Are you wondering what things to do in Ericeira Portugal?
Sitting up on the cliff at a tiny table enjoying an epic sunset, a glass of white and the salty wind in my sunkissed hair – very few things say ‘holiday’ to me as loudly as Ericeira’s sunset. We don’t spend all year in Ericeira anymore, but I have to say, it had me at hello. Read on for more on what to do in Ericeira Portugal!
Whether you’re wandering through the cobbled streets in the village or enjoying the waves on one of its many beaches, Ericeira’s old-world charm will quickly put you under its spell. The quaint fisherman village of Ericeira is definitely worth visiting and has been known as the European surf capital since it became a World surf reserve in 2011.
Lots of surfers come year-round to its sandy shores to enjoy the whitewashed Portuguese charm, but summer also attracts people and families of all shapes and sizes since there are so many other Ericeira activities as well. Read on to explore the best attractions.
In a rush?
In case you don’t have time to read it all, here is our top recommendation for things to do in Ericeira Portugal.
🏄 Surf Lesson – Spend an afternoon learning to surf with an instructor from a local school.
🚲 Cliff Top Bike Tour – Take in the sea views while pedaling along Ericeira’s incredible cliff tops.
Table of Contents
Best Things to Do in Ericeira
Whether you come as a family, a couple, or a single traveler, the variety of activities on offer in and around Ericeira creates the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Read on for some suggestions.
✅ Need to get to Ericeira? Check availability for a private transfer to or from the airport.
Where Is Ericeira?
Ericeira is located 30 minutes North of Lisbon on the coast. Its proximity to Lisbon makes it a great getaway for people from Lisbon, especially on weekends. This fact also makes it a great day trip for tourists visiting Lisbon.
Ericeira Portugal Map
17 Best Things To Do In Ericeira Portugal
1. Eat lunch with a view
Ericeira is known for its fresh fish and seafood, so don’t miss out on this excellent specialty! Even though the village no longer survives solely on fishing, for decades people from Lisbon would flock here to eat seafood which was the freshest around.
This was due to an ingenious system called the ‘Furnas’: a system of crevaces and natural seawater pools formed within the cliffs which were closed off by the fishermen in such a way that seawater could come in and out, but the catch of the week remained captured until lunchtime.
Several places in the village allow you to eat out at a table on the cliffs while you enjoy the view. For fish or seafood, the price varies between 20 to 40 per head but dips way below this for any other type of food for lunch.
Try stopping by Sul, Furnas, or Canastra on the cliffs near the center of town for some excellent fish, or Ti Matilde as an option in the North part of town. Balagan Ericeira is another fabulous location right on South Beach or Indigo in Foz do Lizandro, where lapping water and sandy feet run amok.
This is a great place to bring kids for lunch since they can run around freely while the adults relax.
Ceasar on the way to Ribeira d’Ilhas is well known for its view and serious seafood platters which are less pricey at about 30 Euro per head. Terra Mar is also an excellent cheaper option in Sao Lourenzo where the huge seafood platters are served plentifully.
And although they don’t serve fish or seafood, the Ribeira d’Ilhas Surf Restaurant is another great place to bring kids and let them enjoy the large deck while the adults lean back into the relaxed beach atmosphere for around 15 Euro per head.
Last but not least, a few more beaches North you’ll find the Golfinho Azul at Sao Lorenzo beach, as well as the Clube Naval at Assenta beach, where both the view and the Portuguese food are out of this world. Don’t miss out on these two places – they really take the cake!
Lunch in Portugal is generally served between 1 pm and 3 pm. For more on eating out in Ericeira and its surroundings check out the best restaurants in Ericeira.
2. Have a drink at sunset along the Ribas
This is one of my favorite things to do and is truly unforgettable! Saunter down to Mar das Latas, a small wine bar up on the cliffs, and watch the sky change colors as the sunsets. This cute little place is tiny and has more place outdoors than indoors and serves excellent wine by the glass and regional craft beer.
You can also have a few tapas before dinner but get there early since it’s popular with both locals and tourists. They open at 5 and are busiest at sunset. Check out this post on Ericeira nightlife to find out where to go from here!
