Are you looking for the best surf schools in Ericeira?
Ericeira is one of the several destinations in Portugal that surfers dream of visiting at least once in their lifetime. It is also an extremely versatile surf destination since it’s only a half hour from Lisbon and has many other things to do which appeal to non-surfing visitors.
This makes it an excellent destination for families, couples, and solo travelers, regardless of their interest in surfing. This means you can easily keep the people in your travel group busy with other activities while you catch some waves or alternate surfing with other things to do in Ericeira.
Whether you are interested in learning how to surf, improving your surfing skills, or just renting some equipment you’ll want to do some research to find the best surf school in Ericeira.
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Best Surf School in Ericeira: The Ultimate Guide
This post lists the best certified surf schools in Ericeira and the factors which might influence your decision in choosing one.
If you’re on the fence about choosing a surf school or a surf camp for your time in Ericeira, check out our post on the best surf camps in Ericeira.
Why is it difficult to choose the best surf school Ericeira?
Since gaining the title of International Surf Reserve in 2011, surf schools started popping up all over the village. However, only a handful of them are certified by the Portuguese Surf Federation, which checks teaching standards and equipment suitability.
Choosing the best surf school in Ericeira is overwhelming, to say the least. As a tourist, it’s really easy to feel cheated or pushed into a tourist trap, and when spending a substantial amount of money for classes, or rental equipment, we want to get it right the first time around.
I personally visited and/or spoke to all of the schools listed here because I wanted to feel the atmosphere, type of client, and quality of the service and equipment in each location.
After visiting some schools which were not certified as well, I highly recommend choosing one which is since all their instructors are certified to a very high standard, and this is what we want.
What if I don’t book ahead of time?
If you don’t want to feel locked into a day and time at a specific school booked before your arrival, don’t worry! All guest houses and hotels work with one of the local surf schools, so even if you haven’t booked anything ahead of time, it’s always possible to get a day of surfing in. Just ask, and your accommodation will book for you.
Each school uses different beaches, and each beach has different qualities which may or may not make it a great surf experience for you. You may want to try a few different schools if you’ve got the time and the opportunity, and then go back for seconds when you’ve found your sweet spot.
Even though all the schools listed below are the best of the crop, your experience will depend on the teacher you are paired with. It’s really more about the style of the teacher and what you’re looking for than the quality of the school.
All certified schools have high standards they work to upkeep, but they differentiate themselves by creating slightly different experiences based on a variety of factors. Prices generally hover around 40 per class but do vary slightly.
Classes last from 1 to 2 hours, and always include a wetsuit, surfboard, and free transport to and from the beach.
The list below is not in any particular order. It is a list of the best surf schools in Ericeira, the type of experience each offers, and some factors to consider when making your choice.
13 Best Surf Schools in Ericeira
1. Surf 365 Ericeira
A local family-run business, this surf school is run by father Joao, sons Miguel and Pedro, and his wife. All 4 are very experienced instructors of all levels who offer an exceptionally personalized service.
Clients here rave about the motivational commitment the owners have towards their students and how helpful and effective the feedback is in improving their surfing skills. They also have an incredible program for kids with a maximum of 5 kids per group, and divide them by age (4-8, 8-12, and 12 and over).
During summer months, a daily kids club is also on offer which allows kids to surf and do other activities in the water. There is also a babysitting service for those who have young kids and wish to surf for an afternoon.
This surf school doesn’t have a physical shop but meets students at Praia do Matodouro for classes, as well as other beaches according to students’ surfing skills.
2. 3 Surfers Surf School Ericeira
This surf school is located in Ericeira right above Praia do Sul. The three owners are very serious about surfing and safety and feel that although having fun is important, safety comes first!
The instructors are all locals with excellent knowledge of the least to the most challenging breaks to challenge students and help them improve. The focus here is adapting the surf course for the need of each student in a very personalized way.
