Ericeira Car Hire
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Around 30 kilometres north of Lisbon on Portugal's west coast is the cliff strewn coastal town of Ericeira. Famous for its incredible coastline, delightful food scene and charming whitewashed houses among cobblestoned streets, it's the perfect destination to experience a more relaxed side of Portugal. Ericeira's roots can be traced back to the 12th century when it got its start as a traditional fishing village. Thanks to this, there's no shortage of historical charm and of course, tasty seafood.
Famous for being the surfing capital of Europe, surf culture and gorgeous rough seas abound here. Whether you are a surfer yourself or just want to take in the stunning beaches and coastline, there's certainly a lot to love about this cosy seaside town. Even better, Ericeira has remained off the radar of mass tourism meaning its retained pretty much all of its Portuguese charm while still being accessible to travellers.
Enjoy will find you the best car hire deals for your trip to Ericeira - stress-free and at very affordable prices. For example, a Volkswagen Up or similar mini-size car starts at just €7.78 (£7.14) a day in the off-peak season for hire from Lisbon airport, an economy-size car such as the Renault Clio starts from €8.89 (£8.16) a day, while a spacious, full-size Audi A4 (which seats five people comfortably) starts from just €37.82 (£34.71) a day off peak. Pre-book your hire car online with Enjoy Travel and enjoy reliable, independent travel around Ericeira and Portugal, with the best prices guaranteed.
Guide to Ericeira
Given its close proximity to Lisbon, Ericeira is the perfect place to escape to for a few days and take in a more local side of Portugal. After all, this cosy seaside village really does have it all. Stunning beaches, charming and walkable cobblestoned streets and an excellent food scene just waiting to be devoured. It also has convenient access to other attractive spots such as Sintra, Obidos and Porto meaning you can have a full-on Portuguese adventure with Ericeira as a base or stay in the area.
A haven for outdoor enthusiasts
When it comes to outdoor activities, Ericeira is not lacking. There are several hiking trails that lead to stunning beach lookouts, village views and forest vistas perfect for spending an active afternoon. The real highlight, however, is, of course, the beaches. Ericeira offers a truly breathtaking variety of jagged cliffs, stunning waves, pristine sands and rocky shores crammed into just a few kilometres of coast.
Cosy village atmosphere
Ericeira first got its start as a fishing village way back in the 12th century. In the several hundred years since it's maintained all of its seaside allure and seems to be frozen in time. From the cosy hole in the wall tabernas that are who-knows-how-old to the historic whitewashed homes dotted along the centuries-old cobblestoned streets, Ericeira is brimming with history and charm.
Vibrant surf culture
Ericeira is a mecca for surfers across Europe. Designated as a World Surfing Reserve, the waves in Ericeira are simply unmissable. Sky-high cliffs collide with small sandy coves, and unspoilt Mediterranean habitats make it a huge pull for surfers and bodyboarders alike. A large portion of Ericeira's coast is ranked as the number one surfing reserve in Europe and number two in the world by the American organisation, Save the Waves. Beaches among this recognised stretch of coast include Ribeira de Ilhas, Baia dos Dois Irmãos and São Lourenço.
Things to do in Ericeira
While the surf culture is certainly a highlight, Ericeira attracts all types of visitors and has even more to offer beyond its surf-perfect waves. Whether you're after a relaxing holiday involving lazy afternoons on the beach with a cocktail or are looking for a bit more adventure, there's something for everyone.
While Ericeira has plenty of things going for it from its vibrant food scene and rich history, the beaches are the real star of the show. We recommend dedicating an entire day just to exploring the beaches and taking in the unspoilt beauty Ericeira is known for. Start with Praia do Sul (South Beach) before moving on to Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman's Beach); the beach which Ericeira was built around complete with a cosy harbour and gorgeous views of the village. Then, work your way out toward Praia de São Lourenço, the most northern of the area's beaches.
Hop Over to Mafra
A stay in Ericeira simply would not be complete without a trip to nearby Mafra. This historic city is easily recognised by its opulent palace, Palacio Nacional de Mafra. The National Palace of Mafra, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a massive baroque monastery and royal palace set in the colloquially called "saloia" region.
The palace, which doubled as a convent in its day, was constructed in the first half of the 18th century by King John V of Portugal as part of his wedding vows to Queen Mariana of Austria. Considered a national symbol and the most important baroque monument in Portugal, the palace has certainly earned its bragging rights. It is constructed from limestone and marble within the region and sprawls across an area of roughly four hectares (37.8 square meters). Inside you'll find 1,200 rooms, over 4,700 opulent doors and windows, 156 stairways and 29 courtyards. We recommend carving out a full afternoon to explore the grounds and get a sense of just how luxurious the lives of Portuguese royals really were.
