The coastal area of Ericeira is a location of excellence, complete and unique for the practice of surf, due to its geographical and geological aspects. The area between “São Julião” and “Pedra Branca”, presents beach breaks and reef breaks that are ideal for surf schools and for learning experiences. São “Julião”, “Foz do LIzandro” and “Matadouro” are three beaches of reference for this kind of experience.
The intervention of the Town Hall of Mafra, gave the “Foz do Lizandro” beach its dune back, an area that was once used as a parking lot, included the reforestation of Russian Wheatgrass - Elimus farctus, for dune fixation against the effects of erosion, allowing other typical species of the dune ecosystem, such as Sea Holly – Eryngium maritum L., Sea Spurge – Euphorbia paralias L. and Sea Cudweed – Otanthus maritimus L..
The coastline near Ericeira is constituted by rock and sand formations, preceded by bluffs and cliffs that surround the small bays with sand or pebble beaches. These sedimentary geological formations, formed by strata of ancient consolidated dunes, are much affected by the action of the elements and man. The area between “Pedra Branca” and “Ribeira d’Ilhas” presents cliffs of unique beauty, where three of the existing waves are world class. The geography of the valley of Ribeira d’Ilhas, a kind of natural amphitheater with a broad sand base, and many setup infra-structures (beach facilities and car parks), make this beach a stage by nature for any type of surf event, honoring the waves and surf. “Ribeira d’Ilhas” is thus a distinct reference in the Municipality of Mafra.
Ribeira d’Ilhas beach affirms itself as a world reference for surf and other water sports, offering excellent quality of utilization, with a low environmental impact, promoting a balance of the existing ecosystem. Between “Ribeira d’Ilhas” and “São Lourenço” lies the surf zone in its most genuine state, enriching and natural. As it was in the beginnings of surf, with almost no human intervention, first class waves can be found. In this zone we can find, once again, cliffs with a progressive gain in height. Its vegetation presents specific characteristics of adaption to the lack of water and poor soil, as well as wind and salinity of the environment.
This vegetation is indispensable to maintain the sandy substrate of the cliffs and the retention of some of the water, resulting in the diminishing of the erosion, which is a large contribution for the maintenance of the balance of the ecosystem. Species like Furze - Ulex densus W., Phoenician juniper - Juniperus phoenicia L., Everlasting- Helichrysum spp., a Pale Stonecrop- Sedum sediforme (Jacq.) or Rock Samphire- Chrithmum maritimum L., are just a few examples of plants that cover the bluffs, protecting them form erosion of the elements and action of Man. This costal zone lodges a great diversity of marine fauna, with a diversity of mollusks. During the winter period, the inside of rocks is the ideal hiding place for the spawning of sea bass, and many other of the normal species of the Portuguese cost line.
All year around you can find surfers and amateur fisherman living and using this bay in a perfect ambience of co-existence, many of which practice both surfing and fishing http://www.cm-mafra.pt/files/Turismo/bookletEN.pdf