peniche [portugal].

[spotlight series. Tim Latte]

[peniche soundtrack. it’s you]

Just a short 45 minute drive north of Lisbon lies the sleepy fishing town of Peniche. Regarded as one of the best surfing spots in Portugal, it may not be the prettiest town, but what it lacks in beauty, it certainly makes up for in good waves and, as of recently, the best boutique surf accommodation we have found so far.

It was the Surfers Lodge Peniche that attracted us here in the first place.

We arrived in Peniche by bus from Lisbon and were met at the bus station by John Malmqvist, the super sweet Swedish (ex-national surfer) owner/designer of the Lodge. As we pulled up, we were wowed by the beautiful design of this all glass and wood building which sits on a street corner in Baleal. With a Nordic-inspired, 1960s surfer style aesthetic, the Lodge is full of beautiful reclaimed wood, floor-to-ceiling windows, bespoke furniture, and an amazing Moroccan-inspired rooftop (complete with pool, hot tub, comfy lounges and bar).

The vibe here is totally laidback and friendly, and the feeling is more of a home than a hotel. Bedrooms are simple, chic and cosy, and the lodge offers surf, food and yoga packages. We met some amazing people during our 3 night stay – pro-surfers, beginner surfers, or not surfers at all – just cool people wanting to chill out and enjoy the slower, friendlier pace that the lodge has to offer. Once a DJ, Malmqvist has also nailed the music – perfect beats drifting through the Lodge all throughout the day.

We were lucky enough to have daily surf lessons with three of the Lodge’s awesome, local surf instructors – Pedro (who bizarrely talks with an Australian accent!), Marlene and Francisco. After a massive breakfast (think all things healthy – fruit, yoghurt, muesli, eggs and homemade breads with cheese and ham, plus the best coffee we found in Portugal) – we would meet downstairs at 830am, put on our wetsuits, grab our longboards, and then walk the 10 minutes down the road to get to the little beach, Prainha, where the lessons were held. 

The rest of our days were then spent either doing Pilates on the deck (I was lucky enough to be traveling with expert Pilates trainer – Colleen Ferguson of Atwill Wellness), grabbing lunch at the Lodge restaurant (try the gazpacho – amazing!), reading, working, doing some yoga, checking out some of the other nearby beaches, or going for big walks along the beach and cliffs of Baleal beach.

At dusk, it was time to hit the rooftop deck – a totally chilled out space filled with beautiful Moroccan rugs and cushions – to watch the sun go down. If you are lucky, there might be a live band or dj spinning some tunes. The restaurant – which is open all day – dishes up incredibly fresh, local and seasonal food, and was such a lovely place to hang out. We tried everything on the menu.

There is no honestly no better place to stay. Malmqvist has created the perfect boutique accommodation experience - high-end, yet super relaxed and bohemian. Good vibes. It’s beautiful here.

Highlights: the design, the food (we love the fresh, local and seasonal menu), sunsets on the roofdeck, the beats throughout the day, the surf lessons and instructors, and the friends we made.

To eat.

Surfers Lodge: every meal.

Bar Do Bruno: for a laidback lunch with beachy vibes and ocean views.

Sushi Fish Baleal: we were shocked to find such fresh, delicious and amazing sushi in such a sleepy beach town like this. Highly recommend.

Cantina de Ferrel: for authentic and delicious Italian, just up the road from the Surfers Lodge. Come here for great pasta and pizza.

To drink.

Surfers Lodge: on the rooftop at sunset, or downstairs on the comfy lounges. Cold beers, local wines and cocktails. No need to go anywhere else.

If you are wanting a change of scene though…check out Bar Da Praia (Largo amigos do Baleal) for sunset drinks.

To shop.

You definitely don’t come here to shop! But we were super impressed to discover (only on our last day however) A’Mercearia: a cute little grocery store for organic fruit and veg, snacks, fresh juices, surf art and more.

To do.

Surf: so many waves to choose from. For beginners, grab lessons at the Surfers Lodge.

Skate lessons: also from the Surfers Lodge.

Walk the beach and cliffs at Baleal.

Check out Supertubos: renowned as one of Europe’s best beach breaks, and home to the annual ASP World Tour Championship presence each October.

Hire a boat: pack a picnic and venture out to the beautiful Berlenga islands. Sunbake, swim, snorkel, kayak.

Yoga: try a post-surf yoga class (or get a massage) at the Yoga Center Peniche. 12 euro classes.


ericeira [portugal].

