Tourist’s guide to Nazare, Portugal – Waves, Surfing and Attractions

For fans of big waves and surfing enthusiasts, Nazare (Portugal) is a well-known resort located an hour’s drive from the country’s capital. The town was founded at the beginning of the 16th century.

It is here that due to the peculiarities of the sea landscape there are waves up to 30 meters high. Roaring and raging elements can tame only the most brave athletes. Every year, the best surfers from around the world come to Nazar. The rest of Nazar is a small fishing town, there are many cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops.

Waves in Nazar, Portugal

Photo: waves in Nazar (Portugal).

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general information

Tourists call Lisbon the heart of the country, and Nazare – its soul. And this soul is passionate, beautiful and noble. You can fall in love with the town endlessly and also endlessly admire the great waves of Nazare in Portugal.

City of Nazare, Portugal

The population of the city is slightly more than 10 thousand inhabitants. It is located in the region of Leiria, which is known for centuries-old fishing traditions and the legend of the miraculous salvation of the monarch by the Mother of God. For many decades, pilgrims from all over the world have gathered in Nazar, but the town gives an incredible feeling of unity with nature and allows you to enjoy beautiful landscapes.

Fish drying

Locals honor ancient traditions, prefer to wear old clothes, and on the streets you can often hear folk songs. Women in Nazar today wear seven skirts, and in the old fashioned way are fixing nets and drying fish sitting on the shore. Many tourists have the feeling that time has stopped here, but this did not prevent the city from becoming one of the most visited resorts in the country. There are all conditions for a comfortable stay.

The town is divided into two parts. The upper one is ancient, the main attractions of Nazare in Portugal are concentrated here. In the lower city there is a beach, souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, shops and all tourist infrastructure.

On a note! Souvenirs are better to buy in the lower part of Nazare, as they are cheaper here.

Features of rest

If you love the ocean, then Nazare will be perfect for you, regardless of the season of the year. The high season begins in the second half of May and lasts until the beginning of autumn; the rest of the year, elderly people and surfers come here.

Summer resort
Air temperature in Nazar, Portugal

If your main goal is a beach holiday, summer is best for this. However, it should be borne in mind that the Atlantic coast is quite cool, the water here does not warm up above +18 degrees. In addition, the ocean often storms. On weekends, the beach is filled not only with tourists, but also with the local population.

In the midst of the high season, the temperature varies from +17 to +30 degrees, but in the sun it feels like +50 degrees. Almost no rain, vegetation becomes scarce, faded, often fires occur.

Nazare in the fall

With decreasing temperature, the waves gain power, the weather is quite windy, it rains, but in sunny weather the locals wear t-shirts.

Umbrella in Nazar will not save

Useful information! An umbrella in Nazar will not save you from rain, as strong gusts of wind simply turn it upside down. It is best to stock up on a waterproof jacket with a hood.

The most comfortable months for rest are September and the first half of October. At this time, the temperature is kept at + 20 … + 25 degrees, there is little rainfall.

Nazare in the spring

The early spring is cool enough, the temperature does not rise above +10 degrees, it rains regularly. The weather becomes comfortable for relaxation only in May.

Nazare in winter

The average temperature varies from +8 to +15, this is an ideal time for extreme surfing and just to watch brave athletes. It is during the cold season that Nazare in Portugal has the biggest waves in the world.

Waves in winter in Nazar


Garrett McNamaru

This amazing paradise for surfers was found by an athlete from the Hawaiian Islands, Garrett McNamaru. He owns a world record – Garrett was able to conquer a huge wave of 24 meters (although some fans exaggerate say that the height was 34 m). Since then, surfers from many countries have gathered in Nazar to test their courage and courage.

Interesting fact! The secret of constant big waves in Nazar is that there is a canyon in front of the town at the bottom of the ocean, a stream of water entering it pushes a huge amount of water to the surface in the form of high waves.

Surfing in Nazar

If you just want to watch the athletes, go up to the cape, which offers a beautiful view and you can breathe plenty of air filled with iodine.

During a trip along the Portuguese Golden Ring, Nazaré often stops to eat, as it serves delicious fish and seafood dishes.

What else needs to be done in Nazar:

  • take the ancient tram to Cityu;
  • eat in one of the restaurants;
  • admire the surfers;
  • Meet the sunset on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and drink port – the famous drink of Portugal.

What to watch and where to go

Nazare Beach

The beach is a strip of sand with a width of 150 meters and a length of about 1.7 km, which is located between the harbor and the cliff. On the rock are the fort São Miguel Arcanjo, built in the 17th century, a lighthouse and equipped observation deck, where tourists come to see the city from a bird’s eye view.

Nazare Beach

The beach has a developed infrastructure, soft, clean sand and many cafes and taverns. There is no natural shade on the beach, but in summer there are canopies that protect from heat. In the cold season, there are practically no vacationers on Nazare Beach and you can admire the beauties of nature almost alone.

On a note! Near the beach there is a fishing market where locals bring their catch.

Cityu District

This is the historical district of the city, where all the attractions are collected, from here a panoramic view of Nazar opens.

Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazare (Church of Our Lady of Nazare)
Church of Our Lady

What to visit in Cityu:

  • Church of Our Lady;
  • Fort of the Archangel Michael;
  • lighthouse;
  • the chapel where the Black Madonna was previously stored.

The area is located on a hill, they sell delicious nuts and dried fruits. In souvenir shops there are many beautiful handicrafts, shells from the depths of the ocean. The place is atmospheric, in the evenings they come here to relax and sit in a cozy cafe. The area has a toilet, clean and tidy.

If you want to tickle your nerves slightly, take a walk along the path that runs right above the cliff. To the ringing of a bell, take a walk to the lighthouse and listen to the sound of ocean waves. You can always use the funicular, it works until 23-00.

Observation deck of Miradoro do Subercu

The observation deck is located at an altitude of 110 meters, with a view of the city of Nazare, the beach and the ocean with its large waves.

View from the overview of the site of Miradoro do Subercu

A beautiful legend is connected with this place, according to which the Madonna appeared here to the inhabitants of Nazare. The saint saved from the death of the knight Fuas Rupinho, who lost his way in the fog and without the help of the Virgin Mary would have fallen from the cliff.

Funicular in Nazar

The observation deck is a place visited by tourists, therefore it is quite crowded here. From here, the beach looks like a large anthill with scurrying people and colorful canopies. Just beyond the beach you can see the port with the boats of local fishermen.

The two parts of the city – the upper and lower – are connected by a path along which it is better to walk with a flashlight in the dark, because it is not lit. If you don’t want to go on foot, use the funicular that runs from 6-00 to 23-00. The lower part of Nazareth is a maze of streets that are intertwined in a bizarre way.

Most of them are for hiking only. In the southeast direction rises Mount San Brush. You can also consider a new micro-district under construction.

Fort of Archangel Michael

The fort is a museum of surfing and is used as a lighthouse, which was installed here in 1903. This is a traditional fortification that protected the settlement from attack by enemies.

Fort of Archangel Michael

The museum exposition is dedicated to Garrett McNamar and the huge wave that he conquered. The surfer managed to drive along the entire wavelength and stay on his feet.
It was after this event that Nazare became famous and became a center of surfing and a favorite place for nature lovers. The museum exhibits photographs of a surfer, colorful posters with views of Nazare, and detailed descriptions of the area.

View from the lighthouse of Fort Archangel Michael

Several viewing platforms are equipped at the lighthouse; they are installed at different heights. A shaky, not fixed staircase leads to one of them, so it’s quite difficult to get there, it will take some courage. Not only tourists gather here, but also local fishermen.

The lighthouse offers scenic views – the new Nazare district and the city beach. A staircase leads from the lighthouse to the ocean, you can go straight down to the water and feel salty splashes on your face.

Temple of virgin mary
Cityu Square

Located on Cityu Square. This is a very beautiful, refined building. The legend of the Madonna, namely, a small sculpture of the Black Madonna, is associated with it. It is believed that the sculpture traveled around the world and ended up in a village from Nazareth, the city was named after this legend. The black Madonna was delivered to Portugal by a monk, since then the sculpture of the saint has been kept in the town. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and believers from all over the world come to touch it.

The landmark building was reconstructed three times, the last reconstruction was carried out in the 17th century. A fancy-shaped staircase leads to the entrance. Bells are set under the beautifully shaped exquisite domes. Inside the temple looks very luxurious and solemn. The rooms are decorated with arches, columns and gilding. An organ is installed in the church, and in front of the musical instrument there is an altar with a sanctuary. In comparison with the Catholic buildings in Europe, the local church of Our Lady looks elegant and festive.

Temple of virgin mary

To the right of the main entrance is the Museum of Religious Arts, which can be visited for free. Old church robes, sculptures and paintings on biblical themes and household items of priests are presented as exhibits.

There is a souvenir shop at the exit. Is it possible to leave the attraction and not get a souvenir as a keepsake.

How to get there

Nazare is located in the region of Leiria, about one hour by car from the capital of Portugal. If you are traveling from Porto, then the journey will take two hours. You need to go on the highway A8. This is a toll road.

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By bus
Bus station Sete Rios

For tourists who travel without personal transportation, the best way to get to Nazar is by bus. In Lisbon, flights depart from the Sete Rios bus station, you can get here by metro – the Linhea Azul line, the necessary station – Jardim Zoologico. In resort Nazare, public transport arrives at the bus station located near the center.

All buses are new and comfortable, equipped with air conditioning, there is Wi-Fi. Frequency of departure of flights, approximately once per hour. Keep in mind that on weekends and holidays the number of flights is reduced.

Train from Lisbon to the village of Valadu de Frades
By train

You can also take a train from Lisbon, but the road will take longer because there is no train station in Nazar. Trains arrive in the village of Valadu de Fradesh (6 km from the resort). The travel destination can be reached by taxi or bus (carrier Rodoviária do Tejo).

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Nazare (Porugaliya) is a unique town, attractive and amazing at any time of the year. You can come here in winter when there are big waves in Nazar, or in summer to soak up the beach. The resort offers relaxation for all tastes – you can enjoy soft sand on the beach, arrange shopping or tasting local dishes, keep fit on exercise machines, engage in extreme sports or visit attractions.

How many big waves in Nazar can be seen in the video.

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