In Ericeira you are overwhelmed by the sea – into the sea and out to sea! It is a small fishing village and a large World Surfing Reserve. Here there are stunning beaches, some wilder, others with great infrastructure, each one with its own charms. They all share excellent environmental quality, which earns them the blue flag and other awards of excellence. Ericeira is a privileged place to spend vacations and a worldwide coveted destination to practice surf.
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Ericeira is a village in the municipality of Mafra. It is only 50 km from Lisbon, which can be done by car in 40 minutes. By cab the trip can cost between 85€ and 110€. You can also choose to go by bus, which leaves every hour from Campo Grande, the trip takes about 52 minutes and costs approximately € 6.
WHAT TO VISIT IN ERICEIRA?
To help you organize the sequence of your tours more effectively, we have prepared a map for you. We hope it will be useful!
The center of the old part of Ericeira is Praça da República. Here you will find several cafes and pastry shops. There is also a traditional market nearby. The nightclub Ouriço is an Ericeira icon – it has been livening up the nights for 60 years. The building is the same as always, but the facade is creatively repainted every year. Ouriço is near Praça da República, almost on the waterfront, on Travessa do Caminho Novo. Rua Dr. Eduardo Burnay is where you can find most of Ericeira’s commerce.
The center of the village can be walked in a little more than an hour. A walk through streets, alleys and very beautiful little squares. Walking is always the best way to get to know the soul of a place.
Strolling along the small waterfront of Ericeira is a must! The panoramic view to the sea surprises with every step. Along the way you will find several cafes and terraces where you can stop and enjoy the view.
You will also find beautiful houses in white and blue tones reminiscent of the Alentejo architecture. And there is also room for art, two houses by the waterfront that deserve a closer look!
The small fishing port of Ericeira is an unavoidable place to understand the soul of this land. At the foot of the cliffs, in a natural bay, the port opens up, on the edge of Praia dos Pescadores. From Largo das Ribas you have the best view of the port and the beach, where you can observe the traditional fishing. From here you can see the arrival of the boats that the fishermen try to unload: lobsters, octopus and fish for all tastes, all fresh from the sea.
Somewhere in the 19th century, a whale ran aground here, which is why many people still know this beach as Praia da Baleia (Whale Beach). Praia do Sul is the most famous beach in Ericeira, both for being right in front of the town and for its charms. It is located in a bay sheltered by rocky cliffs, has a wide sandy beach and a blue sea that stretches in front of us until infinity. It is a watched beach, with a blue flag, and very safe for swimming. On the beach you can rent one of the typical awnings or colorful striped tents, so that you can spend the whole day sheltered on the beach. Along the small wall you can find bars and restaurants with esplanade, showers and changing rooms.
VILA GALÉ HOTEL – ERICEIRA
At the north end of Praia do Sul is the Hotel Vila Galé Ericeira. It is in a privileged location, seemingly entering by the sea. You can stay in one of the rooms with a balcony overlooking the sea and enjoy everything the place has to offer. The hotel has 4 stars and has a restaurant and two bars. Outside, facing the ocean, there is a freshwater and a saltwater pool. For the children, there are also water slides. At Vila Galé Ericeira you can enjoy meeting rooms, the children’s playground and the health club, which offers massage services, gym, sauna, jacuzzi and Turkish bath.
FOZ DO LIZANDRO BEACH
Foz do Lizandro beach is about 3,5Km north of the town of Ericeira, belonging already to the neighboring parish of Carvoeira. To the south of the beach, the sands follow the bed of the Lizandro river to the sea and continue extending northwards. This is the largest sandy beach in the region. The sea is rougher than at Praia do Sul, which pleases surfers. Children, on the other hand, prefer to play in the area around the mouth of the river. This beach invites both leisure and sports. A large wooden walkway runs parallel to the water line – sea and river. Here you can enjoy the nice restaurants and bars with terraces or just take a walk. On the beach you can rent deck chairs and umbrellas, and also enjoy the sports area. The sea itself is a great attraction for sports such as surfing and bodyboarding, the fame of its waves travels around the world.
You will also find a large free parking lot and good infrastructure, such as a first-aid post, sanitary facilities, showers and changing rooms. It is a watched beach from June 15 to September 15, with a blue flag and awarded as Accessible Beach.
In front of the northern part of the village of Ericeira, a short distance from the center, is the Praia do Norte, or Algodio Beach, name by which it is also known. The fishing port limits the south end of the beach. It is an urban beach, quite sought after for its location, but not as much as Praia do Sul. The parking lot has few places, so the Urban Park of São Sebastião, a little to the north, can be a good option to leave the car. This beach is watched, has good infrastructure, access by ramp and blue flag.
