If you’re planning a day trip from Lisbon to Ericeira, but aren’t sure what to expect, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide I have outlined everything you need to know for the perfect Ericeira day trip from Lisbon.
Including how to get there, the best things to do once there, any tours worth joining, what to pack, where to stay and more!
Ericeira is a charming fishing town, which has gained popularity recently thanks to its world-class surfing waves.
Here you will find travellers from all over the world enjoying the waves, tanning on the beach or exploring the cobbled streets of the old town.
It’s an enchanting place to visit in Portugal, and many do so on a day trip from Lisbon. So without further ado, let’s read on and start planning the perfect Lisbon to Ericeira day trip!
- 1 How to Get to Ericeira from Lisbon
- 2 Best things to see and do in Ericeira
- 3 Best Ericeira day tours
- 4 Is doing an Ericeira day trip worth it?
- 5 What to pack for your Ericeira day trip
- 6 Where to stay for a Ericeira day trip from Lisbon
How to Get to Ericeira from Lisbon
The beach resort of Ericeira has been one of the most popular Lisbon day trips for many Lisbon residents since the 1940s, and so naturally getting from the Portuguese capital to this slice of beachside fun is easy.
By car from Lisbon to Ericeira
Getting from Lisbon to Ericeira by car is easy. It’s a simple matter of a 45-minute drive along highway A8. The one thing to note is that the highway is tolled, so you will have to pay around three euros to use the road.
There is a non-toll highway that can take you from Lisbon to Ericeira, but it takes upwards of an hour; if you’re in no rush and feel like taking it easy, then maybe this would be a good option for you.
The other thing to mention is parking when you arrive. There is free parking around Ericeira, but depending on the season it might be full and you’ll end up having to pay for parking.
By train from Lisbon to Ericeira
There are no trains to Ericeira – unfortunately for all the train fans out there.
By bus from Lisbon to Ericeira
There is a regular bus service that connects Lisbon with Ericeira.
It leaves from the Campo Grande bus terminal in Lisbon, which is situated right outside the Campo Grande metro station (connected to the rest of the city via the Green and Yellow metro lines).
Buses are fairly frequent. The fastest journey via bus takes roughly 45 minutes and takes the highway route. The other option is a slower route that takes an hour and a half and features more stops along the way.
Tickets are purchased from the driver. These cost 6.40 Euros.
You should know that the bus station in Ericeira (Parque Intermodal de Ericeira) is actually around a 10 minute walk from both the centre of town and the beach.
So don’t come dressed ready for the beach right away, or with lots of luggage; go for sturdy sandals instead of flip flops.
With an Ericeira a tour from Lisbon
The other way to get from Lisbon to Ericeira is via a tour. This is possibly the most convenient way to get there, especially if you don’t like the idea of figuring out bus timetables, or if you can’t drive.
Options include both private and group tours.
From Lisbon: Coastal Villages & Mafra Palace Guided Tour – For example, this group tour takes you not only to Ericeira, but also to visit the Mafra Palace, as well as other villages along this slice of Portugal’s coastline.
Your guide will highlight the history of the area and showcase the culture in an interesting way. It’s a good option if you want to get a little more insight into the region, or if you want to mingle with other travellers on your trip, too.
Ericeira & Mafra Private Trip From Lisbon – A private tour, however, is a one-to-one experience.
This full day trip sees you picked up directly from your hotel and whisked to the charming streets of Ericeira; you’ll stop at a few other destinations along the way (e.g. Mafra Palace).
Having a guide all to yourself will really enrich the experience.
Best things to see and do in Ericeira
If you choose to do a guided tour, a lot of the places I’ve chosen below will be included in a trip from Lisbon to Ericeira.
However, if you’re travelling to Ericeira independently, you should make sure to put these spots on your itinerary.
Learn to surf!
Ericeira is often dubbed Portugal’s surfing capital, and Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve. It truly is a special place for surfing.
Since it’s a year-round surfing destination, it’s a top spot for those wanting to spend the day catching waves.
