Ericeira: Fisherman village & Europes best surf town

Located only a 45 minute drive (50km) from Lisbon.

Surrounded by dramatic coastlines to the north and south, fairy-tale-like Mediterranean landscapes to the east and world-class waves to the west: our piece of paradise offers something for everybody, sun and beach-seekers, holiday-makers, surfers, yogis, culture fascinated, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts and digital nomads alike.

Exploring & getting active. Apart from a majority of visitors coming for the good waves and beautiful beaches, there is a growing interest in the uncountable trails along the cliffs and inland for walking, running,  mountain-, gravel or motocross biking.

Culture seekers find local artists as well as sites of rich cultural heritage with nearby visits to Sintra, Mafra or Obidos, and of course the metropolis of Lisbon just at the doorstep.

Surfhaven Ericeira

Come for a walk in Ericeira

Wine-lovers indulge in local drops that can be tasted in the nearby wineries such as Quinta Sant’Ana, Manz or Adega Mae and are easily on par with Portugal’s famous wines of Douro or Alentejo regions. Find out wine tips here.

New cafes and bars are popping up in the little cobblestone alleys surrounding the local fish market, bringing international foods into the rather meat-, and seafood-heavy local scene. Find our culinary tips here. Crafty lifestyle boutiques appear in between the traditional handcraft and surf stores. The growing number of internationals settling in Ericeira and surrounds bring a fresh entrepreneurial and artistic spirit to this once sleepy village.

Those who are seeking alternative ways of living find permaculture farms selling organic foods, offering workshops or volunteering and like minded communities wherever they look.

A little time travel reveals that our fishermen´s town was first settled by the Phoenicians. As expert sailors and traders they were first to venture from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. As the dominant maritime power of their time they installed their most western harbor in Ericeira during the eighth century BCE. Fun fact: Their traces can still be found in the DNA of the Jagoz people (the Ericeira natives).

It was still a while until Ericeira became officially registered in 1229.

In the 19th century, our lovely town was one of the four most important harbors of Portugal. Besides its fishermen´s business, it was where the King and Queen not only spent their summer holidays, but escaped the Portuguese Revolution in 1910, and became a place of refuge for many Europeans fleeing the Nazi regime during the Second World War, amongst them numerous artists.

Ericeira and it’s surroundings

The origins of the tongue-twisting name seems to be tricky as there are two theories to it: One story takes us to the vast occurrence of sea urchins – Ouriços – that may not look like, but allegedly boast some rich and beneficial nutritional value which has made the spiky seafood part of the traditional local diet and given the name to their hometown.

Another naming theory takes us to the Àguas de St. Marta, located at the south end of town, where during the time of Phoenicians the goddess Venus, known as Ericina, was worshiped. Whilst the first theory is more popular amongst historians, but never has been proved, we‘ll make it up to you to pick your favorite one on this!