and some of the best views around so if you’re ready for some down time you’ll find your spot. Our Surf House leads straight up the perfect mountain for morning exercise and solo hikes so you are literally at the foothills of adventure. 

‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’

Likewise if you’re looking to let loose in your free time, we’re on board and you definitely won’t be alone. We’re fully experienced party travellers so there’s always the option to drink some socially lubricating sangria, trade travel stories and unwind after a big day in the waves. We also take you into local towns for Pintxos and into San Seb for craft beers – if you don’t want to stop moving, we can keep up.

Bonus Good Vibes from Matilda  –  The Last Female Surfer Of The Season 

“I had the best time at the surf house. I loved learning to surf and being pushed outside my comfort zone. Everyone at the hostel was so friendly I immediately felt part of the group and very welcomed! I got to visit different Basque towns with the crew which was a real highlight as I got to see the bits I never would have known to visit alone. Overall it was a fab mix of fun activities, chill time, learning to surf and of course teaming up with awesome like-minded people.”

The San Sebastian Surf House is open for an extended summer season – from Easter until early October! Lock your spot in now for a measly €1. We sold out in 2020, and with the pandemic hopefully easing we’re sure we’ll do the same early on in 2021


The post Reasons Our San Sebastian Surf House Is A Safe Haven For Solo Female Travellers appeared first on Stoke Travel.


How To Make Post-Pandemic Travel Plans

2021 is our year, baby!

Man, hasn’t this pandemic just been a big mood spoiler? From all the people falling sick, the deaths, the economic disaster, the lockdowns and social distancing measures – it’s all been pretty horrible. 

And sometimes we need to just check ourselves and be thankful for our health. 

But also sometimes we need to get mad because in addition to the aforementioned COVID horrors, this virus has also taken away travel. Beautiful, gorgeous, enriching travel, meaning that not only have our plans been ruined in 2020, but also many of us lost money on non-refundable bookings, meaning that we might be shy about making more plans for 2021.

That’s where your drop-dead-gorgeous pals at Stoke step in. We’ve identified your anxieties around booking, felt your pain as many people lost money on trips that couldn’t operate, tried to do our best to work around our terms and conditions as travel plans changed for so many people. 

And we’ve made booking future trips as risk-free as possible, PLUS we’ve made dreaming about future escapades upon Europe’s cobbled stones more appealing by throwing down some of the spiciest early bird discounts in the business.
But this ain’t just another advertorial, it’s a practical piece of advice for all travellers all over the world who will hopefully eventually book with us. Shall we dive in? 

Pandemic Problem 1: we don’t know when we can travel again

We’ve really got no idea, not even here in Stoke Towers with our fingers firmly up the pulse’s butthole. But we do know it’s not now, and we also mostly know that it won’t likely be tomorrow. What we are sure of, though, is that sooner or later we’ll be travelling again, and for that we need to be prepared.
We’re planning on going ahead with our Andorra ski weekends from January, but as they’re operating in winter they’re the least likely of our trips to happen. That said, if we were operating them right now we’d be allowed to, and the goal is that things get better in the world after this round of curfews, lockdowns and other antiviral measures.
So we’re confident that they’ll go ahead. And if they do, then everything else should happen as we inch back towards a sense of travel normality.
So while we don’t know when we’ll travel again, we have to be confident that we will sooner rather than later, and make plans accordingly, giving us something to look forward as we go through more lockdowns and suffer from the advanced effects of “galavanting around the world” withdrawals. 

Pandemic Problem 2: heaps of us lost money on cancelled travel already

Yeah, this one sucks. So while we might be super confident about travel happening again, we’re not confident enough to throw down your hard-earned loot on some deposits, because who knows if you’ll just lose it all again.
It’s tough for travel companies, because we encourage you to make deposits and then use said deposits to pay our staff when we’re not running trips, and to pay for the things we need to run the trips. Hotels, sailing yachts, tents, cooking equipment, 100s of 1000s of litres of beer – all these things require us to book, and pay for, in advance.
But despite that, we can’t with good conscience ask you to put deposits down on trips in 2021. It’s just not clear if we’ll be running anything.
So we asked our booking system if you could do no deposit deposits. And the computer said no. So we asked the computer if we could do €1 bookings, and the computer said yes. 

