Your Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Ericeira Vacation in Portugal

There’s nothing like having your bags packed, boarding passes printed and passports ready for the journey ahead! It makes everything come into perspective, and it reminded me of how hungry my inquisitive mind, body, and soul were for new encounters.

When summer days are numbered in Ireland and most of Europe, there are plenty of places where the weather is pleasantly warm and where temperatures are still in the mid-twenties. A few years ago, at the end of autumn, we had yet another chance to roam around Portugal, with the opportunity to completely surrender to the grandeur of coastal views.

It’s no secret that Portugal feels like home to us. This is a place where every sight is unique and where every meal fills our souls. While travelling around Portugal, we learned to let go of our hopes and expectations: after all, the best things usually are the unplanned ones.

After we spent a week in Ericeira village a few years ago, we vowed we would definitely return. And we did. We just couldn’t resist the temptation to come back again.

Those who follow our blog, know very well that Ericeira is our favourite little Portuguese town, that it’s a place where we can easily spend a few weeks without getting bored.

Family adventures are all about having fun and creating beautiful memories.

Our week in Ericeira fishing village was loaded with all things Portuguese, we surfed a lot, explored beautifully cobbled streets in search of traditional pastries and beautiful ocean views, engaged with locals, and wandered around nearby towns and villages.

After recently returning from an incredible trip to Ericeira where we spent 10 days exploring every little cranny and visiting every little possible attraction, we wanted to share a few tips so you can plan your own adventure.

If you are looking for a different seaside vacation in Portugal, then look no further than Ericeira. In this blog post, you’ll find where to eat and what to do as well as a few accommodation recommendations.

There’s nothing better than enjoying the sunshine and pretty coastal views in Ericeira town.

Highlights of visiting Ericeira town

– The remarkable  coastal views and beautiful sandy beaches

– Fantastic surf schools for those looking to master the board

– Fantastic seafood and grilled fish &  Startling sunsets and sunrises

– The traditional town centre with whitewashed houses and a great vibe

– Friendly locals & World-class surf in Europe’s Only Surf Reserve

Ericeira, Portugal.

How to get to and around Ericeira

By car | Ericeira is situated around 50 kilometres northwest of Lisbon and travelling by car along the A8 and then west on the A21 is a very convenient way to reach it. The motorways are empty and well-marked, and it’s impossible to get lost(keep in mind express roads are tolled).

By bus | Another way to travel to Ericeira is by bus from Lisbon Campo Grande station. Public transport in Portugal is very efficient and inexpensive. Single adult ticket costs 7EUR and buses run every 90 minutes.

Parking |  Streets in Old Town are very narrow, with most of them going one way and it’s challenging to find parking there.  If you arrive in Ericeira by car, there is loads of free parking near the São Sebastião shopping centre. By the Municipal Market, you can find a parking lot with metres.

Getting around | Ericeira is pretty much straightforward. Once you arrive in town, you’ll find that it’s a very walkable place.

Read More: Portugal Travel Guide: Discovering the Best of Nazare in a Day

Tasty Portuguese sweet treats go a long way.

When to visit Ericeira

By now we have visited Ericeira at different times of the year, except for summer, and each visit had something unique.

Winter | Winter months are mild but unpredictable, and temperatures start to rise gradually around April.

Spring | We personally think springtime and autumn are excellent for visiting Portugal, think May and September because beautiful colours that blossom into existence will warm your heart and you’ll adore autumn as the early morning light paints spectacular scenery.

In addition to natural marvels, hotel rates in spring are reasonable, the sun is already shining, and crowds haven’t arrived yet.

Summer | If you desire to swim in the ocean and work on your tan then, of course, summer month is the best time to visit. It can get sweltering and very crowded during July and August. You’ll find this relatively small fishing village bursting with Portuguese and tourist crowds.

*Tip – bring your own sunscreen, they are expensive in Portugal and always pack a light jacket and long trousers, you’ll be beside the ocean exposed to the coastal breeze.

Read More: Portugal Road Trip; the Best Places You Should Visit Right Now

Pretty Ericeira Library is well worth a visit.

Where to stay in Ericeira

Once you know travelling dates, browse through or Airbnb sites and use the filters provided to find the best place to sleep and relax. Mark off boxes that only suit your wishes (budget, star rating, property type, etc.). We usually go for apartments with kitchenettes and never book anything below the 8 + rating.

