The Digital Nomad’s Guide to Ericeira

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Written by: | Last updated on March 1, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 7 minutes
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Renowned for its world-class waves, this quaint seaside town is not only a surfer’s paradise but also offers proximity to the vibrant city of Lisbon, blending the charm of small-town life with the conveniences of a nearby metropolis. Ericeira is one of several digital nomad hotspots in Portugal, including Lisbon, Lagos, and Madeira, and a popular destination for all types of expats. It is most similar to Lagos in the Algarve, which also attracts nomads interested in small towns and surf culture.

With a burgeoning community of nomads and expats, Ericeira provides the ideal backdrop for those seeking a balanced lifestyle — where mornings can be spent riding the Atlantic waves, afternoons working in cosy coastal cafés, and evenings exploring the local bars and restaurants and venturing down to Lisbon.

Although Ericeira attracts nomads from all walks of life, it attracts a lot of nomads interested in spirituality, personal development, transformation retreats, and life coaching. If you’re looking for somewhere that’s a little like Bali, at least by European standards, this could be the perfect place for you.

Short-term or Long-term

Ericeira attracts nomads that are visiting for just a few days, weeks, or months, and those that make a more permanent move here.

The introduction of the digital nomad visa means that Portugal is now a very appealing place for international nomads to obtain residency. As well as allowing you to live in Portugal, it also means that after 5 years you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. A Portuguese passport would then allow you to live, work, study, and retire anywhere in the EU.

Pros & Cons of Ericeira for Digital Nomads

There are plenty of pros and cons to living in Ericeira as a digital nomad.

Pros

  • Relaxed Vibe: Ericeira offers a much more laid-back feel than Lisbon.
  • Great Surfing: This is a popular surfing destination both for beginners and more experienced surfers.
  • Nomad Community: There’s a reasonable-sized nomad community in Ericeira, with plenty of meetups, talks, and other community activities. You can find events on Facebook groups like Ericeira Freelancers & Digital Nomads and Meetup.
  • Great Weather: Although Ericeira isn’t located quite as far south as the Algarve, it still has fantastic weather. During the winter months, you can expect some of the mildest weather in the whole of Europe.
  • Several Coworking Spaces: Ericeira has nowhere near as many coworking spaces as Lisbon does, but there are still plenty of coworking spaces in Ericeira to choose from.

Cons

  • Expensive Accommodation: Rental accommodation is incredibly expensive — often more expensive than Lisbon.
  • Small Town Feel: While many people are initially attracted to the quieter pace of life, after a while it can be too small if you’re used to living in bigger cities.
  • Tourism extremes: Some people find Ericeira too busy in the summer and too quiet in the winter. This can be a theme in most seaside locations in Portugal, including the Algarve.

Finding Accommodation

As with most digital nomad locations in Portugal, accommodation can be expensive and competitive.

Short-Term

For short-term accommodation, Airbnb is still the most popular site. However, it’s definitely wise to look at alternatives like Flatio, which can often throw up some great bargains. Other Airbnb alternatives include Booking.com (they also have apartments) and Spotahome.

There’s also the option of staying in a coliving space where you can live with other digital nomads and entrepreneurs. Many coliving spaces have a dedicated coworking area as well as activities such as yoga, surf lessons, and mastermind sessions.

Example living spaces include:

  • Selina Boavista: Nestled in the vibrant heart of Ericeira, Selina Boavisa provides a harmonious blend of work and relaxation spaces. With a mix of private rooms and shared dorms, it caters to diverse preferences. Its shared workspaces are known for fostering creativity and networking, making it a popular choice among digital professionals.
  • Outsite: Synonymous with the digital nomad lifestyle, Outsite in Ericeira offers not just a place to stay, but an entire community-driven experience. The property boasts well-designed living spaces, dedicated work areas, and is just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
  • Villa dos Irmãos: Set in a beautifully restored traditional Portuguese villa, Villa dos Irmãos provides an intimate co-living experience. Its tranquil garden and sunlit rooms make for a serene work environment. Beyond its appealing aesthetics, the villa promotes a sense of community, with communal dinners and outings becoming a regular feature.
  • Sunago: A name inspired by the sun and the sea, Sunago provides a holistic living and working experience in Ericeira. Its stylish interiors and spacious communal areas make it an inviting space for both solo travelers and groups.

Long-Term

For longer-term accommodation, Facebook groups are often the best place to look. There are also some classifieds websites like OLX.pt and Idealista.pt. Finally, it’s worth contacting rental agencies and independent agents as well.

If you’re renting or buying in Ericeira, be sure to check that you can get fibre internet before signing everything. Internet speeds in Ericeira are great (1 gbps is common and 10 gbps is possible) but some properties, particularly outside of the town centre, don’t have fibre internet access yet.

Co-working Spaces

The Base coworking in Ericeira

Ericeira has a good number of coworking spaces for a small town. Some of the main options are:

Croissant are offering €15 off your first months’ membership, which allows you to work from a or several different co-working spaces. Croissant work with coworking spaces all over Ericeira and Lisbon, including The Base Coworking spot in Ericeira.

  • The Base Co-Working: Positioned at the heart of Ericeira, The Base offers not only dedicated desks and high-speed internet but also a vibrant community vibe. It’s an ideal space for networking with fellow digital nomads and entrepreneurs.
  • Salt Studio: Combining a modern aesthetic with a relaxed atmosphere, Salt Studio is more than just a co-working space; it’s a haven for creativity. Its proximity to local cafés and eateries makes it perfect for those who like to take work breaks exploring the town.
  • Kelp Co-Work: Designed with sustainability in mind, Kelp Co-Work offers an eco-friendly workspace that promotes productivity and collaboration. Its calming interior and green initiatives make it a preferred choice for the environmentally-conscious nomad.
  • Coastal Cowork Collective: Located just minutes from the beach, this coworking space boasts stunning sea views, making it an inspiring spot to work. With spacious areas and regular community events, it’s a great place for both work and socializing.
  • Ericeira Business Factory: More than just a workspace, Ericeira Business Factory offers a comprehensive ecosystem for startups and businesses. With mentorship programs and regular workshops, it’s an ideal place for those looking to grow their ventures in a supportive environment.

Laptop-Friendly Cafes

The good news is that most cafes in Ericeira are used to people working on laptops, and so there are a number of places you could work from in the town centre. A few that stand out are:

  • Cyber Café Forum São Sebastião: A popular spot among both locals and international digital nomads, this café operates from 8am to 8pm daily. While it tends to get crowded around mealtimes, its high-speed Wi-Fi and delightful pastries more than make up for it.
  • Mama’s Caffes Ericeira: Open every day from 9am to 7pm, Mama’s Caffes stands out for its unique wood-roasted artisanal coffee, which is arguably the best in Ericeira. While the café’s Wi-Fi isn’t optimal for high-bandwidth tasks like Zoom calls, its ambience more than compensates.
  • Amour Soul Space: A haven for late-night workers, Amour Soul Space is nestled on Tv. do Jogo da Bola and remains open until a rare 2am. While its prices lean towards the premium end, the quality, especially of its vegan offerings, justifies the cost. The Wi-Fi is reliable, making it suitable for video calls and other online tasks.
Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.