You’ve probably not heard of it.
But, I’m here to tell you why you most definitely should have.
Where is it?
Ericeira is on the western coast of Portugal, in the municipality of Mafra about 22 miles northwest of the capital, Lisbon.
It is a beach town, popular with backpackers and surfers, which may have something to do with the fact it has 40 beaches with good conditions in the area.
How did I find out about it?
Well, it was a total accident.
Me and Alice were wandering through Lisbon when we came across MUDE, a museum set in an old bank building. displaying design and fashion from the 19th century to the present day. When we were there there was also a surf expedition.
This expedition displayed images of beaches and surfers from Portugal, Ericeira was on there. I saved it in my notes as it looked so beautiful.
A few days later after researching it a bit, and not having any other plan, we decided to go find the bus and go.
You can get the bus from Lisbon bus station. it only takes an hour and costs around 6 euros.
What we found when we got there?
It was amazing.
It was a proper Portuguese surf town. Quaint little shops, beautiful beaches and everyone was lovely.
We didn’t know what to expect, but I can now say it was one of the best places I’ve been to whilst backpacking Europe.
Where did we stay?
Well, initially we only planned on staying a few nights, so we booked 2 nights in the Sea Sound Guest House. It was like a little house, it was so good to chill after a crazy time in Lisbon. We had a 2 person room, for the first time, ever. But, I confess, we missed the busy hostel life.
We overlooked the sea, we were literally on the sea front. After all the hostels we’ve stayed in, this felt like a 5 star hotel.
I have just checked, and it is closed down. This makes me sad as I would fully recommend anyone stay here and it was such a lovely place.
However, once we realized we loved Ericeira we knew we had to stay longer, we opted to stay in a less pricey hostel down the road, The 70’s Hostel.
The 70’s Hostel was amazing. A really good price, around £15 a night. It had it’s own kitchen, a spacious lounge area to chill, a cool outdoor eating area and a roof top area. The beds were basic but clean and comfortable. The guy on reception and who stayed up all night for guests was great, so helpful and friendly.
I would recommend everyone stay there.
What did we do?
I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for ages, I tried surfing.
I mean, as soon as you step foot in Ericeira you realize surfing is it’s culture, it’s everywhere.
I loved surfing.
It was pretty difficult if I’m honest. We had a warm up session in the blistering sun in our wet suits then around 4 hours in the water.
I only stood up a few times. I know, that sounds shit, doesn’t it? But until you try it you don’t realize how hard and strenuous it is. We did find that Alice was great at knee boarding though.
I felt a massive achievement standing up, I also now have a huge respect (not that I didn’t before, as I’ve always been fascinated with surfing) for people who can surf. Everyone should give it a go. We went with the guy who owned the first hostel we stayed at, he ran the surf classes, I would recommend them. They pick you up, provide wet suits and bring you back.
We mostly chilled in Ericeira. The beaches are really nice, so we sunbathed a lot. We sat outside and read our books, went for coffee. Just normal stuff you don’t always get to do whilst backpacking ’cause you end up being so busy seeing the sites. Oh, and if you weren’t aware, we spent one day buying hats. Living life really.
So, as you now know Ericeira is fairly small. So we weren’t expecting big things from the night life.
But, it was actually really good. It had more of a relaxed atmosphere, people are surfing all day so really you don’t want a wild and huge club.
Bars such as La Luna and the Big Waves bar were reasonably priced, chilled and easy to meet people. Everyone was so friendly.
Due to it being a small place people were easy to meet in the hostel as well as in bars.
One night, I think it was a Sunday, there was a huge street party outside all these bars.
We were just going along like we did the other nights, but apparently in the summer this happens weekly.
On that night we saw an old man, dressed in a full cream suit, loving life. He was dancing around all the young women, us included, asking for a dance. So, of course we obliged. He was a local and it turns out comes there every week.
There’s a bit of a blurry picture of us, but as you can see, he was very suave. If you go, you could hopefully bump into him too.
We’d heard about the club in Ericeira but hadn’t been after a few nights.
Ericeira has one night club. Yes, one. It’s called Ouriço and is right on the front by the beach.
The front is decorated, when we were there it had an Alice in Wonderland theme. After research it turns out it gets decorated with different themes all the time.
Anyway one night we met some people, shout to Even Bjømo and his friends, and we decided that it was the night to go to this club. We just had to.
Well, people bailed, but we went, of course. It was a bit of an odd experience,
They have this system, where you get given a sort of bank card at the door, and you have to pay for your drinks all night on said card.
This could be great, or very dangerous for your budget.
Well, there was only about 20 people, if that, in the club. But we still had a great time. It was the first time I heard Milky Chance- Stolen dance in an actual club and It made my night (note to anyone, I was obsessed with their album on our Portugal and Spain travels).
Alice, was rather intoxicated, so didn’t get any drinks on her card. However when we went to leave it turns out there is a minimum £5 charge to it, so basically, that is your entry fee.
I would recommend anyone who goes to Ericeira to try Ouriço, for a good night, or just for the experience.
Why was it one of my favourite places in Europe?
Have I not sold you already?
Well, apart from all the things above, it just had an amazing atmosphere.
It reminded me of one of my favourite places in Wales, Abersoch, that may have contributed to why I loved it so much.
The scenery was stunning, the people so friendly and everything combined means you never want to leave.
Now I feel like I want everyone else to know about it, that was the reason I decided to do this for my latest post. Whenever Portugal comes up in conversation I try and tell people about it and they say ‘Where?’. They then probably just zone out because its not a well known place they’ve heard about before. People tend to do that.
If you’ve travelled before you’ll know how it is, trying to tell anyone who will listen about your experience, or the best place to go. So here’s my contribution to anyone thinking about Portugal as a place to go or if you want a trip somewhere different that you may not have thought of before.
Hopefully this gave you some insight into Ericeira and just maybe persuaded you that if you get the chance you should go someday. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
‘Til next time.??