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Europe > Iberia > Portugal > Central Portugal > Nazaré

Nazaré

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Panoramic view of Nazaré and its beach
Panoramic view of the Nazaré village

Nazaré is a lovely village in the Central region of Portugal. Became a world famous surf spot and entered in the Guinness Book of Records by its gigantic waves. It is usually crowded in summer.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

From Lisbon, take the Rede Expressos-bus from the bus station at Sete Rios (nearest the Metro station). It's approximately 2 hours from the central bus station to the center of Nazaré village. The cost is €10.90 (May 2018). This is the fastest line.

By train[edit]

Trains run the Linha do Oeste line from Oriente station in Lisbon. You have to change and accept lots of stops en route. Arrival will be in Valado dos Frades/Nazaré/Alcobaça station, around 5 km from the center of Nazaré. From there, there´s a local bus going to Nazaré and – normally – it would be possible to get a taxi from the station (normally with a fixed fare).

From Coimbra or Leiria, drive south or take the train to Valado/Nazaré/Alcobaça station.

Get around[edit]

Map of Nazaré

Walk through the village, use the tramway to the top of the hill and enjoy the fabulous view over Praia da Nazaré. If you can, watch the international surfing championships on the lighthouse's slope.

See[edit]

The Chapel of Memory of Nazaré
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré
North Beach, in Nazaré (Praia do Norte) was listed on the Guinness World Records for the biggest waves ever surfed (formed under the influence of the Nazaré Canyon).
  • 1 Chapel of Memory (Ermida da Memória), in a place named O Sítio, is a Marian chapel built in memory of the miracle of Our Lady of Nazaré. It is on a hill with a wonderful view of the beach of Nazaré. There is a tramway to the top.
  • 2 Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, an important Marian shrine which houses the original image of Our Lady of Nazaré.
  • Go out to the 3 Lighthouse and watch the Atlantic Ocean big waves crash against the cliffs.
  • 4 Nazaré Beach (Praia da Nazaré). A great beach with excellent conditions for swimming and leisure at the summer.
  • 5 North Beach (Praia do Norte). A vast expanse of beach. Caution: Dangerous swimming. In November 2011, surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a record-breaking giant wave with 78 feet (23.8 m) and it was inscripted in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Do[edit]

  • Use the beach.
  • See a bullfight in the Praca do Touros (O Sitio).
  • Walk the white streets of the city.
  • Visit the market.

It's a holiday village all year around (though some accommodations and restaurants are closed in the winter season). Take pictures of Nazaré beach from O Sítio; ask local ladies (who traditionally wear seven skirts) if you can take a photo with them.

Buy[edit]

Buy the traditional Nazaré dolls and make a decorative use with them (or even for private collection). Buy also a replic of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of nazaré.

Eat[edit]

There are lots and lots of small cheap restaurants, where they are grilling fish (sardines, etc.), chickens outside. Normally it pays off to frequent the smaller streets. On the waterfront and major squares you will find it much more expensive. Lots of nice cafés on the Praça Sousa Oliveira. Not cheap but with a good view of the bustling life.

  • 1 Casa Pires "A Sardinha", Largo de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, 44, +351 262 553 391. Typical restaurant of Nazaré that favors the dishes with grilled fish and seafood. It has an esplanade overlooking the Basilica of Our Lady of Nazaré.
  • 2 Marisqueira "O Casalinho", Praça Sousa Oliveira 6, +351 262 551 328. Restaurant next to the beach and with Portuguese traditional food.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Arriving at the bus station one will normally be "hijacked" by a group of women who offer private rooms. It's quite cheap, normally central and the easiest way to get a place to sleep (follow the woman of your choice to see the quarters, but beware – they're very fast).

There are hotels and pensions to be booked in advance but it's more (much more) expensive and you won't be able to experience the charm of living in a private home, where the family has moved out (or into one little room) so they can rent the other rooms out.

Go next[edit]

  • Fátima (Sanctuary of Our Lady) – Place of the worldwide famous Marian apparitions.
  • Alcobaça – well known for its monastery and monastic pastry.
  • Batalha – well known for its monastery.
  • Caldas da Rainha – charming, unassuming city to experience authentic daily Portuguese life
  • Coimbra is easily reached with a bus (leave in the morning - return in the afternoon/evening) if you want a day without sunbathing on the beach.
  • Leiria
  • Óbidos: A visit to this town could be made en route to Lisboa. (Get off at the Obidos train station, deposit your luggage and walk up to the city.) A tour of the town walls gets you some fine views. But it´s a sleepy town and they know what to charge for a meal.
  • Peniche
  • Tomar
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