After spending 4 days in Lisbon, Andrew and I based ourselves in Estremadura for the remainder of our week in Portugal. We wanted to enjoy the sunshine while still have places to go to and visit if we fancied. When exploring the south of Europe this is often how we structure our vacations: half a day to explore and half a day to relax, so Santa Cruz and Ericeira were the perfect half-day outing destinations.
Santa Cruz is a beach town on the Atlantic Coast. Within easy reach of Lisbon and with dreamy vast beaches, it is very popular among vacationers and surfers. We stayed at Vila Louro in Santa Cruz and spend an afternoon cycling around the town.
The views of the beach are beautiful from the quiet city centre.
The town has also plenty of nice restaurants and cafes so you can easily spend a couple of days in Santa Cruz spending the day at the beach and the evening enjoying Portuguese food at places like Restaurante Noah.
I also really recommend grabbing a glass of Vinho Verde at one of the beach bars while watching the sun go down.
Ericeira is a fishing town just north of Sintra with spectacular ocean views. It is very popular among surfers and solo travellers and you can quickly understand why when visiting.
Ericeira has the charm of a small village, the architecture of beautiful Lisbon and a lively nightlife with plenty of amazing restaurants and bars. It is also close to the popular surfers’ hot spots.
We headed there late afternoon as we had a booking for dinner at Restaurante Funky. We enjoyed the last rays of sunshine while grabbing a drink at one of the bars you can find along the ocean cliff.
Make sure to be in Ericeira to admire the sunset. The views are great and there is something extremely charming about being surrounded by the music of the bars and the laughter of the locals and tourists mixing and enjoying a pre-dinner drink.
We still have so much more of Portugal to explore and I would love to explore Porto, the northern National Parks and the South of the country.