Looking for the best things to do in Ericeira, Portugal? Perfect! We’re here to explore the best sights and attractions in this charming Portuguese town near Lisbon and Mafra.
I just finished my third stay in Ericeira, one of my favorite places to relax in between visits to busy nearby cities. As an epic beach destination and one of the safest places for solo travelers in Europe, this spot has become my go-to remote work getaway.
Ericeira is famous for being one of the best surf towns in Portugal and part of Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve. With gorgeous golden sand beaches, world-class surf schools, and fun outdoor activities, this small coastal town is now a digital nomad hotspot, but don’t worry, it’s totally free of crowds!
Even though I don’t surf much, I still love coming here to enjoy the incredible viewpoints, sunny beaches like Praia dos Pescadores, and exciting nightlife. From the stunning coastline and unparalleled seafood restaurants to its narrow streets and relaxed atmosphere, let’s take a look at the best things to do in Ericeira!
Surfing in Ericeira
While not a surfer myself, my friend Whitney adventured through the country learning all about surfing in Portugal. She’s written everything you need to know in this epic guide to surfing in Ericeira, including the best surf shops and her favorite surf camp in town!
Is Ericeira Worth Visiting?
First thing’s first! If you’re wondering whether Ericeira is worth a visit, here’s what you need to know. Just north of Lisbon, Ericeira is home to Europe’s only World Surf Reserve, a globally recognized surfing area that spans over 5 miles of coastal line. It’s home to a number of exceptional surf breaks, including famous spots like Ribeira d’Ilhas and Coxos.
After spending time here on my Portugal solo travel adventures, I can assure you this place is an absolute treasure!
After a hectic solo trip to Lisbon, I knew I needed a break before I ventured to another city to take on Porto solo travel (followed by Algarve solo travel!) Ericeira was just the place for some relaxation and remote work productivity. Hidden away from tourist crowds, this town is typically cooler during the summer which was quite a relief.
In addition to world-class surfing, Ericeira is also known for being one of the best beach towns in Portugal. While it doesn’t have as many tourist hotspots like Portugal’s larger cities, the seafood and sunsets here are truly excellent!
Ericeira is best for anyone who’s looking for a laidback off-the-beaten-path getaway full of surfing, coworking spaces, and total relaxation.
25+ Things to Do in Ericeira
Ericeira is not just a feast for the eyes, but also a playground for the adventurous. Let’s dive into an exciting array of activities that will make your stay in Ericeira truly unforgettable.
1. Santa Marta Park
Santa Marta Park is a silent sanctuary within Ericeira, characterized by its lush greenery, well-tended gardens, and serene landscapes. It’s a place where visitors can retreat from the everyday hustle, stepping into a tranquil oasis that invites leisurely strolls along picturesque paths.
Providing an immersive experience in nature’s embrace, the park is renowned for the striking ocean views it offers, making it a must-visit spot in Ericeira. The park is more than just a pretty escape; it’s a haven for anyone seeking peace and tranquility amidst the natural beauty.
2. Miradouro de São Sebastião
In the heart of Ericeira, you’ll discover the Miradouro de São Sebastião, a stunning viewpoint with breathtaking panoramas. Gaze upon endless ocean vistas, the immaculate whitewashed village, and the enchanting sunset hues.
Truly one of the most Instagrammable spots in Portugal, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to capture some memorable photos here.
3. Acesso Praia do Sul
Acesso Praia do Sul is a picturesque route in Ericeira that you simply can’t miss. It’s the path to southern beach bliss, where the sand sparkles under the sun’s touch and the azure waves lure you in with their rhythmic dance.
Journey along this route to one of the most beautiful beaches in town. Its breathtaking scenic beauty is the perfect backdrop for your travel memories. So, come and experience this slice of paradise, because Acesso Praia do Sul is not just a path, but a journey to the heart of Ericeira’s charm.
4. Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem
The Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem is an Ericeira gem! This sacred sanctuary situated against the Atlantic winds is a testament to the town’s fishing heritage. You’ll be enchanted by its rustic allure and ocean views. With its intimate connection to local history and stunning vistas, this is one of the top things to see in Ericeira.
5. Mafra National Palace
The Mafra Palace is a magnificent baroque monument and a testament to Portugal’s rich history. A day trip to this iconic spot is one of the very best things to do in Ericeira!