Because Ericeira attracts surfers and wannabe surfers from all around the world, you can find a great variety of budget accommodation with plenty of great hostels to choose from(some of them with incredible ocean views and breakfast) and surf camps.

In addition to hostels, you’ll find plenty of good hotels and AirB&B places too.

If you fancy something unusual, a few accommodation options in Ericeira stand out. We personally loved and can highly recommend little wooden bungalows, run by Clara,  located in Foz do Lizandro. Visit the Helios website to find out about availability and prices.

Another unique place where you can lay your head at night and meet travellers from other parts of the world is Selina Boavista Ericeira Hostel. You’ll be greeted with beautiful decor, a splash pool with sunbeds and friendly staff. The hostel is centrally located, close to restaurants, shops and the beach. 

Check out Selina Boavista’s web page to book your stay. 

One of the rooms in Selina Boavista Hostel, Ericeira town

Where to go for a meal in Ericeira

In our experience, restaurants in Ericeira offer excellent food. For self-proclaimed foodies, this is a place to go. For the most part, you’ll find seafood and grilled fish. And even though Portugal is a meat-eating country, you’ll find plenty of places that offer vegetarian and vegan food too.

If you walk through Ericeira, you’ll find wine bars, exciting night venues like Hemingway’s Ericeira and Neptuno Bar, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant Tik-Tapas, sea-themed restaurants with traditional Portuguese food like Tasca da Boa Viagem, plenty of brunch spots, coffee shops and bakeries.

We had a chance to enjoy a few tasty meals and warm hospitality while staying in Ericeira. Below is a shortlist of places we can recommend to fellow travellers.

 • Sunset Bamboo Bar | Cosy, relaxed and with a funky interior, this cafe is perfect for vegetarians as they serve açai and smoothie bowls, fresh juices, burritos, salads and smoothies.

 • Tasquinha does Joy | Run by a super friendly and accommodating family Tasquinha do Joy can be found right next to its sister place Cafe Joy. If you are looking for great food with excellent service, then this is a place for you. I only wish we started coming here sooner as the fish was excellent, and the house white wine served in a pretty clay pot was perfect.

• Funky | Yet another place with friendly staff, fantastic decor and a super relaxed atmosphere. They serve a brilliant selection of vegetarian, vegan as well as meat and fish dishes. The quality and variety of food, wine and homemade desserts were very innovative.

Read More: Your Guide to the Best Things to See and Do in Beautiful Cascais, Portugal

There’s something for everyone when it comes to food in Ericeira.

What to do in Ericeira

Thanks to its location, Ericeira is a fascinating spot to visit. The diversity and quality of waves around Ericeira are what makes this place very special for surfers, and that is pretty much the first thing you’ll notice right away once in town, surf shops, surf schools and surf accommodation on every corner.  But there’s a reason why Ericeira draws attention from non-surfers too and attracts sun-seekers.

If you are looking for meaningful experiences to add more value to your Ericeira holiday then you are in for a real treat. You can choose from a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, stand up paddling down the river and skateboarding. You can stretch your muscles while doing morning yoga, indulge in the wine tasting or go sightseeing in nearby Mafra and Peniche.

  • Beaches | Undeniably, beaches are one of the main reasons why people travel to Ericeira and going to the beach is the most obvious thing to do. Regarding the general quality and variety of places, Ericeira is second to none.  Ribeira Beach and St. Sebastian Beach are our firm favourites but make sure you also visit North Beach,  São Julião or Praia Azul.
  • Photography | For photographers, location scouting around Ericeira is pure joy. The coastal views in Ericeira village are spectacular from every angle and perspective. To say that we have developed a little bit of obsession with sunsets in this place wouldn’t be far from the truth. Watching the last glimmer of sun rays bouncing in the colourful sky is our preferred way to end a day.
Beautiful Portuguese coastal views never fail to disappoint.
  • Relaxing | Enhance your senses with the fresh ocean air and watch the world become alive with the early morning glow. Just stop for a moment whatever you are doing, take a deep breath and connect. It’s that simple. To make the most of your time in Ericeira,  avoid typical stress triggers. You can do this by taking a break from social media and by managing your expectation. Also, make sure you don’t over-plan and over-organise every single hour, give yourself a break and just let the stuff happen.
  • Surfing | In addition to a full-body workout, surfing brings you closer to nature like no other sport. From surf schools and surf lessons to surf hostels and equipment rental, Ericeira is a real paradise for those who a keen on giving it a try. Even though surfing is one of the most challenging sports it is also fun. Book a surf lesson to learn the basic techniques, and surf ethics and make new friends along the way. Your whole body will be aching the next day, but you’ll go back home with good stories to tell.
Surf’s up at Ribeira d’Ilhas beach.

