It may not be a stereotypical tropical paradise with streets flanked with palm trees and coconuts on the beach, but Ericeira is a place of gold for ripping waves. If you want to plan a surf trip to Ericeira, then you’ve chosen a great destination.
Expect consistent swell throughout the year, plenty of space, and, of course, delicious food to refuel once you’re out of the water. A surf trip to Ericeira strikes a delicate balance between an immersive culture and incredible moments in the water.
If you need some help to plan your surf trip to Ericeira, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s all that you need to know about the surfing destination, how to get there, and feel at home from the get-go.
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Overview of Surfing in Ericeira
Portugal boasts a rather impressive surfing coastline, but Ericeira is the surf capital. With a high number of quality waves and a consistent forecast, Ericeira is a haven. It’s also a short drive from Lisbon, offering a small surf town reprieve from the busy ancient city.
Ericeira Surf Season
One of the many reasons that Ericeira is such a loved surfing destination is because of the consistent swell throughout the year. While many places around the world have a ‘surf season’, Ericeira has ‘surf’.
Even so, certain times of the year will work best for certain levels. Beginners will have the most fun between May and September, during Portugal’s summer. The waves are more gentle and the town comes alive with social happenings.
Despite the air temperature sitting in the upper 20s, the water is a chilly 18°C. If you want to enjoy long sessions in the water, then it’s best to have at least a short wetsuit.
Between September and May, the swell rises up in size and power. Experienced surfers may prefer to plan a trip during these months to take advantage of the ripping barrels and challenging conditions. The northerly spots, in particular, are reserved for surfers with more experience during these months.
A thicker wetsuit will quickly become one of your biggest assets during winter. Some surfers may even want to pack a pair of booties when surfing the reef breaks.
Best Surf Spots in Ericeira
Another major perk about surfing Ericeira is the wide choice of waves to choose from. The diverse surfing town may be small, but it offers all sorts of waves to ride including beach breaks, reef breaks, and friendly peaks.
Overall, the waves are best suited for intermediate to experienced surfers. However, there are spots for beginners to learn the rewarding sport.
Some of the most popular surf spots in Ericeira include;
- Foz do Lizandro – a beach break that is great for beginners with waves forming in both directions
- Praia do Sul – another beginner-friendly spot that promises a lot of fun
- São Julião – a consistent, exposed beach break with several peaks
- São Lourenço – in the north of Ericeira is a powerful and hollow reef break for advanced riders
- Coxos – Ericeira’s pride and joy and every right-hander’s dream
- Crazy left – there aren’t many lefts in the town, but this one makes up for it with rough barrels
- Cave – a heavy and unforgiving wave that breaks over a shallow reef
- Ribeira D’Ilhas – an accessible reef break and a great choice for intermediates that are looking for a challenge, but don’t have a death wish
- Pedra Branca – left-hand reef with a shallow take off and fast barrels
There are a few other spots, such as Backdoor, Reef, and Matadouro that promise a lot of fun if you know how to handle your equipment.
Ericeira Surf Schools and Camps
If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that you won’t have a shortage of surf camps to choose from in Ericeira. Booking a surf camp is a great way to meet a community, have all of the logistics sorted out for you, and learn from a local guide.
Surfing and yoga go hand-in-hand. The mobility and strength that are needed for both disciplines complement one another and offer the perfect balance. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of yoga practice and frame it with adrenaline-filled moments in the surf.
If you have a week to block off, then a surf camp is a great way to fill it. With daily surfing lessons, strength training, accommodation, and breakfast – this surf camp has your entire experience covered. Explore a variety of spots suited to a range of skill levels under the guidance of a surf house in Ericeira.
One week is great, but two weeks is better! This small group of a maximum of five participants offers a spectacular surfing experience for all levels. The surf camp includes daily surf lessons, strength training, accommodation and breakfast, and yoga.
If you’re a complete novice then the thought of tackling the water may be intimidating. A beginner-centric surf camp is a perfect way to get you acquainted with the board and the ocean. Everyone starts their surfing journey somewhere. A surf camp is a special option as it introduces community, skills, and noticeable progression.
These surf camps are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more surf camps in Ericeira to suit different budgets, skills, and periods of time.
Ericeira Surf Rentals
Whether you start with a surf camp and go off on your own from there, or you prefer to do the entire trip solo, you’ll still have the surf support that you need.
As a surfing town, Ericeira caters to the needs of surfers. You’ll find plenty of surf shops selling the likes of wax, leashes, wetsuits, and other gear. There are also places to rent a board when you arrive.
Expect to pay approximately USD $10 to rent a board for two hours. Renting for longer periods of time will get you a sweeter deal. Most surf schools and lodges rent boards, and these won’t be hard to find.
Flights and Getting to Ericeira
As a popular European country for tourists, Portugal has plenty of airlines arriving and leaving from the airport. The nearest airport to Ericeira is Lisbon Airport, which is 33 km away.
After arriving on Lisbon soil, you have various options to get from Lisbon to Ericeira.
