The 10 best beaches of Ericeira, Lisbon

Ericeira, its beaches and waves are worldwide famous. Thousands of Portuguese and foreign travelers come to Ericeira to enjoy its wonderful beaches and their fantastic waves. In this article, we will explore each of the best best of Ericeira, informing their characteristics, which are good for surfing, to bath or sunbathe.

World renown for its waves, Ericeira was classified a World surfing reserve in 2011. It was only the second world surfing reserve in the world, and it is still the only one in Europe. This made Ericeira a top surf destination in the world. The world reserve is only 4km long, starting in Empa beach til São Lourenço beach, but in this short distance, there are 7 world-class waves: Pedra Branca, Reef, e Ribeira d’ilhas, Cave, Crazy left, Coxos e São Lourenço.

Surfing in Ericeira
Surfers in Ribeira d’ilhas

In this trip we will travel from south to north, exploring the 10 best beaches in Ericeira, some urban, others less developed and obviously the world surfing reserve.

Best beaches in Ericeira

Foz do Lizandro Beach

This is the biggest beach in Ericeira, mas possibly our favorite. It’s both a surf beach (at least for learning and beginners) and to swim. It has always lots of people and a diverse crowd – it’s full of foreigners, families, children, groups of teenagers, and surfers.

The beach in Foz do Lizandro has excelent infrastructures. It has several cafes/restaurants, surf schools, public showers, bathrooms and parking lots.

Together with Ribeira d’ilhas, it’s the best beach to have surfing lessons ad renting boards. Renting a board should cost about 10 Euros, while a lesson it’s about 30 Euros and a weekly pack should be a little over 100 Euros. We believe this is a fair price for an amazing surf week in a wonderful spot.

  • Surf – Yes, great for learning. Has surf schools;
  • Surf reserve – No;
  • Swim – Good;
  • Sand– Yes, and long;
  • Acessebility – good, with showers and toilets;
best beaches in Ericeira

Sul or Baleia Beach

Praia Sul (South Beach) is the best beach for non-surfers. It’s great for sunbathing, swimming in the ocean, without worrying about the surfers and bodyboarders… it’s also very well protected from the wind due to the high cliffs of Ericeira to the north. Furthermore,during low tide it, the rocks form a lagoon in the north of the beach, close to the wonderful Hotel Vila Galé.

As it’s right in the south of Ericeira, it’s still considered an urban beach, and maybe the best beach that’s easily accessible on foot from the town center. It has a parking lot (but it fills in very quickly), and several services.

  • Surf – No
  • Surf Reserve – No
  • Water – excellent for swimming
  • Sandy – yes
  • Acessibility – good with showers toilets and shades
Surf beaches in Ericeira

Pescadores Beach

Praia dos Pescadores (fisherman beach) is the most central of the beaches in Ericeira and consequently the easiest to reach from the town center. It’s a beautiful non surfers beach with a long stretch of sand and several wonderful lookouts from above. Unfortunately it has the sea port of Ericeira right next to it, which makes it a bit less pleasent.

On the other hand, it’s clearly the best protected beach in Ericeira. the huge cliffs protect it from the wind and the port protect it from the waves. In a hindsight, it’s a very nice beach, particularly if you don’t feel like walking a lot or just want to sunbath without wind.

  • Surf – No
  • Surf Reserve – No
  • Water – just ok (it’s too close to the seaport)
  • Sandy – long and big
  • Accessibility – good with showers toilets and shades
Fantastic beaches in Ericeira

Praia Norte (Northern beach)

Praia Norte (northern beach) is another urban beach, now on the north side of Ericeira, as the name suggests. It’s a rather good beach but on Ericeira terms, it’s only average. We believe its the less memorable of the beaches close to the center. It has a relatively long stretch of sand but narrow, particularly during high tide.

  • Surf – No
  • Surf Reserve – No
  • Water – Good
  • Sandy – Yes, long but narrow
  • Accessibility – Ok, but no public showers or toilets that we know of.
Caracteristicas das praias da Ericeira

São Sebastião Beach

During high tide this beach almost disappears, so you may thing that it’s not that good. However, during low tide it becomes much better and it’s actually nice and lovely to be in. Located to the north of Ericeira, it’s a less developed and uncrowded beach, though it’s perfectly possible to walk there.

close tothe beach there’s the famous S. Sebatião chapel and a huge parking lot, which is very useful in the Summer and weekends.