Surf spots are chosen according to conditions, and the surfers’ skills. Picture and video analysis are also provided for intermediate to advanced surfers who want to improve quickly.Here, there is a maximum of 5 students per class, and note that equipment is only rented to returning students.
3. 7a Essencia Surf School
This is one of the only schools which also has bodyboard classes along with surf and stand-up paddle. They also have an excellent kids program that teaches both surfing and bodyboarding to children from 7 years and up.
Surf Power Training is also on offer, physical training with a personal instructor to increase endurance and strength while surfing. This school has several locations along the coast, which makes trips to other beaches along the coast a common occurrence and something their students love.
In Ericeira classes are given on Praia do Matadouro, Praia do Sul, or Praia dos Pescadores. Families also rave about the organization, the atmosphere created, and the ease with which kids are up on the board having a great time.
4. Extra Surf School: Surf Lessons Ericeira
One of the best locally known surf schools in Ericeira, this one is also located in the north of the village, close to Sao Sebastiao beach. They offer surf lessons in Ericeira, as well as a different service called a surf guide, wherein surfers are brought to the best beach under the daily conditions and surfer skills.
They are also the only school to offer gift vouchers online. One of the services appreciated by visitors here is that rentals can be delivered to a beach at an agreed-to time, meaning surfers don’t need to carry their gear.
The highlight of this school is that private classes are given personally by the owner, Vasco Dias, for significantly less, at 60 Euros per hour. Visitors comment that the owner is the soul of the school and makes the whole experience worthwhile and not to be missed.
They generally comment that he is not only an extremely experienced surfer but more importantly, an experienced surf coach.
Children are welcome too!
5. Ericeira Waves Surf School
The school has over 10 years experience and is owned by local surfers who don’t have a location but mostly meet surfers at Ribeira D’Ilhas beach. Customers here loved how specific, practical and clear the guidance is and how safe they felt all while having an excellent time on the waves.
Here as a beginner, you’ll find the instructors to be very motivational to see you improve, and the fun is infectious! Most of the intermediate or advanced classes are given by Bruno who is technically very precise and uses a technique of progressive feedback to make sure students progress quickly.
The instructors are also truly excellent with kids and very experienced with diverse levels of surfers. Their Safety first mindset is also a huge plus and attracts family groups of mixed skills.
6. Ericeira SUP
I had a very animated conversation with the owner of this center and have been told about its excellence by many. This school is specialized in Stand Up Paddle and offers a river experience, an open sea experience, SUP surfing, and even yoga on the board for the whole family!
It is only recommended for children over 10 years of age unless you are a strong paddler and can take a smaller child on the board with a life jacket. Customers really enjoy going on an amazing tour of the World surf reserve and seeing it from a completely different vantage point.
Although there is no physical shop, instructors meet the clients at the beach where the activity will take place. Prices range from 40 Euros to 120 Euros.
7. Activity Surf Center
This is one of the surf schools in Ericeira known for its fun light atmosphere liked by all. It is located right in the village center. Families rave about their excellent service and how enjoyable the experience is on the beach, and their attention to detail and safety is commended as well.
Instructors are praised for their great interaction with kids, and the excellent quality of the equipment used is said to add a lot to the professional and fun classes. Here group classes have a maximum of 7 students and take place at Praia do Sul or Praia do Algodio.
8. West Coast Surf School Ericeira
Also very conveniently located in the center, students meet at the surf school in Ericeira and drive or walk to the beach of choice for the surf course.
A second location at Praia de Sao Juliao makes classes and rentals easier when conditions favor this beach. Since this second location closes before sunset, the return of boards is often done in the village, where the center closes at 10 pm.
This school keeps its groups to under 5 students per group which keeps the quality of the classes as high as possible. They also rent a variety of very well-kept equipment which customers can choose from, including a wide range of boards, racks, skates, bikes, and wetsuits.
