Making Waves in Ericeira: Her.ie’s Úna Heads on a Portuguese Surfing Adventure
This year Her.ie’s Úna was given the unique opportunity to brush up on her surfing skills and take to the waves in Portugal’s seaside town of Ericeira.
Travelling on her own and booked through SurfHolidays.com, she was excited at the prospect of hopping on the surfboard and making friends along the way.
Here’s how she got on:
Going to a country for the first time as a solo traveller not knowing the language and heading out onto the waves properly for the first time seems like a daunting task but I was definitely up for the challenge.
Armed with my trusty carry-on suitcase that was packed to the brim with sun cream, swimming togs and light summer clothes, I arrived in Portugal with a feeling of anticipation and enthusiasm.
I was met at the airport by a young Portuguese man called Juan who kindly drove me to the wonderful seaside town of Ericeira and to Chill In Ericeira Surfhouse, my home for the next few days.
The surfhouse was a very cool set of buildings with a quirky and colourful design that was created by its co-owner Daniela Machado.
A mixture of oranges, blues and reds were scattered throughout its many rooms across two buildings with a touch of the sea being incorporated onto its walls – it felt like a chill place to hang out, but it also felt quite a lot like home.
Though I was nervous about the next few days of surfing and meeting new people, Joana helped me settle in and introduced me to the main crew and we chatted about the plan for the next few days.
The first day on the waves at Praia de São Julião with our instructor Miguel Ruivo, was quite the challenge with a small group of us heading out to surf and getting to grips with some of the many techniques required for tackling the board.
I think I actually lost count of the amount of times I fell off my board but thankfully I was in a group who were on the same level as me so I didn’t feel so embarrassed but more relaxed about perfecting technique and enjoying myself - though I was glad that I was a pretty strong swimmer!
Over the next few days I vastly improved and with the friendly encouragement from Miguel and my new-found friends (one of them being Irish of course!) I managed to stay standing on the board for six seconds which mightn’t seem much but is quite the achievement who finds it hard to balance on one leg.
I definitely had the surfing bug and from then I couldn't stop thinking about my next session out in the ocean.
I spent my free hours wandering around Ericeira and exploring its many small side streets and wonderful seafood restaurants and for a town with a population of just over 6,500 the nightlife was surprisingly busy - far from the sleepy town that I expected it to be.
The surf, the location and its people made the whole experience worthwhile and each night I came across some of the most beautiful and spectacular sunsets I've ever seen...
I came back to Ireland with a sense of achievement but also an element of sadness having parted ways with my new friends and the Portuguese waves – but it was worth it, and I’ll definitely be heading back again.
Fond memories always stay with you.
Thinking of booking the surf trip of your dreams? Check out SurfHolidays.com for more information on creating that ultimate trip abroad. See our article on the top tips for the beginner surfer here and reasons why being a solo traveller is awesome here.