SÃO SEBASTIÃO BEACH
This is a beach of a wilder beauty than Algodio Beach, its neighbor. The access is made by some very beautiful steps of Portuguese sidewalk, flanked by white walls with a blue border. Although the beach is long in length, it has little sand, which practically disappears at high tide. The waves here are a great attraction for surfers and bodyboarders. São Sebastião beach is not watched. Nearby is the Urban Park of São Sebastião, where you can park your car easily and find a café and a children’s playground. The beach got its name from the São Sebastião chapel. This small chapel stands high up on the rocky cliffs that stand between this beach and Praia do Norte. Completely isolated from the houses of the town of Ericeira, it reminds one of a lighthouse, which doesn’t light, but prays and watches. The simplicity of the whitewashed exterior contrasts with the exuberance of the colorful tiles that line almost completely the interior. From this cliff, where the chapel stands, there is a breathtaking view: to the north the Praia do Norte, to the south the Praia de São Sebastião and out of sight the blue of the ocean.
RIBEIRA DE ILHAS BEACH
Ribeira das Ilhas beach is located in the extreme north of Ericeira, about 3,5Km from the center. This beach is distinguished at European level as one of the best beaches for surfing or bodyboarding. Many national and international surf competitions pass through here. Among these, since 1985, is included the world championship circuit. In front of the beach there is a restaurant-bar with an esplanade. The parking lot is large and free of charge. The beach is watched and has the blue flag and is awarded as Healthy Beach and Golden Beach.
SÃO LOURENÇO BEACH
Praia de S. Lourenço Beach is about 7 km north of the center of Ericeira. Through the sands of the beach, runs the Safujo river, which flows into the sea. It is a large beach, very beautiful and very sought after. The waves of S. Lourenço are part of the World Surfing Reserve of Ericeira. It is a supervised beach, with good infrastructures and, among several awards, it is distinguished as the Zero Pollution Beach.
Praia da Calada Beach is a little north of Praia de S. Lourenço, about 10Km from the center of Ericeira. It is a beach with a large sandy area, framed by cliffs that, besides giving it great charm, also protect it. If you walk along the cliffs, you may find rabbits, owls, partridges and even snakes, but don’t worry they are harmless. In summer it is a very busy beach, but outside the bathing season it is practically deserted. The sea can be very rough or calm. The waves at Calada Beach are a magnet for surfers and bodyboarders. It is a watched beach with soccer and volleyball courts, a support bar, a first-aid post and other bathing infrastructures.
INTERPRETATION CENTER OF THE ERICEIRA WORLD SURFING RESERVE
The Interpretation Center does not only present Ericeira to us. Through new technologies, we are taken to explore, discover and experience the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve. Here the region is pierced in its geography, history and its evolution, being the surf crucial in this last point. Since 2011 Ericeira is a World Surfing Reserve, thanks to its environmental quality and its 7 waves of excellence – Pedra Branca, Reef, Ribeira D’Ilhas, Cave, Crazy Left, Coxos and São Lourenço. If you want to know a little more about the 7 waves of Ericeira Reserve and the Interpretation Center, see here. The Interpretation Center is at the Tourist Office, located at Praça da República. It is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm.
CASA DA CULTURA JAIME LOBO E SILVA, Former Ericeira Casino
Casa da Cultura is a landmark in the history of Ericeira. It is a cultural center with a gallery for exhibitions, an auditorium and a library. In 1919 this space was converted from a Recreational Club in the Great Casino of Ericeira, in 1927 it is transformed into a movie-casino. At this time it also functioned as a local radio station. The space closed in the 1970s, but in 1995 reopens as Casa da Cultura Jaime Lobo e Silva, and the name pays tribute to the musician and local historian Jaime Lobo e Silva.
SÃO PEDRO CHURCH
In a land of fishermen there had to be a São Pedro Church! This beautiful church, which today belongs to the urban network of Ericeira, was in the 16th century just a chapel outside the village. It was converted into a church between the 17th and 18th centuries. As you might expect, St. Peter stands out in the interior of the church. There are colorful tile panels and canvases depicting the life of St. Peter, and on the ceiling is painted the Denial of Peter. The side altars are dedicated to Our Lady of Calvary and the Rosary. It is preferable to visit the church outside liturgical celebrations, so pay attention to the mass schedules: Monday through Saturday – 7pm; Sunday – 9am, noon, and 7pm.
