Surfing in Ericeria: Complete Travel Guide (2024)

written by local expert Tom Rogers

Tom is the co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years, living in 5 different continents. His advice on travel gear, adventure travel, and business have been featured in Foundr, Business Insider, CNN and more.

Looking for information about surfing in Ericeria? You’re in the right place.

Tucked away along Portugal’s stunning Atlantic coastline, just a short 35-kilometer drive northwest from Lisbon, you’ll find the charming fishing village of Ericeira. 

This little slice of heaven stole our hearts when we visited Portugal and now we’re just itching to return to ride some waves. 

With years of surfing experience under our belts from catching breaks in Bali, Spain, and Mexico, we knew we’d found something special here. 

This surfer’s paradise has become increasingly popular for its consistent waves, breathtaking scenery, and friendly atmosphere – trust us, it’s worth the trip!

In this guide to surfing in Ericeira, I will share some information on the best time to go, the best surf spots, surf camps, and more. 

Ericeira World Surfing Reserve

Ericeira’s distinction as a World Surfing Reserve is no small feat. 

It is, in fact, the second reserve to receive such an honor, and the first in Europe, putting it in an elite group of global surf destinations. 

Designated by the non-profit organization Save the Waves Coalition in October 2011, Ericeira became the second World Surfing Reserve, solidifying its position as a top surf destination that is frequented by avid surf enthusiasts.

The World Surfing Reserve status is granted to coastal areas that not only boast exceptional wave quality and consistency but also exhibit a rich surf culture, history, and commitment to preserving the environment.

Currently, there are 11 World Surf Reserves in: California, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica and Australia. 

sao juliao beach
The most popular beach in Ericeira

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Best Time to Surf in Ericeira

The best time to surf in Ericeira largely depends on your skill level and the kind of waves you’re looking for.

Generally, the prime surfing season in Ericeira stretches from September to April, when the Atlantic Ocean delivers powerful swells, making for exciting and challenging surfing conditions.

For beginners and intermediate surfers, the summer months (June to August) offer smaller, more manageable waves, warmer water, and a more forgiving learning environment. While the swells tend to be less consistent during this time, you can still find enjoyable surf sessions at the various beaches around Ericeira.

For advanced surfers, the winter months (December to February) present the most exhilarating conditions, with bigger swells and less crowded lineups. However, be prepared for colder water temperatures and occasionally harsh weather.

As mentioned, during our last visit to Ericeira, it was the middle of winter and coming from the Philippines, I wasn’t too keen on facing the cold waters. If you’re not too keen on surfing, there are plenty of other things to do in Ericeira to keep you entertained.

In summary, while you can surf in Ericeira throughout the year, the best time for you will depend on your skill level, wave preferences, and tolerance for colder water. 

Ericeira during the Summer months

How to Get to Ericeira

Reaching the picturesque surf haven of Ericeira is relatively easy, with several convenient options available to suit your preferences and budget. Here’s some quick info on how to get there:

By Air: The nearest airport to Ericeira is Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS), which is well-connected to numerous international destinations. Once you’ve landed in Lisbon, you have a few options to complete the journey to Ericeira.

By Car: Renting a car at Lisbon Airport is a popular choice, as it offers the flexibility to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace. The drive to Ericeira takes approximately 45 minutes via the A8 and A21 motorways. 

Keep in mind that there may be tolls along the way, so have some change handy or consider using a toll transponder.

I recommend checking out Discover Cars as they help you compare the rates between multiple companies in one glance.

By Public Transport: For a more budget-friendly option, you can also take public transport. From Lisbon Airport, head to Campo Grande bus station by either taxi, metro, or bus. Once there, look for Mafrense buses that run directly to Ericeira. 

The bus journey takes around 90-100 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at the bus station. Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance, as the frequency of service may vary depending on the time of year.

