Welcome to
Nazare



What to See:

Nazare Beach

The Main Town

Praia da Nazaré, the town’s main beach, stretches along a vibrant promenade filled with seafood restaurants, shops, and cafes.

The beach is famous for its golden sands and the colorful traditional fishing boats dotting the shore.

Sunbathers can relax while enjoying the fresh Atlantic breeze, and swimmers can take a dip in the relatively calm waters.

Traditional women in seven skirts, once part of a local superstition, sell sun-dried fish at the market stalls, offering a glimpse into the town’s rich fishing heritage.

North Beach

Surf Paradise

Praia do Norte, a rugged beach to the north of Nazaré, is famous for its colossal waves that attract surfers from around the globe.

These giant waves, sometimes exceeding 30 meters, are created by the unique underwater geography of the Nazaré Canyon, which funnels and amplifies the ocean’s swell.

The beach gained international fame in 2011 when Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara broke a world record by surfing a 78-foot wave here.

Today, big-wave surfers gather annually to attempt their own records, and spectators can enjoy the spectacle from the safety of the cliffs or the historic lighthouse. Whether you’re a surfer or just an enthusiast, this natural marvel is a must-see.

Sítio

Amazing Views

Sítio da Nazaré, the historic neighborhood perched atop a 110-meter-high cliff, is known for its breathtaking views over the town and coastline below.

Accessible via the scenic Nazaré Funicular, Sítio is home to several iconic landmarks.

Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, a pilgrimage site with a revered statue of the Virgin Mary said to have saved a nobleman from falling off the cliff.

Wander through the charming narrow streets and discover the Chapel of the Memory, or take in the panoramic vistas from Miradouro do Suberco.

The area is steeped in legend, history, and offers some of the most striking vistas in the region.

Pedreneira

Calm and Historic

Pedreneira is one of Nazaré’s oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods, often overlooked by tourists. Perched on a hill, it offers stunning views over Nazaré and its surroundings.

The area boasts narrow, winding streets lined with traditional white houses adorned with colorful flower pots. Highlights include the Church of São Gião, a 17th-century architectural gem with a richly decorated interior.

Visitors to Pedreneira can enjoy a quieter, more authentic experience of local life, away from the bustle of the main beach areas.

This historic district is ideal for leisurely strolls, where you can soak in the charm of old Nazaré and enjoy breathtaking sunset views.

São Miguel Arcanjo‘s Fort

The Best Place to Watch the Waves

The historic Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo, dating back to 1577, guards the cliffs above Praia do Norte and has served as a lookout point and defense against pirates and invaders.

Today, it’s known for its surf museum dedicated to the daring feats of big-wave surfers.

The fort’s small but fascinating exhibition features surfboards used to conquer the mighty waves and chronicles the history of big-wave surfing in Nazaré.

From the fort’s ramparts, visitors can take in unparalleled views of the waves crashing below and capture stunning photographs.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare

Religious Landmark

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré (Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré) is a pilgrimage site dating back to the 14th century.

It houses a revered statue of the Virgin Mary, believed to have miraculously saved Dom Fuas Roupinho, a local nobleman, from falling off a cliff in 1182.

The sanctuary’s architecture blends Baroque and Neoclassical styles, and its ornate interior includes stunning azulejo tiles and gold-leaf decorations.

Each September, the sanctuary becomes the focal point of the Festa de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, drawing pilgrims and tourists alike.


What to Do:

Funicular Railway

A Convenient Ride

The Nazaré Funicular, or ‘Ascensor da Nazaré,’ connects the lower town with Sítio da Nazaré atop the cliffs.

Built in 1889, the funicular offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline during the ride up. At the top, you’ll find historic landmarks like the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré and some of the best vantage points for photography.

The funicular remains a vital transport link for locals and an exciting attraction for tourists, blending history with breathtaking scenery.

Markets and Festivals

Organic and Tradition

The town is famous for its vibrant markets and festivals. The weekly markets offer a range of fresh seafood, artisanal goods, and traditional crafts at places like the Mercado Municipal.

Major festivals, such as the Festival of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, combine religious processions with music, dancing, and fireworks, showcasing the town’s rich maritime and religious heritage.

These cultural events are integral to Nazare’s identity and provide a deep insight into the local traditions for both residents and visitors.

Big Waves

Biggest in the World

Nazaré’s North Beach is a marvel of nature, renowned globally for its colossal waves that are among the biggest in the world. These towering waves reach their peak during the winter months, drawing elite surfers and spectators from all corners of the globe.

The unique underwater geography, including the famous Nazaré Canyon, plays a pivotal role in creating these massive swells that can soar up to 100 feet.

Surfers clad in specialized gear take on these monstrous waves, either paddling into them or being towed by jet skis, in a breathtaking display of bravery and precision.

