Best waves in Ericeira
Coxos is definitely the Queen with its heavy sectioning barrels and long walls. It’s the perfect place to improve your tube riding abilities and speed control, and also to snap surfboards/leashes, test your swimming abilities against the powerful current that runs through the inside, and practice timing the period between sets as you from sharp rocks.
Pedra Branca, the only lefthander of the 4 best spots in Ericeira, has a super shallow (and tight, given the local bodyboarding crew) take-off zone, but if you make it you’ll be rewarded with a wide barrel. Reef can’t handle a big swell but does deliver amazing barrels from 3 to 6ft. And then there’s the super famous Ribeira de Ilhas — a not so easy wave to read, but where all mistakes are forgiven.
[Plus the terrifyingly shallow slab known as the Cave, famously tackled by Slater in 2014, is within striking distance. Stay well clear if you value the present arrangement of your facial features.]
The Ericeira region
Ericeira lies about 50km northwest of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Since the beginning, Ericeira was a land of fisherman. In 1229, when the region of Ericeira as we know it today was founded, we can find the first written reference to those brave men hunting whales and other sea creatures. Until recently, many people believed the name Ericeira (from Ouriceira) had its origins in the sea urchins (ouriço in Portuguese), but a symbol of the village was recently discovered depicting a porcupine (also called ouriço in Portuguese), which is also the symbol of the Phoenician goddess Astarte. This consolidates the thesis that the origins of this village — now surrounded by an excess of modern buildings, introduced with a frightening lack of urban planning — date back to 1000 years BC and the time of the Phoenicians. Nowadays, you can still feel some of the history of the place in its narrow stone-paved streets, the ancient churches and the old yellow surfboard hanging on the port, right next to the freshly painted fishing boats and artefacts typical of the area.