The palace’s grandeur will astound you with its architectural brilliance and ornate interiors. I seriously cannot recommend this place enough for its historical significance and awe-inspiring beauty. Once you arrive, it’s impossible to not be swept away by the captivating royal aura that envelopes this famous Portuguese palace.
Ericeira is a globally renowned surfing mecca! People from all over the world consider surfing an essential thing to do in Ericeira. The powerful Atlantic swells offer a fantastic challenge for surfers of all skill levels. Even if, like me, you’re not really a surfer, you’ll still find yourself drawn to the vibrant surfing culture. Watching your travel friends experience the thrill of catching a big wave is an exciting second-hand experience.
7. Surf Lessons
Want to be more than a spectator? Ericeira offers exceptional surf lessons suitable for all ages and skill levels. Learning to surf in such a spectacular setting is a thrilling adventure!
The experienced instructors and welcoming environment make it a remarkable opportunity for everyone to embrace the spirit of the sea. You’ll find your heart racing with exhilaration as you conquer the waves and create unforgettable memories. There’s no better place to discover your inner surfer.
Book a surf lesson for any level!
8. Bike Rentals
Exploring Ericeira by bike is a fun and easy way to explore the charm of this coastal town. Rent a bike and feel the freedom of creating your own adventure. The breathtaking scenery, coupled with the refreshing sea breeze, makes for an unforgettable journey. Exploring the exhilarating beauty of Ericeira on two wheels is one of the best things to do on a trip to Ericeira.
Best Bike Rentals in Ericeira:
9. World Surf Reserve Center
The World Surf Reserve Center is an essential stop for anyone visiting Ericeira. Uncover a wealth of knowledge about one of the world’s most iconic surfing UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It’s a unique opportunity to appreciate the significance of these surf reserves and the efforts to preserve them. I really loved getting to deepen my understanding of the surfing world here. It was inspiring to learn all about the global surfing heritage. (Not inspired enough to actually get on a board myself, but, like, I totally thought about it.)
10. Wine Tasting
Wine tasting, anyone? One of the essential things to do in Ericeira is to savor a selection of Portugal’s finest wines. Each has a distinctive flavor profile that reflects the rich local terroir!
I passionately believe this is a must-do for wine lovers. Why? Because it’s more than just a tasting, it’s an education in the mastery of winemaking. It’s a sensory journey that you won’t want to end. Trust me, your palate will thank you.
Practicing yoga in Ericeira is a magical experience full of serene, seaside vibes. After all the wine tasting, it felt good to show my body some love at Samadhi House.
Plus, there’s nowhere better than a seaside town to unplug, unwind, and recenter yourself. The serene environment totally compliments anyone’s yoga journey. This is the spot to let your inner yogi free to achieve a deeper connection with yourself and nature
Here are three spectacular spots to yoga practice in Eriecira:
12. Ericeira Beaches
Ericeira is known for its picturesque beaches, featuring everything from tranquil coves to world-class surf spots teeming with sea urchins and other marine life.
My favorite beach in Ericeira is hands down Praia dos Pescadores. Translating literally to Fisherman’s Beach, this spot typically has calm waters and is perfect for a day of relaxing on the shore. It’s only great for surfing at low tide.
Other Ericeira beaches to check out include Matadouro Beach, Praça da República, and Praia de São Sebastião.
PS: For a list of the best places to surf in Ericeira, check out the full Ericeira Surf guide!
Boards of all kinds are beloved in Ericeira! Skateboarding in Ericeira offers an adrenaline-fueled experience that adventurous travelers won’t want to miss. It’s an interesting way to explore the town, offering a unique perspective on its picturesque beauty. With spots like Ericeira Skate Park and Quiksilver Boardriders Ericeira, you’ll find the perfect place to practice your skills or simply watch the tricks of more experienced skateboarders.
14. Claustrophilia Escape Room
The Claustrophilia Escape Room is a fun thing to do in Ericeira. I was invited to go by some of the surfers I met in my coworking hostel. We had a fun evening of mystery-solving where we tested our wits and teamwork skills.
You’ll love how it challenges your problem-solving skills while delivering an exciting adventure. Trust me, this is an unforgettable experience you don’t want to miss in Ericeira. It’s a mental workout in a fun and playful setting.
15. Explore Old Town
Exploring Ericeira’s Old Town and city center is a journey through time. Wandering through its narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter the juxtaposition of charming old-world architecture and colorful street art. Definitely set aside at least half a day to lose yourself in the rich history and relaxed culture that make Old Town an absolute must-visit in Ericeira.