- Private transfer – simple, efficient, and more expensive, costing approximately USD $80 for the car and takes around 40 minutes
- Bus – which takes a bit longer and requires the use of the Metro, but only costs USD $9 per person and the journey takes approximately 75 minutes
- Car hire – a great option if you enjoy the flexibility and freedom to move as you wish, however, this is arguably the most expensive option
There are several airlines that fly to Lisbon from major cities around the world, including the usual culprits of Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, TAP, and Lufthansa.
January is the cheapest time to fly to Lisbon. But keep in mind that this may not align with your surfing desires. It’s one of the most challenging times of year regarding surfing, and it marks the middle of winter.
U.S citizens may enter Portugal for up to 90 days without a visa, as long as your passport is valid at least three months beyond your stay. No visa is required for nationals from the European Union and several other non-disputed countries.
Getting Around Ericeira
As a small, surfing town, Ericeira doesn’t have a slick and efficient public transport system that most big cities do.
The most popular way to get around is to walk the streets or use the bus that moves through the town between 9 am and 8 pm every day. Other options include renting bicycles, using the taxi rank, or renting a scooter to check out your favorite surf spots.
There is also the option to rent a car. If you’ve driven from Lisbon and choose to keep the car with you for convenience, then you’re sorted.
Surf Resorts in Ericeira
There’s a simple rule to follow when deciding on the best area to stay in Ericeira.
The closer to your favorite surf spot, the better.
Ericeira isn’t a large town, and you can never really be too far from the beach. However, it’s always a good idea to pick a spot to stay that offers easy access.
Ericeira Surf Resorts
When we say that Ericeira has developed with surfers in mind, we’re not joking. There’s no shortage of surf resorts that offer a place to rest your weary head after a riveting day in the water.
A local surf resort will offer community, rest, and a place to refuel. Staying at a surf resort adds another layer to an immersive experience.
Our top picks
As surfing nomads, we’re always on the lookout for spots that offer a small space to work as well. With this in mind, here are some of our top surf resorts in Ericeira.
Enjoy a relaxing environment that offers everything that you need in São Lourenço. This spot is just outside the busyness of Ericeira but still offers easy access to some of your favorite surf breaks.
Rapture has earned a positive reputation for its surf camps around the world. Their camp in Ericeira maintains the high standard that you’d expect from all of their other packages that offer a versatile and social environment for surfers and nomads.
Lapoint Surf Camp is a fantastic option for coliving and coworking, offering a choice of flexible and convenient packages. There’s a beautiful view of the beach (that you can easily access). The spot hits the nail on the head for an established and comfortable co-living environment.
Coworking in Ericeira
We have to mention that Portugal is a fantastic digital nomad destination. Ericeira, in particular, has many benefits for the surfing nomad to enjoy on their trip.
- An affordable cost of living
- Consistent surf throughout the year
- Decent internet connection
- A choice of coworking spaces
- Covetous quality of life
If you prefer working in a more formal environment and need to separate work from home, then you can choose from one of Ericeira’s coworking spaces. Both Kelp Cowork and Salt Studio Cowork come highly recommended (and are not too far from groovy surf spots).
What to Pack on your Ericeira Surf Trip
There’s nothing worse than arriving for your surf trip and realizing that you’ve forgotten a key essential. Here’s a basic packing guide for a surf trip to Ericeira to help you cover the bases.
Essential surfing items
Considering that you’re packing for a surfing trip, these items should be on the top of your list.
There are places to rent boards on arrival but as Ericeira is a more advanced surfing destination, you may want to take your own. Some of the spots can break heavily on a shallow reef. The last concern that you want to have is about breaking a rental board or not having your favorite piece of equipment with you.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared, especially when your backup gear doesn’t take up too much space. If your board is hybrid, then having an extra set of fins allows you to adapt your board to the conditions.
Waves in Ericeira can be heavy and powerful, especially in the winter months. Worse than snapping a leash during a session is not having a spare one to get back out there. In these instances, an extra leash can be your saving grace.
Hopefully, you won’t need a repair kit. But in the instance that you get a small ding, a surfboard repair kit can do a quick patch job.
If the swell is pumping when you arrive in Ericeira, then you’re not going to want to delay buying wax. Having a stick of cool water wax will save you time, limit frustration, and have you in the water in no time.
It’s never a good idea to underestimate the power of the sun – even in winter. We pack sunblock on every trip that we take and apply before every session – no matter the conditions.
Portugal’s water temperature is on the chilly end of the spectrum. A wetsuit will keep you warm enough to enjoy longer sessions without getting frostbite. Depending on the time of year that you plan your trip, the thickness of your wetsuit may differ.
Rather safe than sorry! If you plan on surfing the reef, then you’ll want to be protected against the sharp floor and sneaky sea urchins.
Other, more obvious items to include on your packing list include;
- Documentation for entry
- Boardshorts or costume
- Sun hat
- Enough clothing for the duration of your stay
- Swimming towel
- Warm clothes for after surfing
Enjoy Your Ericeira Surf Trip
Ericeira is a developed surf town that welcomes fellow surfers (aspiring and pro) with open arms. It’s a wonderful place to push yourself, learn the sport, and meet like-minded people.
Take advantage of the surf schools and services offered by the surfing industry to improve the convenience of your trip and, above all, be safe