Great day trips from Ericeira

If you have time to explore outside of Ericeira town, you’ll be surprised to find many traditional towns and villages worth visiting. Depending on your length of stay, you can travel as far as Porto, known for its port wines and stately bridges or check out the traditional fishing village Nazaré or visit Peniche to ride Supertubos.

 • Mafra | This little Portuguese town is home to one of Europe’s most extravagant palaces – Palacio de Mafra. The highlights of the castle include a 90-meter long library with over 36,00 books, a beautiful basilica and many rooms, all of which are open for visitors. Mafra is situated 10 kilometres from Ericeira, and you can extend your stay to enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants or cafes in a little town.

There is a direct bus service connecting Ericeira Terminal to Mafra Convento with bus tickets costing only a few euros. 

 • Óbidos | Yet another excellent place for a day trip is Óbidos where you can wander around its main street -the Rua Direita –  and visit the medieval castle, taste cherry liqueur and see one of many churches including The Igreja de Santa Maria church. Obidos’ most famous resident – a female painter born in Spain – Josefa de Obidos, and in this town, you can walk around its surrounding walls.

• Azenhas do Mar | The little village perched high on the cliff face with its whitewashed houses has to be seen in person. If you decide to visit Azenhas do Mar, be ready to embrace narrow staircases and cobbled streets that will bring you to stunning viewpoints offering vast ocean vistas. Also, look out for a row of millstones casually leaning against the wall: back in the day, the local community had a couple of sea-powered water mills make sure you look up Villa Maria, one of the most beautiful buildings in the village.

 • Sintra | You might need a couple of days to see everything Sintra has to offer – churches, palaces, gardens, romantic fountains, cute shops and pictures streets all perfect if you are into photography as much as exploring a bohemian village surrounded by lush forests.

Walled Obidos town, Portugal.

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Now, over to you!

Have you been to Ericeira? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Ericeira and have travel-related questions!

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59 thoughts on “Your Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Ericeira Vacation in Portugal

  1. It wasn’t on our ‘to do’ list when we traveled north recently, Aiva, but I’m sure we’ll pop to Ericeira at some point in the future. This is a lovely guide. We have friends recently moved to Obidos and we’ll be back in the area to see them. Have a lovely week!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope you get to visit Ericeira one day, Jo, it i’s a lovely fishing village right on the edge of the ocean. I have to admit- Ericeira isn’t loaded with lots of tourist attractions and must-see sites, therefore it is much quieter if compared to Obidos, Sintra or even Nazare. If you are nearby, you should stop by Mafra to see the National Palace of Mafra. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


    1. Thanks for your comment, Sheree. Just like any other town along the Portuguese coast, Ericeira gets fully booked up during the summer month when the holidaymakers and surfers descend on its white-site sand beaches. But it gets pretty deserted once the season ends, which is a perfect time to explore it. Aiva

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’ve never been to Ericeira during the peak season, but I have a Portuguese friend who lives there and apparently it can get unbearably busy, especially in August. But I suppose it’s good for local businesses xx

          Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you got to go back for another visit Aiva. Anticipation of a coming vacation can make life more bearable. Once you are on the way, there is an overwhelming sense of relief. The place looks fabulous and we hope some day to visit Portugal. Thanks for sharing and Happy Week. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We used to live in Dublin for 10 years and as much as we loved the city and its energy we were on the lookout for a slower pace of life accompanied by beautiful ocean views. On our first visit to Portugal where we finally escaped the hustle the bustle of the city and travelled to Portugal to explore its West coast, we were utterly infatuated by the charms of its small fishing villages and kind locals; it was unlike anything we have seen before. Ever since then we’ve been returning to Portugal once in a few years. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Marion 🙂 Our introduction to Portugal started with a short trip to Lisbon followed by Cascais and somewhere along the way, we quickly fell under its spell. Even after 5 road trips around Portugal, we have managed to see only a small portion of this amazing country, I would love a chance to travel further inland where lush mountains, meandering rivers and hilltop villages await visitors.
      When it comes to Ericeira town, you would love it as it’s not overly touristy yet there are plenty of accommodation and dining options to suit every budget. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely evening 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Francisco. One of the reasons why we love Portugal is because of endless sunny days, something we are short of on Emerald Isle! And then there’s great food, endless surf and friendly locals. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome. There are so many reasons to love Portugal and if I had to pick my favourite place in this country, it would definitely be Ericeira town. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


