Does the perfect surf wave really exist?
There are now 11 such places where the waves are so unique like specially made for surfing. What is so special about those waves?
The World Surfing Reserve
World Surfing Reserve project works on protecting the most unique surf spots and waves all around the world.
The program is open, and still, new spots are joining the project.
Preserving wave breaks
Protecting outstanding surf breaks around the world is the key point of World Surfing Reserve activities including legal protection.
You can find cyclical events made by authors of the program, e.g. Global Wave Conference. Such events bring together the best international minds from the community gathered around ocean issues – surfing, conservation, and innovation communities to tackle the world’s most challenging current matters
The main challenge is to raise awareness and share best practices from across the world to address ocean plastics, water quality, coastal development, and climate change /sea level rise.
What conditions must a perfect wave meet?
What is considering by experts from around the world?
– Wave Quality & Consistency
– Environmental Characteristics
– Local surf Culture & History
Magical surf town Ericeira
One of those places with World Surfing Reserve legal status and the only one in Europe so far is Ericeira, Portugal.
As life sometimes becomes surprising, some time ago, by pretty large coincidence (or maybe not at all) I came to Ericeira with little awareness that this place event exists on the map.
This little town, located 50km to the North of Lisbon, turned out to be a paradise not only for surfers. In Ericeira you feel on every step the magical mix of the ocean and nature – you can feel that from the first contact with this place.
Because of the extraordinary climate, some of the people which are coming here stay for a bit longer than they expected…
And that’s it – pro surfers, surf travelers, hippies, tourists, and other “seekers” who hit Ericeira feel here like at home. Here it is just like that!
Almost everyone here observes the ocean to search for the best waves for themselves. And the waves in Ericeira happen quite high. However, stay calm, even beginners will find here places to surf.
From May till the end of October you can visit this surf town and live the freedom! You will find warm weather, mostly without rain (there are few exceptions but it’s a drizzle more than heavy rain ). Ericeira similarly to neighboring Peniche, from fishing roots, became a sort of surfer’s paradise. Does it sound incredible? Read on about the local life, people, and energy of this place.
What does Ericeira have to offer for surfers?
About 8km of shoreline with surf spots for various levels of difficulties, unique ocean area, and incredible natural resources of the local ecosystem. You will find here as many as seven types of waves, dedicated to various surf levels. Thus beginner surfers and pros surfers will find here a place to surf. Here exactly you’ll find the cult surf spot Coxos, which is according to most surfers one of the best places for catching the waves.
Ribeira d’Ilhas that’s an excellent surf spot for learners, although pros will find here amazing waves as well. On this spot every year there is a Quicksilver Pro Portugal surf competition. That’s one of many events organized by the Association of Surfing Professionals, which is let’s say the most important unit for managing surf competitions.
WORLD SURFING RESERVE – INTERPRETATION CENTRE
World Surfing Reserve Interpretation center for every fan of surfing that’s absolutely an amazing place. You can get here much information from interactive video installation – how ocean currents are formed on each beach in Ericeira, how the shoreline looks like, and also you may see the hidden parts under the water, what kind of waves we may meet on particular spots. The interactive map was created by video mapping and that’s undoubtedly the unique point, not only on the road of surf trips but also all surf tourism.
Surf school in Ericeira
In the town, you may find quite many surf schools and surf camps, and also superb surf instructors who offer individual lessons (attention, the individual one is not low-cost). Personally, I went to the best surf school from which I was surfing before – Ericeira Surf School. In this surf school the key it’s security. As some of you know for sure that’s not so easy, on the first and next steps on the surfboard. In my surf education, it is right here where I came to the next level of surfing, which turned to be connected to my snowboarding experience. As it turns out, learning to surf that’s indeed learning to stand up on the board. If you can stand up you are “almost at home”. At least you know the direction, or you just know that home exists somewhere…
Surf tourism infrastructure in Ericeira
As befits the capital of surfing you can find here a number of shops, outlets, restaurants, and bars referring to the surf world. Have you forgotten your surfboard, wetsuit, or shoes? That’s no problem at all, you can buy everything here or even more because the spectrum of shopping possibilities is impressive. You can find here plenty of magazines, albums, and books about surfing. I recommend a surf guide through the shoreline with the campervan „I love the seaside – the surf and travel guide to Southwest and Northwest Europe”.
A monument of a surfer
If you didn’t have a chance to visit Ericeira, there is quite a big chance that you didn’t see a monument of a surfer anywhere before. Guardião da Reserva Mundial de Surf da Ericeira – Ericeira World Surfing Reserve guardian – that’s a statue which watches on the cliff upon the Ribeira d’Ilhas beach. When I saw him I knew that I got exactly where I needed to be for a long time (Thank you Margherita x 100!). You can visit this monument, take a selfie or just meditate with this stunning view from the cliff, where you can see the landscape of one of the best surf beaches in the world. The guardian of Ericeira knows where to stand…
Parties in Ericeira
In every famous surf town, you may find interesting places which offer various options for nightlife. That’s how it is also in Ericeira – Tubo, Tiki, and Adega are some of the best bars where you can feast. The amazing energy of these places connects to ancient Hawaiian surf culture. If you are a party animal you’ll find your spot here, even at night. If you just want to catch some wine or tea in the bar – there is always a place to go… not only to talk about surfing…
Notice about local Portuguese Ginja, which is a sweet cherry liqueur. The most famous Ginja you will drink in Obidos (80 km away from Ericeira) – this liqueur has a maximum 22% of alcohol although on hot days it seems to be a bit stronger. It is worth trying Ginja in the chocolate glass which then you can, and even you should eat. Remember that liquer alone it’s not as strong as the cherry, which may act with strong power…This drink is often served by old ladies on the small streets of the old town in Lisbon and in small Portuguese towns.