Not only is it great for intermediate level and expert surfers, but beginners can also enjoy it. You can also join a surf lesson and learn to surf here if you don’t already know how.
To give you some inspiration for your surf adventures, or a place to hit up first before you explore for yourself, I surfed at Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas.
This is a protected surf spot in the north of town, complete with a flat reef, that’s suitable for all intermediate and advanced surfers.
This is often cited as one of the best right reef breaks in all of Europe, and is known for hosting top international surfing competitions. But if you’re looking for something that’s suitable for beginners, there’s the beautiful Praia do Sul.
Situated in the south of town, this beach boasts breaks that come from left and right. The great conditions make it a prime spot for beginners.
Explore the Old Town centre
Ericeira boasts some seriously charming architecture: nowhere more so than in its beautiful Old Town.
Dating back to the 12th century, this historic part of the city is awash with winding cobbled streets, tiny plazas with elaborate churches, whitewashed houses and colourful flowers.
Simply spending your time exploring this slice of Ericeira will offer up an enchanting window into the past. But it’s all still very much alive.
Down almost every street you’ll find small eateries, hidden shops and cafes, often with terrace seating spilling out onto the pavement.
One of the best parts of Ericeira’s Old Town is the fact that it is pedestrianised, so you’re safe to wander at your leisure, snapping pictures of the blue and white buildings with their terracotta roofs.
Taste the delicious seafood cuisine
Being a long-established seafaring town, it won’t surprise you to learn that Ericeira is still a working fishing port to this day.
This means, of course, that many of its restaurants serve up fish from the morning’s catch, and the city has become well known for its excellent seafood.
First up, you can head to the Municipal Market in the north of town to see the array of local fish on sale. But aside from just looking at the seafood on display, you should sample it, too.
One spot I particularly loved is Mar d’Areia. As well as a smorgasbord of seafood on offer, there’s also great wine to sample, and seating inside and outside for sunny days.
Visit the nearby Mafra National Palace
Mafra National Palace, or simply just Mafra Palace, is a grand royal landmark situated close to town. Constructed under King John V of Portugal in 1717, the palace is a masterclass in Baroque and Neoclassical architecture.
It’s a sprawling piece of architectural art, featuring an imposing limestone facade and interiors to wow any visitor.
Royal apartments here ooze opulence, with silk rugs, rich artwork and plenty of gilded ornamentation. The palace itself is enormous; there are literally hundreds of rooms to visit.
More than just a royal palace, however, Mafra was also the site of a convent and basilica. It’s even recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chill at the beach
While the beaches at Ericeira may be great for surfing, they’re also a fantastic place to simply spend time relaxing by the sea. They’re not as famous as the beaches in the Algarve, but they’re just as beautiful.
In fact, Ericeira has multiple sandy beaches to its name, so there’s plenty of space for everyone to find a spot on the sand.
The most central beach is Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman’s Beach); named for its colourful fishing boats, it features a scenic harbour and boasts calm water, making it great for families with children.
The small beach in the centre of town, Praia do Norte, may be compact but the central location means it’s very busy.
For something a little more remote, there’s the curving crescent of sand backed by cliffs at Praia do São Sebastião, while Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas – where the surfing championships take place – is another scenic option for lazy days on the sand.
Trek along the cliffs
Much of Ericeira is separated from its beaches by a dramatic coastline of cliffs, making it prime hiking country.
Old trails used by fishermen in days gone by wind along this rugged shoreline, taking in the natural scenery and allowing for some breathtaking sea views.
You could embark on a short coastal walk, or head out on a more intrepid hike between Ericeira and Sintra.
Whatever you do, make sure you have some comfortable footwear suitable for walking, wear a cap to protect your face, take a water bottle and make sure you’re wearing your swimsuit for a much needed post-hike cool-off in the sea.
Best Ericeira day tours
I’ve already included some information on how to get from Lisbon to Ericeira, and a few cool things to do, so you can travel independently if you want.
But if you want to take the stress out of travel, you can definitely enjoy an organised tour.
Ericeira & Mafra Amazing West Coast Tour – One example is this west coast tour. This takes in the highlights of Ericeira, while also hitting up Mafra Palace and other coastal destinations in the area.
