Frequently asked questions
If you have questions about Ericeira or 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.
The surf house, booking and your stay
It’s the location, guests and facilities that distinguish Ericeira Surf House from the others.
The guests at Ericeira Surf House are grown up surfers and surf minded people who have outgrown the party hostels. We combine the vibes and social aspects of a surf camp with more comfort, quality and service.
Our location in Ericeira is also hard to beat. The best surf beaches are quite far from the town center. Ericeira Surf House is located right in the middle, so you can walk to the best beach (Foz do Lizandro) and to the center of Ericeira. Foz do Lizandro offers something for everybody. It has good facilities, is family friendly and has fantastic surfing possibilities for all level of surfers. The sandy bottom makes it perfect for beginners and there are multiple peaks and a couple of consistent reef breaks for more advanced surfers. And if the sand banks at the river mouth are aligned, there can even be a world class lefthand barrel.
In the summer months Ericeira gets very busy. At our house you don’t notice anything of this, because we are tucked away in the peaceful countryside. The location of the surf house also has its own micro-climate. Our house is located just over a small hilltop away from the sea and is therefore sheltered from the cold sea breeze and fog. The house also faces south, so you have optimal sun exposure. Here you can wear your bikini at the pool, while you need a sweater at the beach or in the center.
There is a good balance between solo travellers, couples, friends and families (during the school holidays) 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 might find in many other surf camps. The majority of our guests is between 25 and 35 years old, but we also have families with kids, surfers in their twenties and sometimes even some seniors. Our youngest guest so far was 11 weeks, while the oldest was 84!
Most of our guests are Dutch, German-speaking, Belgium, Finnish and English, but we also have guests from many other countries in Europe and 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 courses also start 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 surfing is so dependent on the ocean conditions, shorter trips are not recommended.
Shorter stays are not possible. Staying longer than a week is not a problem, but arrival and departure should be on Saturday. The maximum stay is 3 weeks.
If you can’t fly into Lisbon on a Saturday or if the flights are much cheaper on other days, you can consider combining 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 for 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. Just let us know your needs in advance so we can be prepared.
Babies and kids are more than welcome at our house.
Kids (0-4 years) stay for free and kids from 5 years and older only pay half the price when staying in an extra bed in the parents room (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 our guests 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 there goes a direct bus to Ericeira bus terminal. The journey from the airport to Ericeira takes approximately 2 hours and costs €8 one-way. We can pick you up from Ericeira bus terminal upon arrival.
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. Also Uber works very well in Portugal. And if you are looking for a rental car, there are many options at the airport.
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. We will then pick you up from 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 who 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 travelling with. In general we are fully booked in the high season (June to September), so for this period it’s good to book in time. During low season we usually have more last-minute availability. Also the double rooms sell out faster than the shared rooms.
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 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
It’s not possible to book surf lessons without accommodation. This way we ensure the best quality of lessons and equipment for our guests.
Our surf courses start on Sunday. However, if the conditions require, we can change the schedule. We look at the conditions every day and make sure to select the best surf days. We don’t use fixed times to go into the water. The time of the lessons varies each day and depends on the size of the waves, the sand banks, the surf spot and the tide. The exact time of the surf lessons is communicated on the day before.
Transfers to and from the beach are included in our surf lessons, so you don’t need to worry about getting to the beach. Once at the beach, the group is split up in to smaller groups of maximum 6 students per teacher. The first (beginner) lesson always starts with some theory followed by a warm-up. Before you go into the water, you’ll practice the basics on the beach. Once in the water, the teacher helps you catch waves. This way you get a lot of personal attention and learn as much as possible.
The beach break São Julião is our first pick, but if the conditions require we also give lessons at other beaches. A lesson usually lasts for 2 hours.
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.
If you book the Surf & Yoga package, Surf package or Intensive Surf-package, you can also use our surf equipment outside the lesson hours. So if you feel comfortable and the conditions allow it, you can practise 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 want more, you can always add extra days. The price of an extra surf lesson is €35.
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 when 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. For the kids we therefore recommend our 3-day surf course, so we can select the best days of the week. And it’s always possible to book extra lessons if the conditions allow it.
The surf lessons are taught in English.
Praia da São Julião is our preferred beach for the lessons. However, when the waves are bigger during the spring and autumn, we also go to other surf spots.
Ericeira or surfing in general
If you are looking for sunny weather and high temperatures then the best time to visit is from June to September. July is the sunniest month and August the warmest with average maximum temperatures of 27°C. As there is nearly always a sea breeze, you usually won’t experience too hot summer days. In May and October the weather is cooler but still good, while in April and November there is a bigger chance of some rainy days.
Ericeira is one of the most consistent surf spots of Europe. There are nearly always surfable waves and flat spells are very rare, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to surf if you plan a surf trip to Ericeira. Of course some months are better than others and the best months depend a lot on your surf level. If you are an experienced surfer, the best time to go is from September to May. However during the winter months it can also be too big for the majority of the surf spots in Ericeira. In that case, you can only surf in the harbour or you need to drive to Peniche or the south coast of Lisbon. For intermediate surfers, the best months are usually May, June, September and October, but also the summer months can have good conditions. Beginners find suitable waves year round, with May to September being the best period. But just like the weather, it’s impossible to forecast wave conditions a long time in advance.
You need a wetsuit year round. The cold current that hits Portugal keeps the water cool, even in the summer. We recommend a 4/3 or 5/3mm wetsuit (sometimes with booties or cap) for the winter months and the spring. In the summer months and early autumn a 3/2 full suit is usually enough.
Ericeira is one of the best places to learn to surf. The variety of beaches allow beginner lessons in nearly all conditions. Our house is located on the south side of Ericeira 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. 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. The coastline offers great fishing possibilities and mountainbike trails. 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 easy to reach. 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, early spring or late autumn Peniche offers more protection from wind and big swells 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 west coast is too big. Ericeira also has a protected harbour where you can surf when the waves are too big for the more exposed spots. Compared to Peniche, Ericeira offers more consistent reef breaks that can hold bigger swells properly. 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.