So for one measly euro you can book any 2021 trip, and if the trip is cancelled for any reason we will just transfer your €1 deposit to different dates, or a different destination entirely. ALSO we won’t be asking you to pay any more deposit until it’s 110% certain that the trip is both going ahead, and that you can make it. It is basically a risk-free booking proposition. You can’t go wrong. Plus, it is also applicable for our mega super special deals.

Pandemic Problem 3: there’s no reason to book anything now, because nothing is selling out

As we say in this biz, there’s no booking pressure. Our trips usually do book out, at least on the busiest weekends, and people are sometimes forced to book different dates or with inferior travel companies (all of them), but this year that isn’t the case. There is no fear of fear of missing out, FOFOMO, because you know that nobody’s booking, that we’re desperate and that you can just cruise and wait to see if things get better before you take a chance on your €1 deposit.
But that’s why we’ve put in place our most ambitious and generous early-bird booking system to date. We want to offer you some crazy deals, so that you might get to booking sooner rather than later. That way we can get a fair idea of how many people are interested in certain trips and dates, and we can plan accordingly.
So yeah, while we might not sell out in 2021 – at least not until right up to the trip dates – these prices do have expiries on them, both in terms of dates when the deals finish, and how many people we will allow to book at these prices. 

Early Bird Sail Croatia Specials

With a measly €1 deposit you can reserve a €500 berth on any of our 2021 Croatia sail trips. Our Croatia Sail trips that ensure that you have the most fun, with the best people, plucking the greatest parts out of the coastline and archipelago, in a way that doesn’t just treat you like another number. We go out of our way to make every Croatia sail the best ever, with our bottomless brunches onboard, open and unlimited beer and sangria bar, our legendary Wet Wednesday feasts in a traditional restaurant, and our guides and crew that know how to perfectly balance out the good times and the nice things.
On each boat the first six bookings are €500. After that they go up until the last six bookings that are €750. Seven nights, all the stops, air conditioned boat, water included, and so on, and so forth. Basically everything you expect from a Croatia sail trip, and then we’ve added things that we really like, or that can be annoying (like the bar tab) and what we’ve come up with is by far the best deal, and we are easily the most fun. Go and book your next, or first, Croatia sail here.  


The “Stoketoberfests” are easily our biggest and best events of the year, with the big gal in autumn attracting up to 8000 party animals to our campsite, where we get particularly down and overwhelmingly dirty as we celebrate drinking beer by the bucketload. Now these events do sell out, especially over the weekends, and many wannabe beer swillers find themselves enjoying the smaller crowds midweek. But again, this year is different and there’s uncertainty about whether the festivals will run – especially Springfest in April/May. That said, if anybody can pull off a festival it will be the Germans, and Springfest is mostly outdoors, so that follows in step with the COVID prevention advice coming from around the world.
So we’re quietly confident that Springfest will go ahead, and if it does then Oktoberfest is a certainty. We’re quietly confident, and also very hopeful, because we want to show our healthcare heroes a good time with free Springfest trips in 2021. For everybody else, we’re offering half price Oktoberfest and Springfest trips on our four-night packages.
Just go to checkout and use the promo code STOKETOBERFEST2021 and half price will be gifted to you like magic. 

Then all you have to do is start training for the beer fest, and get yourself over here for the event itself.
Lock half-price Springfest in, here. 
Or it’s October older sister here. 

Pandemic Problem 4: sure, Stoke is making it easy for us, but what about the other pieces required to make a travel puzzle? 

So yeah, your pals at Stoke are bending over backwards and sidewards and especially forwards while we try to get you travelling again in order to keep you happy. But what’s the good of a €1 reservation for Sail Croatia, or Surf Camp, or a half price Oktoberfest trip, if you can’t similarly lock in a flight with any kind of confidence?
Well we know that most if not all regional airlines in Europe are offering free date or name changes, so that’s all good if you’re over here (so you can lock in the mega super specials that these airlines like Ryanair and Vueling are sometimes able to do).
For the longer haul flights, there are some specials around, and most offer booking flexibility, but just double and triple check the terms and conditions before you fork out.
The way we see it, you could lock in some mega discounts with Stoke with only €1, and then sit on your long haul flights for a while – you can wait all the way up until a month in advance and still pay the same as you’d be paying now.
The short of it, unless they’re offering you some killer special, no need to lock in any flights until the world makes sense.
And right now Stoke is offering some killer deals.
You know what to do.
For all of our super flexible, uber generous COVID terms and conditions, dive over here and let’s start planning a 2021 that will make this year look like a distant, absolutely forgotten, memory.

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