While most surfers point their surfboards towards the Algarve, there is actually another great surf gem in Portugal. Meet Ericeira, only 40 minutes from Lisbon and an absolute wave magnet. Ericeira is actually named a World Surf Reserve because of the quality and consistency of the waves, and the unique environmental conditions. Waves are spilling all year long and can get as crazy as you prefer them. So whether you’re dipping your toes into the surf pool for the first time or are a diehard tube chaser; there really is a wave for everyone. Getting the feels for a surf trip to Ericeira? Great, we’ll tell you all about the best places to surf, stay, and eat! 

The Best Ericeira Surf Spots

As mentioned above, Ericeira is officially crowned as a World Surf Reserve. There are many consistent surf breaks along the coastline of Ericeira that can work all year long. Not bad, right? To enjoy them all, we definitely recommend renting a car to get around. That way you can ditch the crowds and search for the best waves to your level. Wondering which break is best for you? We’ve collected them all for you from North to South!

São Lourenço

São Lourenço is the most northern spot of the Ericeira World Surf Reserve. Because of its location a bit further out of town, it’s normally not as crowded as other breaks in Ericeira. São Lourenço is an exposed reef and beach break that works almost the entire year. It’s a long wave, with multiple peaks and sections, which can turn in a big wave spot when the swell turns on. The wave is mostly suitable for intermediates and advanced surfers. The most ideal conditions are with mid-tide, eastern winds, and a N-NW swell.

Surfers at Praia Sao Lourenco in Ericeira
surf spot in Ericeira Portugal


Coxos has the reputation of being the best wave in Portugal, and for some even in the world. Why’s that? Well, it’s a perfect right-point break that offers long, fast and hollow rides with multiple barrel sections. It can hold some big swells and is very consistent. It’s definitely an expert wave only, so you need to know what you’re doing. The best conditions are with low to mid-tide, eastern winds, and a south or west swell.

Crazy Left

Following the coastline southwards, Crazy Left is exactly what it’s called. A hollow left-hand point break, with crazy barrels. As the wave is quite exposed, it’s not as reliable as other breaks around. However, if it works, it’s on fire. It’s a challenging wave suitable for experts only. You don’t get a name like that for no reason, right? Crazy Left works best with upcoming tide to high tide. The best swell conditions are from the southwest in combination with an offshore wind from the east.


Cave is by far the heaviest wave in Ericeira. It’s very fast and hollow, serving you heavy right-hand barrels. It breaks over super shallow and sharp reef, so definitely not suitable for the faint-hearted. Even the pros can point out a few scars on their bodies as a memory of their Cave-experience. So, only paddle out when you know what you’re doing here. Cave is not a consistent wave as it needs quite a bit of swell to get working. When it does work, it’s surfed best at low or outgoing tide with NW-swell en winds from the east.

Ribeira D'Ilhas

You’d almost think Ericeira only offers fun to experienced surfers, right? Don’t worry, there are plenty of waves to be found for intermediates and beginners as well! Like the most famous and popular spot in Ericeira, Ribeira D’Ilhas. Most of the time this break is packed with surf schools, but if you don’t mind a 6 am wake-up call to ditch the crowds, it’s actually a really fun spot. Ribeira D’Ilhas is very consistent and suitable for all levels. There’s both a very long and mellow right-hand point break, and an A-frame beach break. It works on all tides, but mostly on incoming mid-tide. The most ideal conditions are with swell from the west or northwest and wind from the east.

Surf spot Ribeira D'Ilhas in Ericeira
Surfers at Moita in Ericeira


Moving closer to town, you can find Reef. A very fast and powerful righthander. Not for the fainthearted, either, as the take-off over shallow reef is a challenging one. This spot can create perfect hollow barrels with the right conditions. The good thing about such a challenging break is that it doesn’t really get crowded. The downside, of course, is that not many people will be able to surf it. Best conditions for Reef are from low to mid tide, ideally with wind from the east (SE) and swells from the northwest.

Pedra Branca

Pedra Branca is a left-hand reef break at the outer Northern part of Ericeira town. It’s another expert-only spot due to the fast take-off over very shallow reef. Any mistakes will leave some marks on your skin. Pedra Branca can produce some serious tubes, making it a favorite among expert locals. The best conditions can be found with wind from the NE, and swell from the SW, during mid to high tide.

Praia do Matadouro

Praia do Matadouro is a great spot for beginners and intermediates due to its mellow left-hander and fun right. Although not as crowded as Riberia D’Ilhas, Matadouro is a popular wave with surf schools, so it does get pretty busy here as well. For beginners, Matadouro is surfed best during low to mid tide. If you’re more of an intermediate surfer, then around high tide is when you wanna paddle out. Do be aware of the rocky and reef bottom as there are some spots a bit tricky.
As Matadouro is quite an exposed spot, it’s sensitive to winds blowing in. Best conditions can be found with moderate wind from the east and swell from the west.

Praia dos Pescadores

Praia dos Pescadores is a beach break in the center of Ericeira town. Due to its location and accessibility for all levels, this spot can get crowded. As the spot is one of the most protected spots in the area, it needs quite a big swell to work. So when the autumn swells hit, and you’re too intimidated by them, check out Praia dos Pescadores! When working, it offers a mellow wave with both left and right handers. Best conditions can be found with swell from the N-NW. Be aware of the current along the pier, however, as it can pull you out.