3. Enjoy a beer with the locals
Several places in town cater to low-key locals- that doesn’t mean that visitors cant enjoy the scene too! Most men love to watch football in a bar in the village and several of these joints are a great place to stop for a beer if you’re over sunsets.
Taberna La Popular is a small hole in the wall where the locals gather to have a drink and a chat with their excellent tapas, and right around the corner, the Lebre has beer and the best pregos in town.
A prego is a traditional Portuguese sandwich made with thinly sliced meat, lots of garlic and can come with cheese and tomato. For 3.50 Euro you won’t find a better snack or be in better company!
Both places spill out onto the cobbled roads in a very relaxed manner which means kids can relax too and romp a little. Both open after 5 pm and generally close before midnight.
If you’d like to enjoy a drink later than this then check out Ericeira’s nightlife.
4. Eat breakfast in the square
Even though Ericeira has quite an influx of visitors, it’s still a very small village at heart. The village centers on the main square, called ‘Praça do Jogo da Bola’ by the locals since this is where children go to play ball, scoot, or bike around while their parents have a coffee and a chat.
There are several coffee shops around the square, all of which have delicious pastries, homemade bread, and coffee on offer. Make sure to soak up the sun and watch the world go by in this very traditional Portuguese fashion.
5. Go Surfing
Since it is the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, this is obviously what people think of first when looking for things to do in Ericeira Portugal! The best surfers in the world frequently come to Ericeira and people come from far and wide to the many surf schools and surf camps in town.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just a beginner, Ericeira’s beaches have got what you’re looking for.
You can easily just rent a board and a wetsuit, or go all out and take classes with a local instructor. There are lots of board rental places in town, and just walking around you’ll be able to compare prices which generally go from 15 to 30 Euros per day/half day. Wet suits go for about 8 to 15 Euros per day.
Accommodation often offers a discount on their own boards and suits, so that’s always worth asking for. Children can also join from the age of 7, so make it a family adventure!
You can choose to rent your equipment in town, or at Ribeira d’Ilhas, and Foz de Lizandro surf schools. These beaches are generally best for beginners and children are especially welcome both since many schools specialize in classes for kids that go for 35 Euros per class.
6. Go Stand up Paddling
Another amazing outdoor activity which can be done in Foz de Lizandro for a couple of hours one afternoon, even if you’re a true beginner. We do this often as a family and since we only have one board of our own, we rent a board for a few hours for 30 Euros.
Here you can paddle up and down the stream which ebbs and flows with the tide. This is one of my favorite water activities: you can also rent a life jacket for any kids who’d like to tag along.
If you’d like to do something a little more organized, Ericeira SUP offers a truly spectacular SUP tour of Ericeira’s surfing beaches from Sao Lourenzo to Praia do Matadouro for 50 Euros per person that lasts from 2 to 3 hours. It is well worth it, as is the yoga experience they offer for 40 Euros.
7. Go to the skate park
Skating is one of the coolest things to do for kids in Ericeira! Swing by the QuickSilver shop to find Ericeira Boardriders or The Billabong Surf 58 shop and check out the amazing atmosphere created here.
Classes are offered for skaters as young as 5, and surf and Jiu-Jitsu classes are also available. At QuickSilver there is a great outdoor terrace and bar that looks down on the skate park where you can have a drink and a bite to eat.
There is often live music around sunset in this great spot, perfect for enjoying the sunset and watching the surfers on Matadouro beach right in front. Billabong has an excellent restaurant with a skate ramp as well, although not as elaborate, and also has live events to liven up your sunset.
8. Go kite surfing
Although conditions aren’t always ideal for kitesurfing and beaches are fairly narrow, many people do kitesurf in Ericeira, especially when they are more advanced. There are a few Kitesurfing schools further south at Gincho that offer rentals to experienced kitesurfers, and transport to nearby beaches when conditions are too rough nearby.
The closest beach which has the best conditions for kitesurfing is Foz do Lizandro. Contact Casa Paço D’ilhas kitesurfing school for classes or rental prices.
