The Estremadura town of Nazaré hugs the western Atlantic coast, a traditional Portuguese fishing village turned popular summer resort and surfer’s paradise. The long sweep of sandy beach is backed by a long esplanade and a cute white-washed, red-roofed town.

The protected harbor at the south end of Nazaré’s beach springs into life when the day’s catch comes in; fish such as lobster, sardines and mackerel are laid out to dry in the sun along the harbor walls and then sold from market stalls run by women swathed in the area’s traditional headscarves and seven layers of skirt. The waterfront bars and restaurants rightly have an excellent reputation for the spanking fresh seafood served daily; the fish stew caldeirada is a local specialty.

To the north of the coastal village, a funicular trundles 360 feet (110 m) up and down between the golden beach and the cliff-top Promontório do Sítio, famed for its far-reaching sea views and landmark shrines. Legend dictates that a statue of the Virgin Mary, brought back here from Nazareth in the fourth century, was found on the cliffs in the 18th century; the Baroque church of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré commemorates its re-discovery. Close by, the Ermida dá Memoria is crusted with sparkling blue azulejo tiles and celebrates a sighting of the Virgin Mary, whose timely appearance prevented a 12th-century aristocrat from riding his horse over the cliffs in thick fog.

Nazaré lept to international attention when Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a record-breaking wave on May 11, 2012; the height of the wave was estimated at 78 feet (23.75 m) from peak to trough. McNamara’s claim to have surfed an even bigger wave here in January 2013 is awaiting verification.

Practical Info

Nazaré is 80 minutes north of Lisbon up the A8 and N8-5. Parking in the beachside old town can be difficult but there are usually spaces south of the marina. Nazaré is a great jumping-off point for exploring medieval Óbidos plus the revered pilgrimage sites at Batalha and Fátima.

Tours & Tickets

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Lisbon Super Saver: 2-Day Sintra, Cascais, Fatima, Nazare and Obidos Small-Group Day Trips

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 132 Reviews

Combine two best-selling Lisbon tours at a discounted price to make the most out of your time in Portugal's capital. With an expert guide and a small group, ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: Varies

From USD $120.24

Fátima, Nazaré and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 233 Reviews

Discover the history and natural beauty of Portugal on a small-group day trip to Fátima, Nazaré and Óbidos from Lisbon. One of the most ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $68.46

Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha Day Trip

4 star rating: Recommended 275 Reviews

Take a fascinating day trip from Lisbon to the Portuguese towns of Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha. During the day, explore the charming ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $97.17

4-Night Portugal Tour from Madrid Including Lisbon and Fátima

Discover the delights of Lisbon and the surrounding area on a comprehensive 4-night Portugal tour from Madrid! The experience includes 4- or 4-star superior ...  Read more

Location: Madrid, Spain
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $472.30

2-Day Sacred Portugal Trip: Fátima, Batalha, Sítio, Nazaré and Óbidos, from Lisbon

3 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Discover central Portugal's sacred sites and popular towns on this 2-day tour from Lisbon. Visit the Catholic pilgrimage site Our Lady of Fátima ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $144.64

Private Tour to Obidos, Nazare, Alcobaca or Batalha and Fatima

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

This West Region tour allows you to learn about the patrimonial 'masterpieces' of Portugal. You have as an option to visit Alcobaca or Batalha. Included in ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.12

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