In the words of Ericiera Local Laura Crane: “You cant choose where you are born but you can choose where you call home and still after travelling the world, Ericiera is home and it makes me very happy.” This video of her having a couple of surfs is probably one of the reasons why:
Laura’s right Ericiera is sick, it’s even got it’s own version of California’s Pacific Coast Hoighway where you can check many of the waves from your car. But I’ve got 5 other solid reasons why you should go on a surf trip to Portugal:
There’s a 1800km Coast with beaches everywhere. You get waves up north in Porto, down south in the Mediterranean’esque Algarve, the wild South West Sagres which does great beer with the same name and obviously there’s Peniche and Nazare inbetween, but it’s Ericiera which is the cream of the crop, offering a staggering variety of waves, crammed into just a few kilometres of said coast. This combined with a population of a mere 10million means for some empty lineups.
This isn’t a red herring (apols for the pun if you got it) but what you’ve eaten in the past is very different from the grilled sardines, sardinhas asadas, found in Portugal. These little babies are the business. They are absolutely delicious fresh from the BBQ with a glass of red wine after a full days surfing. They are also a historically beloved fish, with evidence of them being preserved by the Romans and when in Rome…
Variety is the spice of life.
Supertubos is known as ‘Portuguese Pipe’ rightfully so as it rivals Hossegor’s Graviere for sand bottomed pits and really packs a punch. A short stroll up the beach you get a great wedge that bounces off the wall and offers ramps for the aerial kids, but if you’re not into death pits and can’t do airs (hello) there are some lovely walls to cruise along in Baleal. Further north still and you have the World’s biggest wave, Nazare, back down the coast and Ericiera has it all.
Seriously, in the Peniche area the Peniche/Baleal orientation means that whatever wind-a-blowin, somewhere is offshore within a 2km radius. How sick is that! Then of course you’ve got the South and West Coast welcoming whatever wind’s a blowin.
A uniquely Portuguese product.
Ericiera is like no other place, it can’t be imitated. Just a quick look at the map and you’ll see what I mean. The waves in this area takes on whatever the Atlantic hurls at them and are complimented by perfect geology, with rivers sculpting the sandbars on beaches and cliffs exposing slabs; you have a surfer’s paradise in Portugal.