9. Rent an electric bike
Stop by Paulo’s bike shop in town and pick up any variety of bikes for a fun day. You’ll love riding to the many beaches around town and stopping for a drink or an ice cream at each to enjoy the sunshine.
Paulo rents out regular and electric bikes, fat bikes, tandem bikes, and scooters by the hour (6 to 10 Euros) all the up to a whole day(15 to 25 Euros).
He also offers organized bike tours which include the bike, if that’s more your thing, which last about 2.5 hours and go for around 35 Euros/person. He also offers helmets, baby chairs or a bike trailer, car racks, and regular bikes for younger riders.
If you’re looking for an electric mountain bike, check out our post on bike rentals in Ericeira for more information.
You can also rent a 50 or 125 cc Vespa scooter for 3 hours (20 to 25 Euros) or a whole day (25 to 35 Euros).
10. Go for a picnic and wine tasting
Take an afternoon to enjoy another facet of this part of Portugal by doing a wine-tasting tour of the vineyards 15 minutes from Ericeira. Check out our post on the best wine tasting, for more details on what to do in Ericeira Portugal.
Manzwine is a relatively new vineyard that offers a wine tasting and tapas tour within the range of 15 to 25 Euros. If you’d prefer an experience that oozes Portuguese Charm, the beautiful Quinta da Santana Estate is the place for you.
The tour takes you around most of the estate and includes a regional snack with a selection of wines. It goes for 35 Euros per head and significantly less with a bigger group of people.
You can also up the ante and opt for a walk through the vineyard which includes gourmet stops through the vines to taste different wines paired with tapas. This 3 km tour is a truly authentic Portuguese experience that takes between 2 and 3 hours and costs up to 150 Euros per head depending on the options chosen.
By far the best option as a family is the picnic takeaway which costs 25 Euros per adult and 15 Euros per child. It allows you to walk through the vineyards and have your picnic amongst the vines and definitely makes for a perfect afternoon as a family!
✅ Try the most popular wine-tasting tour on a bike!
Free Ericeira Activities Portugal
Keep reading to find out what free things are worth doing in Ericeira.
11. Go swimming
Since Ericeira is located on the Atlantic sea, tides can be strong and swimming is not always recommended. However, there are a few spots that are almost always suitable for a swim, even for the little ones.
Praia do Sul is known as a family beach, because of how enjoyable and safe it is to wade in the shallow, wave-free water at low tide. Right next to the Hotel villa Galé, a breaker was built up years ago to keep the tide from coming up too quickly.
This makes low tide a fabulous time to wade in the water, count the starfish and crabs, or enjoy an ice cream and sandy toes.
Foz do Lizandro is another excellent option since it has such a long stretch of sand and a river that flows into the sea and ebbs with the tide. This creates a wave-free delta of shallow water around low tide which is perfect for splashing with little ones.
Another child-friendly beach is Praia do Pescador, the main beach in town. A jetty was built to create a safe harbor for the fishing boats, and also offers calmer waters to swim in with kids.
Don’t miss out on the rest of Ericeira’s beaches since most of them are a great place to relax and enjoy a drink and an afternoon snack.
12. Go hiking
There are a few easy hikes that can be done as a family in Ericeira. Most of them take you across the cliffs and offer beautiful sea views of the surrounding region. Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas is a great place to start since there is lots of parking and the trails are easy to find.
Walk up the cliffs from the restaurant and just follow the path to see several of the great surf spots in the region. The trail ends at Praia dos Coxos, but you can keep walking along the coast to see the Santa Susana fort and finally finish at Praia do Sao Lourenzo. The best part of this trail is that if you get tired, you can always call a taxi for a lift back since the main road isn’t too far away.
Another great place to hike is the cliffs at Sao Juliao beach. If you park your car in the parking lot and continue walking north along the cliff for 5 minutes, you will reach a tiny village with a quaint fisherman feel. Here there is a great expanse of rock and brush found at the top of the cliffs.
You can walk all the way to the next beach, Praia de Foz do Lizandro, in about 20 minutes. You can also roam the cliffs and enjoy the view since most paths lead back to the parking lot and Sao Juliao beach.