Ericiera is a great place to stay Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP. As a beginner or seasoned paddler, you’ll find the calm sea conditions perfect for this activity.
It’s a great way to stay fit while enjoying the stunning coastal views. You’ll love the tranquil moments spent on the water, the gentle rhythm of the waves beneath your board creating an experience that’s both invigorating and serene. Grab a paddleboard and start your SUP journey in Ericeira!
17. Snorkel & Scuba
Berlengas Archipelago offers you a pristine underwater world, perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. This nature reserve teems with diverse marine life, making it a prime choice for exploratory dives. Plunging into its vibrant waters, you’ll uncover a hidden universe that leaves you awe-struck. Don’t wait, plunge in, and let Berlengas Archipelago unlock a scuba diving experience that’s an unparalleled thing to do in Ericeira!
MORE UNDERWATER ADVENTURES
Can’t get enough of the water? If so, I highly recommend checking out the incredible snorkeling in Spain! You should also consider California. Not only can you discover the many gorgeous Laguna Beach beaches, there are also so many cool spots for snorkeling in Laguna Beach. See you there?
18. Sintra Day Trip
A day trip to Sintra is a must-do when you’re in Ericeira. Steeped in history and adorned with lush landscapes, it’s a destination that promises a trip back in time. You’ll be captivated by the town’s fairy-tale palaces, ancient castles, and exotic gardens.
A visit to Sintra offers a delightful escape from the ordinary and a chance to immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich heritage. From the fairytale castle of Pena Palace to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost tip of Europe, there’s so much to see on this day trip to Sintra from Ericeira.
19. Cascais Day Trip
Want to visit more of those stunning Portuguese beach towns? Head on a day trip to Cascais from Ericeira. Nestled against Portugal’s sunny western coast, Cascais is renowned for its bustling marina, and sandy beaches so gorgeous they’ve long been the preferred vacation spot of the royal family and the wealthiest people in Portugal.
Relish the blend of relaxation and luxury that each Cascais beach has to offer. Pack your day with seaside strolls, art gallery visits, and sumptuous seafood dining. Make sure you don’t miss Praia da Rainha, the famous beach that was named for Queen Amelia.
20. Nazare Day Trip
A day trip to Nazaré is an essential part of your Ericeira itinerary. Nazaré, famous for its gigantic waves and vibrant fishing culture, promises an unforgettable adventure. This is a must for surfers! This Portuguese town is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. The beaches here get epically huge waves. For any pros looking for the best surfing in Nazare, head here during the winter season from October to March to catch the waves this spot is famous for. Just be careful. Nazare is not a place for beginners!
Ending your day with a breathtaking sunset is an absolute must-do in Ericeira. This golden spectacle tints the sky and ocean with warm hues, filling you with serenity and awe. You’ll be spellbound by the tranquil beauty, and I guarantee that it’s a perfect end to a day of exploration. Immerse yourself in this glorious wonder and let it paint a beautiful close to your Ericeira adventure!
Here are some of the best spots to watch the sunset in Ericeira:
- Praia do Sul: This beach is a local favorite for sunset viewing, offering unobstructed views of the horizon where the sun paints the sky with breathtaking hues.
- Ribeira d’Ilhas: The sunset is a true spectacle at this World Surf Reserve beach. This was my favorite spot to relax and watch as the setting sun created a magical backdrop against the rippling ocean waves.
- Miradouro da Praia do Norte: This viewpoint offers a panoramic vista of the Atlantic, making it an excellent spot for sunsets. The sun dipping below the ocean’s horizon here is nothing short of mesmerizing.
22. Portuguese Cuisine
Trying Portuguese Cuisine is a non-negotiable when you’re in Ericeira. This coastal town is renowned for its seafood dishes, crafted with the freshest local catch, offering a mouthwatering culinary journey. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in an authentic Portuguese dining experience.
It’s not just about savoring delicious food, but also about understanding the region’s culture and tradition through its cuisine. The aromatic flavors, paired with the friendly local atmosphere, make this gastronomic exploration a highlight of any trip to Ericeira.
Here are my top dishes to try in Ericeira:
- Caldeirada: A traditional Portuguese fish stew filled with a variety of fish and shellfish, simmered with potatoes, tomatoes, and a blend of herbs and spices.
- Arroz de Marisco: A hearty dish of rice and a medley of seafood, including shrimp, clams, and mussels, cooked in a flavorful broth.