[spotlight series. christoffer hartkopp]

[ericeira soundtrack. Hey mami]

This surfing mecca is home to one of the most sought-after surf beaches in Europe – Ribeira d’ilhas. Only 31 miles northeast of Lisbon, Ericeira is a small fishing village with a charming old town full of traditional Portuguese houses and winding cobblestone streets. With stunning views of the Atlantic ocean, lots of charm in the old town, beautiful Cliffside walking tracks, and amazing beaches – this is a heavenly place to stop for a few days.

We only had two nights here, but still managed to find some beautiful things…and these are our favorites:

To eat/caffeinate.

Magic Quiver Surf&Deli: more than just a surfshop, this cosy corner store in the center of Ericeira’s old town is all about surfboards, surf culture, good coffee, homemade snacks, and a well-curated selection of clothes and accessories. The coffee is excellent and their homemade granola with yoghurt and berries was so tasty – that this became our first stop each morning. Owner Rui has created a space where people can hang out and talk all things surf …he also hosts photography and art exhibitions, live music and movie screenings. A magical little spot.

Uni Sushi: for deliciously fresh sushi and sashimi and a great atmosphere, in one of the old town’s charming and bustling streets.

Pizzamobile (Estrada Nacional 247, Lugar de Ladeiras): we love this – pizza out of a mini-van. Two friends, who share a love for surfing and pizza, have been touring around Portugal in their van selling pizza – now based near São Lourenço Beach, just three kilometers north of Ericeira, they offer delicious pizza at good prices, good people, friendly service, good vibes and awesome views.

Restaurante Prim (Rua 5 de Outubro 16): perfect for delicious wood-fired grilled meats, caiprinhas – and a break from Portuguese (which we love) food. Grab a spot outside.

To drink.

Ribeira d’ilhas Surf Restaurant & Bar: a beautiful walk along the cliffs from Ericeira will bring you here – to Ribeira d’Ilhas - one of Europe’s most well-renowned surf breaks. The new-ish surf restaurant and bar (which was built to much controversy - transforming the once laid back beach into a modern, stylish place to hang)  has a great deck and comfy lounges and offers healthy breakfast and lunch options, delicious Portuguese tarts, great drinks, and then surf lessons, board hire, showers and more.

To do.

Check out all the nearby beaches, especially Ribeira d’ilhas for the surf.

Visit Nico at Wavegliders: this local legend has been shaping boards since 1988. Starting off in his parent’s garage, almost twenty years on, he now operates out of a huge warehouse space 20 minutes outside Ericeira. Super kind and humble, Nico was generous enough to give us a tour of his studio, and took us through the shaping process from start to finish. It only takes him two days to do a board. A variety of styles, his favorite is the “The pig” which he tells us is “More than surfing. It’s a State of mind. Sense of pride”. He also has a guest shaping room where he invites other shapers, once a year, to come and spend time with him. His first guest was Californian shaper Ryan Lovelace, who has since returned to Portugal a few times. Nico is a huge fan of Lovelace’s boards and lovingly showed us the board Lovelace left Nico as a gift. His clients are largely scattered throughout Scandinavia, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Our other favorite thing – together with the Surfers Lodge Peniche – Nico can custom shape a board to meet your needs, and then have it delivered to the Surfers Lodge so its there waiting for you when you check in. Muy bien.

Visit Skeleton Sea: an amazing property and art collective, not far from Ribeira d’Ilhas. Skeleton Sea is a green arts project that was started by three surfer friends in a bid to keep the ocean clean. During breaks between surfing, the friends began to salvage trash and other recycled materials they found on the beach – old Chinese glass buoys wrapped in ropes, whale and fish bones, driftwood, wooden and rust metal pars of ship wrecks, porcelain pieces, flotsam and jetsam – to create surf art with a positive message, while tidying up the beach and keeping the oceans clean. An inspiring story. Their works have been exhibited all over the world – from Portugal to Japan to Kenya and the Middle East. We were lucky enough to be there for one of their Friday night ‘summer sessions’ – a weekly bbq they held through summer – with live music, delicious food and really interesting company. Not only did we get to meet and chat with one of the founding artists - German Xandi Kreuzeder – but we also got to enjoy some crazy psychedelic didgeridoo-tunes with Winga Kan.

To sleep.

Airbnb: lots of options available. We rented a private room with some super friendly locals (a Portuguese guy and his Finnish girlfriend). A perfect and easy option.