A Short Weekend in Ericeira, Portugal!

Ericeira is an immensely cute beach town in central Portugal!  Located around 30 minutes from the Lisbon airport on the Atlantic Ocean, Ericeira is easily accessible to Lisbon and the surrounding area via car.  I spent a whirlwind weekend in Ericeira earlier this year to visit a potential wedding venue a short drive away, in Gradil, Portugal.  Spoiler alert – the venue, Quint de Sant’Ana, was absolutely brilliant and we booked it a few days later. Here are a couple sneak pictures of Quinta de Sant’Ana:

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The stunning vineyard.

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The property.  Loving the yellow buildings!

If you find yourself in Ericeira, Quinta de Sant’Ana is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon if you have a car (taxis run between $30 and $50 depending on who you get…).

Now, back to Ericeira.  You’ve probably never heard of Ericeira and its not terribly popular outside of the greater Lisbon area and the surfing community (Ericiera is one of a handful of World Sufring Reserves, and the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe!).  But, that makes it even better!  Ericeira is most certainly a warm weather town.  Its right on the Atlantic Ocean and offers lots of beachy activities.  Although we were there in November, Ericeira was still busy during the day and the weather was quite pleasant.  I can’t wait to go back in the summer and see Ericeira in its full glory!

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One of the many beaches in and around Ericeira.

WHAT DID WE DO IN ERICEIRA?

Since we visited Ericeira in November, I did not visit Ericeira’s beaches (it was a bit too cold).  However, Ericeira was hosting a big surfing competition the weekend I visited, so the beaches were full with surfers in wetsuits!  Instead of the beach, I spent my weekend strolling Ericeira’s cobblestone streets, which are filled with blue and white buildings and Portugal’s famous tiles!  I took lots of pictures!

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One of a million churches in Ericeira.

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Favorite corner in Ericeira!

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On a random street in Ericeira.

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I could not get enough of the tiles.

Ericeira also has lots of shops to keep travelers busy.  Even in November, people were out and about shopping on Saturday and Sunday afternoon (most shops were open on Sunday afternoon but closed early).  I really loved the main square, which has an amazing pharmacy selling all of those great European products that you cannot purchase in the US.

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Ericeira’s main square with the BEST pharmacy!

WHERE DID I STAY?

Since Ericeira is so close to Lisbon, it is feasible to visit Ericeira as a day trip from Lisbon.  However, to get the full impact and relax, I recommend staying at least one night.  We stayed two nights in Ericeira’s largest (and probably most well known) hotel, Hotel Vila Galé Ericeira.  Hotel Vila Galé reminded me of one of those old vacation lodges from movies like Dirty Dancing.  The interior of Hotel Vila Galé is a bit dated, but the hotel is perfectly nice and boasts an amazing pool area overlooking the ocean!  Hotel Vila Galé also has a spa and hot tub, tennis courts, and a game room.  Our reservation came with “half-board,” which is European vacation speak for including half of your meals in the cost of the room, in our case breakfast and dinner.  Both meals were set up buffet style in the dining room just off the pool terrace (you can even sit on the pool terrace).  Alcohol and soda were extra, but sparkling wine is included with breakfast.

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The grand Hotel Vila Gale Ericeira

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The pool and the Atlantic.

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Breakfast terrace overlooking the Atlantic.

If Hotel Vila Galé is not your style or price point, Ericeira has many other lodging options, from hostels to upscale boutique hotels.  

WHERE TO EAT IN ERICEIRA

Ericeira has many restaurants, from fast food burger spots, to high end coffee spots to ocean front seafood restaurants.  Since we were only in Ericeira for a very short time, we dined at our hotel for breakfast both mornings and dinner one evening (again, it was included in the cost of our room).  In going back, I definitely want to have more of the seafood for which Ericeira is so famous! Ericeira is also home to many wine bars serving Portugal’s delicious wine at pretty low prices.  There are several in town, and a visit is a must-do in Ericeira!

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Some of the offerings at a wine bar.

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Red, white, and green wine available!

STEAL OUR TRIP

Ericeira: Information on Ericeira from Visit Portugal.

Hotel Vila Galé Ericeira: Largo dos Navegantes, 2655-320 Ericeira. T. +351 261 869 900. Reservations can be made online.  Pay attention as to what type of board (if any) you purchase.  You can buy breakfast, breakfast and dinner, or breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Quinta de Sant’Ana: R. Direita 3, 2665-113 Gradil, Portugal.  T: +351 261 963 550.  Contact the Quinta via the website to schedule a visit and tasting.

ON A BUDGET

Ericeria is a great budget option, especially in the off season (unless you are in town when there is a surfing competition!).  Lodging, food, drink are substantially cheaper in Ericeira than other people European beach destinations!

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