13. Walk along the cliffs at the furnas
Walking the cliffs to see the furnas is one of my favorite things to do in Ericeira on a sunny day. There are about a dozen benches that dot the cliffs of the village.
It’s really worth climbing the stone stairs to enjoy the view, or peering down into the depths of the archaic fish tanks broken by the sea. The furnas are no longer in use, but their remains are a very interesting part of the fishing village’s past. This tour starts right next to the Vila Gale hotel where steps will take you down to the edge of the rocky cliff.
You can really feel the power of the sea here and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see the sea spray up and out of holes in the cliff. There are several highlights along the way such as an old canon and the usual locals perched in some preferred spots fishing for lunch on a weekend.
14. Walk around the village
The whitewashed village is truly a gem. Walk around town to find the theater, which was originally an ornate casino, and make sure not to miss the different fountains found around the village.
There are also a few chapels which look out onto the sea and make for a very scenic tour around town.
Stop for a snack at Casa Gama or Cafe da Fernanda- where they make the traditional ‘Ouriço’ tarts the locals adore.
Also, make sure to visit the market on your walk around! Here you’ll find both a fish market downstairs and a flower and fruit/vegetable market on the ground floor. The place is always bustling with people buying their produce for the week.
15. Visit the World Surf Reserve Center
Make sure to check out the newest addition to Praça do Jogo da Bola, the central square of the village. With its digital overlay of all the beaches and interactive features, it only takes a few minutes and is quite impressive.
16. Visit the Vila Gale Hotel
This stunning hotel was originally built in the 1950s and has since been renovated and enlarged several times. What is fantastic is that they have kept a photographic record of it all in the bar and billiard area. Play a game of pool and wander through the black and white pictures to see how much the village has changed in the past 70 years.
The bar spills outside and offers a great sunset on the huge, generally empty balcony: a great place to bring kids for a sunset drink.
The hotel offers a day pass, which will get you access to the 2 marvelous saltwater swimming pools, a wading pool, and a park for kids. Day use goes for 40 Euros per person which includes 10 Euros credit for drink or food, towels and loungers use. Kids pay half price. Check out our post on the best spas in Ericeira for more information.
17. Go Geocaching
This is one of the best outdoor things to do around Ericeira! Geocaching saved us during the lockdown, and we’ve since discovered how far it can actually take us! We now geocache everywhere we go! If you haven’t yet tried it, make sure to download the app and start treasure hunting today. Ericeira is chock-a-block full of excellent Geocaches and it will take you to some fabulous locations and views.
How To Get To Ericeira Portugal
From the airport, the bus service really leaves to be desired and I don’t recommend it. You need to take a metro to Campo Grande station and wait for the bus. It takes about an hour when it is direct (it’s not always) and costs 6 Euros. Check out the schedule here.
It arrives at the main bus station in town. Taking a taxi or an Uber from the airport is actually a great option since you can get there in 45 minutes and pay 40 Euros for an Uber or 60 for a taxi. If you’ve got luggage and kids this is the way to go, just make sure you ask for a booster seat.
A rental car also does the trick but will slow you down considerably adding on a few hours to your arrival time. Some people choose this option if they want to do day trips and have more freedom.
One thing to consider is that parking in the village is really difficult, especially on weekends. If you, however, stay slightly out of the center you should be ok finding free parking and be able to just walk into town.
Check out our post on how to get to Ericeira from Lisbon.
✅ Need to get to Ericeira? Click here to book a private transfer to or from the airport.
How To Get Around Ericeira
The best way to get around is on foot since most of the village is pedestrian. Staying within 10 to 15-minute walking distance from the town is ideal since you don’t need to worry about parking. You can also walk to several beaches from the village, namely, Praia do Sul, Praia dos Pescadores which are both right downtown.
Foz de Lizandro is a 20 minute walk South along the cliffs, while Praia do Norte, Sao Sebastiao, and Praia do Matadouro are 20 minutes walk North. The wide sidewalk and gorgeous views definitely make walking to the Northern and Southern beaches much more manageable, especially with a stroller, and are also safe enough for little bikes and scooters to zoom along.
Biking is another great option and definitely merits a mention. All nearby beaches have bike racks and it is the preferred mode of transport for a lot of tourists.
