Portual to Spain to France - transporting a board


I’m hoping for advice about transporting a board from Portugal to Spain (flying Iberia), then Spain to France (flying Air France).

I gather Iberia charge heavily and by sector - any suggestions on cheaper transporting alternatives is appreciated.


Why Fly…???..


I looked into this a bit. Hire cars are quite expensive if you cross borders, then there was added cost for the days of accommodation for 3 people. Add some time constraints and flyinmg was ok overall.

If there was a reasonable freight company I would consider this. DHL is not cost effective for short legs (it was going to cost me about the same price to ship a board Hawaii to Brisbane, Australia, as Sydney to Brisbane). They are quick and reliable, but not cheap.


Maybe Paul was thinking trains. I travelled through France, Spain and Portugal many years ago with a board. Some of the best experiences of my life. No problems with the boards, no extra charges. It’s a great way to meet people too.

One time , though, getting off a train in Portugal my friend got stuck with his board and the train left with him standing in the door way looking at me with this “oh well” expression on his face. I figured I would just stay put and sure enough an hour or so later he returned.

Anyways, maybe time constraints prohibit the trains, but if you can it’s the best way to travel IMHO.

I don’t know if they can help, but Mapcargo.com recently shipped a 6’9" for me from Washington State, USA to Roma, Italy for under $400…

Maybe something to check out…???..

I was thinking about driving, but the trains seem like the way to go…


Thanks. Our flights are booked, for some legs trains were going to be a hassle and time was an issue. I am going to look into whether the Iberia flights can be cancelled if their charges are excessive .Should know that today.

I tried sending an e-mail to Map Cargo via form, but got a message saying the page was temporarily unavailable or had been moved. I’ll try again later - not too keen to ring from Oz for an e-mail address.




Thanks. Our flights are booked, for some legs trains were going to be a hassle and time was an issue. I am going to look into whether the Iberia flights can be cancelled if their charges are excessive .Should know that today.

I was gonna advise you to take the train (in Europe, it’s often faster to travel by train than fly), but I guess it’s too late.

Hello Pierre,

I am looking into whether a freight company is a possibility. I think it is a bit late to change the flights, but I am really tempted to try to cancel the Iberia flights. Unless they are more flexible in person, their charges (below) are outrageous. Multiple these weights by their minimum charge. Iberia (australia’s advice) was to ring Lisbon. I think they also charge per leg of flights to make things even worse :

    "Equipment of this kind will alwaysbe checked in as excess luggage, regardless of the allowance to which passengers are entitled. Irrespective of the actual weight of the equipment, the following standard weight table will apply:

    Windsurfing equipment 35 kgs. Surfboard 20 Kgs. Other components (sail, etc.) 15 Kgs. Kiteboard * 20 Kgs.

    • Kiteboard equipment consists of a board and a parachute. Under the piece system:

    As in the previous point, excess luggage charges will always be applied, regardless of the allowance to which passengers are entitled. "



DO NOT FLY IBERIA WITH SURFBOARDS!!! or for that matter out of the Madrid airport.

Not worth it at all. I did the same trip you’re talking about in October, but by driving from Lisbon to Hossegor and back.

I booked through another airline who were partners with Iberia, they assured me that there would not be any extra charges for boards. However, my connecting flight out of Lisbon was booked through Iberia though Madrid. Iberia charged me 100 euros in Lisbon, and another 100 euros again in madrid because their baggage handlers were the ones handling the boards.

Absolute robbery and there was nothing I could do. Just make sure you always check the airlines policies before booking tickets.

I would recommend driving. You see a lot more of the coast, and have access to many out of the way, uncrowded spots. Especially along the northern coast of Spain. I think campervans can be rented fairly cheaply, especially if split between a few people. Also, you could just “forget” to mention that you’re planning on crossing borders.

good luck and have a great trip…


DITTO!!!They destroyed a 7’6" board of mine. I mean totally ripped off the nose and tail destroyed…

Do not fly Iberia with surfboards. Spanair are cool, and so is Air France (their charges are low compared to Iberia). Trains can be a problem depending on the number of boards and type of train. Besides, you’ll have to do Lisbon - Madrid and then off to France, instead of following the coast. Freight will be way too expensive and not very reliable.