By Private Transfer: If you’re seeking a more comfortable and hassle-free option, consider booking a private transfer from Lisbon Airport directly to your accommodation in Ericeira. If you’ve booked a surf camp in Ericeira, definitely inquire about this as it is the most convenient way.

Note: Although Ericeira is a walkable town, if you want to go to a few remote surf spots, it’s best to have your own wheels! Check out Discover Cars to compare prices.

The Guardian is a famous statue in Ericeira located right by Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach.

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Surf Spots Ericeira

Ericeira’s World Surfing Reserve offers a diverse range of surf spots for surfers of all levels. From mellow beach breaks to adrenaline-pumping reef breaks, here’s a roundup of the best surf spots in Ericeira that you won’t want to miss:

Beginner Surf Spots in Ericeira

1. Foz do Lizandro

With its gentle, rolling waves and soft sandy bottom, Foz do Lizandro is the perfect destination for beginner and intermediate surfers to improve their skills in a more forgiving environment. The beach offers both left and right-hand waves, providing ample opportunities to practice and refine your technique.

The expansive stretch of golden sand at Foz do Lizandro is ideal for families, sunbathers, and those looking for a more laid-back beach experience.

foz do lizandro beach
Foz do Lizandro is a perfect surf spot in Ericeira for beginners

2. São Julião

A long, sandy beach break, São Julião is suitable for all levels of surfers. Offering both left and right-hand waves, it’s a great spot to escape the crowds and enjoy a laid-back surf session.

Located just a few kilometers south of Ericeira, it’s easily accessible by car or even by bicycle if you’re up for a scenic ride. Its expansive shoreline ensures there’s plenty of room for everyone, making it an ideal spot to escape the crowds often found at more popular breaks.

The beach is divided into two main sections, Praia do Sul and Praia do Norte, both of which cater to different surfing preferences.

Praia do Sul, the southern part, tends to have smaller waves, making it perfect for beginners and those looking to improve their skills in a more forgiving environment. 

The northern part, Praia do Norte, generally offers larger, more powerful waves that will challenge intermediate and advanced surfers.

3. Ribeira d’Ilhas

Ribeira d’Ilhas is an iconic surf spot that has earned its place on the global surfing map. As a right-hand point break, it offers consistent waves throughout the year, making it a haven for intermediate to advanced surfers. 

The northern edge of the main break offers more beginner friendly waves.

The wave starts with a steep take-off and peels down the point, creating long rides that can reach up to 200 meters on a good day.

Ribeira d’Ilhas has gained fame not only for its excellent surfing conditions but also for hosting prestigious international surf competitions, such as the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

The beach’s reliable waves, combined with its stunning natural surroundings, make it a popular destination for surfers and spectators alike.

winter sunny day in ribeira d'Ilhas
Ribeira d’Ilhas offers long breaks for beginner to intermediate surfers

Surf Spots in Ericeira for Advanced Surfers

4. Crazy Left

Living up to its name, Crazy Left is a fast, hollow left-hand reef break that demands skill, courage, and a sense of adventure from those who dare to surf its waves.

 Located within Ericeira’s World Surfing Reserve, Crazy Left is a spot reserved for experienced surfers who are up for a heart-pounding, adrenaline-fueled challenge.

When the conditions are right, Crazy Left offers intense, steep waves that break over a shallow reef, providing a thrilling ride that can rival some of the world’s most notorious surf breaks. 

Navigating the waves requires expert control and a deep understanding of the break’s intricacies which is why we recommend going with a reputable surf guide if it’s your first time.

5. Coxos 

Coxos is a world-class surf spot revered by experienced surfers for its powerful, fast waves and challenging conditions. Renowned as one of the best right-hand reef breaks in Europe, Coxos demands respect, skill, and courage from those who dare to ride its waves. 

The break offers long, steep walls that can produce exhilarating barrels when the swell direction and tide align just right.

Coxos’ reputation for heavy, intense waves attracts advanced surfers seeking a thrilling ride-It’s definitely not a spot for the inexperienced or faint-hearted.