Although a car isn’t recommended if you’re planning on sticking around the village, a rental car will take you further for a day trip. A basic model can be rented in Ericeira for about 40 Euros.
If going to the beach means hauling your surf gear, the Ericeira Beach Bus is your best bet. It runs from 9 am to 8 pm and will bring you from Foz de Lizandro all the way up to Ribeira d’Ilhas making a total of 19 stops along the way. The bus offers free wifi and a trailer to carry your board, all for 1 Euro one way, from the 1st of July to the 15th of September.
Check out the schedule and stops here.
Where to Stay in Ericeira
Check out these places if you’re looking into staying a few days in Ericeira.
🌊 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.
🌊 You and the Sea: This is my favorite hotel in Ericeira! They offer beautifully furnished flats of all sizes slightly out of the village center with undeniable flair. Up on the clifftop you’ll love the outdoor space, the pool, and the view!
🌊 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!
What to See in Ericeira FAQ
Is Ericeira Worth Visiting?
In the past few years Ericeira has seen a reduction in international tourism due to the effects of the travel bans worldwide, but with the surprising number of interesting attractions, great food and things to do it remains a great destination.
The fact that it is unspoiled by mass tourism makes it quaint, thoroughly delightful, and very picturesque. We have always found the village to be very family-friendly and an enjoyable place to let your kids scoot around or play in the square while you amble along the cobbled roads and stop for a coffee or just sit on a bench to watch the world go by. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Is Ericeira safe?
Ericeira is a small village where everyone knows their neighbors. Shop keepers as well as restaurant owners say hello to friendly faces and are delighted to stop for a chat. Kids leave their scooters at the cafe door, and doors and windows are often left open during the day. I’d say it’s as safe as it gets.
What’s the weather like in Ericeira?
The village is actually located in a microclimate which means the temperature is always at least 5 to 10 degrees cooler than in Lisbon all year round. This makes it a great getaway from Lisbon’s heat in summer, with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees C.
In the evening you’ll need to make sure you’ve got something to cover up since it can get cooler. The winter months bring more rain and fog than in Lisbon, and temperatures range between 5 and 15 degrees C.
How Many Days Do You Need in Ericeira?
Most tourists stay at least 5 days since there is so many things to do around Ericeira as well. You can always decide to enjoy the sea air in one of the gorgeous Ericeira Airbnb, or Inns and make day trips to the surrounding areas.
Staying longer than this allows for a day trip to Sintra or Lisbon, a marvelous way to soak up more of the Portuguese culture with their abundance of museums and historical experiences.
Both are about 40 minutes away and can most easily be reached by car. Neighbouring Mafra is another interesting location with many activities 15 minutes away, where you can spend the day visiting the Palacio de Mafra and natural park Tapada de Mafra.
What to do around Ericeira Portugal?
The charming fishing village of Ericeira offers plenty of things to do for visitors, including beautiful beaches, great restaurants and cafes, and lovely coastal walks. Since Ericeira is actually the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, many people come to enjoy surfing the many beaches up and down the coast.
You can also go hiking in the surrounding hills and cliffs north and south of the village, or rent a bike and ride the trails into the next village. Check out our post on things to do in Mafra for more on this.
How to get to Ericeira from Lisbon?
You can get to Ericeira from Lisbon by car rental, bus, or Uber. A rental from the airport is very easy to drive to Ericeira since the roads are very well signaled. The 35 minutes drive will take you along highway A8 before getting off at the A21 straight to Ericeira.
The bus ride lasts about an hour and costs 12 Euros from the bus station at Campo Grande. It will drop you off at the main bus station near the police station and you can walk 10 minutes into the village. An Uber will easily pick you up at arrival and cost you about 45 Euros.
To Recap: Ericeira Things to Do
Still wondering what to do in Ericeira Portugal? Although it may come off as a sleepy fisherman village, there are so many Ericeira activities that you probably won’t find the time to do it all. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for adventure, or want to take it easy and enjoy the sea breeze in the sunshine, you’ll find it all in this quaint whitewashed village.
✅ Need to get to Ericeira? Click here to book a private transfer to or from the airport.