|||

Nazaré

This picturesque seaside village is home to some of the country's very best beaches.

TravelCurious Tip

Each Saturday afternoon during the summer months you can sit on the seawall to watch the “Arte Xávega” spectacle, as nets laden with fish are dragged in from the sea

Bygone Times

Nazaré is perhaps Portugal’s most famous fishing village. Even today many locals still wear their traditional outfits: checked shirts and trousers for the men; several layers of petticoats for the women. The fishing boats are delightfully colourful too, with eyes painted on their sides that have the power to avert storms.


You can swim, surf, or watch the fishermen at work along Nazaré’s sandy half-moon beach, which is packed with multicoloured cocktail umbrellas over the summer months. In the town itself, a warren of cobbled streets channel you between outstanding seafood restaurants and local bars. With its natural beauty and ancient traditions, it’s no wonder Nazaré has long been a favourite summer retreat for the Portuguese.


The Legend of Nazaré

Legend has it that the town’s name is derived from another, distant place: Nazareth. During the 4th century a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary - a Black Madonna - was brought to a monastery near Mérida in Spain from Nazareth. In 711, following the Moorish invasion of Iberia, the statue was brought to Nazaré by another monk, Romano, accompanied by Roderic, the defeated Visigoth King.


They lived as hermits in Sítio, a cliff spot 316m above the town. Even after their deaths, the statue lay there for centuries, bringing miracles and bestowing its name on the town, before the beautiful Nossa Senhora da Nazaré Church was built on the site. Today you can visit the holy spot, either using the funicular, or by foot, if you’re feeling brave.


Making Waves

Centuries down the line, Nazaré is famous for a rather different reason: huge, huge waves. In November 2011 Garret McNamara rode a 23.8m wave here, setting a world record. These freakishly high breaking waves are a result of the underwater Nazaré Canyon and the constructive interference it creates between incoming swell waves. You don’t need to take a dip yourself — enjoy a vicarious thrill watching the lunatics risking their lives.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Sintra
This municipality is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its vast 19th century Romanic monuments.
Fátima
A religious town dating from the 14th century, famed for the Marian Apparitions witnessed in 1917.
Mosteiro da Batalha
Erected in celebration of the 1385 victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota, this Dominican convent was later the burial ground for 15th century monarchs.
Mosteiro de Alcobaça
A gigantic church built by King Afonso, the Mosteiro de Alcobaça evolved into one of the most prominent Gothic monuments in Portugal.
Caldas da Rainha
This city is famed for its thermal baths and traditional ceramic pottery.
Óbidos
A medieval fortress surrounded by 12th century walls, this charming town was gifted to Isabel of Aragon in 1282.

Related Tours

x

Guides

Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.

Partners

Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.