Meander Through the Village
Dating back 800 years, the village of Ericeira provides a unique glimpse into seaside Portuguese life in the middle ages. Psst, it was absolutely adorable. Thanks to how well the city has been preserved, an entire day can be made simply strolling the old cobblestoned streets and taking in the historical charm. You'll be met with dozens and dozens of cosy tabernas along the way perfect for enjoying a few glasses of Portuguese wine and tapas. Additionally, we recommend a quick trip to nearby Obidos, a marvellous medieval town complete with a defence wall and stunning castle.
All in all, Ericeira is a quaint town, so when it comes to activities that the whole family will love, we recommend the great outdoors. Spend the day wandering the stunning trails and lookouts of Praia de Ribeira d'Ilhas and see how many surfers you can count in the sloshing waves. Or how about a picnic at Praia do Norte followed by the area's coastal walk? Alternatively, depending on the age of your children, there are plenty of small surf camps that the kiddos will enjoy and remember for a lifetime.
Eating out in Ericeira
Ericeira is a foodie haven for its old school tapas joints, cosy local restaurants and delicious variety of traditional Portuguese fares.
Whether you're looking for a few tapas and drinks, a nice oceanside dinner or delectable local fares, there are plenty of options to keep your tastebuds happy in Ericeira.
To load up on classic tapas, head to Tik Tapas. This warm and welcoming tapas bar is known for its wide variety of bites, delicious sangria and unbeatable atmosphere. After all, tapas and petiscos are the gateways into the cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula. Alternatively, you can head to Mar das Latas Wine and Food for some of the best tapas Portugal can offer. Grab a table outside for some stunning ocean views and have your fill of wine, snacks and take in the atmosphere.
Traditional Portugese Fare
Thanks to Ericeira's somewhat seclusion, it has yet to fall victim to mass tourism, meaning the local restaurants here still reign king. If you're after a hearty dinner, be sure to head to Tasca da Boa Viagem. Opt for one of their patio tables overlooking the ocean on load up on traditional Portuguese dishes such as mirandesa chops and black pork sausage alongside a bottle of Portuguese wine. Another prime dinner pick is O Gafanhoto off Conceição. At this classic Portuguese restaurant, they are all about tradition and typical Portuguese dishes such as ossinhos de vitela, caldeirada de enguias and more.
Ericeira is home to some of the best seafood Portugal has to offer; after all, it is a traditional fishing village. If you're looking to try local, fresh and salty bites from the sea, be sure to spend an evening at Golfinho Azul. Take your pick from wide varieties of charcoal-grilled fish and abundant shellfish varieties and don't forget a few glasses of wine to match. Another delicious seafood eatery is Mar à Vista. Famous for its wide variety of crustaceans and cosy no-frills atmosphere, it's the perfect place to spend an evening clinking a few glasses over delicious seafood right from the shores of Ericeira.
Transport in Ericeira
When it comes to transport in Ericeira, its best to have your own rental in order to explore the many nearby sites at your own leisure. From Mafra to Lisbon to Sintra, you'll be free to go at your own pace. However, public transport is also an option in limited quantity.
The closest and easiest to access airport to Ericeira is Lisbon Airport (LIS). To connect from LIS to Ericeira, you can take the Lisbon Airport metro service to terminal Campo Grande and connect to Ericeira via bus. In total it takes 75 minutes to reach Ericeira through public transport from the airport and 35 minutes by car. At Lisbon Airport, Enjoy has any vehicle you might need for your journey.
Getting around Ericeira via bus is doable, but not really necessary. The city itself is extremely walkable with all destinations able to reach by foot from the city centre. If you're looking to explore the many beautiful sites just outside Ericeira, it is best to rent a car. To get further than Ericeira's outskirts, several bus services link with Lisbon, Sintra and Porto. Mafrense is the most popular choice and runs hourly connections between Ericeira and Lisbon at just 5 euro a pop.
There are no trains linking Ericeira with the surrounding area.
Driving tips for Ericeira
Drive on the right-hand side of the road in Ericeira. The speed limits are 120 km/h on the motorway, 100 km/h (60 mph) on expressways, 90 km/h (50mph) on other roads and 50 km/h (30 mph) in built-up areas. Other driving tips to note include:
All drivers need to carry a current international driving licence, passport, insurance documents, MOT certificate (necessary if the car is more than three years old), and car hire documents. Speed traps are common, so don't be tempted to speed. Drink-driving is strictly prohibited in Portugal, and using your phone while driving is illegal, so don't do either of them!