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Ericeira – Surf town on the Atlantic coast

ericeira surf portugal

Ericeira is typical Portuguese fishing village on the Atlantic Ocean, that is now rapidly becoming the surfing hotspot of Portugal. Ericeira is the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe. Since 2011 the beautiful coastline is officially protected as a surfing reserve. This status, together with the ‘old world charm’ of the town, makes Ericeira a perfect holiday destination for lovers of the Portuguese culture, seafood and good waves. This blog will summarize all you need to know before coming here.


They say that the name Ericeira comes from ‘Ouriceira’, which comes from ‘Ouriço’, meaning sea urchin. There are many sea urchins on the beaches and rocks in Ericera and that’s why people believed it’s name originated there. Recent research show that this was not the case, but you will find many places around carrying this name and the sea urchins are on the menu at some restaurants.

Ericeira has been a holiday destination for a very long time. In the 1800’s the royal family and other important people like bishops already went to Ericeira to bathe in the icy ocean and breath in the healthy air that supposedly contained a lot of iodine. At the end of the 19th century the rich and famous from Lisbon began to build their holiday homes in and around Ericeira and the port became more and more important, increasing Ericeira’s economical importance. The port became one of the busiest in the Estremadura region, mostly exporting wine and spirits. After the development of land transportation and the railway, the port lost most of its importance and went back to just being a fishermans harbor.

Ericeira Portugal

But the event that really put Ericeira on the map historically took place in 1910 at Praia dos Pescadores, where King Manuel II of Portugal went into exile after the outbreak of the revolution of October 5th 1910. He came from Mafra by car, and under the eyes of hundreds of people he fled the country by a fishermans boat, to be brought to the royal yacht that was out at sea. On this day the constitutional monarchy was deposed and the Portuguese Republic was established.


fish restaurant ericeira

Being a fisherman’s village, we can assure you that the seafood is fresh here in Ericeira. Portugal is known for good food; big portions with simple, but fresh and tasty ingredients. Olive oil and great amounts of garlic are used, always. In Ericeira you’ll find many highly recommended seafood restaurants, where the fish comes fresh out of the ocean right to the barbecue and onto your plate. We are happy to recommend the best restaurants to you when staying with us!

The octopus, ‘polvo’, is worth trying when you’re here. It can look a bit scary when you’re not used to an entire animal on your plate, complete with tentacles and suction cups, but it’s delicious. They are caught between the rocks off the coast of Ericeira, so very local and very fresh. Another local delicacy that looks a bit scary, are goose barnacles, ‘percebes’. They grow on rocks, and the best ones grow in the most difficult to reach places. They are caught by hand, and the people who collect them often risk their lives. That’s why they are not cheap. If you are a seafood fan, you really want to try these tasty delights.

pastel de nata ericeira portugal

The Portuguese people are also really into sweets. Almost everywhere in Portugal you will find ‘Pastelarias’, bakeries that sell all kinds of bread and sweet cakes. The most famous Portugese cake is the pastel de nata, a kind of custard cake that goes very well with an espresso (um café). The best pastel de nata of the entire Lisbon region happens to be made in a pastelaria in Ericeira, at only a 10 minute walk from us!

vegetarian food ericeira

Although the Portuguese kitchen mainly revolves around meat and fish, Ericeira also has a lot on offer in the vegetarian and vegan department. Because Ericeira attracts a lot of surfers and people with a healthy lifestyle, the number of vegetarian and vegan dishes restaurants is growing rapidly each year. Check out our blog on where to get the best vegetarian and vegan food.


Ericeira beach portugal

It’s sunny of course! Well, the best months to travel to Ericeira are May to October, with hardly any rain and mostly sunny, but windy days. The warmest months are June to September, with an average of 25 degrees. But even April and November can also feel like summer sometimes. Being on the Atlantic coast, it does cool off in the evenings, so don’t forget a sweater. The cold Atlantic can also produce some fog from time to time. December to February are the coldest months, but also the least busy. So that’s when you’ll have the beach and waves all to yourself. Here you will read everything you need to know about the weather in Ericeira.


surfing ericeira matadouro

The World Surfing Reserve of Ericeira has many different waves on offer, accessible for all levels. These waves are within a relatively small area of coast, which makes this place so special. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer, you will find the right surf spot in this area, with all weather conditions. We can talk about surfing for days, and we’d love to share all of our inside knowledge about Ericeira’s breaks with you when you’re here – or arrange a surf lesson or surf coaching for you. Make sure to rent a car if you fully want to experience all the surf breaks.

surf lesson Ericeira Portugal surfboard rental

Got excited to discover Ericeira by yourself? Book a room with us and we’ll let you in on all the fun around here!


ola onda ericeira guesthouse