Praia do Sul

Another good spot for all surf levels, Praia do Sul is a fairly exposed beach and reef break in the center of Ericeira. The bay has multiple peaks, offering both lefts and rights. It needs quite a bit of swell to properly work, so it’s mostly a popular spot from October till April. The waves work best with winds from the east and swell from the W-SW.

Foz do Lizandro

South of town, you can find Foz do Lizandro. Not just a good spot for sundowners, but also a very consistent beach break. There are multiple peaks at this long stretch of beach, offering great waves for mostly beginners and intermediates. At the Southern end of the beach near the river mouth, there’s a great left. More towards the middle of the beach, you can find an A-frame with both lefts and rights. As it is a reliable and accessible surf spot, it can get crowded here. Best conditions can be found with low to mid tide with a SW swell and winds from the east. Do be aware of the rip currents when the swell picks up.

Surf girl at Foz do Lisandro beach in Ericeira Portugal
Sunset at surf spot Praia do Sao Juliao

Praia do São Julião

If you’d like to surf with the most stunning backdrop, then head to Praia do São Julião. This exposed beach break offers reliable surf with both left and right-handers. It will pick up most of the swell, so even on a small day there’s something to be found here. When it gets bigger, it’s definitely more of an intermediate/advanced spot due to the strong currents. Again, you won’t be all by yourself, but it can still be lots of fun!

Pool area at Ola Onda Guesthouse in Ericeira

Where to stay in Ericeira

Sometimes you come across places where you feel right at home from the moment you set foot inside. Ola Onda guesthouse is such a place. The quaint Portuguese house is a great hideout for your (surf) holiday in Ericeira. Perfectly located within walking distance of the old town and multiple surf breaks, Ola Onda is where you wanna stay. 

The house itself is charming with a lot of old details. There are many nooks to relax, chill by the pool, or read one of the many books from their surf collection. The rooms are light, spacious, and very comfortable, and definitely add to the feel-at-home vibe.

What makes staying at Ola Onda really stand out, are actually Darcie & Jasper. The Dutch owners of Ola Onda are the best tour guides around town. They really know all the best places to surf, eat, and explore, and are happy to spill all their secrets to their guests. Besides that, they cook up the best breakfasts. We couldn’t wish for more after a sunrise surf session. 

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Mar das Latas

Probably our favorite spot in Ericeira, Mar das Latas is exactly what we love when on holidays (or at home). Delicious food, good wines, epic view, and great vibe. While sitting on little stools on the pavement, it’s a great spot for sun downers and people watching. 

Sunset Bamboo

This tiny spot in the middle of the old town is great for breakfast or lunch. They serve up all the healthy surfer fare you could think of; fresh juices, good coffee, smoothie bowls, and avo toasts. 


If you’re looking for a spot right on the beach, then Indigo is where you wanna go. This beach bar at Praia da Foz do Lizandro has a chill vibe and some great cocktails to pair with it. You do have to be patient when it’s busy as it definitely doesn’t go fast, but the staff is friendly and the views unbeatable. 


The very stylish restaurant Balagan serves up some delicious middle eastern cuisine. From the interior, till the food, the cocktails, and the view… It’s all a sight to the eyes. The portions are generous and really tasty. We loved the Grand Balagan Mezze and lamb shoarma, so make sure to give these a try!

Pepe Verde

We’ve left Ericeira a few weeks ago, but we’re still talking about the pizzas at Pepe Verde. Naive as we were, we stumbled upon this gem during a walk through the old town with a taste for pizza. We also stumbled upon a 1,5 hour waiting list, for which our hungry bellies refused. Thankfully, we were in town longer than that and made reservations for our next visit. And it was worth the wait! Their pizza Tavullia with pumpkin crème, peperoni, and smoked cheese was absolutely out of this world.

Dear Rose Cafe

Famous for their cinnamon buns and great coffee, Dear Rose Cafe is a must-visit when in Ericeira. It’s a quaint little café with a cute terrace, perfect for a coffee and pastry break during your strolls around town.

Surf, wine, and dine in Ericeira

If surfing is your game, then Ericeira should be your middle name. You can eat your heart out here for days, weeks, months in a row. There are many reliable surf spots in and around Ericeira where, depending on the season, some uncrowded epic waves can be scored. It’s not without reason a lot of people tend to stick around a little longer than expected. Add the amazing scenery, delicious food, and affordable living, and there really isn’t a reason not to. One thing is for sure, we’ll be back soon to discover more of this surfing gem! Till then, we’ll be missing our daily pastel de natas.



Sunset at surf spot Praia do Sao Juliao


Do you rather look at images than reading stories? No worries, we have a short recap of everything you need to know about Ericeira below.

Best time to visit

Depending on your holiday wishes you can visit Ericeira all year long. Looking for great waves and fewer people? Then September till May is when you'd like to visit Ericeira.

Best surf spot

Beginner: Ribeira D'Ilhas
Intermediate: Praia do São Julião
Advanced: Coxos

Surf conditions

Surf's up all year long, but definitely gets better from September till May. Make sure to bring your wetsuit though, as waters can be pretty cold!

Girl strolling around Ericeira old town in Portugal

Best place to stay

Obviously, Olá Onda Guesthouse.

Best restaurant

Mar das Latas, Pepe Verde, and Balagan.

Best surf shop

Magic Quiver; custom boards, great art works, and unique apparel

Photos by: J. Roeland & M. Barends©

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