By: Mikael and Thrillism
10 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
Most travelers heading to Portugal share the same goal, and that is to surf some of the best waves in the world. Portugal is a relatively small country, but even with its small size, you won’t be limited when it comes to waves. This is especially true if you focus your efforts on the lively surf town of Ericeira.
Ericeira, Portugal has rightfully earned the title of the Portuguese surf capital. It offers some of the most consistent surf in all of Europe, and it’s a place where beginners and pros can join in the fun together. Whether you’ve never surfed a day in your life or you’re well-versed in heavy breaks and barrels, Ericeira is the place to be.
The sleepy fishing village vibes pairs well with the lively surfing community, and the best way to experience this is by booking a week or two at an Ericeira surf camp. This complete guide on Ericeira surf will not only help you to choose a top-rated surf operator but also get in touch with all things Ericeira.
Another reason that Ericeira is so popular with the global surfing community is that it’s relatively easy to get to. You’ll first fly into Portugal’s capital Lisbon, then make the short journey north. The most convenient way is to rent a car in Lisbon – driving from there takes about an hour. It’s also possible to take a bus, just book an online ticket through Rome2rio.
If driving a car in a foreign country doesn’t fancy you and bus travel isn’t your thing, the other option is to use a ridesharing app. The Uber app works flawlessly in Lisbon, so if you’re OK with paying extra for a private ride and door-to-door service, by all means, go for it.
Ericeira is home to the friendly people of Portugal, whose local language is Portuguese. You’ll also find tons of Spanish speakers here since Portugal borders Spain, but don’t expect Portuguese to sound at all like Spanish. As long as you speak English, you’ll have no trouble conversing with fellow travelers and locals.
As an EU country, Portugal’s local currency is the Euro (EUR). One EUR is equivalent to about $1.10, but this is constantly fluctuating. As soon as you arrive, you’ll have no trouble getting your hands on some Euros. You can visit a local currency exchange and change your USD to EUR or just withdraw cash from an ATM. Nearly all Ericeira establishments accept credit cards.
Lisbon, a thriving digital nomad community, is known for its high-speed internet no matter where you go in the city. Ericeira internet won’t be on the same scale as Lisbon’s, but travelers don’t have any trouble getting connected. Local cafes, restaurants, and accommodations will almost always offer free WiFi to customers and guests.
Getting a SIM card is another option – Vodafone is one of the best. The power plugs in Portugal are type F with a standard voltage of 230. You can either purchase a type F power adapter or a universal adapter that works all over the world.
European travelers heading to Portugal can come and go freely since the country is part of the EU. British, Canadian, Australian, and American citizens can enter almost just as easily, they just need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Just show your passport and you’ll be given a 90-stamp for Portugal (and other EU countries).
No matter where you’re traveling in the world, it is ALWAYS suggested to invest in international medical traveler’s insurance if you’re leaving your home country. Portugal is home to high-quality healthcare, but it’s not free for foreigners. You can easily keep yourself covered by paying high medical costs through insurance providers like World Nomads.
Portugal has a very low crime rate, and this is especially true in Ericeira. Petty theft happens occasionally, but for the most part, you can consider yourself safe in Ericeira. For travelers staying in a hostel dorm room, lock up your valuables when you head out to experience Ericeira surf for the day.
One option for getting around Ericeira is to rent a car, but this isn’t for everyone, and it’s not necessary since this is a small town. Surfers staying near the city center will be within walking distance of all the best bars, beaches, cafes, and restaurants in town. But renting a car is a great choice if you plan on taking day trips outside of Ericeira.
During Portugal’s high season, another transportation option is the Ericeira Beach Bus. There is a bus stop at Matadouro Beach, which is a 10-minute walk from the city center. This bus hits all the best Ericeira surf spots between the hours of 9 am to 8 pm and costs just 1 EUR each time you hop on.
Travelers have it easy when it comes to booking Ericeira accommodation. There are plenty of options on where to stay, including hostel dorms, private rooms in guesthouses, and beachside hotels. Avid surfers choose to stay at the accommodations provided by their surf camp of choice since this is the best way to meet fellow surfers (we’ll cover some of these later).
