The best independent guide to Ericeira
The best independent guide to Ericeira
Ericeira is a traditional fishing town that has become one of the finest surfing destinations in Europe. The town is also a popular day trip from Lisbon, with visitors coming to see the charming town centre and the spectacular coastline.
Insight: Often, a day trip to Ericeira is combined with a visit to Mafra to see the magnificent Palácio Nacional de Mafra.
Ericeira is 45km northwest of Lisbon, and regular bus services connect Lisbon to Ericeira. These buses depart from the Campo Grande bus Station in Lisbon, and the slow meandering bus route passes through Mafra. The fastest bus service to Ericeira takes 80 minutes, but slower services can take over 100 minutes.
Once at Ericeira, the bus services terminate at the newly constructed bus station, but this is inconveniently located 1.5km from the town centre.
The quickest and easiest method to travel from Lisbon to Ericeira is by car. The journey takes 45 minutes and follows the A8 and A21 expressway.
If you are reliant on public transport, the only option is travelling by bus. There is no railway to Ericeira, so bus travel is the only option.
Bus travel to Ericeira is also quite limited, as the only choice is the regional bus service operated by Carris Metropolitana. Ericeira is not served by the intercity bus network provided by Rede Expressos.
Insight: As annoying as it is, for any onward travel to Ericeira by public transport, it is best to head into Lisbon first.
The 2740 bus waiting in the Campo Grande bus station
The only public transport option from Lisbon to Ericeira is the regional bus service operated by Carris Metropolitana. There are a number of different services, with slight variations in the number of stops and routes, but they all depart from the Campo Grande bus station in Lisbon and terminate at the Terminal Rodoviário bus station in Ericeira. The most frequent services are the 2740 (78min), 2803 (71min), 2751 (104min non-express service) and 2801 (56min rush hour only).
Insight: All of the buses to Ericeira depart from the same bus bays in Campo Grande. Therefore, it is recommended to take the first service when you arrive (except for the 2751 route, which takes a very long time).
The latest timetables can be seen on the Carris Metropolitana website:
• 2740 - www.carrismetr
• 2803 - www.carrismetr
• 2751 - www.carrismetr
• 2801 - www.carrismetr
Insight: The bus services to Ericeira are operated by Carris Metropolitana. This changed from the 'Mafrense' bus company in December 2022, but Mafrense may still be mentioned on out-of-date travel guides or websites.
Bus tickets are purchased from the bus driver onboard and, currently, the buses do not accept payment by bank card, so cash is needed. A single fare from Lisbon to Ericeira costs €4.50; the exception is the slower 2751 service which costs €2.60. There are no return tickets, and the return fare must be purchased on boarding the return bus (It is important to make sure you have cash at the end of the day).
Luggage or bulky items (such as surfboards) can be taken but are placed in the luggage compartments beneath the bus. Expect to load and retrieve your luggage from the compartments yourself.
The Lisbon to Ericeira bus service can get very busy during the peak season (especially at the weekends and for the 11:00 service). It is always advisable to arrive a little earlier and get a place in the queue. If you do have a long wait, there is a decent café below the NOS towers.
Even in winter there is a long queue for the 2740 bus
Campo Grande bus station (GPS: 38.759416, -9.159039) is a series of bus bays outside of the Campo Grande train/metro station. The bus station is served by the yellow and green metro lines. At the bus station, there are no facilities and there is no ticket office or information point – it is best to regard it as a large bus stop.
The buses to Ericeira depart from bus bays 22 to 24. The buses departing from bays 23 and 24 passes through Mafra, while the buses from bay 22 do not.
Below is an interactive view of the Campo Grande bus station, as seen on Google Street View (Note: The image is from Nov2020 and shows Mafrense buses)
The bus journey is very fast from Lisbon to Malveira as it speeds along the A8 expressway, but certain services take a torturously long time to travel from Malveira to Mafra as it follows the meandering N116.
In Ericeira, the bus does not make a loop of the town but stops directly at the Terminal Rodoviário Bus Station. Ericeira bus station is modern but is inconveniently located on the far eastern side of the town (GPS: 38.968253, -9.405161).
From the bus station, it is a 1.5km downhill walk to the town centre and beaches. This is a very tiring uphill walk when returning to the bus station from the historic centre of Ericeira, and it may be easier to catch and Uber or taxi.
Ericeira bus station is new but poorly located
If you are travelling directly from Lisbon Airport to Ericeira, you will have to travel across Lisbon to Campo Grande Bus Station.
For ease, it is recommended to travel via Uber or taxi for the journey from the airport to Campo Grande Bus Station. However, it is also possible to travel via the metro.
The airport is on the red line and getting to Campo Grande Bus Station (on the green line) involves and switching lines at Alameda.
The only other major town served by any direct bus service to or from Ericeira, is Sintra.
The bus route (operated by Carris Metropolitana) from Sintra to Ericeira is the number 1633 service. There are over 15 departures per day during the week (Mon-Fri), but much fewer on weekends. The journey takes 45 minutes and a single ticket costs €2.60. The latest timetable can be seen on the Carris Metropolitana website:
In Sintra the bus departs and terminates at the Portela Train Station (GPS: 38.802598, -9.376619). From Portela Train Station, it is a 1.7km (22 minute) walk to the historic centre of Sintra. It is important to note that Portela is not the train station at the end of the Lisbon-Sintra train line, but the penultimate one.
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