Ericeira is a small fishing village located just north of Lisbon. The beauty of this town is the local & elderly who are more traditional, mixed with a growing population of expats & travellers coming to enjoy the slower pace of life or explore Europe’s only World Surf Reserve. Ericeira is a cute, cozy & welcoming town.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced surfer you’ve got lots of wonderful locations to choose from. Just make sure you bring a wetsuit. Although the temperature can get hot in summer, the Atlantic Ocean means the water is almost always cold (not great for a woman’s surfwear designer like me, but I have had a few days just in a bikini). There are lots of reef & urchins around so if you’re someone who normally wears booties make sure you pack them too.
Beginners – best spots are Foz do Lizandro & Sao Juliao, which are typical beach breaks. Praia do Sul can also be great if conditions are right & right in front of the huge Quicksilver store you can find Matadouro.
Intermediates – Intermediates will definitely have fun on the beach breaks mentioned above but they can also choose the famous reef break Ribeira d’Ilhas, host of the ASP World qualifying series. At Ribera d’Ilhas there is a surf school as you arrive who can loan you boards, wetsuits & set you up with an instructor.
In summer when the swell is smaller I would also recommend surfing Coxos but be kind to the locals as it is a very special wave. Lots of people seem to be afraid of Coxos but even when it’s tiny you can have lots of fun on a long board because barely anyone surfs it small. Just be careful of the urchins & make sure you ask someone who knows what they’re doing, where to get in & out.
Experienced – Ericeira is perfect for experienced surfers. There is over 15 surf spots in just 8 kilometres of coastline. My favourite would be Coxos, an incredible reef break. Right next to it are the barrels of Pedra Branca, Backdoor, Reef, Cave and Crazy Left. All good waves & some with greater risk but if you know what you’re doing then you’ll know which conditions are good for you.
Surrounding Surf – if you want to explore there are plenty of breaks up & down the coast.
Going north, 20km away are Santa Cruz & Praia Azul. If you have more time head to Peniche; about an hour drive away.
Going south there are Praia Do Magoito, Praia Grande & Praia Do Guincho. You can even head to the Lisbon coast, which is good when the swells are too big.
Beginners best time to surf in Ericeira: May – Sept
Intermediates best time to surf in Ericeira: June – Oct
Advanced best time to surf in Ericeira: Sept – January
Board Rental – the best place is 58 Surf Shop but there are so many places that you can’t miss them.
I’m a big fan of Ericeira Yoga Studio. I’ve been doing yoga for a long time including 4 years in Bali. Exploring all the options there & I still feel these guys are some of the best teachers I’ve ever had. They are all extremely experienced teachers offering mindful & technical yoga to ensure you build strength & flexibility safely while still experiencing the spiritual benefits.
There are a zillion surf camps in the area. I can’t personally recommend them as I moved here to be with my partner. However, the ones I hear are great and right near the town center of Ericeira, are Laneez and Chill In.
For those that decide to explore Portugal more, consider renting a Van and staying at Ericeira Camping. There is an amazing dedicated camping space with tent areas & cabins right in front of surf and loads of spots for Van parking.
Go to Restaurante Prim with a mate & eat the Octopus for 2 with spinach puree & vegetables.
Sardines are everywhere. It can be great to ask the restaurant if they got some that day to make sure they’re good & fresh.
Get the award winning Pastel de Nata at O Pãozinho das Marias (don’t forget the cinnamon) in the town center.
Walk towards the main beach for the delicious local treat Ouricio. Yum!
Cucina 37 has some of the best pasta I’ve eaten (don’t look at the pics on Trip Advisor, it’s much better so just GO!)
Uni sushi is amazing
Another favourite of mine is Pizza Mobile both for the pizza & sunset. It’s located a little drive away at Sao Lourenco beach.
The breakfast & coffee culture I’m used to from Australia & Bali is only slowly coming to existence here. There are places with good food but don’t expect amazing coffee. Green is Good is healthy & decent. I go to Casa das Tres for coffee & they also have vegan options. The Mill (owned by a Melbourne guy) do a good brekkie with some Aussie options like vegemite & lamingtons as well as your usual good breakfast foods.
You can hang out at many of the beaches in town or hit the local skate park at the Quicksilver store. A HUGE 58 Surf Shop is also being built which I can predict will be an epic spot to hang.
Things to do
Check out Sintra for the castles.
Go & explore the national parks & if you climb then you’ll find amazing climbing adventures.
Cascais is also pretty cute but very touristy in town.
Most things are walkable otherwise in summer there is a beach bus that you can take to get around. You can hire scooters or bikes & you can call taxis if you want to go a bit further. If you stay at a surf camp they’ll have transport.
Money & Visa
Most places take card but you definitely will need cash. Bring Euro or be prepared to withdraw money at the local ATMs.
If you’re an Aussie like me then the visa situation is the same as the rest of Europe. 90 days stay is fine for every 6 months.
Walk & buy local where you can.
You can drink tap water in Portugal, so bring your reusable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water.