Welcome to my new travel series where local’s share their tips and advice about their hometowns. In this guide, you’ll learn what to see, where to eat and drink, what to buy and all the information needed to make your holidays unforgettable.
On this post, Marlene shares her tips on traveling to Ericeira, Portugal.
You might also be interested in: 30 interesting facts about Portugal.
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A local’s guide: Things to do in Ericeira, Portugal
I’m Marlene, a Portuguese journalist and travel blogger.
I love to cross my taste for traveling with my passion for surfing. So, while looking for the best waves on this planet, I always take the opportunity to know the places and immerse on local culture and traditions.
These are the adventures that can be found in Surfer Girl On The Move, as well as trips in my beautiful country, Portugal, and, of course, on Ericeira, a village that I call my own since 2008. Here I share my travel tips on Ericeira.
Top 5 things to do in Ericeira
- Obviously, do a surf session. You’re in a World Surfing Reserve, so you have to try out these waves. If you never surfed before, there are a lot of surf schools to choose from.
- And talking about the World Surfing Reserve, get to know its 7 waves. The beaches are lovely, so, even if surf is not your thing, you’ll have a wonderful time.
- Go walking in the centre of the village and fill its pulse. Also go to the seafront, near the main hotel, and see the old seafood nurseries. Nowadays they are obsolete, but in ancient times this place was where they breed the lobsters and sea urchins that served all the village restaurants.
- Since you’re wandering the village’s centre, go to the harbour. At summer time this is a very sought place, since theirs no waves here and it’s perfect for kids. It was from this harbour that the last Portuguese king fled in exile to Brazil with the beginning of the Republic period.
- Last but not least, get out of Ericeira and go to Mafra, just a 15-minute drive, to visit Mafra National Palace. This 18th-century palace-monastery is a monumental construction and was a secondary residence for the Portuguese royal family, as it was located near royal hunting preserves.
Two off the beaten path things to do in Ericeira
Go to the Lizandro beach and try some standup paddle on the river that flows there into the sea. Go up the river and across beautiful rural landscapes.
Also, in the lowest tides in June it’s a local tradition do walk the rocks at shore break and catch percebes (local name for barnacles). I’m talking about entire families, from kids to grandpas, which keep the tradition alive and make it a site to see.
Top 3 restaurants to eat in Ericeira
One of mine to-go restaurants in Ericeira is TIK TAK, a medium / high restaurant with great food and a fantastic wine selection.
Also, a few meters up the same street you’ll find PRIM. The restaurant is not so big, but the food and service are great.
And because we’re on a land of fish and seafood, UNISUSHI is the top sushi restaurant in Ericeira. The owner is a surfer and is super careful with the fish that he serves. Expect some out-of-the-box fishes in your sushi.
Top 3 bars to drink in Ericeira
Near TikTak restaurant you’ll find TUBO bar, the place to go to grab a drink. Always fun, but also crowded on the weekends and on summertime. But don’t worry, the street doesn’t allow cars circulation so you have plenty of space to enjoy a good time with you friends.
Also, the ADEGA bar is another fun place to hang out. You can enjoy drinks and cocktails in a very tradition bar with live music on the weekends and almost every day at summertime.
But the most iconic place in Ericeira and where everybody ends up at night is OURIÇO. This is simply one of the most ancient discotheques in the country! I’m talking about a 60-year-old place, right in front of the sea.
The best area to stay in Ericeira
The village is not that big, so if you stay near the centre, you’ll be able to have everything at hand. From restaurants, stores or beaches.
Traditional dishes to try in Ericeira
Ericeira is known for its seafood. So drive to Ribamar (about 5-10 minute drive from the centre) and try it in one of the many seafood restaurants you’ll find near the main road. Also, since this is a seafront village, the fish is very fresh. They’re some good restaurants in the centre.
But if you like cakes and desserts, try the “ouriço”, a local cake made from almond
The best way to get around Ericeira
You can get almost everywhere on foot. But if you want to go to the most distant beaches, you can go by bike or, of course, by car. At summertime, the municipality organises a special open bus that goes from beach to beach, were you can even bring your surfboard.
The best spot to see Ericeira from above
From the top of Ericeira harbour, you can have a great panoramic over the village and even from the Sintra area to far away Peniche.
The best souvenirs to buy from Ericeira
Expect the traditional magnets and t-shirts, but look for the windmills, mostly constructed by local craftsmen’s. This is a symbol of this region.
The best day trips from Ericeira
Ericeira is a 50 km drive from Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, and from Sintra, one of UNESCO’s sites. So is perfect if you want to stay in a very typical village, with beach and surf, and still want to check out the dynamics of Lisbon or visit sites like the Pena Palace or Quinta da Regaleira.
Check here some great day trips from Lisbon.
Tourist traps to avoid in Ericeira
There’s no tourist trap that I know of in Ericeira. This is a little calm village so don’t expect major problems.
Where to Stay in Ericeira, Portugal
There are some great hotels in the Ericeira area. The Casa das Aguarelas is a beautiful guesthouse near the beach. Some of the rooms are equipped with kitchenettes, but if your’s isn’t then there are some great restaurants less than a five minute walk away! The Casa das Agualeras is a short drive away from the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
At the Vinnus Guesthouse, rooms are all designed differently, but they all feature unique artwork and cozy bedding. Some rooms offer a balcony while others are equipped with a kitchenette. Ericeira’s bars and restaurants are just a few minutes’ walk away from this boutique hotel.
The Magic Quiver Surf Lodge is a modern and airy hotel with a common lounge and artsy interiors. While it isn’t a hostel, it does attract a youthful crowd, many of whom are interested in surfing (the hotel has an affiliated, adjacent surf shop). Some rooms offer a balcony or terrace at this funky property.
You might also be interested in Faro, Portugal.
Have you been to Ericeira?
What did you enjoy the most?
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