The small fisherman village on Lisbon’s northern coast is known for its stunning beaches and perfect waves, making it the ideal destination for surfers. But don’t let the quaint whitewashed Portuguese charm fool you, Ericeira has so much more to offer than just surfing. From mountain biking and paragliding to cliff hiking and skateboarding, there is a host of Ericeira activities for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.
For the adventurous traveler looking to get their adrenaline pumping, Ericeira is an ideal destination. With its rugged coastline and steep cliffs, any outdoor activity offers up incredible views of the picturesque landscape which make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Read on for a list of the most popular Ericeira activities.
Surfing in Ericeira is a unique experience like no other. As the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, it offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the best waves on the planet. With its stunning coastline and perfect surfing conditions, Ericeira is a surfer’s paradise that will leave you wanting more time in the water.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, this small fishing village has something for everyone – from casual beach breaks to world-class reef breaks – making it one of Portugal’s top spots for surfers of all levels. Dozens of surf camps offer the surf experience of a lifetime, or board rentals for a few hours or a day, so if you’re in Ericeira, don’t miss the thrill of surfing those perfect long waves at Matadouro beach, or the barrels at Cave surf spot.
Mountain biking in Ericeira is the perfect activity for sports enthusiasts looking to take advantage of the region’s lush landscape and varied terrain. With its mix of panoramic rides along the coast, vineyards, and rural areas, there are plenty of options for mountain bikers of all levels. Both regular and e-bikes are available to adults as well as children so everyone can come along for the day.
Several bike shops rent out on an hourly or daily basis, and guides are also available for groups. Ericeira Bike will conveniently drop the rental at your hotel, but other shops are located slightly north or slightly south.
Depending on which part of the coast you’d like to visit, rent your bike from the nearest shop. Several interesting tours are relatively inexpensive and really worth it, like the sunset cliff ride, or the wine-tasting bike tour through the rolling hills of grape vines around Ericeira. If you’re an avid biker, don’t miss Ericeira’s panoramic cliff-top views of the Atlantic!
Although Ericeira isn’t the perfect destination to experience kitesurfing or windsurfing, it’s definitely worth considering. This small fishing village on Lisbon’s northern coast offers a unique combination of stunning beaches, perfect waves and rugged coastline, making for gorgeous views, but difficult beach access and is often too rocky for inexperienced kitesurfers.
However, when the wind is right from May to October, Foz de Lizandro provides the ultimate conditions for more advanced kitesurfers looking for a challenge – even in high season when the area can get crowded. Be warned though, Foz de Lizandro and Matadouro are the only beaches wide enough to allow for a longer take-off point. All other beaches are too narrow and rocky.
So although Kitesurfing is an option here, most people would first try Gincho 30 minutes south, especially if they need to rent equipment since there are no schools or rentals in Ericeira. Try Kitesurf School SBKiteboarding for great instructors and well-priced equipment in excellent condition.
For those who want to take their Ericeira activities to the skies, paragliding is an unforgettable way to experience the region’s beautiful landscape. You’ll be able to soar above the stunning coastline and picturesque countryside, taking in stunning aerial views. The craggy cliffs create the perfect ridge lift needed for Hang Gliding, paragliding, paramotoring or even a Tandem Flight.
The company which takes clients out is based in Cascais, and is called Voo de Sonho. They take clients out to fly the different cliffs and beaches along the West coast o Portugal. Clients are met at their hotel, or at an agreed meeting point depending on what works best. Sergio is very professional and starts his flights on one of the many beaches in the area, depending on weather conditions. Flights generally cost around 85 Euros for about a half-hour experience.
The company also offers other interesting outdoor activities such as guided trekking, rock climbing, and jeep tours of Ericeira and the surrounding area. If you haven’t taken to the skies yet, this just might be the opportunity you were waiting for!
Ericeira’s coastline is dotted with craggy cliffs, making it the perfect destination for a day in the sun for hikers. One option is to go north starting from Ribeira D’Ilhas and hike up the coast along the cliff top. Here you’ll come across about 5 km of rocky beaches with natural pools at low tide and stunning views of the hazy Atlantic.
Slightly further south, you can take the trail right across from the surfer roundabout. It will take you along the cliff top to visit the old fort. Although the fort is just a small structure, you’ll get some great pictures in this interesting spot above the crashing waves. At low tide you can walk the 5 km along the beach and reef all the way into the village.
South of the village, Foz de Lizandro has a beautiful estuary that ebbs and flows with the tide. At low tide, you can wade across the river, and hike up the rocks on the other side all the way to Sao Juliao village, about 2 km. The tiny fisherman village of about 30 houses is a truly idyllic setting and you’ll get some incredible shots for your trouble!
You can also do some organized treks with a guide, and keep in mind that there are lots of Geocaches in the area which are definitely worth your while if you enjoy treasure hunting too!
Since surfing and skateboarding go hand in hand, it would be a shame to miss out on the super fun skate park at QuickSilver across from the Matadouro beach. Whether you’re just learning how to grind or if you’re an experienced skater, there are plenty of ramps and grind boxes here for you to hone your skills. You can also sit up on the veranda and watch the skaters below as you sip your coffee or beer. It’s a great spot for kids too since there are instructors available here and cheap board rentals for under 10 Euros for a few hours.
With its mix of street spots and big concrete skateparks, Lisbon is also worth at least a day trip if you’d like a little more diversity and have your own board. Sk8te park Monsanto is an incredible new park that has got lots of shade under the trees and something for all levels. One of our favorites is Lisbon’s Pump Track at Parque das Naçoes, it’s right under the Vasco da Gama bridge on the water’s edge and makes for an incredible afternoon taking in the sunshine and the green vibes in this part of Lisbon.
Ericeira has two excellent tennis courts down in Parque de Santa Marta, right by the Vila Gale Hotel which will soon be much more accessible to anyone wanting to rent a court and have a hit. Ericeira Tennis Academy also has an extra court at Quinta dos Leitões if that’s more convenient, where you can rent for the great price of 15 Euros an hour. If you’d like to brush up on your skills, there are classes available for both kids and adults from 9am-9pm, just speak to Marco for more information.
Ericeira is an amazing destination for outdoor activities. From biking, surfing and paragliding to kitesurfing, tennis, cliff hiking and skateboarding, there’s something here for everyone! Whether you want a relaxing bike ride or heart-racing adventure activity like a tandem flight – Ericeira has it all!
So come explore this stunning region of Portugal in the best way possible: by experiencing its incredible scenery while taking part in some of these thrilling Ericeira activities. You won’t regret it!
A beachcomber, an avid bookworm, a mom and a teacher, Michelle is a Canadian travel blogger who writes about Ericeira.
She fell in love with the charming Portuguese village of Ericeira when she was enticed to move there by her Portuguese husband and never looked back.
She now lives between Mallorca and Ericeira, with her family and Fluffy the hamster.
Follow her adventures on Ericeirafamilyadventures.com.