Praia do Sul is Ericeira's most popular beach
Faced by a landmark mansion that expanded to become a hotel (the Vila Galé Ericeira - see below), this beach is also known as Praia da Baleia. “Baleia” means “whale” and the name derives from an incident dating back to the 1800s, when a gigantic cetacean washed ashore.
Praia do Sul often has calm waters, but in autumn and winter it's also a beach for surfers
It’s a long sandy beach and more sheltered from the winds than others in the region. Due to the number of apartment buildings in the vicinity, it’s usually crowded in the summer (with local families and surfers).
Praia do Sul seen from the viewpoint above it, known as "Miradouro da Baleia"
The waves are good enough for surfing and skimboarding. If you prefer to swim without waves, you may dive into one of the pools of the Vila Galé Ericeira Hotel, even if you didn’t book a room. There are two of them -- one with sea water and another for children -- and non-guests may use them upon paying admission at the reception. It’s also the perfect spot for afternoon cocktails with sea views.
The ramp that leads down to the beach
During the bathing season, there are traditionally-striped beach tents for rent and lifeguards on duty. A large tile panel standing by the entrance to the beach informs (in Portuguese and English) that, from May to October, winds blow from the north and northwest, the water temperature reaches 18 to 20 degrees celsius (64 to 68 Fahrenheit), and the waves are less than one meter (3ft) high.
Beach for: Surfers, Couples, Families
Bar or Restaurant: No
How to Get to Praia do Sul
It’s named “Sul” (“South”) for a reason -- it’s located at the southern end of the center of Ericeira, and therefore within walking distance of almost anywhere. For its exact location, see the Ericeira beaches map.
Hotels by Praia do Sul
Proudly holding the title of “Europe’s westernmost 4-star hotel,” this imposing property is a cliffside mansion offering panoramic vistas of Praia do Sul. It has become an Ericeira landmark, and is for those looking for days in the sun, not just at the beach, but also by the pool -- the hotel has two of them.
A short walk down the coastal road from above Praia do Sul is this hotel divided into modern apartments. Many of them have balconies and some offer a sea view. Facilities include a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving Portuguese and Italian cuisine.
Budget travelers will want to stay at this exceptional hostel, which overlooks Praia do Sul. It has dorms and double/twin rooms with shared and private bathrooms, and some have terraces or balconies. It’s tastefully decorated, and there’s a shared kitchen for meals.
This large hostel targets surfers but anyone is welcome. It’s located a short walk from Praia do Sul, and features an outdoor swimming pool, a sun terrace, dorms, private rooms and an apartment.