Surfing Ericeira | Guide to Europe’s Best Surf Town

Twenty. 

That’s the number of surf spots on offer in and around Ericeira. Throw in consistent swells, warm (ish) weather year-round, and affordable living costs; you have the recipe for Europe’s perfect surf town. 

With a wide variety of spots catering to all abilities and a healthy digital nomad surf scene, it’s no wonder many are flocking to Ericeira. If you think it could be your next surf trip destination, here’s everything you need to know about surfing in Ericeira. 

Overview

Table of Contents

Best Time of Year to Surf Ericeira

Ericeira has waves year-round, but the best time to surf depends on your ability and wave preferences. During winter, the largest swells march into the coast with full force. 

In spring/autumn, things start to calm down, if only a little, and two excellent times to visit Ericeira. Swells here are still solid and frequent but come without the intimidating nature associated with winter swells. 

Summer is the best time to surf in Ericiera as a beginner. At this time, swells subside, and waves get smaller and weaker. However, there is always something to ride! Oh, and the weather and water temp heats up. 

How to Get to Ericeira? 

Getting to Ericeira is straightforward. A mere 30 minutes from Lisbon International Airport, you can hire a car from the airport or take a local bus to reach the town. 

Best Surf Spots in Ericeira 

There are countless waves spread through Ericeira and its world-surfing reserve. Seriously it’s ridiculous; every outcrop of rock/headland offers a rideable wave. While there are far too many spots to name in this guide, here’s a breakdown of Ericeira’s best surf spots.

Ribeira D’lhas 

Ribeira is a long meandering pointbreak with fat right walls for all abilities. The wave breaks over a flat reef and peels off forgivingly down the point, finishing with a shorey section on a small beach. Fantastic for intermediates looking to get comfortable trimming across the unbroken wave face. 

But don’t be put off by the fat nature of the wave; Ribeira offers rippable walls on certain wells for the advanced surfer. You only have to look at the QS guys surfing it during the WSL contest to see the fun potential. The beach also has a wicked restaurant, a large car park, and toilet/shower facilities. 

Coxos

The jewel in the crown of surfing in Ericeira. Coxos (pronounced Coshos) is a word class wave, often referred to as the best right in Portugal, a huge claim considering the number of epic waves throughout the country. Coxos is long, powerful, and fast, spinning over a shallow rock reef and ending abruptly in a small bay. 

Starting with a slabbing barrel section at the top of the point before fattening out to give room for turns. The wave then hits the inside section and throws itself over again. When the swells up, the wave is serious–a freight train barrel for advanced surfers and chargers only. No matter the size, the wave is incredible, but as you’d expect, things get crowded, and locals aren’t keen on sharing. 

Cave 

Unless you’re a pro big wave surfer or hard-charging maniac, avoid the Cave. The wave is a mutant slab, breaking onto an almost dry rock. The wave rises from the deep Ocean and unloads itself onto a shallow rock shelf. A cat and mouse barrel that walks the line between the freight train ride of a lifetime and being pummelled into rock. You only have to look at the photos below to see for yourself!  A seriously heavy wave, but a great watch if you’re around on a swell. 

Pedra Branca

A word class left only working on certain swells. Like most Ericeiran waves, it comes out of deep water, rises, and draws water off the reef before throwing it back over itself. A long, barreling left-hander close to the main town of Ericiera. A beautiful wave, but don’t expect to score it to yourself. 

Sao Juliao

South of town lies a beach break that, for most of the winter, is too big to surf. But on smaller days, it’s a great option when everywhere else is flat or when the more premier surf spots slip into their summer slumbers.

Crazy Left 

Despite the name, Crazy Left doesn’t break with the same ferocity and quality as its neighbor, Coxos, which breaks just across the short channel in the same bay. However, Crazy Left is still a fast, powerful left, with a barrel section on take-off before reeling off down the line for a series of turn sections. 

Best Beginner Surf Spots in Ericeira 

Praia Do Sol is one of the only beach breaks in the area and a great place to learn how to surf in Ericiera. Despite this, Ribeira D’llhas is a fantastic spot to learn how to surf, and you’ll see many surf lessons take place here. Although it is a reef break, the bottom is smooth and flat. 

Ericeira Surf Spot Map

Here’s an overview of just some of the surf spots across Ericeira. 

Ericeira Surf Spot Map

Where to Stay in Ericeira? 

Whatever your bank balance, Ericeira has several great accommodation options. 

Part of the international hostel chain and always reliable for a pod-style bed, strong wifi, and fun people, Selina was a no-brainer for my budget surf trip. Compared to other Selina hostels, the Ericeira property is small and cozy. 

With a wicked location and a fair price, the only downside is not having co-working space, which means if you’re a digital nomad, you don’t have a dedicated workspace on site. Parking can also be tricky, but other than those minor issues, Selina is an excellent place to stay for surfing in Ericeira. 

Another wicked spot to stay in Ericeira is Ericeira Chill House. One of the more affordable spots in town and you’ll be bale to walk to several shops, restaurants, and bars. At the same time, most of the surrounding surf breaks are 10 10-minute drive away. 

WOT Ericeria is a great place to stay in town. Here, you’ll have the choice of dorms and privates. With prices starting at $42 per night. A wicked spot to get waves, and meet other surfers/travelers from all over the world. Check out WOT Ericeira on Booking.com.

The Ericeira World Surfing Reserve

To protect the numerous world-class waves of Ericeira from wave-ruining infrastructure projects, Ericiera’s wave-rich coastline has been officially named a World Surfing Reserve. This means no development can occur on the coast where five of Ericeira’s best surf spots are. 

Digital Nomad Surfing in Ericeira?

Ericeira is one of the best surfing digital nomad locations on the planet. A thriving town where many surfing digital nomads are making a base–unsurprising considering the combination of waves, climate, and cost of living. While many accommodations offer solid wifi, some great co-working spaces are dotted throughout town.  

Portugal also offers a digital nomad working visa. A special visa, where you can prove you earn 2800 euros from online sources, you can work/live in Portugal long term. A great incentive for digital nomads to a country already considered one of the best digital nomad destinations. Learn more about Portugal’s digital nomad visa here. 

Where to Eat? 

As you’d expect for such a thriving surf town, there are some excellent places to eat. Whether you’re after some fancy up-market cuisine or tucking into some post-surf bakery treats, this place has it all. Get lost in the cobbled streets to discover some of the best cafes and seafood restaurants in town.

Ericeira Best of

Tips for Surfing in Ericeira

Localism

Because of the waves and massive increase in popularity of the town, some spots are localised in Ericeira. Which, like anywhere, means locals get their waves first. While anyone can surf the waves around town, don’t expect the locals to give up any sets for you. While I didn’t see it first-hand, it’s not uncommon to see arguments and locals shouting at foreigners catching “too many” waves.

Variety

Because there are so many premier surf spots in town, it’s tricky to choose where to surf, a great problem to have, but if you are hesitant, it means you spend more time driving and checking spots than actually surfing. Try and have an idea of where you want to surf beforehand. 

Final Words

As one of the world’s best surf destinations, Ericeira is a must-visit surf town close to Lisbon and a place offering consistency, variety, weather, and vibes; it’s a no-brainer. If you’ve been here or have questions about the place, please comment below! Yew! 

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