Every surf town it’s also a town of campervans. So this is a place where you can rent a campervan and drive to the end of Portugal to the magical Algarve or just to the nearest cliff – to admire the stars and waves, e.g. straight from your bed in the campervan.
Always remember to protect nature, the cliffs, and the local environment. Be aware that there are some places where you shouldn’t park and sleep – you can get more information on Visit Portugal or here on Skubday MAG, soon!
There are many campervans in the town – I can recommend campervans with soul from www.treevangang.com. You can find a few magical homes on the wheels and share experiences about campervans with experts. That crew knows a lot about campervans and also about this kind of traveling and living.
I was living for a while in one of those campervans called Karmaman – this car and home at the same time was my best friend with a pure soul and open heart. It was the beginning of my new life journey, which I will tell you about in the next story. Definitely, I remember it as the most magical and free time of connecting with nature and pure Earth. Thank you feeling_good_campervans for this best home ever <3 I’ll be back soon!
More about campervans you’ll find here shortly. I stayed in a magical place called House of Rising Modjo with amazing hospitable souls, pure abundant nature around, and blissful events like yoga (also yoga retreats), doing meditation, singing mantras, and making cacao ceremonies.
Searching for surf camp I found a trip of my friend Margherita, the author of the project Girl on the Wave: https://girlonthewave.com/. Margherita moved to Ericeira from Poland about 2 years ago to practice surfing and she connected her love to managing surf camps.
This surf camp was absolutely the best I’ve been to. We stayed at Blue Buddha Hostel with a beautiful ocean view. The team from Ericeira Surf School drove us to the spots and all our team of the camp tuned to the same happy vibe.
Where to eat in Ericeira?
As some of you know well that after surfing you are starving…Probably I’m never hungry as much as after surfing. Usually, I’m hungry so much that I can eat everything, so that’s so important to have something to eat here and now. The core of my diet is vegan food but honestly, when I’m in Portugal I sometimes eat fish, especially grilled sardines.
I have to admit that that’s my weakness together with sardine pate and Rissóis de peixe (check further) …
Nevertheless, I recommend a few really excellent restaurants in Ericeira such as Restaurante Prim or Restaurante Casa Portuguesa. Portugal it’s famous for sardines (the best are grilled), codfish that is bacalhau, which Portuguese prepare in 100 different ways.
One of my favorite dishes from Portuguese cuisine it’s Rissóis de peixe – that’s dumplings with codfish or shrimps. Personally, I’m also a huge fan of Vinho Verde, green lightly sparkling wine.
How to get to Ericeira?
How to fly to Ericeira, Portugal?
The town is located near Lisbon so the best is to fly to the capital of Portugal. To get from Lisbon to Ericeira you have to take a bus from the bus stop Campo Grande Bus Terminal – the bus will drive you in not much more than an hour, and a ticket costs about 10 euros. It’s worth checking Uber or Bolt as well – booth apps work well and you may pay about 30 euros for the trip.
How to get to Ericeira by car?
Driving to Ericeira by car might be a fantastic trip through Europe, depending on your distance. Generally, there are two options which are totally amazing – one through the south and the second through the north of Europe. More about places to see on the way you’ll find here soon, stay tuned!
Is Portugal expensive?
Obviously, everything depends – but the prices are rather lower than in most of Western Europe. A bit more expensive might be in especially tourist places, like everywhere in the world.
Language and inhabitants
Most young Portuguese speak English rather without a problem, but it might be different when you speak to older people. It’s useful to take a dictionary with basic words and phrases to make your communication easier.
Portuguese citizens are very open and the language barrier doesn’t make a bigger problem and that’s super helpful. They are so positive and easygoing that it’s just hard not to love them. In a matter of fact, they have the Sun and ocean almost all year…that’s as clear as day that Portugal citizens are happier on a daily basis and you can feel that on every step.
It’s good to know that there is a huge difference between the temperature in Lisbon and the ocean. Thus when you’ll get out of the plane in Lisbon it might be hot but in Ericeira, you may need a warm sweater. Ericeira it’s a windy place, the winters are cold, wet, and partly cloudy.
Where to surf? World Surfing Reserve all around the world.
You can find certificated waves World Surfing Reserve in the following places:
Malibu, California, USA
Punta Borinquen, Puerto Rico
Manly Beach, Australia
Santa Cruz, California, USA
Bahia Todos Santos, Baja Mexico
Punta de Lobos, Chile
Gold Coast, Australia
Guarda do Embau, Brazil
Not everyone has to love surfing and Portugal but everyone who loves to surf will love Ericeira, I’m almost sure about that. Even when the wind from the ocean blows so strong that you might feel that it’s gonna break down your window and wipe out you and all your bed.
The fact that by the ocean it is wet and if you won’t turn on the dehumidifier it might happen that your clothes will never dry up. Therefore turn it on if you have such a one. You’ll not regret that.
If you are still reading this text – congratulations! That was the first but definitely not the last text about Ericeira.
I wish you a lot of power from the Ocean!