Frequently asked questions
If you have any questions about Ericeira and surfing in general, booking and staying in Ericeira Surf House or our surf lessons then please read the frequently asked questions below. When you can’t find the answer you are looking for, feel free to send us a message.
Ericeira and surfing in general
You need a wetsuit year round. The cold current that hits Portugal keeps the water cool, even in summer. We recommend 4/3 or 5/3mm (sometimes with booties) for the winter months and the spring. In the summer months and early autumn a 3/2 full suit is normally sufficient.
Ericeira is one of the best places to learn to surf. The variety of beaches allows beginner lessons in nearly all conditions. Our house is located on the South side of Ericeira and this is where you find sandy beaches that are perfect for beginners. And most of our guests are beginners, so you don’t need to worry about being the only one. Here you can find more information about learning to surf in Ericeira.
Although surfing is the main activity in Ericeira, there are also lots of other activities to do. It’s possible to go horse riding on the beach, fishing on a boat or mountain biking in the hills. We can also organize stand up paddle (SUP) tours. At the house there is at least once a week a yoga class and you can also book massages to pamper yourself. For skate fanatics, there is a world-class skate park in town. And it’s of course also possible to just chill at the beach or explore the town with its nice restaurants and bars. If you want to escape town for a while, then the bustling city of Lisbon is only 40 km away and easy to reach by bus. But also the world heritage village of Sintra and the Palace of Mafra are worth a visit. Here you can find a detailed list of things to do in Ericeira and surroundings.
Both Peniche and Ericeira have their strengths. Especially in winter and early spring or late autumn when big swells hit the Atlantic coast, Peniche offers more wind protection with beaches facing different directions. On the other hand Ericeira has the advantage of being closer to the south coast of Lisbon, where you can find good surf when the Atlantic coast is blown out. And Ericeira also has a protected harbor where you can surf when the waves are too big for the other spots. Compared to Peniche, Ericeira offers more consistent reef breaks that can hold bigger swells properly. And because there are so many different breaks in Ericeira, crowds are spread and the atmosphere is nice. But Peniche and Ericeira are both very good places to surf!
Peniche has bigger beaches, but the small beaches of Ericeira have more charm. Also the village itself is much nicer than Peniche. Peniche is more of an industrial village (with the smells) while Ericeira remains a traditional fishing village with lots of character.
The surf house, booking and your stay
It’s the location, target group and facilities that separate Ericeira Surf House from the others.
Ericeira Surf House aims at a special target group and therefore our guests are different from guests in other surf camps. In general our guests are more mature and responsible, because we focus on grown up surfers. Here you find more couples, families and solo travelers instead of youngsters ready to party every night.
Our location in Ericeira is also hard to beat. The best surf beaches are located 2 kilometers from the town center and therefore staying in the town isn’t optimal for surfing. Our house is located right in the middle, so it’s easy to reach both the town center and the surf. At the same time, at our house you don’t notice anything from the busy summer months if you don’t want to. You are away from it all and can fully enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside. Our house is located on the south side of Ericeira as this is where the beach breaks are. The beaches north of town are less suitable for beginners because of the rock bottom and reefs. The location of our house also has it’s own climate. The sea in Ericeira is cold year-round and can create a cold sea breeze or fog. Our house is located just over a small hilltop away from the sea and is therefore sheltered from this cold wind. Furthermore our house faces south, so you have optimal sun exposure. Here you can wear your bikini at the pool, while you need a jacket at the beach or in the center.
There is a good balance between solo travelers, couples, friends and families who all look for a relaxed surf atmosphere. Youngsters under 18 are only allowed with their parents. So if you are looking for a surf house with a focus on partying, then Ericeira Surf House might not be the best place for you. Of course we do like to have a drink sometimes, but we like keeping a nice, relaxed atmosphere at the house. Most of our guests are surfers, but it’s no problem at all if you just want to enjoy the surf life without surfing. And although surfing is often seen as a sport for guys, we actually have lots of female guests.
Our focus is on grown up surfers and the average age of our guests is older than you’ll find in many other surf camps. The majority of our guests is between 25 and 35 years old, but we also have some families with kids, young surfers around there twenties and sometimes even some seniors.
The biggest groups are Dutch, German-speaking, Belgium, Finnish and English, but we have guests from many other countries in Europe and also some from outside Europe.
From our experience the group spirit is much nicer when everybody arrives the same day and gets to know each other from the beginning. The surf course also always starts on Sunday so you don’t have to worry about catching up with others, which would be the case if you would arrive on other days. In our opinion, you need a full week to really get a feeling for surfing. Since you are dependent on the conditions the ocean provides, shorter trips are not recommended.
We recommend staying at least one week. Surfing is a sport that is depending on conditions and therefore some days are better than others. Although Ericeira is very consistent, it sometimes happens that the waves are too small or too big to surf. You need at least three, but better five days in the water in order to learn the basics properly, so shorter stays are not recommended. Staying longer than a week is not a problem, but arrival and departure should be on Saturday. Stays of 5 or 10 nights might be possible, but only in low season and with arrival on Saturday. Ask us for availability.
