The Portuguese seaside resort named one of the 'best villages to visit' – with amazing beaches only locals know about | The Sun

FINDING a unique holiday destination isn't always easy, with popular spots often overrun with tourists.

However, a new list of locations has revealed where authentic experiences can still be found, away from busy hotspots, full of people on their holidays.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has published its newest list of Best Tourism Villages for 2023.

It includes 54 villages that remain relatively untouched by tourism, but still have plenty to offer people looking for special holiday destinations.

The list is described as 'a global initiative to highlight outstanding villages with tourism projects that help preserve cultures and traditions, safeguard biodiversity and empower local communities".   

Among the list is a village in Portugal that UNWTO considers to be a haven for beach-goers, while also retaining its roots as a traditional fishing village, with a history dating back to the 12th century.

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Ericeira can be found along the western coast of Portugal, about 30 north of Lisbon.

It has become popular among surfers and received World Surfing Reserve recognition in 2011.

However, its beaches offer more than just big waves, including Praia do Sul, which Ericeira Family Adventures say is the best for families to enjoy a day out.

They said: "This beach has a wading pool at low tide which makes it a fab place to have an ice cream and watch the kids splash around and fish for crabs."

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Meanwhile, they listed Praia dos Pescadores as the best beach for swimming, adding: "Walking down to this beach is an experience since you’ll often see someone fixing a net, painting a boat, or unloading the catch of the day.

"As a result of the new pier, a calm bay has been created where families flock on sunny days."

Their tip for surfers is to head to Praia de Ribeira D’Ilhas, where newbies can also book lessons.

There are also beaches that town's residents would rather keep to themselves, like Praia da Adraga.

Travel in Portugal said of that beach: "This sandy little cove is backed by high cliffs with a deep valley winding down to the beach.

"The beach here is usually quieter than the better known beaches in the area and is mostly the preserve of locals."

Other highlights for visitors include landmarks like the Church of Misericórdia and the Church of Saint Peter, as well as the village's historic centre, which is characterised by houses painted in shades of blue and white.

UNWTO say this "reflects its centuries-old fishing heritage" and "exudes charm with its decorative and architectural details".

That same fishing heritage can be sampled in the village's bars and restaurants, as well as the municipal market, where local seafood dishes can be sampled.

Brisa is considered the top pick, according to TripAdvisor, with one visitor writing: "My family had dinner here on our last night on vacation. It was recommended by one of the locals.

"We ordered the seafood pasta, shrimp, clams, and dessert. It was all fresh and cooked perfectly. Delicious meal for the whole family."

Another great place to sample the local food and drink is on one of the many vineyard tours that can be booked from the village.

UNWTO said of the village: " This seaside community is not only a haven for surfers but also a popular destination for both local and international tourists.

"Despite its modern popularity, Ericeira retains its roots as a traditional Portuguese fishing village, tracing its history back to the 12th century. 

"Ericeira boasts a rich cultural and natural heritage."

Getting to Ericeira is most straightforward from Lisbon, with flights available for £45 return from the UK.

A night in the village for two can be booked from around £35 per night.

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Meanwhile, this seaside village in the UK is among the best in the country to visit.

And this European holiday town has beautiful beaches away from the crowds.

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