First, “How do you pronounce Ericeira?” Think about your friend Sarah, who is a bit of an airhead. Airy Sarah. That is pretty close! Is Ericeira worth visiting? Absolutely, if you enjoy beautiful, charming beach towns.
Ericeira was given a charter in 1229 and started out as a small fishing village, then it grew into being one of Portugal’s four largest ports.
Over time though, shipping traffic lessened, and today the town with a population of slightly more than 10,000 relies on tourism as its top industry.
Relax in Ericeira
What is there to do in Ericeira? Not much! But that is the beauty of it. You can relax and unwind on one of seven local beaches. A small town that has seven beaches is worth visiting!
The easiest beach to access, as well as the one that is most family-friendly, is encircled by a jetty and a spit of land where the Hotel Vila Galé “has its feet in the sand.”
This beach is Praia do Sul. It is a blue flag beach, protected from the wind, and it is also protected by lifeguards. It also has bars and restaurants very close by.
Also below the old town, you will find Praia dos Pescadores.
This beach is also protected from the wind.
This beach has a special place in Portugal’s history, as the last King of Portugal, Manuel II, fled to England from this beach as he was chased out of Portugal by armed revolutionaries in 1910.
Other beaches nearby include Praia da Foz do Lizandro, Praia da Calada, Praia do Norte, Praia de São Julião, and Praia D’Ilhas.
You can stroll the cobblestone streets and enjoy the whitewashed homes and buildings with blue trim that remind you of a Greek village.
You can sit on a bench or at a café in the main square, Praça de Jogo da Bola, and enjoy an ice cream or a coffee, and just people-watch.
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Is Ericeira safe?
Portugal is a peaceful country with very low crime rates, and Ericeira is a small town with laid-back beach vibes.
As far as crime goes, Ericeira is probably very safe.
I accidentally dropped a 20 euro bill in the street, and a local man picked it up and followed me into my hotel to give it back to me.
Aside from leaving your belongings in plain view in your car, the only other problem I could see is that some of the nearby beaches could be pretty dangerous if you do not know what you are doing in the water.
If you are looking to swim, it might be best to stick to the beaches that are closest to the town.
Keep in mind that water temperatures range from 64 degrees to 68 degrees year-round.
Surf or learn how
You can watch people surf, or you can surf yourself. Ericeira’s beaches are hugely popular with pro and amateur surfers.
In 2011, the World Surf League and the Save the Waves Coalition designated Ericeira as a World Surf Reserve – the only one in Europe.
If you want to learn to surf in Ericeira, you have several options, from individual lessons to surf camp.
If you are interested in watching pro surfing, the World Surfing League Men’s and Women’s Challenger Series Stop #2, the Ericeira Pro will be at Ribeira D’Ilhas Beach from September 20 – 26.
When you get back on dry land, you can shop, skate, get a drink, or listen to live music at the Ericeira Quicksilver Park, EN247, 2655
Enjoy great seafood
The best seafood meals I had in Portugal were at Marisqueira Ribamar, on the National Highway 247, number 57 in the village of Ribamar, not far from Ericeira. This alone makes Ericeira worth visiting.
I probably spent 50 euros, and it may have been one of the best meals I’ve ever had, in a dining room overlooking the northern Atlantic.
Guided tours of Ericeira and Mafra
If you would like to take a guided tour of the village of Mafra and Ericeira, Portugal Guided Tours will pick you up in either Cascais, Sintra, or Lisbon.
You will explore the Mafra convent, a UNESCO world heritage site, and later stop by Sobreiro.
Snack on pão com chouriço and then head to Ericeira, where you can decide how you will spend the rest of the day.
Finally, on the way home, stop by a winery, learn about wine production and taste the best local wines.
This tour is €280 per group of up to eight people. Portugalguidedtours.com/ericeiraandmafratour
Get Your Guide also offers a private tour of Mafra, Ericeira, and the National Palace of Queluz.
This trip is also eight hours and includes hotel pick up.
First, you will stop at the Mafra Palace built by Dom João V.
The palace’s greatest treasure is its library with more than 40,000 books, including a first edition of Luís de Camões’ Os Lusiadas.
After visiting the town of Ericeira, you will see the Queluz Palace, an 18th-century palace built as a summer home for Don Pedro de Braganza.
This tour is $379 for groups of up to three.
Personally, I would not want a day trip. I tremendously enjoyed relaxing in Ericeira for a few days, and that is what I would recommend if you have the time.
Lodging in Ericeira
Lodging in Ericeira is very reasonably priced, even in the summer.
The four star Hotel Vila Galé is oceanfront. https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/vilagaleericeira.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
I was happy at https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/pedro-o-pescador.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2 on the lively Rua Dr. Eduardo Burnay.
The top-ranked hostels in the area are:
- Ericeira Chill Hill Hostel – Created by surfers and life lovers, for surfers and life lovers https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/ericeira-chill-hill-hostel.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
- Hostel & Surfcamp 55 Ericeira To book: https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/hostel-55-ericeira.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
Other Attractions in Ericeira
Parque Das Furnas – Ocean front park
Capela de Nossa Señora de Boa Viagem and Santo Antonio
This small chapel has a view of the ocean.
It is located next to Praia dos Pescadores and dates back to the 17th century.
Miradouro de São Sebastião -Located just north of Ericeira, this excellent viewpoint has sweeping views over the coastline.
There is a stairway going down to the rocky beach.
Porto dos Pescadores spot on the beach where you can watch fishermen go about their work
Igreja de Misericórdia Church
How to get from Lisbon to Ericeira
Take the metro to the Campo Grande station.
Find the Mafrense bus going to Ericeira.
Buses leave every 90 minutes between 8 AM and 11 PM.
By bus the trip takes 75 minutes and costs seven euros.
All buses pass through the town of Mafra.
You will get a quick view of the Mafra Palace.
It was built between 1717 and 1730. It took more than 50,000 men and 1000 oxen to build.
The palace has 880 rooms and 4500 doors and windows.
The Baroque and Neoclassical style building is 728 feet in length.
If you were going by car, take A8 to A21.
This is a toll road and the drive will take 40 minutes.
Other beach resorts in Portugal
A bit further north of Ericeira, yet still south of Porto, is Nazaré. See what Nazaré has to offer in this other article I wrote, Nazaré, Portugal – Biggest waves in the world, less than two hours from Lisbon.
If you are looking for a quicker trip from Lisbon, you will find that there are also some great beaches only 20 minutes away from Cais do Sodré station.
See my article, How to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches . That article will explain how to get to Lisbon’s most popular beach – Carcavelos Beach, Praia de Carcavelos , among others.
And, if you are trying to figure out what else to see in Portugal, look no further than the magical village of Sintra, with its multiple castles. How to plan a day trip or overnight trip to Sintra from Lisbon It’s not a beach resort, but you will be glad you went!
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