The beach and the surrounding cliffs offer spectacular vantage points for spectators to witness the awe-inspiring power of nature and the daring feats of the surfers.

It’s a place where the raw force of nature meets human daring, creating spectacles that are as inspiring as they are humbling.


Where to Stay:

Nazare Beach

Lovingly referred to by locals as ‘the beach,’ and by visitors as the ‘touristy part’ of Nazare. With an oceanfront a mile-long littered with shops, bars, and cafes, it’s hard not to think that.

But here, in the lower part of town, this is where the city comes to life and where some of the top restaurants are.

Where the parade routes for Carnaval, Nazare’s most anticipated festival of the year takes to the stage.

Where athletes from around Europe come to battle it out in beach soccer tournaments.

Where live music can be heard almost any day of the week during the warmer months. And where, of course, the locals come to enjoy life as well.

Book here if you

  • You want quick access to the beach
  • You want to eat and drink your way around town without worrying about transport or taxis
  • Driving around to find a parking spot doesn’t bother you, instead, you treat it more like a game or challenge (this is especially true during July and August)
  • And if you don’t mind a little noise

Sitio

O Sitio, the place to be.

Directly translated, O Sitio means the place.

Overlooking the sunbathers’ beach of Nazare and 360 feet above sea level, the Sitio offers expansive views of the town and the southern strip of the Silver Coast of Portugal

Considered to be the new residential area of Nazare, this neighborhood offers free parking throughout the borough, top-rated restaurants by locals, and easy access to the Lighthouse and the North Beach. 

Book here if you

  • You want to see the big waves at the Praia do Norte
  • Don’t’ mind a little distance between you and the main drag of Nazare
  • Are not into nightlife
  • Want a more relaxed part of town
  • An unforgettable lookout point at your doorstep

Pedreneira

The road less traveled leads to here, Pederneira. The least frequented area, and where Nazare got its start.

The oldest of all three barrios, Pederneira, is a sanctuary of solitude that dates back to 1469.

In 1808 the town was attacked and set fire to by the French Army. Only four of the original houses remain today.

Book here if you

  • You are searching for a genuinely offbeat part of town and don’t mind
  • walking up or downhill to reach the beach
  • Want to indulge and relax at the only Hotel Spa in town

Where to Eat:

Taberna D’Adelia

Mediterranean
Highlighted on the prestigious Michelin Guide, Taberna D’Adelia is a must-visit for food enthusiasts. Known for its authentic dishes that embody the essence of the Mediterranean, this restaurant serves up flavors that are both refined and deeply comforting. The use of local seafood and seasonal ingredients guarantees a fresh and delightful experience with every visit.

La Muñeca

Mexican
La Muñeca introduces a vibrant flair to Nazaré’s dining scene with its colorful decor and authentic Mexican cuisine. From spicy tacos to hearty enchiladas, every dish is bursting with flavor. It’s a great spot for those looking to add a bit of spice to their meal.

Mar Bravo

Mediterranean
Situated with a view of the ocean, Mar Bravo offers a scenic dining experience. Specializing in seafood, the menu showcases the best of Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes crafted to highlight the natural flavors of the freshest local catch.

Dá Cá os Remos

Portuguese
Situated near the waterfront, Dá Cá os Remos is perfect for dining while enjoying views of the Atlantic. This restaurant is celebrated for its use of traditional recipes and local ingredients, offering diners a genuine taste of Portuguese culinary heritage.

A Fornalha

Mediterranean
A Fornalha is known for its rustic charm and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The focus here is on traditional wood-fired cooking, offering a range of hearty dishes that are perfect for cooler evenings.

Kabuki Sushi

Japanese
For those who appreciate the art of sushi, Kabuki Sushi is a standout with its “Insider” rating on The Fork. This restaurant offers a sophisticated menu featuring both traditional sushi and innovative dishes that merge Japanese techniques with local flavors. The elegant ambiance makes it perfect for a special night out.

El Toro

Spanish
El Toro celebrates the robust flavors of Spain. Tapas, paellas, and a selection of Iberian wines feature prominently on the menu. This restaurant is ideal for those who enjoy sharing meals, allowing for a taste of various dishes in a cozy, communal setting.

Canastra A Grelha

Portuguese
Canastra A Grelha is renowned for its traditional Portuguese barbecue. The emphasis here is on simple, flavorful preparations of high-quality meats and fish grilled to perfection. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its hearty and satisfying meals.

Pangeia

International
Pangeia offers a culinary journey around the world with its internationally inspired menu. It’s an ideal choice for groups with diverse tastes, serving everything from Asian fusion dishes to Italian classics, all prepared with innovative twists.

Gil Vicente

Mediterranean
Named after the famed Portuguese playwright, Gil Vicente offers an artistic dining experience with dishes that are as creative as they are flavorful. With a focus on sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, this restaurant provides a meal that’s both indulgent and responsible.