Buzzing with youthful visitors and locals all hoping to ride the perfect wave, Ericeira has a laid-back nightlife to match its surfer crowd.
For the time being, Ericeira remains under the tourist radar. A sunkissed coastal town where well-heeled Lisboetas come to escape at weekends, it is less than an hour’s drive from the capital – though the vibe is a world apart. Think long, lazy seafood lunches, soporific days spent on craggy beaches and evenings in elegant cocktail bars. It’s stylish enough for you to find a great margarita, but not so nightlife-packed that you’ll feel overwhelmed. Try one of these quality watering holes for your pre-dinner drinks.
This humble beach kiosk, on the biscuit-coloured sands of Praia dos Pescadores, has a sprinkling of scarlet beanbags and deckchairs to lounge on as you order. A mellow pack of beach bums clink beer bottles around its colourful painted signs, wind chimes, printed hippie throws and rainbow-striped hammock. The crowd swells at sunset when the beach glows coral pink. Toasted sandwiches and avocado toasts are on hand to balance out the boozing.
With the front portion of a sky-blue VW campervan protruding from its facade, this playful cocktail bar has pub-style wooden benches in the street and nachos on the snack menu. Inside, a neon-lit cube is artfully cluttered with surfboards, tiki-style murals and a huge faux-wave cresting over the bar, setting up the surfer vibe and cocktail list. Alongside beachy faves such as Mai Tais and Tequila Sunrises are spicy margaritas and frozen mojitos, to start your night with a bang.
On the rooftop of a building inlaid with glossy basil-green tiles, this balmy bar serves zingy margaritas and spritzers in fishbowl glasses. Linger over views of the city’s rooftops as you work through the selection of bruschettas that perfectly complement the drinks menu. This is one of the more upmarket bars in town, so expect to spend a bit more. No room upstairs? There are a few wooden tables down at street level, too.
If you have full-blown dancefloor fever, this bar club – translating as Hedgehog – has the volume, in terms of both size and sound system. Located just above Praia dos Pescadores, with a sliver of sea-view terrace to cool off on between tracks, it’s famous for its muralled exterior, which changes to a new colourful design each season. Look out for theme nights, from the 80s to reggaeton. It’s a short stagger back to much of the town’s accommodation, too.
Share platters of local sheep’s cheese, charcuterie and crostini as you sip your way through the robust wine list at this under-the-radar spot. Lined, library-style, with bottles of every persuasion and decorated with barrels, it’s a low-key hangout with simple wooden benches and steps up to a mezzanine level. You can ask for individual wine recommendations, or pay upfront for a flight of several. Live fado or jazz guitarists often pop up on weekends.
Need a hearty dinner before heading to the bars? Check out the best restaurants in Ericeira.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Alex Locker.