If you can’t fly into Lisbon on a Saturday or if the flights are much cheaper on other days, you can consider to combine your stay at Ericeira Surf House with a couple of nights in Lisbon and/or Sintra. You could also consider flying into Porto or Faro and take a train from there.
That’s no problem at all! We also cater guests with special diets. At breakfast we have multiple options: fruits, yogurt, cereals, bread and if needed also dairy free or gluten free. Also at the dinner nights, we have gluten free, vegetarian or vegan options if needed. Good food is very important for surfers, so we make sure everybody is happy.
Babies and kids are more then welcome at our house. We encourage couples with children to go on a surf holiday and that’s why kids under 4 years stay for free and kids from 4 to 7 years only pay half the price when staying in the same room as the parents (one child per adult). We can place an additional baby cot or bed in some of our rooms and also have baby chairs and baby phones. The swimming pool doesn’t have a fence around it and there are no gates at the stairs, so bare in mind that as parents you are always responsible for supervising the safety of your children.
Yes, that’s possible. Although most of our guests surf, we also welcome guests that just want to enjoy the sun at the pool or visit the surroundings. If you are not surfing, you can just book B&B with the extra’s you like.
Most of the people book the airport transfers we offer, but it’s also possible to come by public transport. If you would like to come by public transport, you should take the metro at the airport to Campo Grande. From here goes a direct bus to Ericeira bus terminal. The journey from the airport to Ericeira takes approximately 2 hours and costs €8 one-way. You can also take a taxi from the airport to our house. This normally costs between €50 and €70 depending on the day and time of arrival. There are also many options to rent a car.
We only run airport transfers, because it takes a lot of time to reach most parts of the city center. But you can also join our airport transfers if you are staying in Lisbon. It’s very easy to go from the city center to the airport by public transport and we’ll meet you there.
Although we have all the facilities and services to make a stay without a car possible, we recommend a car for families with small children or more experienced surfers that want to explore the coastline. Our house is within walking distance of different beaches, the town and supermarket. If you want to be more flexible, we also have rental bikes available. The bus connections to Lisbon, Mafra or Sintra are good, but if you want to see a lot of the surroundings then it’s more convenient to have a rental car. We can also arrange rental cars at our house. And if you’re tired from walking or biking, but don’t have a rental car then a taxi is an affordable option.
This depends a lot on the season, room type and amount of people you are traveling with. In general we are fully booked in the high season (June-September), so for this period it’s good to book in time. During low season we usually have more last-minute availability. Also double rooms are faster sold out then dorms.
The weather can be quite unstable during this time of the year. Also the winter storms can cause the surf conditions to be limited. It would be too much of a guess to book a holiday here in the winter and you might not see the full potential of this area. Of course, our team also needs some vacation :).
It’s unfortunately not possible to rent bikes or surf equipment if you are not staying at our house. We have a limited amount of equipment and want to guarantee enough availability for our guests.
The surf lessons
Our surf lessons are only accessible for our guests, because we want to keep our group small in order to keep up the quality. We also want to guarantee enough surf equipment for our guests.
Normally our surf course starts on Sunday for 3 or 5 consecutive days. However, we change the schedule if conditions require. We do our best to select the best surf days and look at the conditions day by day. We don’t use fixed times to go into the water. The time of the lessons varies each day and depends of the size of the waves, the sand banks, the surf spot and the tide. The exact time of the surf lesson is communicated one day in advance.
Transfers to and from the beach are included in our surf lessons, so you don’t need to worry about how to get to the beach. Once at the beach, the first (beginner) lesson always starts with some theory before you do a warming up. Then you practice the basics on the beach and afterwards you go into the water. The group is split up in groups of maximum 5 students per teacher. This way you get a lot of personal attention and learn as much as possible. There is always one teacher in the water to help you catch waves and one teacher on the beach to give feedback. A lesson normally lasts for 2 hours. The beach break Foz do Lizandro is our first pick for the lessons, but if conditions require we also give lessons at other beaches.
For safety reasons, beginner lessons are always on soft foam boards. Soft boards are also much better than hard boards for learning the right technique. If you have a soft board yourself, it’s no problem to join the lessons with your own board. With a hard board it’s only possible to join our intermediate or advanced lessons.
Yes, we can also arrange lessons for intermediate and advanced surfers. Our teacher has lots of experience in training and coaching top-level surfers, so he can for sure bring your surfing to the next level. With the advanced lessons, you go to different beaches depending on the conditions.
You can use our surf equipment also outside the lesson hours, so if you feel comfortable after a couple of lessons and the conditions allow it you can surf on your own. However, we always recommend taking extra lessons, as this is the best way to learn surfing properly. If you have booked the 3-day surf course and feel that you need more, you can add additional days once you are here.
Our surf school also offers surf lessons for kids, but with a minimum age of 7 years old. Our teachers are very experienced with kids and take extra care if it comes to safety. That’s also why it’s not every day possible to give lessons to kids. Sometimes the surf conditions are simply too heavy or the currents too strong. We therefore recommend booking our 3-day surf course. We can then select the best days of the week for the kids. It’s always possible to book extra lessons if the conditions allow it.
The surf lessons are given in English.