- Sardinhas Assadas: Fresh sardines are grilled to perfection, offering a simple yet flavorful taste of the ocean, often served with a side of boiled potatoes and a sprinkle of sea salt.
23. Try Brazilian Food
Brazilian cuisine in Ericeira is a unique fusion of diverse flavors that offers a delightful culinary surprise. There’s a strong connection between Portugal and Brazil thanks to, well, colonialism. However, today, Brazil is a free nation, but it’s culinary influences remain!
Head to Restaurante Prim to try Brazilian specialities like Feijoada, a black bean stew brimming with various cuts of pork and served with rice, kale, and farofa. To round out the meal, order a refreshing Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail made from cachaça, sugar, and lime. You’ll find it’s the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and strong, ideally suited to wash down the rich, hearty flavors of the Feijoada.
The natural beauty of Ericeira makes hiking one of the very best things to do! There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the local landscape.
From easy cliffside walking trails to long, challenging routes, hikers of all skill levels have a chance to take in the breathtaking views, feel the cool ocean breeze on your skin, and experience the tranquil side of the town.
Here are the top 2 hiking spots in Ericeira that were recommended by locals:
- Ribeira d’Ilhas to Coxos & S. Lourenço: Follow the easy trail along the World Surf Reserve cliff walk for incredible views of natural pools, sea caves and epic waves.
- Fort of Zambujal: This 4.2-mile loop in the Sesimbra region combines natural beauty with the historical fascination of the 17th-century ruins at Zambujal Fort.
Camping in Ericeira is an awesome way to fully appreciate the town’s scenic beauty. Just imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and the soft morning light revealing the breathtaking landscape.
When it comes to camping, you should definitely utilize Park4Night and Flush. These apps have proven to be invaluable camping resources that can help you identify camper van parking and public restrooms.
The most highly recommended campground in the area is called Ericeira Camping Campground. Great for campervans, it has around-the-clock security, electricity, hot water, and more for a very affordable price!
26. Music Festivals
Music festivals are an integral part of Ericeira’s vibrant culture. You wouldn’t want to miss the pulsating energy of Quik Sessions, the mesmerizing sunset at Boardriders Sunset Sessions, or the summer vibes at Sumol Summer Fest.
These events offer an unforgettable glimpse into the town’s musical rhythm and spirit, making your Ericeira experience truly unique. Get lost in the town’s lively music scene and create memories that will last a lifetime.
In addition to its stunning beaches, Ericeira is filled with mouthwatering seafood and traditional Portuguese specialties that make up some of the best food in Portugal!
Here are the best restaurants and my top recommendations on what to eat:
Mar à Vista
Mar à Vista, overlooking the ocean waves, offers a dining experience like no other. I’ll never forget the succulent grilled octopus I had here. Paired with a sauce that had the perfect balance of smoky and fresh flavors, if there’s anywhere to try octopus, it’s in Portugal!
At Ribas Marisqueira, the seafood platter is the way to go. I was incredibly impressed by the platter’s vibrant mix of flavors, capturing the essence of the ocean in every bite. This experience alone makes it one of the top things in Ericeira. – Seafood Feijoada
Toca do Caboz
Toca do Caboz, situated in the heart of Ericeira, is another great restaurant to check out. Its specialty – the sumptuous seafood cataplana is legendary among locals. I was so excited to order a bottle of wine from Quinta Avaleda, one of the absolute best wineries in Porto, Portugal!
Tasquinha do Joy
Tasquinha do Joy stands out for its chill, inviting atmosphere and yummy dishes. Their grilled sardines, a classic Portuguese delicacy, are so authentically prepared that they’ll transport you to the heart of Portugal in every bite! Smoky, salty, and tangy, this was a dish I was actually surprised to fall in love with!
Green is Good
For any health-conscious, vegan, or vegetarian travelers, rest easy. Ericeira is full of spots you’ll love. I highly recommend Green is Good. This vegan haven offers plenty of delightful dishes, like their Buddha Bowl, a healthy blend of quinoa, fresh vegetables, and tahini dressing.
As the sun sets, Ericeira comes alive! The town’s enchanting nightlife is scene as diverse and unique as the town itself.
Here are some of the best bars and clubs in Ericeira:
- Jukebox Ericeira: At Jukebox Ericeira, you’re in for a memorable night. This lively bar boasts an energetic atmosphere, eclectic music, and a range of delightful cocktails.