Mountain Bike Tour in Ericeira – If you don’t feel like walking on your tour of Ericeira, don’t worry: cycling tours are available. This one, for instance, whisks you from your Lisbon accommodation to Ericeira to explore on two wheels.
Or check out prices & availability for your Ericeira day trip from Lisbon below!
Is doing an Ericeira day trip worth it?
Yes. It’s definitely always nice to escape the city for some sun, surf and sand. It’s also not too far from Lisbon, so you’ll have ample time to explore and see the sights.
If you drive there, or join a tour, you also get to stop by Mafra Palace on your way.
If you’ve got time, however, spending a few nights in Ericeira is totally worth it – especially if you like the chilled vibe of surfing towns.
We spent a night in Ericeira and loved exploring the Old Town at night, as it came alive with both tourists and locals alike.
If you don’t have long in Portugal you could also still extend your day trip and spend a night in Ericeira, and then from then continue your Portugal itinerary and drive north to Porto and the Douro Valley.
What to pack for your Ericeira day trip
Besides the usual travel essentials, there isn’t anything specific that you absolutely need to pack for a Ericeira day trip, however here are some useful things you don’t want to forget!
Camera – Given how beautiful Ericeira is, you want to make sure you capture it in all its beauty!
Reusable water bottle – Especially if you plan to do a lot of walking, bring a bottle you can refill and ensure you stay hydrated.
Walking shoes – I always walk loads when I’m travelling, and I wouldn’t be able to do so without comfortable shoes. Make sure to pack shoes you can walk in a lot!
Fast drying towel – If you’re planning to spend some time on the beach in Ericeira, you’ll need a beach towel! I like these fast drying ones since they don’t take up much space and won’t stay wet in the car for hours.
Where to stay for a Ericeira day trip from Lisbon
If you plan to visit Ericeira on a day trip from Lisbon, here are some of the most convenient places to stay in Lisbon.
Budget: Lisbon Destination Hostel – Located inside Rossio train station, this hostel is the perfect place to stay if you plan to travel by train to your various day trip destinations.
They have a cool communal area with lots of plants, and offer both dorms and private rooms. It’s also in a very central position in Lisbon, so that you can easily explore also the city.
Mid-range: Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is perfect for those who want something nice, centrally located and cosy, without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Lisboa Pessoa Hotel – If you want to treat yourself, this is the perfect place to do so. With their spacious rooms and gorgeous rooftop terrace, it’s the perfect place to relax after a Sintra day tour.
However if you decide that you don’t want to do just a day trip to Ericeira, and want to spend longer there, here are some lovely places to stay in Ericeira for every budget.
Budget: Casa Branca – This accommodation offers both dorms and private rooms, both ensuite or with shared bathroom. The rooms aren’t particularly fancy, but the place itself is incredible. It’s where I stayed in Ericeira.
The hotel is in a historical building, and has a huge outdoors area. It’s located just outside the old town, so you can relax away from the crowds at the end of the day, but without being too far from all the action
Mid-range: Reserva FLH Hotels – The rooms in this hotel are spacious, modernly decorated and have terraces with epic views over Ericeira and the sea. It’s perfect if you want something nice without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Vila Gale Ericeira – This seafront hotel is perfect if you want to treat yourself after a long day of road tripping and surfing. Pair the great sea views with spacious rooms and you have a winner!
Final thoughts on doing an Ericeira day trip from Lisbon
There you have it, the ultimate guide to doing a day trip to Ericeira from Lisbon! Have you been to Ericeira before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
During my Portugal itinerary I visited a lot of cute towns, like Evora, Obidos and Nazaré, but Ericeira was by far my favourite. This charming seaside town has the perfect vibe for a fun day trip, and much more.
Whether you choose to spend the day learning to surf, hiking along the coastline, tasting delicious seafood or joining a group tour that will take you also to Mafra Palace, you’re sure to have a great day.
I hope my Ericeira day trip guide helps you plan the perfect Ericeira day tour! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below.
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