We witnessed Portugal's most harmonious embrace of surf culture in Ericeira.
The town is lovely and surf centred in all aspects. The most popular beach break, Ribeira d'ilhas, has shiny new top notch surf facilities, an uncommon occurrence in Portugal. This long stretch of coast has great waves. Good enough to warrant them becoming a world surf reserve, providing protection and cementing surf tourism firmly in place.
It's easy to take good waves for granted. That is until you hear of the story of Madeira's corrupt government destroying world class point breaks to erect promenades and failed marinas no one wanted. Ericeira's world surf reserve status sets an example to other Portuguese nations giving value to surfing and its culture.
Ericeira's coast views and surf are amazing but sadly the weather was temperamental. We therefore used Ericeira as a base to sight see in Sintra and take a long trip to Nazaré to see some record breaking waves.
It was the day after Nazaré's colossal wave riding made it into international newspaper, yet again. The swell was still 20ft+ so we went to watch but sadly no one was surfing. We picnicked on the cliff, captivated by the raging white water breaking with phenomenal power. It was a lay day on the WSL event in Peniche and we spotted some competitors and the winners trophy paying a visit too!
The rest of the day was spent in a delightful Thalasso salt water spa before a very long drive back to Ericeira.