The shallow reef beneath the waves, combined with its strong currents, requires surfers to possess a high level of expertise to navigate the break safely and successfully.

Coxos Beach in Portugal
Coxos has a shallow reef which is why it is only advisable for intermediate to advanced surfers

6. Cave

Often regarded as Ericeira’s heaviest wave, Cave is a formidable spot reserved for expert surfers. Famous for its splitting tubes, it has earned comparisons to Australia’s notorious Shark Island. 

Surfers start in deep water before riding over a shallow reef, demanding precision and skill. For those who dare to tackle Cave, it promises an adrenaline-fueled, heart-pounding ride that is not for the faint-hearted.

7. Pedra Branca

Pedra Branca is a challenging left-hand reef break that entices intermediate to advanced surfers with its fast, powerful waves. Breaking over a shallow reef, Pedra Branca’s waves demand precision and skill, rewarding those who master its nuances with an exhilarating ride.

When the swell direction and tide conditions come together, Pedra Branca can produce steep, hollow waves that are perfect for more experienced surfers looking to push their limits. The spot is particularly popular during mid to high tide!

pedra branca beach in Ericeira Portugal

Surf Camps in Ericeira

Surf camps offer the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the local surf culture and hone your wave-riding skills. 

Catering to a wide range of skill levels, from complete beginners to seasoned surfers, these camps provide tailored surf lessons, equipment rental, and invaluable local knowledge to help you make the most of your time in the water. 

While there are tons of surfing camps in Portugal, Ericeira has some of the most popular ones in the country.

With a strong emphasis on safety, personalized coaching, and camaraderie, Ericeira’s surf camps are the ultimate way to connect with like-minded surf enthusiasts, make new friends, and experience the thrill of riding the world-class waves this charming Portuguese surf haven has to offer.

Here’s a quick summary of our recommendations on surf camps in Ericeira or see some of our top recommendations below.

Surf CampLocationLengthBook
Surf Camp with OmassimEriceira, Portugal8 DaysView Prices
Intensive Surf CoachingEriceira, Lisboa, Portugal7 DaysView Prices
White Waves Surf CampEriceira, Portugal8 DaysView Prices
All-Women’s Surf and Yoga HolidayEriceira, Portugal8 DaysView Prices
Amazing Surfing and Yoga HolidayEriceira, Portugal6 DaysView Prices

1. 8 Day Surf, Sleep and Eat in Ericeira, Portugal

  • Length: 8 Days
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

With surf lessons led by certified instructors from Ericeira Surf School, this surf camp is a great option for those wanting to level up their surfing skills. 

It offers cozy accommodations at Omassim Guesthouse, daily breakfast, and a laid-back vibe that is only 15 min walking distance from the nearest beach – Ribeira D’Ilhas. They also offer yoga classes, SUP rentals, and more.

2. 7 Day Intensive Surf Coaching for All Levels

  • Length: 7 Days
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

If you’re looking for a surf camp in Ericeira to help you improve your surfing skills, check out this intensive surf camp from Hostel & Surfcamp 55. It offers two surfing sessions a day plus a theory class to make sure you nail the basics.

The hostel itself offers a super chill vibe where you can meet people and socialize! They also offer a shorter 4 day surf camp which is great!

surfing lesson

3. 8-Day Premium White Waves Surf Camp in Ericeira, Portugal

  • Length: 8 Days
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

This 8-day surf camp provides a well-rounded and opulent experience, including surf lessons, airport transfers, daily breakfast, a BBQ night, and cozy lodging. 

It’s the ideal choice for those who want to fully immerse themselves in a worry-free surf vacation.

4. 8 Day All-Women’s Surf and Yoga Holiday in Portugal

  • Length: 8 Days
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

This 8-day women-only surf and yoga retreat is the perfect opportunity to bond with fellow enthusiasts in a nurturing and empowering setting.