  • Surf – No
  • Surf Reserve – No
  • Water – not the easiest place to swim
  • Sandy – yes, long but very narrow
  • Accessibility – only stairs, no toilets neither showers
S. Sebatião Beach

Matadouro beach

Matadouro beach is clearly a surfers beach, and especially for surfer schools. It’s a completely rocky beach with little to no sand, making it inadequate for sunbathers and swimmers.

On the other hand, the low tide created small pools where you can play with children and walk around. Unfortunately, access to Matadouro beach isn’t very easy and there’s barely any parking spots.

  • Surf – Yes, good for learning. Several schools go there.
  • Surf Reserve – No
  • Water – not for swimmers
  • Sandy – no. rocky beach
  • Accessibility – Difficult. No showers or WC that we know of.

not too sandy beach in Ericeira

Empa Beach

Empa beach is a surfers and bodyboarders beach but it has some sand making it suitable for other beachgoers. It’s the first beach inside the Surf reserve, and it is a beach with two waves, Pedra Branca and Reef.

All this makes Empa a very popular beach among surfers and people who enjoy seeing surf. You should also note that Empa is a very rocky beach making going to the water an adventure. On the other hand, due to the same rocks, the water is crystal clear a calm is some parts of the beach.

  • Surf – Yes, but no surf schools
  • Surf Reserve – Yes, two waves, Pedra Branca and Reef.
  • Water – Good for swimers
  • Sandy – sandy and rocky beach.
  • Accessibility – Not the easiest beach to access. No showers or WC

Empa beach, a typical surfers beach

Ribeira d’ilhas Beach

The most legendary of the beaches in Ericeira and the world-surfing reserve. Besides having the famous Ribeira d’ilhas wave, you can find several surf schools where you can learn how to surf or rent a board. The sand stretch is huge, so you’ll find a very eclectic crowd with tourists and locals, surfers and non-surfers, youngsters, families, and couples.

In many ways, it’s similar to Foz do Lizandro, but with the “detail” of having a famous wave, part of a surfing reserve. It has excelent accesses and infrastruture, several cafes, publit toilets, showers and a huge parking lot.

Finally, we have to mention the Ribeira d’ilhas lookout, which offers absolutely wonderful views to the beach and lovely sunsets. It’s also in this lookout that it was placed the surfer statue.

  • Surf – Yes, with surf school for beginners
  • Surf Reserve – Yes, ribeira d’ilhas wave
  • Water – Excellent for swimmers
  • Sandy – huge stretch of sand
  • Accessibility – excellent. it has everything you may need and something more.
As melhores praias da Ericeira para Surf

Coxos beach

Another excelent surfers beach, part of the surfing reserve. Coxos wave is well known and one of the most popular among local surfers. It’s said that it was this wave and the passion of locals surfers that led to the candidature to the reserve. As it’s already well outside Ericeira, it ends being less popular among foreigners and non specialiss.

Although it’s mainly a surfers beach, it has a short but nice sand stretch with a small bar and toilets. It’s also one of the easiest beaches to just admire surfers and their skills.

  • Surf – Yes, but no surf school
  • Surf Reserve – Yes, Coxos wave
  • Water – Good for swimmers too
  • Sandy – yes
  • Accessibility – Ok, with a ramp. It has a small bar too.
Talvez a mais tradicional das praias de surf da Ericeira

São Lourenço Beach

Coming from the south, this is the last beach on the World reserve, and also the last beach on this list. It has some similiarities with Ribeira d’ilhas and Foz do Lizandro, as it has a small course of water, huge sands and a surf school.

Maybe because it’s further away from Ericeira, it’s the least popular of the three. In terms of surf, the waves are certainly good, but you’ll see far less surfers there.

Surf– Sim, boa para aprendizagem (escola de surf)Reserva mundial de Surf– Sim, onda de S. LourençoÁgua– Boas condições para nadarAreia– Areal larga e cumpridaAcessos– Bons, com rampa WC e Chuveiros

  • Surf – Yes, with a surf school
  • Surf Reserve – Yes, S. Lourenço wave
  • Water – Good for swimmers too
  • Sandy – yes, long and wide.
  • Accessibility – good, with ramp, bars, showers, toilets, etc
São Lourenço beach in Ericeira

These are the beaches of Ericeira, and as you can see, there’s a little of everything. But, mainly there’s a lot of options for aquatic sports like surf, and bodyboard but also SUP or even windsurf. On the other hand, Ericeira is much more than only its beaches, so we stronly suggest you have a look at what to do in Ericeira!

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Best beaches in Ericeira
Best Beaches in Ericeira

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