Niega ( & Noah poole st, Mudybech),

Thanks. Unfortunately I am now locked into Iberia - so my travel agent tells me. Originally I wanted to go Spanair who fly direct Lisbon → A Coruna. I am awaiting news back from UNIVERSAL FORWARDING KEC (MapCargo who Paul Jensen suggested, said to contact them). Where I am staying in Northwest Spain, suggested: www.seur.com, www.tautoradio.com, www.tdn.es/

I have used web forms for the last two but (but have had no reply) and can’t find an e-mail for Seur who seem to have networks all over the place.

Niega, if you wanted to ship something to Spain, who would you use? We are booked with Air France to fly to Bordeuax, but if I can find a freight company who is reasonable I might stick with them.

Noah, if I knew Iberia would charge 100 E I might consider it, but I have no idea what they would really charge. They sound like extortionists and from what Mudybech said, don’t even look after the boards. Perhaps if I labelled it ski equipment it might be different.



This is one of those situations where smaller paipos and surfmats make life a breeze, eh? :wink:

Given the ubiquity of Surftechs and surfing in general and the well-established surf cultures of the countries you’ll be traveling in, I might consider renting standup equipment on site. I know that goes against the reason and spirit this site exists to begin with, but the hassle and expense factors can’t be ignored.


(To bgreen) I would use SEUR, but they don’t like the internet. If when in Portugal you have an address in Spain you can ship the boards to, go to the nearest courier company office (DHL, Fedex, Seur…) and send the board through them. And the same thing from Spain to France. If you don’t have an address at your destination, then ask them the list of offices nearest to where you are going and send the boards to that office, explaining that you will pick it up personally at the office. Pack the boards carefully.

But going from Lisbon to Bordeaux without checking the coast i such a shame. My number 1 recommendation is to skip those tickets and rent a car, take the boards with you and surf your way North.



The trip is a compromise between surfing and family stuff, but we are staying a week in Galicia. I’ll have a hire car so hope to do a bit of exploring, in Portugal, Spain and France.

SEUR do have lots of offices - I think Leira is closest to Peniche. Sounds like I might need to write if I can’t get an e-mail address or if I don’t hear back from the other places I contacted.


bgreen, in my experience DHL have the best prices when shipping surfboards, the second might be Seur or Azcar, but i’d go DHL, sincerely. Last time i shipped a board from Vigo to Donostia is was something like 17 euros.

By the way, my experience with Iberia is that you can put all the board you want on a travel boardbag and tell them it’s just one board. It works! You can also put a good insurance on you boards for cheap. I always use their insurance and once they damaged one of my boards and i received almost 700 euros for just one ding. Aireuropa and Spanair are cooler regarding surfboards.

bgreen, if you need an address in Spain, you can use my home, i’ll receive and ship the boards if you wan to.

I’d say: check with DHL.


Paipo are still charged like other craft by Iberia etc, Swiss Air - minimums apply. I have been looking into a mat and hiring, sent off some e-mails but no replies to date. Had an offer from France to get a custom board that would be sold back at the end of my trip - a neat offer. Still hoping I can organise freight which may well be the way to go, just takes a fair bit of organising and finger crossing, that the board turns up at the right place/time and in one piece.



I’ve spoiled myself in recent years…I hate hassles and as we all know transportation hassles are the worst. For surf-related travel that involves public transport I have a huge bugaboo about taking anything more than will fit in a daypack…wetsuit and swimfins, trunks, had, sunscreen, flip flops (translate all that into your regional or generational slang). The very big downside is that if I do manage to get somewhere with good waves a etc. I don’t have a standup board that I am accustomed to. Fortunately I’m not overly burdened with delusions of importance, which mitigates performance anxiety. Over recent years I’ve mutated my attitude to figure that I can rent when available, but take my own if I’m going to be somewhere and settle in for more than a couple of weeks. No question that renting a board can be a bit of hassle too…on the other hand you deal with local surfers in the transaction and if you meet one who recognizes you as something other than a clueless tourist you usually get a little more in the process…local info and whatnot.

The trick I haven’t quite pulled off lately is getting those last circumstances. I have two boards I’d like to put through their paces but haven’t made the situation happen. If God in Heaven Above smiled down on me and gave me 4-6 weeks somewhere with a point I’d probably find a way to get a first-class hull in the mix too.