No matter where you choose to sleep at night, try to book a place near Ericeira’s city center – it’s more like a village center since the town is so small. When you stay in the heart of Ericeira, everything you could need will be within walking distance, even some of the best surf beaches in the area.
Even in the winter months, Ericeira is known for its close-to-constant sunny weather. No matter when you visit, don’t expect hot tropical weather – cool breezes coming from all directions keep even the summer months around a comfortable 79°F (26°C). There is no bad time to visit, but for the best surf conditions for advanced surfers happen between September and May.
More intermediate surfers find the best time to visit between May and June or September to October. For newbie surfers, it’s possible to learn any time of year, but the most consistent beginner-friendly waves happen from May to September.
The Portugal surf camp Ericeira Surf House is known for its charm, amazing location, and comfy accommodations. This surf house is located within walking distance of one of Ericeira’s most famous breaks, Foz do Lizandro. Put simply, this is a bed and breakfast for surfers who have outgrown the party vibes that are common at many surf camps around the world.
“With different backgrounds in hospitality, tourism, surfing, and snowboarding, we decided to take the leap and go for something we like.”
– The Founders of Ericeira Surf House
Ericeira Surf House was started by two Dutchmen, Raymond and Erwin, and one Finnish woman, Noora. Their goal was to create a place where surfers could come to relax, wind down, and enjoy the waves and culture of the area – staying here won’t be a party, but it will put your mind at peace.
Olá Onda is another top-rated Ericeira surf school that is primely located for all the surfing action you could ever ask for. The Olá Onda guesthouse is for anyone who’s looking for surfing, beautiful beaches, nature, and authentic Portuguese culture. It’s located just north of the Ericeira city center and within a 10-minute walk of Ericeira’s best surfing beaches.
“My favorite thing to do is going on outdoor adventures and show people a good time. After working in Austria, Spain, and Dubai, I decided Portugal would be my next office.”
– Jasper, Olá Onda Owner
In addition to staying in a comfortable, fully renovated private room, Olá Onda offers surf lessons catering to beginner and intermediate surfers. The only downside is that there is no all-inclusive rate, you’ll have to pay for lessons in addition to the nightly price of the room.
Ribeira Surf Camp Ericeira has created a place for surfers to gather together and enjoy all that life has to offer. Some even say that this is the best surf camp Ericeira has to offer. Whether that is true or not, guests love that Ribeira offers everything to make their stay more enjoyable, including onsite woodfired pizza and happy hour drinks.
“Geographically speaking, Ribeira Surf Camp means: right at the beach, nature-oriented concept, nicely merged into the beautiful landscape.”
– Ribeira Surf Camp
Accommodation at Ribeira is pretty basic. You won’t be staying in luxury, but who needs luxury when some of the best waves in Ericeira are just steps away? There are a few surf packages to choose from; beginners choose the Surf Lessons package, while more advanced surfers who can fend for themselves opt for the Half Board package.
Rapture Camps has locations in Bali and Nicaragua, but the most visited Rapture camp is steps away from the beach in Ericeira. Rapture visitors say that the company’s surf camp Ericeira, Portugal location is the best for a few reasons, like the fact that Ericeira offers consistent conditions no matter the time of year.
“Our guides will take you surfing at the best surf spots of Ericeira, best suited to you and the current surf conditions, ranging from beach breaks to point breaks and reef lefts and rights.”
– Rapture Surf Camp Ericeira
You can easily book a Rapture camp online, and as soon as you do you won’t regret it. The Rapture Ericeira surf resort and apartments couldn’t be any closer to the beach at Foz do Lizandro. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Ericeira center, which makes it the perfect holiday escape to unwind and catch some waves.
Some of the best local eateries are located directly on Ericeira beach. You can count on eating your fair share of seafood, and of course, drinking an even bigger share of Portuguese wine.
During your time here, be sure to grab a meal at the most-loved restaurants of Ericeira:
For after-surfing drinks, head to one of three bars: Tubo, Adega, or Ouriço.
Even if you travel to Ericeira with the intention of surfing morning, noon, and night, try to take a break from the water every once in a while. On your off-surfing days, there’s plenty to keep you busy in and around the area. Here are a few ways to fill your time if you’re looking for a day off from your surf camp Ericeira: