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Ericeira Portugal - A Tourism Guide

Ericeira is a charming Portuguese fishing town that is situated along a coastline of outstanding surfing beaches. This powerful and reliable surf has transformed peaceful Ericeira into a popular surfing centre, boasting excellent hostels, lively nightlife and great tourist facilities.

Ericeira is a wonderful fusion of Portuguese heritage with uber-cool surfer vibes, where traditional fishermen’s cottages sit alongside trendy lounge bars and cafes. The majority of visitors head to Ericeira for the surfing but it also makes for an enjoyable holiday destination or day trip from Lisbon, when combined with Mafra. This guide will provide an introduction to Ericeira, one of central Portugal’s finest resort towns.

Why have a holiday to Ericeira?

Ericeira makes for a great, if slightly alternative holiday destination. The beaches are world class, there’s a lot to see within the region and it’s not too far Lisbon airport. Luckily, Ericeira has not yet been discovered by mass tourism and it still retains its delightful Portuguese charm while still providing excellent tourist facilities. Ericeira offers exceptional value for money, especially for food and drink, and this is because the town is geared for surfers and Portuguese tourists. Ericeira portugal fishing boat

The fishing fleet of Ericeira

Who should visit Ericeira?

During the summer Ericeira attracts a younger, mainly Portuguese crowd but with all destinations popular with the Portuguese tourists there will be many families with young children and older relatives. Outside of the summer a diverse selection of European nationalities and ages can be found within Ericeira, either drawn by the surf or relaxed ambience.

Largo de Sao Sebastiao viewpoint Ericeira

The Largo de Sao Sebastiao viewpoint

Ericeira in the Summer

Ericeira is extremely popular during the summer months and there is a fantastic holiday atmosphere around the town. During the Portuguese summer holidays expect all hotels sold out and the beaches to be very crowded.

If you are planning a summer holiday to Ericeira always book accommodation well in advance, and this is true for the whole of Portugal. The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from May until the end of September. For a guide to the best hotels and hostels in Ericeira please click here. Ericeira beach

The Pescadores beach, at the centre of Ericeira

Ericeira as a day trip

Ericeira can be easily visited as a day trip from Lisbon, either by public transport or rental car. Our suggestion for a day trip is a to combine Ericeira with Mafra, and visit the Mafra Palace in the morning and Ericeira in the afternoon. The Mafra Palace is outstanding but there is not much else to do in the town while Ericeira is ideal for lunch (or dinner) and great destination to unwind. Both towns are on the same bus route (Lisbon > Mafra > Ericeira).

Ericeira cliffs

The town of Ericeira is perched on the cliffs above the harbour

The beaches of Ericeira

Ericeira has four sandy beaches within the town, two great surfing beaches slightly further out and a selection of other beaches within the WSR coastline.

The Pescadores beach is in the centre of the town and overlooks the fishing harbour. The beach is surrounded by high cliffs and this provides shelter from the strong regional winds that buffer the coastline. The beach is popular with families as the harbour wall reduces the power of the waves and there are no strong currents.

Pescadores Ericeira beach

Pescadores beach is a great location to catch some sun

Ribeira d’Ilhas is considered as the best surfing beach of Ericeira and is 2km north of the town. The Ribeira d’Ilhas beach provides consistent powerful waves and is where most surfers head for a day in the water.

Ribeira d’Ilhas Ericeira beach

The Ribeira d’Ilhas on the only day in the year when there was poor waves and few surfers!

Lizandro beach has less challenging waves but is a suitable alternative to Ribeira d’Ilhas. Lizandro beach is at the mouth of the Lizandro river, 3 km south of Ericeira and is the largest sandy beach of the region.

Lizandro  Ericeira beach

Lizandro is a huge beach, but a little way out of town

South beach (Praia de Sul) is very popular beach which is within walking distance of the town centre. It attracts surfers, families and sunbathers due to it medium waves and close proximity of the town.

Praia de Sul Ericeira beach

Beautiful Praia de Sul, ideal for a relaxing day on the beach

Sao Sebastiao beach has a wonderful natural setting and moderate waves. It is again close to the town centre of Ericeira so is popular with a range of visitors.

Sao Sebastiao Ericeira beach

The pristine beach of Sao Sebastiao is less than a 5-minute walk from central Ericeira

Praia do Algodio is the smaller beach of Ericeira and is fine for a simple relaxing day on the beach.

Praia do Algodio Ericeira beach

The Praia do Algodio

Ericeira Surfing

The main tourism of the region is surfing, and for this there are excellent facilities, including numerous hostels, inexpensive eateries and cool bars. Ericeira is a popular location to learn to surf and there are surf schools providing tuition or surf camps.

If you are spending expended periods in the sea you will need a decent wetsuit as the sea temperatures are always cold. The water temperature is regulated by the Atlantic Ocean which means there is little seasonal variation, raising to just 21C in the midst of the hot summer and only dropping to 18C in the late winter.

When choosing a location to surf always comply with local advice and be wary of strong tides and currents.

Travel from Lisbon

Lisbon is connected to Ericeira by a regular and inexpensive bus services which is operated by the Mafrense bus company. The latest timetable can be seen on the Mafrense website (www.mafrense.pt) and a link is here:

http://www.mafrense.pt/FileGet.aspx?FileId=5549

(link opens new window)

In Lisbon the bus departs from Campo Grande and is connected to the yellow and green metro lines. The actual bus stop is poorly signed so always allow sufficient time to locate departure stand.

Ericeira lisbon bus

The Mafrense bus to Ericeira in Campo Grande

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