Famed for its enormous waves, Nazaré is a seaside resort and surfing destination on Portugal’s Costa de Prata. It is named after the biblical city of Nazareth due to a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary that was brought from the Holy Land in the 4th century. Nazaré comprises a clifftop village and a beachside district, which are linked by the historic Nazaré Funicular.
Things to do in Nazaré
Overlooking Nazaré is the Santuário de Nossa Senhora, an elaborate Marian shrine founded in the 14th century. It is associated with the legendary appearance of Our Lady of Nazareth before Dom Fuas Roupinho, an event that is depicted in a painting within the church. Admire the Solomonic columns of the high altar and the Baroque portal, which is nestled beneath two square bell towers.
Forming part of the Forte de Sāo Miguel Arcanjo is the Farol da Nazaré, a picturesque lighthouse topped by a bright red lantern and one of the most popular settings for watching big-wave surfers in action. Within the lighthouse are surfboards from those who have conquered the Praia do Norte’s breaks and an exhibition about the forces behind the Atlantic Ocean’s towering waves.
Stretching to the south is Praia da Nazaré, a golden beach backed by restaurants, bars and ice creameries. On the other side of the Forte d Sāo Miguel Arcanjo is Praia do Norte, a wilder expanse of sand ideal for long walks. Backing the beach is the family-friendly Norpark, an aquatic attraction with waterslides and jacuzzis.
Getting around Nazaré
Nazaré is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Lisbon and Humberto Delgado Airport. Regular trains connect to the Valdado railway station, from where buses make the five-kilometre journey to Nazaré. The centre of Nazaré is compact enough to explore on foot.