Riding the waves like the experts
Out of the office, onto the board, into the surf: In no other European city can you exchange your suit for your swim trunks better than in Lisbon. The tranquil fishing village Ericeira is Portugal’s surfing mecca and only a half-hour’s drive from Lisbon. Those who’d rather enjoy Europe’s most challenging waves as more than an after-work pastime simply vacation here - and every morning offers a new choice of around 40 different beaches.
Hang Loose in Portugal:
Hang Loose: Ericeira’s relaxed atmosphere is due in no little part to the international surfer scene. Professional surfers like the Portuguese national hero Tiago Pires live here the entire year. Aside from the spectacular waves, the hill-top village offers amazing panoramas of the Atlantic, as well as a large selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Still, the fishing village has retained most of its original charm, especially in the town center, with its narrow streets and picturesque houses, where time seems to have stood still.
Surfing for everybody:
Surfing for beginners, for the more advanced - and for experts: Ribeira d’Ilhas, just two kilometers north of Ericeira, is one of the best European surf spots. Every year it hosts a round of the professionals’ ASP World Tour. The waves of neighboring Coxos Bay are also legendary. There are suitable beaches directly in Ericeira and nearby for beginners or advanced amateurs. Instructors at the local surfing schools are the best source of information about daily conditions.
For example, the surfing school TresÔndas, which is run by two Germans from Sylt: Estrada da Ribeira d´Ilhas, Tel.: +351/261 813 133. Courses start at €250 per week, reduced prices for longer stays. www.tresondas.de (German)
Europe’s westernmost 4-star hotel:
Spectacular site! Built on a narrow headland that juts into the ocean, the luxurious Hotel Vila Galé is washed on three sides by the Atlantic, and is continental Europe’s westernmost 4-star hotel. Surfers who would rather spend their money on equipment than on lavish accommodation can find reasonably priced vacation homes, hostels or bed & breakfasts for about €30 per person.
Residencial Camarão: Avenida do Espírito Santo, Tel.: +351/261 862 665. Starting at €30 per person, single room. Ecolodges Ericeira: starting at €50 per lodge. www.ecolodgesericeira.com.
Vila Galé Ericeira: Largo dos Navegantes, +351/261 869 900. Starting at €60 per person, single room. www.vilagale.pt/pages/hoteis/?hotel=10 (prices for accommodation in the entire village rise notably during the tourist season)
Photos: Thinkstock, mauritius images (3)