Loving Ericeira

Ericeira Summer 2013

Beaches are like people, they have different personalities. Portugal has 1,115 miles of coastline, but no two beaches are alike. Some are popular, always crowded with sun worshipers. Others are shy and choose their friends carefully. One of these shy beaches is Ericeira, 40 miles north of Lisbon.

Everybody loves Ericeira when the sun is shining and the sea is balmy. But Ericeira tests its visitors to make sure they deserve its beauty. So, there are cooler days to discourage those who complain that Winter spends the Summer at Ericeira. And foggy days to see who appreciates the joy of walking on a misty beach. Sometimes the sea is rough to see who is in awe of the ocean roar. Other times, the wind blows to see who feels invigorated by the ocean smell.

If you fail these tests, Ericeira is not for you. If you pass them, you understand the true beauty of Ericeira and you’ll never trade it for any other beach.



Baleal, a beach in the Peniche region, used to be an island but it is now connected to land by a thin strip of sand. Its name comes from the Portuguese word for whale (baleia) for, in ancient times, whales were hunted nearby.

Baleal has many charming houses with beautiful ocean views. But its hallmark is a dramatic rock formation sculpted by the sea.

In his 1923 book “The Fishermen,” the writer Raul Brandão singles out Baleal as the most beautiful beach in Portugal. Surfers, who flock to Baleal every Summer, seem to agree.