Visitors here claim that the instructors are helpful and interested and particularly that they empower their students and give them the confidence necessary to improve on the waves. Families are more than welcome here too!
9. BoardCulture Surf Centre: Surf Course Ericeira
This school is slightly out of the village, located right next to the Campground. They mostly teach beginners to surf and generally use Matadouro beach, but more advanced surfers are also welcome.
The proximity of this surf school to some of the more challenging surf spots, like Pedra Branca and Reef, makes it a convenient place to rent equipment. Funnily enough, this surf center caters to young travelers and families, but has a large percentage of women surfers!
This school stands out because they have two female ex-pro surf instructors and female surfers seem to love this! Although some reviews complain of a rude reception in the shop, I felt on being received here that people were friendly and attentive.
This is one of the cheaper options on the market, with a maximum of 6 students per class. They also rent scooters and a few e-bikes with a board attachment.
10. Tiago Pires Surf School Ericeira Portugal
This Surf School is located on the outskirts of the village, under the Quicksilver shop which is a great place to visit on its own! While you get ready to surf you can watch the skaters zoom around the skate park, or enjoy a drink on the veranda above with a view of the skate park after your day of surfing.
The owners here were very clear that the school focuses on small groups of max 5 surfers to an instructor. Clients here generally praise the excellent constructive approach and the great state of the equipment. This school uses Matadouro beach for lessons.
Although they cater to tourists in the summer, the owner highlighted that in winter months they offer different camps like a Team Building corporate event, a Surf, and Wellness Camp which focuses on nutrition, as well as an Advanced Surfing Adventure Trip chasing waves around Portugal.
Be warned that class prices are at the higher end of the spectrum here and that last-minute classes can not be guaranteed within 24 hours.
11. Ericeira Surf School- Surfing Ericeira
This school is also located under the 58 Surf shop where a really great surf culture vibe is created and everything surf related is sold. The bar has excellent lunch fare as well and often has live music and a DJ on summer weekends.
Here the group classes are more geared towards beginners. Intermediate and advanced surfers are advised to take a private class which goes for significantly more. Groups are capped at 6 students.
The school suggests an experience for all levels called a surf tour which is a day at the beach with 2 surf lessons with a max of 6 people. This includes transportation, all equipment as well as water, and an energy bar.
Kids are welcome too here and can have a shorter class of a little over an hour.
12. Na Onda Surf School Ericeira Portugal
Located at Foz do Lizandro, they have a rental shop and a restaurant with excellent sushi. I was unfortunately not received by the owner here but liked how the school is right on the boardwalk on the sand. This is one of the longest-running surf schools in Ericeira, the facade is fun and has beach garbage recycled art right in front of it!
The great atmosphere and friendly staff make for a fun time at the beach! This surf school is open year-round and offers classes for all levels, but offers the best experience to true beginners. Many people complain of the crowded conditions and large classes here in high season.
The rental prices are definitely some of the lowest, but the material on offer is fairly used. Since organization doesn’t seem to be their strongest point, the best surfing experience here is during months outside high season.
13. Surf with Pepe Surf School
This surf school is located north of Ericeira, at Ribeira d’Ilhas beach. There are 3 surf schools here: Surf with Pepe, Blue Ocean, and We Surf. All 3 are located in the surf complex down on the sand, and rent a variety of equipment and boards.
I recommend Surf with Pepe if you would like to have classes in Ribeira d’Ilhas since they are a small school which has been around for over 30 years and focus on small groups of students held with the same instructor.
Customers praise them by saying they are very professional and organized and have equipment in excellent condition. This is not always the case with the other schools in the complex.
Where to Stay in Ericeira
Thinking of staying in Ericeira? Check out these great options!
🌊 Laneez Ericeira Surf House: This is a really nice surf house with a more upscale feel to it. You can stay in a dorm or in your own private room with bathroom. The view, the service, the food and the atmosphere all make it an excellent choice!
