Nazaré is considered the most picturesque coastal town of Estremadura, Central Portugal. Dominated by a huge promontory on the sea, the city is divided into three main districts: Praia, which is the closest to the sea, Sitio, the promontory, and Pederneira.
There are many interesting churches and monuments to visit, however the most charming characteristic of Nazaré is its connection with the ocean. A wild ocean with record-breaking waves that can be scary and fascinating at the same time (only if you are a surfer).
The most typical images of Nazaré display a series of colorful tents on the shore that stand against the blue color of the ocean, as well as the traditional figure of the wives of local fishermen who still today wear seven skirts.
On the weekend of the summer months it is still possible to watch the fascinating ritual of Arte Xávega, that is to say the art of fishing with dragnets. Do not miss the moment when nets laden with fish arrive from the sea and the women scream out their wares for sale in order to call the attention of possible customers.
The very popular beach of Nazaré (Praia da Nazaré), is a long half moon-shaped slope of golden sand, famous for its very high waves that conquer every surfer and bodyworker, as well as for its picturesque and colorful tents that can be rented for the day.
North from the promontory there is the less crowded Praia do Norte: this beach is not equipped and it has a wild appearance due to its impressive waves and a deep underground gorge. In 2011 a 30 meters wave was recorded!
Swimming in Praia do Norte can be extremely dangerous, so it is better to leave this waters to expert surfers and enjoy the view of these gigantic waves from the beach in total relax and safety.
Another lovely beach near Nazaré is the one of São Martinho do Porto, a picturesque fishing village located 13 kilometers from Nazaré.
The most suggestive view of Nazaré, as well as the original center of the city, is the O Sitio promontory, a huge cliff overlooking the sea. Its height changes according to the source of information you are checking; according to the official site of Portuguese tourism it is located 318 meters above sea level, while according to other sites it is located 110 meters above sea level.
Whichever the correct height is, it is definitely a spectacular view. Do not miss the beautiful panoramic view that one can enjoy from the top of the promontory. If you don’t feel like walking all the way up, you can still take a cable car and maybe walk on yor way down.
At the top of the promontory you can visit the impressive São Miguel Arcanjo Fort, built in 1577 to protect the area from the pirates; take some time also to photograph the suggestive lighthouse built at the beginning of the 20th century covering 24 kilometers.
Other two appealing panoramic viewpoints of the city of Nazaré are the ones of Pederneira and Suberco.
On the top of the promontory of O Sitio there are two churches, both connected to popular legends.
According to one of these legends, the Capela da Memória was built in the 12th century by Dom Fuas Roupinho to celebrate the miracle that Our Lady made in order to save the horse of the nobleman that almost fell over the precipice. True or not, it is still possible to watch the imprint left by the horse on the rock.
The 17th-century church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, built in baroque style, preserves a statue of Our Lady which, according to the legend, was carved by the hands of Joseph himself while Jesus was still a child. By paying a small amount of money it is possible to see the statue and feel the unusual experience of seeing the altar from the perspective of a priest celebrating the mass.
The Chapel of Saint Anthony was built in the 19th century by the donations of a local fisherman. It is a small, simple, and lovely white and blue chapel near the beach.
The 17th century Church of Mercy, located in the Pederneira district, is by far more lavish.
Nazaré is a popular tourist destination, therefor there are many available accommodations. You can choose among different kinds of hotels, from budget to luxury structures. Many facilities have a pool and balconies overlooking the sea.
If you want to experience a dream holiday we recommend Hotel Praia, a 4 stars design hotel on the beach featuring an outdoor pool, a beautiful panoramic terrace, and a jacuzzi overlooking the sea.
Nazaré is located 120 km from Lisbon; by renting a car it takes about one hour a half driving of highway A8.
There are not train connections to Nazaré, therefor if you wish to travel by public transports you need to take a direct bus, which takes about two hours to reach Nazaré.
If you don’t want to rent a car or waste time on public transport, the ideal solution is joining a day tour from Lisbon that includes Nazaré along the itinerary. You can combine the visit of this coastal city to other historical cities like Obidos and Fatima.
What's the weather at Nazaré? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Nazaré for the next few days.