10 reasons why Ericeira is a must for travelling surfers
The consistency of surf paired together with number, quality and variety of breaks packed on just 8 km of coast is unprecedented in Europe. This is why Ericeira has become a second World Surfing Reserve in 2011 (there are nine of them at present), first and only surf spot to make it into this elite company of world class surf breaks in Europe.
Portugal is just an amazing country. Relaxed people who might be a little bit harder to approach at first but once they got to know you they can be surprisingly genuinely friendly and hospitable. Food is simply great here. Ericeira is a fishing town and fresh seafood can be found everywhere from number of restaurants to the local fish market. Prices are very low in Portugal. All in all it's one of the best cost/performance ratio surf destinations in the world. You'll get a lot of good surf for relatively little money around here.
There's Coxos. Often called the best right-hander in Europe, fast, powerful and hollow running over the rocky bottom, this point break is a pure gem. Respect the locals here (yep, let them catch their waves first and then try to scramble into the leftovers for the start) as they are very well aware of what a treasure Coxos actually is.
There's Pedra Branca, Reef, Cave, Crazy left and other reef breaks that will test your tube riding and late take off skills. When it's on, the left at Pedra Branca resembles Pipeline on a good day. Do I need to say more?
There's Ribeira d'Ilhas. A famous reef point break with some of the longest rights you'll get around here. Not just the inside bowl section with it's double-ups but also the whole beach and the setup of the break might as well remind you of Bells Beach in Australia.
There's plenty of beginner surfer spots too. Don't worry you don't have to get grated to the bone wiping out on the reef because you just don't have the take off dialed in yet. There's a couple of sand-bottom beachies on the southern side of Ericeira where there's safe surf and local surf schools are ready to help you catch your first waves.
Ericeira is a special surf town. Just the traditional old time vibe centre with all white and blue fishermen's houses has four surf spots on the shore itself. There's plenty of night time fun with live music bars and cafes and taverns with cheap beer and good wine. You can dance all night at the local disco. There's breathtaking cliffs around the town with numerous lookouts at the surf breaks and the ol' sun setting over the Atlantic.
Everything is really close together. You can basically just walk around everywhere. If you don't have a car you can always jump on the beach bus with your surfboard and go surfing any break in Ericeira you like for just € 1 a trip.
Ericeira's location enables you to get to Peniche within an hour drive when the surf gets too big here - Peniche has a huge bay called Baleal which is more protected from the swells than the open swell-magnet coast of Ericeira. Travelling in the opposite direction towards Lisbon you don't even need the whole hour to get to Cascais where you can hide on south facing beaches from the howling northerly winds.
Ericeira is an all year round surf spot. Summer is the most consistent in Europe for sure even though wind swells dominate this period. Spring and autumn welcomes you here with already (or still) warm weather and groundswells with clean conditions. It's just perfect. Winter in Ericeira brings waves of Northshore proportions and it's this time of the year when the pros come to town to chase the big swells (well there's a good chance you'll see some of the WSL competitors in the line ups in November when there's the comp in Cascais too as the pros often come surf up here to Ericeira on their lay days).