The Coast and its beaches
The coastal zone of the Council of Mafra is formed by lands rocky, interrupted by the estuary of rivers. It is there, and in the bays in the long of the coast, that accumulate the sands that form the beaches of the council.
With exception of the beach of the Barril, more to the north, that is today practically a zone of rocks due to the removal of sand that suffered, there are 12 beaches in the council, distributed for the parish councils of the Encarnação, Santo Isidoro, Ericeira and Carvoeira. In common to all the beaches, is the Atlantic that bathes them and the good accesses and places for car parking, which become them wanted by bathers. Only three of these beaches are not watched during the holiday time.
The majority of beaches are in the Parish Council of the Ericeira, whose village is bathed by Sul, Pescadores, Algodio and São Sebastião. Despite the commercial importance of the port, Ericeira found in its beaches a strong attractive for the sea bath lovers. The natural beauty associated to the strong iodine concentration provoked a great attendance in Ericeira beaches’, since the beginning of XIX century, for illustrious people of the time, as the Bishop of Coimbra or, later, Queen D. Maria Pia.
In 1888 there was already established in Ericeira a holiday camp of seasonal character, noting for this time, the installation of aristocratic families of Lisbon, as the Burnay, Ulric or Rivotti, who had occupied, with its palace-like houses, the involving zone of the Sul beach. The localization close to Lisbon and the development of the roads had allowed, from the 50th years, a bigger affluence of holidaymakers that had become the Ericeira and its outskirts in one of the zones of excellence in the tourism of our country.