  3. Hey Aiva, really enjoyed this guide to a more off-the-beaten-track corner of Portugal. We are considering (along with several other countries) a few months there in the autumn. If we do go, we will look into Eliceira as it seems right up our street. A great guide!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Leighton 🙂 Ericeira is located 40 km northwest of the bustling capital city Lisbon and is easily accessible by public transport. The hospitality of its people, the harmony of the old village with its narrow cobblestone streets, the local culture, the sea, the fishing, the cuisine, the bold Atlantic views and the surf make this town a great place to visit and even stay for longer. It is also a fantastic budget destination if compared to Portuguese bigger cities. I like your plan of spending a few months in Europe in autumn, I can’t wait to see where you guys end up going! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to hear that you loved Portugal, Bernie 🙂 Due to its numerous natural attractions, very reasonable car rental prices, amazing weather, and most importantly its great roads, Portugal is one of the best places to explore by car in Europe. All you need to bring is a picnic basket, shades, bathing suit, surfboard and towel! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We explored it by bike for 7 days. So amazing. The weather is wonderful and I have thought about doing the south east coast in the fall/winter.


  4. I’ve heard of Ericeira through a couple of other travel posts, and it’s a shame that I never got around to it while in Portugal several years ago…given its proximity to Lisbon, it would’ve made for a perfect day trip! Traveling during the dreary months to sunny places like Portugal is an instant cure from seasonal depression, and I’ve definitely felt the same way while braving the colder parts of the year! Thanks for sharing, Aiva. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Rebecca 🙂 Ericeira with its picturesque village and beautiful coastline is a perfect holiday destination for all sorts of travellers. One of the reasons why I love Ericeira is because it is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Right in the centre, you have Praia dos Pescadores, just south of town Praia do Sul and just north of town Praia do Norte. You would love to explore it as the village offers many local handicrafts, and plenty of great restaurants and cosy cafes to enjoy the local fresh seafood and typical Portuguese delicacies such as the pastel de nata. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope you get to visit as Portugal is the most affordable place I have experienced in Western Europe and noticeably cheaper than Spain next door. Even after multiple visits to Portugal I still cannot get over the fact you can buy a 750ml bottle of (excellent) rosé from local supermarkets for under $2.50 a bottle.

      You couldn’t even get a glass of wine for that price in the U.S. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Linda 🙂 For me, the destinations that draw me back are the ones where I feel a connection with the place or the culture, a need to explore more and dive beneath the surface. And Ericeira is one such place. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. I hope all is well 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! There are so many beautiful places to visit! This is really gorgeous! I would love to wake up in that hotel room with that view 🥰 And those Portuguese tarts 😋😋 I see why you can visit it multiple times and never have enough of it 😉☺️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think Ericeira became a repeat destination because we managed to develop an emotional attachment to this particular place through amazing experiences we’ve had there with family and friends. As the bond grows deeper, I simply can’t imagine not coming back. And it really is a spectacular place tucket an hour’s drive away from the busy Lisbon streets. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. As a travel enthusiast, I want to visit as many different parts of the world as I can. But some destinations, though, are just so special I want to return again and again and Ericeira is one of those places. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll be back in Portugal soon, but to revisit the big cities this time. I remember a road trip along the Portuguese coast, there are indeed small white villages full of charm and carefully maintained by the inhabitants. I don’t think I stopped in Ericeira but it’s typical of what I saw.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am excited to hear you are planning on going back to Portugal soon. I’ve travelled from Porto to Tavira along the coast where spectacular scenery was looming around every coastal cove and cranny and couldn’t be happier to see its many eye-catching villages. One of the reasons why I love Portugal so much is that most of the popular cities and towns in Portugal are situated on the coast. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. I hope all is well 🙂 Aiva

