Ericeira and Foz do Lizandro

Leaving Ericeira we go in direction of  Foz, or the beach at Foz do Lizandro. .
If the tide is out we are able to go on foot along the coast. If the tide is in then we can walk the1.5 kms on the large pathway that follows the coast road. Why Foz? It is here that the Lizandro river, which springs in the urban district of Venda do Pinheiro, enters the sea. The river meanders some 30kms down to the sea passing by Cheleiros, Sta Suzana, Carvoeira and Sra do Ó before entering the sea.
An extense area of white sand with long waves, where many of the local surf schools give their first lessons to beginners, who love this radical sport. It is not without reason that Ericeira is the first European  area to be voted into the international Save the Waves Organisation. This beach is pure fun. It has several bars that are restaurants and support for the surf schools during the day and at night are bars with karaoke and live concerts. There is always joy when youth is present. And here there is no lack of young people. .
It is also possible to take out small boats on to the river and pass the poplars and listen to the nightingales. Charming! Such a sense of Peace.
On fine winter´s days we can see some people out on parapents which take off from the cliff tops above the beach. An invitation to a day well spent! There is a large parking area right next to the beach.

Ericeira South Beach or Whale Beach

After a short time without giving you any stories about this beautiful place, here I am once again to talk about The South Beach or Whale Beach as it is known by the locals. Many years ago a whale was washed ashore on the beach in this bay and of course this had great impact on the local people and they gave the name “Whale” to the location. The bones of the whale are still kept in the local museum, situated in “Largo da Misericórdia”
For a very long time Ericeira has been chosen by families in Lisbon and the surrounding areas as their preferred holiday resort. As soon as the first sun beams arrive, long before summer, in May /June the first groups of “bathers” begin to appear as they wish to give a better standard of living to their children, far from the pollution of the big cities.
The following postcard was entitled “Bathing Time” by the photographers of the time.
Adults believed that the waves splashing against their legs helped improve circulation and also cured varicose veins. On the rocks, far from the damp sand, we could see groups of people lying in the sun. Even today, on the rocks next to the Hotel Vila Galé right in front of the beach we can see the devotees of Ericeira taking advantage of the precious remedy, free to all. An hour of sun-bathing gives a chance to rest and to take in the magnificent scenery starting from our beach and on to Cabo da Roca the most westerly point in Europe. A most wonderful panorama.
Tiny children come to Ericeira without teeth and shortly after they begin to cut their first tooth. By the time the holidays are over they are already taking their first bites. For a few years much of the sand dissappeared from our beaches and it was almost impossilbe to bathe  specially in the south beach. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of our local council leader, machines were brought in and rocks were placed in a circle forming  a natural pool ideal for young children. Here you can see the result at low tide. For many we are reminded of our youth, our first love, our marriage plans, forming our families and thus will never forget the South Beach. Some of these promises of love were written in the sand. The sea arrived and all the words were gone. That`s life. True events from yesterday, today and tomorrow!
Today our beaches are still visited by the same families. Many of those, who arrived toothless continue to come with their grandchildren to receive the gift of our iodine with its strong odour that can be noticed from kilometres away. That is our sea our, our beaches, our Ericeira. Come and join us! You are most welcome. 

 

 

São Sebastião, Algodio and Ribeira.

After leaving the beach called Matadoro we go up the slope to the main road and continue. We soon come to a leisure area , where we can take advantage of the machines installed by the local council and try to get into shape, whilst the youngsters go to the playground to have a go on the swings or use the slide. Next stop is São Sebastião`s beach, former outskirts of the town and location of small factories among them the fish cannery and the “Pirolito” factory, manufacturers of a well known local fizzy drink of either lemon or orange flavour. A little farther north there was a factory which produced fishing nets, all made by hand for the local fishing fleet. This place was also the site of the annual garlic fair or Saint James´s Fair on the 25 th of July each year. This fair has been greatly reduced and now only a few local producers turn up each year to sell their goods. Actually the area is a hugh parking lote with landscape gardens and a children`s playground. The area is above the beach , which is reached by way of a steep and narrow stairway.  .
In the square you must visit the chapel, built in hexagonal form and the interior of which is completely covered with XVII th century tiles. There is a a festival each year on the 22nd of January, dedicated to São Sebastião and São Vicente.
We then go down to the beach of Algodio or North Beach, a very pleasant beach greatly appreciated by the summer holiday-makers. In the miradouro or view-point in the Fontainha square there was a small fountain that collected water from the Calvo stream and was used by the local people for domestic use.
We continue walking along the road that is followed by the procession in honour of our Lady of the Safe Journey in the summer. We then come to Ribeira beach also known as the fishermen`s beach, used by families with children, since it is protected from the the north winds. In December of 2010 a new sea wall was inaugarated to protect the fishing harbour and at the end of the wall a warning light was erected and a small tiled panel in honour of Our Lady of the Safe Journey was afixed beneath it.
“Our” boats arrive daily from the sea, bringing the good fish caught in their nets. The fish is taken to the auction shed where the fisherwomen and local restaurant owners bid for their fish. It is an interesting event to watch. Then of course if we want to eat the fish we need to go to the local fish market or better still sit down in one of our many excellent restaurants.