CHURCH OF MERCY, ERICEIRA
The Misericórdia Church is a beautiful Baroque temple from the XVIII century. It is part of the Archive-Museum of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, which occupies the space adjacent to the church and which once belonged to the Brotherhood of Nossa Senhora do Rosário. The Archive-Museum is possibly the most important museological space in Ericeira. Here you will find a precious collection, which includes nine paintings of the Passion of Christ, dating from the 18th century. In the old days, these images would go out in procession on Holy Week Thursday.
The Misericórdia Church arose from the transformation of the Holy Spirit Chapel, which was donated in the 17th century to Francisco Lopes Franco, procurator of the counts of Ericeira, who completed the project with the help of fishermen. It is possible to visit the church during a visit to the Archive-Museum, or for free during the recitation of the rosary from May to October, or during the mass on the first Monday of each month at 3pm.
SANTA MARTA CHURCH
Santa Marta Church, also known as Nossa Senhora das Necessidades Church, dates back to the 18th century. It is a beautiful church whitewashed and edged in blue, as is typical of the houses in the region. It is located in the Santa Marta Park.
VIRTUAL TOUR TO ERICEIRA
WHAT TO VISIT NEAR ERICEIRA?
Ericeira is a perfect place to spend a weekend. Despite being a small town it has several places of interest. 2 days will be enough to calmly see this coastal town. In case you have some time left, know that nearby you can also see the Convent of Mafra and Sintra. Here is a map to gauge distances and plan your tours!
29 minutes and 23 kilometers are the distance from Ericeira to Sintra, Portugal’s magical village and a must-visit place in Portugal. Palaces, castles, parks, woods, monuments and a sweetshop to eat and cry for more. If you accept our suggestion be sure to see the Quinta da Regaleira, the Pena National Palace, the Moorish Castle and the Quinta da Regaleira.
Between Ericeira and the Convent of Mafra it is 9,5 kilometers away and a distance that can be covered in 11 minutes (by car). It was initially conceived as a small convent. It ended up as a gigantic complex with a Basilica, a convent and a Royal Palace. A place where art, architecture, painting, sculpture and music meet and where everything is of excellence!
HOTELS IN ERICEIRA
There are many options for accommodation in Ericeira. Options for all tastes and for all pockets. Throughout the different articles on our website, surely you have noticed that we usually recommend hotels that offer a good relation between quality and price. This time, our suggestion is beyond price. Our recommendation is the Hotel Vila Galé in Ericeira, a mythical hotel unit that is one of the great attractions of the town.
VILA GALÉ HOTEL IN ERICEIRA
A charming 4-star hotel with an absolutely incredible panoramic sea view! It has three pools and a great outdoor space where you can spend long mornings and afternoons of pure pleasure and relaxation. When you make your reservation, don’t forget to ask for a room with a sea view! The staff is very friendly and the cleanliness of the hotel is impeccable.
GASTRONOMY IN ERICEIRA
Ericeira’s attractions are not limited to the beaches and the surf. The fish and seafood take many people to the village and no one leaves disappointed. In the months of May and June several gastronomic festivals usually take place. Sea urchin, ray and octopus festivals are recurring events in the village of Ericeira. With or without festival, the truth is that if you go there you have many options to choose from.
RESTAURANTS IN ERICEIRA
Here are two suggestions. The first, is an expensive suggestion (50€ to 60€ per person). It is one of those restaurants that I go once a year but always leave with a full soul, is called Furnas restaurant. The second suggestion is a restaurant of only 1 dollar ($), with a good price-quality ratio and with a great rating on Google.
TASQUINHA DO JOY
More than 1000 comments on google and an overall rating of 4.3 stars (out of 5). The compliments of the customers insist on the quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff, the sea view and the excellent relationship between price and quality.
Like the restaurant mentioned above, Furnas has over 1000 customer reviews (on google) and an overall rating of 4.3 stars. The location of the restaurant is superb, offering incredible panoramic ocean views. The atmosphere is sophisticated and can even be a little intimidating for those who are not comfortable in these types of restaurants. I have been there maybe 4 or 5 times in my entire life. I ate fish and seafood. All I can say is that every meal was divine. The fish is very fresh and very well prepared. The only problem comes at the end of the meal, when the bill arrives at the table… Be prepared for 50 or 60€ per person.
BRIEF HISTORY OF ERICEIRA
Ericeira is a land of sea and fishermen. It developed from its port, which was once very important. From this port, the Portuguese royal family left for exile in Brazil in the 19th century. It is said that the name Ericeira came from the word urchin, whether they are sea urchins or hedgehogs is an open discussion.