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Known for its picturesque coastline, Portugal is home to an array of charming coastal towns where you can stroll the shoreline, surf for hours, dine on succulent seafood and explore historic landmarks. And Ericeira is one such place. Thanks for stopping by, Glenys, and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing post! I am going to Portugal in September this year so I’m definitely keeping this post at hand in case we happen to pass by Ericeira! It seems like the perfect place for every type of vacation! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How exciting, Juliette. September is the perfect month to explore Portugal, its beautiful beaches and small fishing villages and towns. While Ericeira doesn’t have any major tourist attractions, there are plenty of typical Portuguese streets, food, history, culture and of course, some of the best beaches in the area. It’s an ideal place for families, surfers and those looking for some peace and quiet. I look forward to reading about your adventures in Portugal. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 Portugal is easily one of the most rewarding travel destinations in Europe, with cosmopolitan cities, quaint villages, wine country, pristine forests – and not to forget, 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) of picturesque coastline ranging from dramatic cliffs, coves and caves to placid, sandy beaches. I hope you get to explore it one day. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you kindly 🙂 From the historic cities of Lisbon and Porto to the tiny cobbled villages of the north, the vast wine region to the wild Atlantic coast, there is certainly no shortage of beautiful places in Portugal to capture travellers’ imaginations and Ericeira village is no exception. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Ericeira village is bursting with Fun and relaxing things to do. The Coastal Nature, just amazing and scenic. Architecture, Food and Culture, just wonderful. The perfect read for me. I was mentioning to my wife Portugal is no. Recounted country to live for retirees. She replied, “Why not.” Crossing fingers that one day may come true. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you kindly. It’s amazing how popular Portugal has become in recent years. But then again, from the rocky and towery mountains in the north to the spectacular beaches in the south, Portugal is enriched with the places that usually don’t turn up on the maps but are there as a hidden secret for all the tourists to have a visit and explore the delightful beauty of nature. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ericeira looks idyllic – no wonder you have happy memories of Portugal. Loved the blue tiles and the photo of Ericeira and her Daddy. We have happy memories of a trip to Lisbon – the food was amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you kindly, Kerry. One of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal boasts a complex history alongside dramatic landscapes, stunning beaches, fascinating museums, and exquisite cuisine. Over the years, we’ve explored many of its towns and villages and Ericeira was the one we fell in love with right away. After a few visits, we even made friends with a few locals which now makes going back to Ericeira even more special as we have someone to visit.

      Whether you’re looking for whitewashed buildings on the coast, terracotta roofs in the green rolling hills or getting lost in winding cobbled streets spotting huge wisteria plants at each turn, there’s something for every taste and style. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to hear you loved visiting Portugal. Portugal’s exquisite coastline, reliable weather and fine seaside resorts make it one of Europe’s best destinations for a beach break. Not to mention it’s one of Europe’s best-surfing destinations with a wave for every ability. I wish I could go right back there, too. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My wife and I want to follow up our last vacation to Lisbon with a costal venture up to Porto. Ericeira could work out well for us along the way. Thanks for the tour

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The drive from Lisbon to Porto, especially if you follow the coastal route, is one of the most scenic ones in Portugal with many wonderful traditional villages and must-see sights along the way. You can stop and stretch your legs in Ericeira, visit Cabo da Roca which is the westernmost point of mainland Europe or fell in love with cobbled streets and white houses with pops of colour in Obidos. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


  11. I keep getting vlogs recommended to me about moving to Portugal. It looks so beautiful there. Some of the stone buildings and farms that are listed for sale remind me of my husband’s Nonna’s home in Italy. I love the rustic farms with fruit trees and vineyards they come with. Looks like a great place to vacation.


  12. It looks lovely, and perhaps less of a tourist destination. I missed this gem when traveling in Portugal years ago, although I did get to some of the day trips you mentioned. Would love to go back and spend time there.


  13. We have such fond memories of Portugal – our walking journey on the Camino in 2018 started from Lisbon (and 620km later, via Porto, we ended in Santiago de Compostela in Spain) … a truly wonderful way of experiencing this beautiful country! And great to see the delicious Pastel de Nata in one of your photo’s – yumminess in overload! Thanks for introducing Ericeira to me – I would not mind visiting this lovely place!


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