- Adega: For a taste of local life, head to Adega where you can enjoy live music, beer and cocktails at one of Ericeira’s most popular bars. It’s super easy to meet people here!
- Tubo & Tiki Bar: Head here for the gigantic street party that takes over the whole block. You’re sure to make new friends.
- Ouriço: This Ericeira nightlife staple belongs on every traveler’s list. It’s the only club in Ericeira, open way later than the rest of the bars. It’s also said to be one of the oldest clubs in the whole country!
Where to Stay in Ericeira
In Ericeira, there are accommodations for every sort of traveler, be it luxury seekers or nomadic surfers. From exquisite, high-end hotels offering lavish amenities to vibrant surf hostels that capture the true essence of the local surf culture, here are the most highly-rated places to stay in Ericeira:
Laneez Ericeira is a haven for the adventurous at heart. You’ll be delighted by its laid-back vibe and prime location just steps from the beach. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a newbie, Laneez provides an authentic insight into Ericeira’s surf lifestyle. Its communal spaces are perfect for sharing stories with fellow travelers, making it ideal for social butterflies and solo travelers seeking a sense of community.
Selina Boavista & Surf School
Selina never disappoints! With views of the Atlantic Ocean, this laid-back guesthouse is a 5-minute walk from Praia dos Pescadores and 3 km from surfing at Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach.
Vila Gale Hotel
For those seeking luxury and comfort, the Vila Gale Hotel is a prime choice. You’ll be dazzled by its elegant decor and top-class amenities. The hotel offers you a chance to unwind in style. It’s a place where one finds a perfect blend of luxury and tranquility. Ideal for travelers who prefer a touch of opulence in their accommodations, this hotel promises an unforgettable stay in Ericeira.
Co-Living Villa Ericeira
Co-Living Villa Ericeira presents a modern approach to digital nomad accommodations, merging the comfort of home with the benefits of a collaborative work environment. I found it to be the perfect hotspot for remote workers. Here, you’ll encounter a unique blend of relaxation and productivity, with amenities tailored for work and leisure. It is an establishment where one can seamlessly balance work and play, making it an ideal choice for those embracing the digital nomad lifestyle.
How to Get to Ericeira
There are a few different routes to reach Ericeira. Here are the best ways to get to this charming Portuguese seaside town:
- Driving from Lisbon to Ericeira: If you’re coming from Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, the journey to Ericeira by car takes approximately 40 minutes via the A8 and A21 motorways. It’s an easy and scenic drive, making it a good option for those who prefer to set their own pace.
- Bus from Lisbon to Ericeira: Opting for public transportation? Buses depart from Lisbon’s Campo Grande bus terminal to Ericeira regularly. The journey takes around 1.5 hours, providing a budget-friendly and eco-conscious travel alternative.
- Train from Lisbon to Ericeira: While there isn’t a direct train service, you could take a train to Sintra, and then catch a bus to Ericeira. This might appeal to those who enjoy varied travel experiences.
- Closest Airport: The nearest airport to Ericeira is Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport. It is approximately 44km away, and a taxi or private driver can complete this journey in about 30 minutes.
- Private Transport: Booking a private driver offers a hassle-free and comfortable option, particularly for those carrying heavy luggage or surf gear. This is ideal for travelers who prioritize convenience and don’t mind paying a little extra. Book a private transfer now!
How to Get Around Ericeira
Navigating the picturesque town of Ericeira is part of the adventure. Let’s explore the different ways you can get around the town:
- Walking: Ericeira, with its small size and pedestrian-friendly streets, is highly walkable, allowing you to explore its beauty at a leisurely pace. You can experience all the best things to do in Ericeira without renting a car!
- Bus: Public buses are readily available for trips to the outskirts or nearby attractions.
- Taxi: While rideshare services aren’t as common, local taxi services fill this gap efficiently, providing a convenient option for those who prefer a private ride.
When to Visit Ericeira
Ericeira is a year-round destination, and honestly, the best time to visit Portugal depends on what you most want to do. For surf enthusiasts, the prime time actually happens in winter in Portugal. Between September and April is when the Atlantic swells bring world-class waves.
The summer months, from June to August, are excellent for beachgoers, boasting pleasant weather and a pleasant water temperature. However, this period tends to be the busiest, so those seeking a quieter, more relaxed experience may prefer the shoulder months of May and September.
Ultimately, whether it’s for the surf, the sun, or the tranquility, every season in Ericeira has its own unique charm!
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