🌊 Vila Gale Ericeira: This is the iconic hotel on the rocks of Ericeira’s Praia do Sul. It is historically significant to the area as the first grand hotel, has an incredible view, and will make your trip all the more authentic and memorable.
🌊 Ericeira Prime Vilas: This is another complex of well designed flats, but right in the village. The view here is of the green valley created by a creek, and if you’re lucky you can rent a flat with a private pool!
🌊 Aethos: This is the newest addition to Ericeira’s collection of upscale accommodation. It is a stunning design hotel about 15 minutes drive north of the village, above praia da Calada. Definitely worth checking out!
Best school for Ericeira Surf Lessons FAQ
Is Ericeira good for surfing?
Ericeira is the only World Surf Reserve in Europe. The simple answer to this is yes, Ericeira is a fabulous place to surf and also happens to be a charming seaside fishermen’s village.
Where can I surf in Ericeira?
The Surf Reserve has 11 beaches which cater to different levels of surfing ability. You can get there by car rental, or by taking the Surf Bus. Permission to surf on the beaches is divided among the different certified schools to keep crowding to a minimum and chosen according to a student’s surf skills. Click here for more details about Ericeira’s beaches and the schools located on each.
Is Ericeira good for beginner surfing?
In short, yes! The sea conditions are best for beginners between the months of May and October. Several beaches along the Surf Reserve coast create beautiful long waves ideal for beginners. Many schools specialize in teaching beginners too: read on to find out which ones.
Is Ericeira always windy?
Yes, Ericeira is known for being windy all year round. Make sure to pack appropriately if you’re planning on visiting! Consider that the micro-climate here brings Lisbon’s sweltering heat down about 10 degrees during summer months, and often means frequent rain and fog between December and February.
What is the best month to learn to surf in Portugal?
The best month to learn to surf in Portugal is typically September as the water temperature is still warm, but the waves tend to be less crowded. Learners should look for spots with gentler currents and soft breaks, such as Ericeira’s southern beach breaks.
In addition, a wetsuit is recommended year round due to the cool waters. To maximize your surfing experience and ensure you have plenty of waves, it is best advised not to plan your trip during peak season (July-August) when crowds can be particularly high.
How much are Ericeira surfing lessons?
A surf course in Ericeira usually cost around €30-€50 per hour, depending on the surf school and the instructor. Group lessons tend to be more affordable than private ones.
Additionally, most surf schools also offer packages that include multiple sessions or board hire for a discounted rate. So make sure to check out what’s available in order to get the best deal for your budget!
What do I need to know before Ericeira surf lessons?
Before your first surf lesson, it’s important to understand the basic safety rules and etiquette of surfing. Make sure you know how to recognize a rip current, the difference between left and right breaks, and how to properly respect other surfers in the water.
Also, make sure you are wearing proper clothing (rash guard or wetsuit) that fits well so that you can stay warm and comfortable while learning. Lastly, be sure to ask your instructor questions if there is something that is unclear. With preparation beforehand, your first surf lesson will be an enjoyable experience!
How many surf lessons should I take?
The number of surf lessons in Portugal you should take depends on your experience level and how quickly you want to learn. If you are a complete beginner, it is recommended that you take at least three sessions to learn the basics such as paddling technique, standing up on the board, wave selection and safety protocols.
As for more advanced learners, taking fewer sessions may suffice to fine-tune existing skills or cover new topics tailored to individual needs. Ultimately the best way to find out how many lessons are right for you is to talk with an instructor or speak with someone from a local surf shop who can give advice specific to your area’s waves and weather conditions.
This will help ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe surfing experience!
Best Surf Schools Ericeira: The Wrap-Up
Choosing one of the surf schools in Ericeira is overwhelming, to say the least. All the schools listed here had excellent reviews and were pleased to receive me in English, French, or Portuguese.
Regardless of which you choose, you are sure to have a good time riding the waves! Be sure to know that there are no bad choices here, just personal preferences.