Everything you need to know about Ericeira, the bohemian surf town just outside of Lisbon.
Just 40 minutes outside of the bustling lively capital of Lisbon stands Ericeira. If you are looking for somewhere to relax outside of the hustle and bustle of city life this is the place to go! There are beachs, fantastic surfing spots, loads of activities to do, incredible views and just really good vibes! Ericeira is a great mix between traditional Portuguese sea life with fresh fish in every restaurant and locals barbequeing outside of their houses with a really cool and lively backpacking scene. Feel free to leave to leave your fancy clothes at home, it’s a make-up free flip flops vibe here.
I went in September and got told this is the perfect time to go by the locals! The weather is good enough (though bring a jumper!) and has a good amount of people (not too crowded but still lively enough to have a good vibe).
What to do in Ericeira-
It would be ridiculous to talk about Ericeira without talking about surfing, nearly every local I spoke to surfed!. Whether you are a beginner (I certainly am lol) or an expert there are beaches for everyone! Whilst there I FINALLY took some surfing lessons after many failed attempts in Guatemala and Nicaragua. My surf lessons were included in the hostel I booked with but there are so many companies around Ericeira to go with which you can book ahead of time or whilst you are in town (there are surfboards for hire too!). Whilst the beaches can get crowded in high season it is well worth it to surf in Ericeira! (If kitesurfing is more your thing there are loads of beaches to do this on as well)
Though most tourists come for the great surf in the area there is a lot more to do outside of the ocean! For example, just outside of Boardriders Quicksilver surf shop/centre (which also has drinks and live music parties at night) there is a skatepark!
Stand Up Paddle
If you fancy a calmer water sport why not try Stand Up Paddling? I did a SUP river tour with Ericeira SUP Experience. Though it was 40 euros which is quite pricey it was well worth it! I had stand up paddled before but I learned a lot of really useful tips from the lovely instructors and it was really beautiful to see a different side of Ericeira away from the beach. I would definitely recommend the tour!
If you are interested here is their website- https://www.ericeirasup.com/
Yogis have no fear! There are loads of cool yoga options as well. I ended up taking some lessons with the Ericeira Yoga Studio and cant recommend it enough. The studio is really well thought out and the teachers are excellent. I did a normal Vinyasa lesson and an aerial yoga lesson too. I was really nervous to do aerial yoga, I mean you can’t say hanging upside down by your ankle isn’t intimidating! However after a week of surfing it was comparatively easy! (and helped me overcome some fears after ziplining in Costa Rica). Though I ended up with some bruises afterwards I am pleased to say I never fell and actually really enjoyed it. So don’t feel too intimidated if you are not a complete gym bunny it is very-doable!
Each lesson is 15 euros or you can get a package of 5 for 50 euros. You can do drop in classes for everything except aerial yoga and the 6.46 ashtanga class. If you want to do either of these just email ahead of time!
What to eat and drink-
Being plant-based sometimes makes it hard to eat when travelling but for the most part this isn’t an issue in Ericeira. Though many of the traditional Portuguese restuarants serve only fish and meat, sometimes they have veg based options or you can opt for more modern Portuguese options.
For tapas in Ericeira I really recommend the Adega Bar. Though from the outside it looks like a drinks bar if you venture further in there are tables where you can try an excellent selection of Portuguese meat and plant based tapas. I had Pica-Pau, a very filling Portuguese bar snack, made with homemade Seitan instead of beef and it was delicious! I also had a diablo de Adega cocktail (very similar to a dark and stormy) and of course a caipirinha! The atmosphere was really lively especially after 11pm with its funky décor and local characters mixing with backpacking tourists. The dishes range from 4-8 euros depending on the size (8 euro dishes are main meal sizes) and the cocktails are 5-8 euros.
Another Portuguese Tapas bar with good veg options was TikTapas (though I never went because I was too disorganized to book in advance- classic!). It is constantly busy because it is so popular but I only heard good things from the locals. Book 1 day in advance!
If you fancy a change from Portuguese food there are loads of other options too. From delicious Poke Bowls in Bowls Surf Café which offers meat and plant based options from 7 euros, Asian Fusion food (once again plant based and meat options available) at Pearl or even pizza at Mobile Pizza in Ribamar. There are no vegan options at Mobile Pizza and it is a little far out from Ericeira but if you are in the area you can eat a delicious pizza and watch the sunset over the beach with a Portuguese green wine. Wow!
And if you have a sweet tooth I recommend Blue Ice ice cream parlour which has delicious dairy and plant based ice cream!
There are lots of lively bars around in Ericeira many of which have life music or DJ sets. But one of my favourite bars was the relaxing Predio rooftop bar with fairy lights and blankets where you can enjoy the city with a view of the city. I really recommend the margherita (though be warned it is very strong!)
Getting in and getting around Ericeira –
Ericeira thankfully is actually super easy to get to!
From Lisbon you have 3 options. 1. Getting the bus 2.Getting an uber or 3. Hiring a car.
In the end we ended up getting an uber which cost 40 euros from the airport for a 40 minute drive, not bad (especially if you split the cost!) If you want a cheaper option the bus is a good choice. Though it takes half an hour longer it costs around 6 euros each way. Plus the bus station is pretty central in Ericeira so you will be able walk to your hostel from there!
Almost everything is walking distance in Ericeira, but bring some trainers for rougher terrain.
If you need to get outside of Ericeira there are loads of ubers around which normally cost around 5 euros (these tend to run fairly regularily till about 12pm).
I hope you enjoy visiting Ericeira as much as I did! Safe travels xx
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