Featuring unlimited yoga classes, top-notch surfboard rentals, meditation sessions, and plenty of leisure time to explore Portugal, this surf camp delivers a truly unique experience.

Group of surfer at the beach of Ribeira d'Ilhas

Check out this link if you want to read our guide to the best Ericeira surf camps.

Surfing Lessons in Ericeira

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an intermediate surfer looking to refine your skills, Ericeira offers an array of surf schools and lessons that cater to your specific needs. 

With experienced instructors, top-notch equipment, and a range of lesson options, you can expect a fun, safe, and educational experience as you learn to ride Ericeira’s world-class waves.

On average, group surf lessons in Ericeira cost around €25 to €45 per person for a two-hour session. 

This price typically includes equipment rental, such as surfboards and wetsuits, as well as expert instruction from certified surf coaches. 

For a more personalized learning experience, private lessons are available at a higher cost, generally ranging from €50 to €80 per session.

During a surf lesson, you can expect to cover essential surfing techniques, safety measures, and ocean awareness.

For beginners, instructors will guide you through the basics of paddling, catching waves, and standing up on the board. As you progress, you’ll learn more advanced maneuvers, wave reading, and etiquette in the lineup.

Many surf schools in Ericeira also offer surf packages, which may include accommodation, daily surf lessons, equipment rental, and even extras like yoga sessions or sightseeing tours.

These packages are designed to provide a comprehensive surf experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the local surf culture.

If you want a list of Surf Schools in Ericeira, you can check out the following. As with everything, we recommend you take the time to visit these schools or read reviews to make sure you’re in good hands:

  • Surfers Surf School Ericeira
  • Surf Lessons Ericeira
  • Ericeira Waves Surf School 
  • Activity Surf Center
  • West Coast Surf School Ericeira
Coxos beach one of the world surf reserve in Ericeira Portugal

Surfboard Rental in Ericeira

For those who prefer to explore Ericeira’s surf breaks at their own pace or simply want to try out different boards, there are a plethora of surfboard rental shops in Ericeira. Please note that not all surf schools rent out gear as a lot of them will only rent to their students.

Most surf rental shops in Ericeira are conveniently located near popular surf breaks, making it easy for you to grab your gear and head straight to the waves. 

If you’re looking to rent out complete surf gear, expect to pay around 25-30 Euros for a half-day rental, or 30-50 Euros for a full-day rental. This usually includes leashes and wetsuits.

Discounts are usually available for multi-day rentals, so if you’re planning an extended surf trip, it’s worth considering a longer rental period to save some money.

Normally, you will be asked to show / leave an ID to rent gear so don’t be surprised when the rental place asks for this. Gear, especially surf boards can get damaged so you need to make sure you know what you’re doing when you go out there.

When renting surf equipment in Ericeira, it’s essential to carefully inspect the gear for any damage or wear and to discuss any concerns with the rental staff. 

Here’s a list of a few surfboard rental places in Ericeira:

  • Liquid Earth Adventure
  • West Coast Surf School
  • Extra Surf School
  • BoardCulture Surf Center
  • Surf with Pepe Surf School
A photo that we took of surfers in Ericeira

Where to Stay in Ericeira

When planning your unforgettable trip to the charming surf haven of Ericeira, one of the most important decisions is finding the perfect place to stay. 

This picturesque coastal town offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every taste, budget, and travel style. From cozy guesthouses and bustling hostels to luxurious boutique hotels and all-inclusive surf camps, there’s truly something for everyone. 

Here are some of our recommendations on where to stay.

Luxury Hotels in Ericeira

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay while in Ericeira, check out You and the Sea Hotel. Located just a stone’s throw from Ericeira’s stunning beaches and world-class surf breaks. This lovely hotel boasts a serene atmosphere, modern amenities, and warm hospitality, making it the ideal retreat for couples, families, and friends seeking a memorable getaway in the heart of Portugal’s surf country.

