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.
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
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
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
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.