Ericeira, Portugal

Lisboêtas don't want you to know about the surfing mecca of Ericeira. A short drive from Portugal's vibrant capital, it's a haven of sleepy streets, seafood and secluded shores.


Ericeira, Portugal.

Why now?

Just 45 minutes' drive north of Portugal's bustling capital, this fishing village oozes small-town charm. While surfers have flocked to its pristine shores for years and lisboêtas desperate for a weekend away continue to frequent the sleepy streets, for most of the year Ericeira is distinctly lacking in Lisbon's tourist crowds. Wander along winding alleys and pastel-hued houses, stopping off in buzzy bars and cafés to admire views over the glistening Atlantic.

Hailed as a surfing mecca, Ericeira has been a World Surfing Reserve since 2011 - the only area of its kind in Europe. Test your mettle against some of the world's best waves at Praia dos Coxos and Praia da Pedra Branca, or practice your skills at the skatepark in town. If surfing isn't your thing, there are plenty of other things to do. Hike or cycle along the dramatic coastline to find pristine beaches perfect for shady snoozing or topping up that tan. Popular beach Ribeira d'Ilhas has a great surf school and restaurants with views over the sea. Alternatively, head to the sandy shores of Praia do Sul, Praia do Norte or Praia de São Lourenço to have the beach to yourself.

Don't miss…

Stemming from the word "Ouriceira" meaning place with lots of sea urchins, it's only natural that Ericeira offers some of the country's best seafood. Choose from any of the restaurants in the town centre, and if you visit during sea urchin season (October to May) be sure to try the spiny delicacy.

Who to take with you

Someone looking to go beyond the beaten track. Ericeira is the perfect base to explore nearby towns of Azenhas do Mar and Sintra.

When to go

Summer season is prime time, where the beaches are overrun with excitable surfers and lisboêtas looking for a break from the city. Come in April for warm weather and empty shores, and to catch the city's Festival do Ouriço-do-Mar.

Where to stay

Set on the sweeping sands of Praia do Sul, You and the Sea oozes coastal cool. Secluded self-catering apartments offer contemporary design that melts into the tranquil landscape.

Most likely to bump into…

Unsurprisingly, Ericeira draws in a cool crowd of surf-loving hipsters. Strike up a conversation to find out insider tips for best bars and hidden beaches.

Essentials to bring with you

Slip this Faithfull The Brand Rafhaela floral-print crepe mini dress on top of your bikini for a quick and easy beach-to-bar look.

How to get there

Fly into Lisbon - Ericeira's golden beaches are less than an hour's drive away.

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