At You and the Sea Hotel, guests can choose from a variety of tastefully decorated rooms and apartments, each thoughtfully designed to provide a peaceful and comfortable stay. 

With options ranging from cozy studios to spacious multi-bedroom apartments, there’s a perfect fit for every traveler’s needs. Many accommodations also feature balconies or terraces, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding coastal landscape.

Other Luxury Hotel Options in Ericeira:

Mid-Range Hotels in Ericeira

Selina Boavista Ericeira is a hostel that caters to digital nomads and travelers. Guests can choose from private rooms and suites to shared dormitories for those who are on a budget. 

Each space is thoughtfully designed with an eye for detail, featuring vibrant colors, local artwork, and a relaxed ambiance that perfectly captures the spirit of Ericeira.

The lively communal areas at Selina Boavista Ericeira are the heart and soul of the property and are a great choice for those looking for something a little more social.

Other Mid-Range Hotels in Ericeira

Budget Hotels in Ericeira

If you’re looking for a budget friendly place to stay in Ericeira, check out Laneez Surf House. Laneez Surf House features a range of tastefully decorated private rooms and shared dormitories. 

It has welcoming common areas, where guests can relax and socialize. Laneez Surf House is a short stroll from Ericeira’s beautiful beaches, top surf breaks, and vibrant town center.

Other Budget Hotels in Ericeira

As a World Surfing Reserve and a truly enchanting coastal town, Ericeira offers an unparalleled surf experience for visitors from around the globe.

With its diverse range of surf breaks catering to all skill levels, vibrant surf culture, and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder that this Portuguese paradise has captured the hearts of surfers and travelers alike.

Whether you’re a seasoned wave rider, a beginner looking to catch your first wave, or simply a beach lover seeking a picturesque getaway, Ericeira’s welcoming atmosphere and world-class surf scene are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Hopefully, this detailed guide has given you tons of tips on surfing in Ericeira. Happy surfing!

Surf Camps

Looking for surfing camps around the world? Check out some of our top articles

FAQ on Surfing in Ericeira

When is the best time to surf in Ericeira?

The best time to surf in Ericeira is during the autumn and winter months, from September to May when the swells are more consistent and the waves are bigger.

Do you need a wetsuit to surf in Ericeira?

Yes, you’ll need a wetsuit to surf in Ericeira, as the water temperatures can be quite chilly, especially during the autumn and winter months. A 3/2mm wetsuit is typically suitable for summer, while a 4/3mm or thicker wetsuit is recommended for colder months.

What are the best surf spots in Ericeira for beginners?

The best surf spots in Ericeira for beginners are Foz do Lizandro and São Julião, as they offer gentle waves and sandy bottoms, providing a more forgiving environment for those learning to surf.

How big are the waves in Ericeira?

The wave size in Ericeira can vary greatly depending on the surf spot and time of the year, ranging from gentle 2-3 foot waves for beginners to powerful 10-15 foot waves at more advanced breaks during peak swell conditions.

Do you need a car to surf in Ericeira?

While having a car can provide greater flexibility to explore various surf spots around Ericeira, it is not absolutely necessary, as many breaks are within walking or biking distance from the town center and public transportation is available.

How far is it from Ericeira to Nazaré?

Ericeira is approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Nazaré, and it takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive between the two locations via the A8 highway.

Is Ericeira good for surfing?

Yes, Ericeira is an excellent destination for surfing, offering world-class waves for all skill levels, a vibrant surf culture, and the prestigious title of a World Surfing Reserve (the only one in Europe)

Want more surfing guides? Check out these posts:

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Surfing in Ericeria | Looking for information about surfing in Ericeria? You’re in the right place. In this guide to surfing in Ericeira, I will share some information on the best time to go, the best surf spots, surf camps, and more.  #ericeira #surfinginericeira #portugal
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