Ericeira is a favourite destination for seaside holidays. This coastal town, founded eight centuries ago, is 35 kilometres north of Lisbon and offers a perfect atmosphere for visitors to relax and enjoy themselves. With clear water, rich in mineral salts and an iodine-rich climate, the area of Ericeira has beaches of excellent quality such as Praia da Foz do Lizandro, Praia de São Lourenço, Praia de São Sebastião or Praia da Ribeira d`Ilhas, which are internationally renowned for surfing, bodyboard and skimming. If you like smaller, more intimate beaches, visit the Praia da Orelheira. With a long fishing tradition, Ericeira also has the Praia do Peixe and the large Praia do Sul. The importance of the fishing in the area makes it a perfect place to eat marvellous fish and shellfish.
Ericeira is also a beautiful town for you to discover. It is a peaceful and charming town that offers pleasant walks, numerous shops and interesting crafts. The Ericeira World Surfing Reserve is a world-class surf zone encompassing approximately 8 km of coastline. It contains a high density of outstanding surf breaks, including iconic breaks such as Ribeira d’Ilhas and Coxos, among others. The coastline of Ericeira is dominated by rocky cliffs, and these are what give the area its character, along with its famous beaches located in small bays. The ancient population of Ericeira was inhabited by an ethnic group called ‘Jagoz’, different from the neighboring villages because this group lived almost exclusively from the sea. Ericeira was visited by members of the royal family, monarchist and republican aristocrats, that built their vacation homes, and were regarded as the first sunbathers of this village.
Surfing first came to the beaches of Ericeira in the mid-1970s, and has since become the focal point for Portuguese surfing. ASP World Tour professional surfer Tiago Pires was born and raised in Ericeira, and a number of surfing-related businesses have sprouted up in the area to support the influx of both local and visiting surfers. The diversity of waves in the area, along with their various degrees of difficulty, enables good surfing conditions for all levels of surfers, from beginners to professionals. Also, Ericeira is home to numerous surf schools, in addition to regional and international surf competitions.
The interest of the Municipality of Mafra is related to the growth and promotion of surfing, adopting policies for sustainable development and involving the local population.
The application of Ericeira World Surfing Reserve reveals the concern of the municipality in preserving the coastline and especially the quality of its waves. Learning through cooperation between countries, both institutionally and even through public-private partnerships is another of the interests of the municipality. Actions for the conservation of coastal areas, as well as providing incentives for private investment in areas such as hospitality, trade and services are also a priority. In regards to the promotion of Ericeira, national and international recognition is a priority, not only as excellent destination for surfing, but also for the sun and beach tourism segment.
The importance of tourism to the economy and population of the coastal zone of the municipality of Mafra, more specifically from Ericeira, raises the need to get involved with measures and actions to recover and strengthen the competitiveness of the destination and ensure balanced and sustainable growth.
The coastline of the Municipality of Mafra is one of its treasures. Our priority is to create the conditions for everyone to enjoy this gift and benefit from it.
The Ericeira Business Factory was created in order to develop support mechanisms for investments,. This is the first business incubator associated with the maritime economy, located in the "heart" of Ericeira. The Ericeira Business Factory is meant to welcome the industries of surf, wave sports, fishing, aquaculture, marine biology or energy, as well as all activities that enhance the natural, historic and cultural resources of the region, including tourism and leisure. This business incubator offers companies in its embryonic stage, a set of services such as accounting, legal advice, communication and management consulting through selected partners, as well as mentoring.
The coastline of the municipality of Mafra is formed by rocky cliffs. However, it is precisely in the small bays that are formed along the coast that the famous beaches are formed, mostly located in the Parishes of Ericeira and St. Isidoro. The natural beauty associated to the high concentration of iodine that can be found in the 11 km of coast, make this area a touristic destination of excellence. This location is also distinguished by the important surf, bodyboard, kayaksurf and other water sport events that take place.
Ericeira is a small fisherman’s village that has the ocean as its inspiration. Ericeira is situated 35 km Northeast of Lisbon and 8km from its county seat, Mafra, a town that is famous for its Palace / Convent, the greatest construction of the Portuguese Baroque and the ‘Tapada de Mafra’ that has a wide diversity of plant and animal species. The origin of the name Ericeira, according to some philologists, derives from the word “ouriceira”, from the word “ouriço” that means sea-urchin, due to the abundance this species in the region, is a very ancient place, being its first occupied by the Phoenicians, a civilization characterized by a maritime entrepreneurial commercial culture that spread out through all the Mediterranean from 1550 a.c. to 300 b.c.
The ancient population of Ericeira was consisted by an ethnic group called ‘Jagoz’, different from the neighboring villages for this group lived almost exclusively from the sea. Ericeira was visited by members of the royal family, monarchist and republican aristocrats, that built the vacation homes, that were regarded as the first sunbathers of this town. Tourism is the main economic activity of Ericeira, and associated to the surf industry has enjoyed significant growth over the years. We can say that nowadays, Ericeira is a village dedicated to surfing.
In a village with about 8,500 inhabitants, there are about 30 accommodation establishments geared for this type of product, 10 surf shops, shapers 11 and 20 surfschools legally recognized.
The industry of surfing in Ericeira, involves a larger number of players: surfboards factories, surf shops, surf schools, etc.
The most important ones are:
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
- Portuguese Surf Film Festival
- Liga Moche
- World pro junior championship
- Championships promoted by Ericeira Surf Clube
Município de Mafra | Surf City Ericeira
Praça do Município| 2644-001 Mafra
- Contact person: Ana Zeferino Vaz
- Mobile: +351 926812687 | +351 261 819 711