Going to Praia de Ribeira D’Ilhas today?
This beach has to be the most famous of Ericeira’s Surf Reserve due to the surf competitions that frequently take place here.
The ample deck, as well as the excellent structure provided for surfers, and not to mention the huge parking lot, all just make it the best place to hold the large-scale events.
This beach is also where surfers find the best wave in the whole Reserve, which makes it a really popular spot for board riders.
It’s also a fab place to spend an afternoon lazing in the sun if you don’t surf! The natural formation of a valley with a stream trickling into the sea creates a protected bay where both kids and adults will enjoy having an ice cream, starting a hike, admiring the lookout point, or surfing their hearts out.
Watch the short video below to see what awaits you in this great spot, or check it out live on the BeachCam.
It can get a tad crowded here, especially for surfers since this is the best Portugal has to offer when it comes to surfing. You can usually find a spot on the sand though since it’s a fairly wide beach.
The cafe has an amazing terrace which is usually chock-a-block, but before or after lunchtime you can generally grab a spot with a few bean bags, so arrive early or late.
Ribeira d’Ilhas is a surfer’s paradise. It is the best wave Portugal has to offer, and you can expect to find all levels of surfers in the water at all tides, competing to ride the next wave. Even beginners can start here at the northern edge of the main break.
Classes are often given on the considerable reef called Pontinha. It is a long righthand pointbreak and is the most consistent wave in the Surf Reserve. Here you can easily catch a right of up to 200 meters long, and the offshore wind is more than often favorable here, even when other spots aren’t great.
Although it works well at all tides, mid-tide is best. Definitely worth checking out! There are several great surf centers on location here if you’d like some classes or if you just want to rent some gear.
Click here for Ribeira d’Ilhas Surf Forecast.
The water temperature varies between a low of 15 degrees in February and a high of 21 degrees in August. A 3/2 mm wet suit is recommended in summer on windy days, while a 4/3 mm suit works well during the colder winter months.
Check out today’s Ribeira d’Ilhas Water Temperature and Wetsuit Guide.
Click here for a Tides Table. Depending on the season, the stream is either full, and trickles into the sea at high tide, or completely dry.
When the tide is low, pools are created that are so much fun to look into with kids. The tides trap things such as shrimp, starfish, sea urchins, and crabs, so bring a bucket and enjoy foraging!
Boardwalk and cafes – structure
The structure at this beach makes it really easy to come to spend the day with very little.
You can park easily without having to walk a mile, eat and drink in a really relaxed environment, rent boards and other equipment, take a shower, use bathrooms and count on the lifeguard to keep everything safe.
Although all the shops and the restaurant accept cards, the only thing lacking is an ATM.
Definitely plan to have a drink or a bite to eat on the terrace at Ribeira d’Ilhas Surf Restaurant and Bar. Their menu offers a more relaxed version of seafood, fish, meat, and Portuguese dishes, as well as breakfast and brunch for the early birds.
It truly is a great place to have a beer in one of the bean bags, while the kids run around on the deck with their skateboards or scooters. Lunch will set you back about 15 to 20 Euros per head including drinks and there are lots of options for kids too.
For more restaurant options in the area check out the Best Restaurants in Ericeira
In the wooden complex on the boardwalk, there is also the Blue Ocean Surf School and Rentals. Here both the very young and old can take surfing classes, or rent equipment daily, or for longer periods of time.
Prices are pretty competitive and a variety of equipment is on offer. Packs of equipment are also available for a much better price.
Body boards: 15 Euros
Soft top board : 20 Euros
Short boards: 25-45 Euros
Long boards: 70 Euros
Longer rentals are available and always bring the price down significantly.
Other equipment such as wetsuits, booties, and fins can also be rented.
Wet suits: 10 Euros
Booties: 5 Euros
Fins: 5 Euros
Packs which include the board and extra equipment bring prices down as well.
A great afternoon can be had cliff walking before or after lunch! The access is on the North side of the beach, and the trails are wide and easy to navigate.
This is a great activity with kids too, since you can walk for about 30 to 40 minutes along the cliff and see Cave and Crazy Left before reaching Praia dos Coxos. Here you walk up to the main road to have a drink at Marisqueira de Ribamar and call a taxi or Uber to get back to your car.
You can also keep hiking and see the many coves along the coast, all the way to Praia de Sao Lourenço. Here there is a great bar down on the beach, or keep going up the white staircase on the North side of the beach.
At the top, you’ll find the Golfinho Azul restaurant where you can stop for a beautiful sunset and a drink. A taxi or Uber will take you back to your car without a problem from here too.
For more information on interesting activities around Ericeira, check out our post on the best things to do in Mafra.
How to get to Praia de Ribeira D’ilhas
You reach this iconic beach is at the end of a beautiful walk from the village of Ericeira. It’s about a half an hour walk from the Sao Sebastiao domed church on the North side of the village.
The walk takes you through some beautiful scenery, and past a coffee shop next to a playground where you can make a pitstop if you’re with kids. You also get to see the Surfer statue at the lookout, right before taking the wooden staircase down to the beach.
Alternatively, you can rent a bike in town, or take the beach bus, which is operational between the months of June and September. Check the schedule out here. It will take you and your board to any of the surf spots for as little as 1 Euro.
If you are thinking of renting a car, this beach has a large parking lot, which means that you can generally find a spot fairly easily.
Unfortunately, there are no hotels in the area. Accommodation is simpler here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get quality housing. Many excellent holiday rentals are available for small and large groups, most of which have been renovated and offer outdoor space to guests.
Regardless of the size of your group, there is something for everyone! There are also some excellent surf camps and coliving houses in the area which offer interesting options when it comes to accommodation. Keep reading to see what we found worth your while.
This Bed and Breakfast has 4 rooms and offers soothing design and proximity to the beach. It has a nice newly renovated kitchen and has quite a large living space and all bathrooms are new.
They also accept animals, and have a fabulous pool that several bedrooms look out onto. Although a car is recommended to go into the village of Ericeira, they do lend out bikes to visitors, and the walk can easily be done in about 15 to 20 minutes. Prices range from 140 to 180 Euros per night.
✅ Check availability at the Beach House here.
This gem of a place is newly renovated and offers beautifully decorated, spacious rooms with dormitories of up to 8 people. The house design is sea inspired, relaxing and truly beautiful.
There is also a very nice outdoor space with an eating area. Although this is slightly further out, the 15 minutes walking distance to the beach is worth it. Prices go from 70 to 100 per night for a bed.
✅ Check availability at the Ocean House here.
An excellent choice for large groups, this very modern and recently renovated house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It houses up to 8 people and has a pool, a fireplace, and a lovely outdoor space with a gorgeous view of the hills and sea below.
The eclectic space is very comfortable and even has a piano in the living room! The price ranges from 300 to 430 per night.
✅ Check availability at Casa Tazmin here.
This property has several spaces, all suitable for up to 6 people. It has 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms, one of which has a spare singe and a double bed. It also has a large balcony where yo can comfortably eat outside.
The outdoor eating area looks out on the hills and sea from above. Although this place isn’t the most modern, it’s a great option close to the beach and is very well priced. Prices range from 135 to 150 Euros per night.
✅ Check availability at Casa do Mar here.
Praia de Ribeira D’Ilhas: The Wrap-up
Regardless of what brings you to Praia Ribeira D’Ilhas, the sea, the surfers and the salty air will delight and soothe your soul. Nothing compares to twilight in this part of the world.
The light is dazzling and the colors of the setting sun make you wish you could stay longer to surf to your heart’s content. This is definitely what holidays should feel like.