Ericeira is the Portugal’s headquarters of surfing and one of the centres of the sport on the European continent. The Save the Waves Coalition made Ericeira the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe and it remains one of only five dedicated WSRs in the world. This honour recognises Ericeira’s environmental, cultural, civic and economic value, in terms of the sport of surfing and beyond.
Ericeira is the site of nine world-class surf breaks and a further 30 top surf spots within the region are easily reached by car or (sometimes) public transport.
Ericeira is situated in Mafra municipality and not far from Lisbon, which lies 35 km / 22 mi to the southeast. This part of Portugal boasts a mild Mediterranean climate and is one of the most unspoiled coastal areas of Europe. In the 19th century the Portuguese royal family made it their seaside home away from home. The country’s aristocracy followed suit, building many stately homes here. A major commercial port before Portugal’s railroad was built; Ericeira subsequently developed a vibrant fishing industry, which became its main source of income.
The village was also the point where Portugal’s final king, Manuel II, fled revolutionary forces to live as an exile in London. Ericeira was a hub for refugees fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II. People from Germany, France, Poland, Belgium and Netherlands all settled in this quiet fishing village. Still an international location thanks to surfing, foreign languages can still often be heard on the streets and beaches of this picturesque region.
Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve
Beachgoers, bodyboarders and skateboarders, as well as surfers, flock to Ericeira to enjoy the incomparable sun, sand and waves. For a few days during midsummer, music takes over, with the Sumol Summer Fest reggae festival.