Back in the days when we were scouting the world for a place to settle down and call home we knew that location was the key to both personal and professional success. Ericeira in Portugal did tick all the boxes but little did we know that our new home would make us feel like Alice in Wonderland. Of course Ericeira being Europe’s first world surfing reserve with a solid reputation for world class waves was a big draw but soon we learned that the 5* surfing was just the tip of the iceberg.
Ericeira and its rugged natural landscape is a Mecca for action sports but also the epicenter of Portugal’s fast growing yoga scene. The vast Atlantic Ocean, the dramatic cliffs, the crisp air and rolling fields are the perfect ingredients for holistic contemplation, but it doesn’t stop there.
It really does seem like there is something to be found here for everyone.
In a radius of a good hour’s drive from Casa Paço D’Ilhas you can discover plenty of hidden and less hidden gems to keep the culture –and nature hungry satisfied.
From sacred Fatima (one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Europe) to the UNESCO cultural landscape of Sintra, the mundane historical center of Cascais, the world’s biggest waves at Nazaré and the dramatic rock formation of Cabo da Roca at the most western point of Europe, just to name a few! And with nearly 2000km of coastline it’s hard to beat Portugal’s stunning beauty and variety when it comes to beach hedonism!
It was a hard pick, but from all these incredible activities to do and stunning places to visit, we’ve selected a handful of tours and activities that we personally recommend (and yes, we’re hard to please).
Ericeira is Europe’s first world surfing reserve and has a strong reputation for being a prime surfing destination. Whatever your skills, swell condition or prevailing winds, there’s always a virgin wave around waiting for you to ride it! In case you didn’t bring your own surfboard, we have a wide range of boards for rent. But if you don’t find what you’re looking for with us, we can for sure hook you up with the right pick for your taste with one of our partners.
Surfboard: 40€ /day
Wetsuit: 15€ / day
Have you always been staring in awe to these acrobats riding the ocean swells? Do you love playing in the shore break and the feeling of the sun rays and the salt water on your face? Then surfing just might be your thing! And the good news is that it is not very difficult to learn. We only work with ISA-licensed instructors with years of experience teaching all kinds of people how to surf. The only requirements we ask from you are some basic swimming skills!
Two hours all-included group lesson: 45€/person
*maximum 6 surfers per group
*main surfing spots: Praia do Matadouro and Praia do São Julião
If you are thinking of buying a new surfboard but you’re not quite sure yet what to get then reach out to us to try out a wide variety of shapes and sizes from local and internationally renowned brands.
Stand up paddle boarding is an incredibly easy watersport to learn and you can become an expert paddle boarder in no time. People of all ages and fitness levels are capable of learning to paddle board in just a couple of minutes.
Paddle down the river mouth of one of our beautiful sandy beaches or drift along the coast of the World Surfing Reserve discovering one amazing bay after the other.
2hours all-included group lesson & tour: 45€/person
If you are thinking of buying a new SUP but you’re not quite sure yet what to get then reach out to us to try the latest and best SUP gear from NAISH SUP boarding.
Kitesurfing has gained immense popularity over the last few years and there’s a big chance it will become your new addiction as well! This very accessible extreme sport can be done with a wide variety of conditions: howling winds, summer breeze, boiling waves or lagoon flat water, no matter what nature throws at you, fun is ensured! We have taught people of all ages, fitness levels and background (believe it or not, even the King of Belgium) to kitesurf with success!
We offer a wide variety of lessons and private coaching, from beginner to advanced, to fit your level, experience and ambition in kitesurfing. We truly understand that each student has his/her own unique and individual needs and goals. We will design each lesson for you, so that the progression towards becoming a proficient kite surfer is an exciting, safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Are you already an experienced kitesurfer with the skills to challenge the wind & waves and an IKO card to prove it? Then we can help you out with the right kit to enjoy our windy playground.
If you are thinking of buying a new kite but you’re not quite sure yet what to get then reach out to us to try the latest and best in kite gear from Naish Kiteboarding.
When we moved here we had no idea we are actually located in the midst of a MTB-Walhalla waiting for you to discover it’s virgin trails. Whether you are an intermediate rider or a semi-pro, the rugged terrain that surrounds Casa Paço D’Ilhas will leave you longing for more.
We’re currently starting to explore the area ourselves and are aiming to offer GPS-guided MTB tours to our guests by next season. But for now we will quench your riding-thirst by renting out well maintained bikes and a limited selection of nearby mapped trails in cooperation with our local partners.
*Rental upon own responsibility for material and/or personal damage
Here at Casa Paço D’Ilhas, we aim to offer you a holistic leisure experience. So after action must come relaxation! Yoga needs no further introduction: hailing from ancient India this physical, mental and spiritual practice has slowly infiltrated the mainstream Western world and is now an essential component to create and maintain a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Join our yoga teacher Karol de Souza for a daily mix of early bird and sunset yoga sessions throughout the season. Whether you are a handstand-a-day kind of person, or haven’t touched your toes in years, Karol tailors the classes to your needs, encouraging deep, nurturing relaxation for all.
*Well maintained mats, bolsters, straps and bricks are available to use free of charge
*Please make sure to inform our yoga teacher prior to the class in case you have any physical and/or medical complaints so they can adapt accordingly
Why not combine your week of rushing to the beach with a little me time and choose a deeply relaxing, therapeutic massage?
The benefits of massage run deep – relaxation, stress reduction, improved circulation, helping the immune system and improved posture to name but a few.
Select the right treatment for you: whether looking to soothe aching surf muscles or those tense computer shoulders, to kickstart your body’s ability to let go, or to surrender entirely to a deeper mind.
The skilled hands of our massage therapists Karol de Souza and Saskia Knoop have years of experience in relaxation, deep-tissue and sports massage and will shape the massage to your own individual needs.
*Please make sure to inform your therapist prior to the massage in case you have any physical and/or medical complaints so they can adapt accordingly.
The Lisboa wine region, until recently know as Estremadura, might not be so famous as it’s more southern neighbor, the Alentejo, with is full bodied red wines or the Entre-Douro-e-Minho region with its crisp vinho verde, but that doesn’t mean that our local wines can’t compete in quality and taste with the grand wines! Our house wines are from the small scale, family-run Manzwine house which opens its door to our guests for wine tasting too! Whether you are an enthusiastic for wine tourism or a complete novice, Manzwine has a set of options for you to please all wine lovers! The wine tours include a visit to the winery, to understand the multiple processes the wine passes through, the warehouse where the oak barrels rest, a visit to the museum and of course a wine tasting with the wines of your choice!
Ericeira and its surroundings are not only about surfing and action-filled sports.
In a radius of a one hour’s drive from Casa Paço D’Ilhas you can discover plenty of hidden and less hidden gems to keep the culture –and nature hungry satisfied.
Here is a brief selection of the more famous must-sees: