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 for 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.
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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.
We’re talking deep lines stacked to the horizon bringing to life the area’s best breaks. We’re talking heavy barrels, slabs, and raw ocean power, attracting top European surfers and pros to get their fix.
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 heat 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 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.
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.
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 deep Ocean and unloads itself onto a shallow rock shelf. A cat and mouse barrel that walks the line between 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.
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.
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.
Despite the name, Crazy Left doesn’t break with the same ferocity and quality as its neighbour, 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, Riberia D’lhas is a fantastic spot to learn how to surf, and you’ll see many surf lessons take place here. And 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.
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 cosy.
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.
One of Ericeira’s best surf camps. Whether you’re learning for the first time or already a swell-chasing surf addict, La Point is a beautiful camp for anyone visiting Ericiera. While more expensive than Selina and other surf camps in the area, La Point offers an excellent location and beautiful interiors with all the amenities and conveniences you could ever want from a surf camp.
If you’re on a budget surf trip, camping is your new best friend in Ericeira. Check out Ericeira Camping, one of the best and only campsites, putting you within a minute’s walk to the nearest spot.
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.
Surf Lessons & Surf Hire in Ericeira
There are countless places to learn and improve your surfing in Ericeira. Whether you’re looking to start surfing for the first time or want to sharpen your turns, you can do it here. Here are some of Ericeira’s best surf schools.
Where to Work 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
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.
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.
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!