A charming old fishing village located approximately 35 km (22 miles) from Lisbon one finds Ericeira perched high above the Atlantic ocean . The name originated from Ouriceira which referred to the bounty of sea urchins in the area. However, history notes that Ericeira is famous for the day that King Manuel II of Portugal went into exile from the Praia dos Pescadores after the Oct 5th 1910 revolution. Today, it is where the busy fishing harbour sits. But, high above the harbour ,on the cliffs and natural rock is the village of white washed houses bleached against the blue sky and sun, with narrow cobbled streets. Ericeira today is known as a surfers dream and attracts both tourists and locals alike. There are four beaches nearby and close in proximity to other sights in Mafra and Sintra.
> Should you decide to stay the night, a true find is a small 13 room boutique hotel called Casa das Aquarelas. It is located on a narrow street of whitewashed buildings with a striking sky blue entryway which creates the backdrop for the cool modern streamlined interior. The options range from suites, twins and doubles to suit every taste and budget . I found the ground suites and rooms to be convenient for the handicapped and /or elderly guests. Modern amenities range from kitchenettes, fridges , private terraces and sleek black or white tiled bathrooms. The layout was airy and spacious with the opportunity for privacy . A double bed in a separate bedroom with a skylight window and slanted ceiling was cozy meets modern in sync with each other . The skylight had its own shade for light adjustment which made for a starry night or darkness if preferred . Across the room was a sleep sofa , dining area and kitchenette with a sharp sleek black tiled bath with deep white sink and shower and hairdryer mounted on the wall .Three smaller windows lined the wall which opened up into the village . Minimalist with a twist yet pure comfort . Great solid mattresses, fluffy pillows and matching drapes and bedding , black and white photographs celebrating Ericeira's past and ornate pieces of pottery completed the decor. One can access a private terrace for a cold drink after a busy day trip or beach day. I enjoyed gazing at the ocean and watching the sunset from high above the cliffs .
> Throughout the older section of the property are wooden ceilings and distressed wooden doors that offer a little bit of yesteryear .No breakfast is served but no problem . A continental breakfast can be had out on one of the private terraces attached to the rooms or restaurants are within walking distance. A supermarket is readily available as well . Free street parking is available and wifi service .
> The hotel is spotlessly clean and very charming in the small gardens and plants for sitting and relaxing. I especially loved the splashes of color with architectural contrasts of designs and artifacts which created visual interest at every turn throughout the hotel .
> It was a great stopover , a pleasing surprise and one to be remembered and repeated for future visits to Portugal . I highly recommend the Casa das Aquarelas for those exploring the Estremadura coast and region .
Overlook the beautiful hues of the Atlantic ocean for watching sunrises and sunset from your windo...
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