Nazaré: charming city of the big waves
Nazaré is known for its giant waves that hit the shore every winter from October to February, attracting surfers and spectators from all over the world. The village is located on a beautiful rock surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches. The fishing village is a bit touristy, but definitely a must-visit during your road trip through Portugal.
Big wave surfers
Nazaré is a mecca for big wave surfers. Waves can reach heights of more than 30 meters here. So every year professional surfers try to break the record. You really want to see this! Even on calm days, the waves easily reach a height of 10 meters. Aren’t you a surfer? No problemo! Sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
The silver coast of Portugal
Located on Portugal ‘s Silver Coast, cozy Nazaré was once a small fishing town. Today it is one of the most popular surfing spots in Portugal to visit. As such, it can be quite crowded and packed with souvenir shops. Still, we found it a very nice place. Stroll through the cozy streets or visit the lighthouse and enjoy great views.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Nazare
- Also visit the old neighborhood of Sitio. Sitio is a beautiful place away from the crowds.
- Visit the lighthouse and enjoy a spectacular beach
- Take a beautiful beach walk during sunset
- Admire the surfers braving the big waves
- Stroll along the promenade
- Make a brief stop at the Chapel of the Memory
Hotspots & food in Nazare
Unfortunately, we couldn’t explore many hotspots in Nazaré ourselves. The weather wasn’t great, and Buddha (our pug) wasn’t welcome in many places. So, we decided to have a cozy meal by the beach in our van. Not a bad idea at all. However, I did save a few restaurants and cafes that I’d love to share with you:
- Rosa Dos Ventos: a cozy Portuguese restaurant
- Tosca Gastro Bar Restaurante: luxurious dining
- Hamburgueria Mooo: perfect for satisfying your burger cravings
- Situado: another cozy Portuguese restaurant
Best time to travel to Nazare
If you come for the sunshine, the months of July, August and September are the best time to travel to Nazare. But even in October and November it is still fine. If you come for the big waves then you should stay a little longer in Portugal. You can admire the real monster waves from November through January.
Which budget do i need in Nazare?
You can wildcamp for free in Nazare in several places, which allows you to stay super low-budget. We stayed there for a total of 2 nights, 1 at a campsite and one at the beach. In these two days we spent about 50 euros, 25 euros per day.
- Camping (14 euros with ASCI)
- Wild camping for FREE
- Hotel in low season (25 – 40 euros per night)
- Beer: 1.5 euros
- Portuguese dinner/lunch: 7 euros
- Dinner/lunch at a “hip” place: 10 euros
- Coffee: 1 euro
- Groceries are comparable to the Netherlands
Practical information about Nazare
- Use the app Park4night to find the nicest overnight spots.
- If you want to go surfing, it is sometimes cheaper to purchase a surfboard and wetsuit in advance. Buy a simple wetsuit from the Decathlon.
- Get discounts with the ACSI discount card during the early or late season.
- Withdrawing money abroad often costs extra. Always check with your bank first and try as much as possible to pay directly with your debit card instead of withdrawing money. A Credit Card is always handy to have. Bunq and Knab are banks where you pay no or low transaction fees.
What are nice places to stay in Nazare?
Wild camping on the beach
Through the app Park4Night, we found a great place to spend the night. A narrow road leads to the beach, which can accommodate about 10 campers. You are right on the beach and have a view of the lighthouse. Wild camping is not officially allowed in Portugal, but is tolerated in many places. Do be considerate of your surroundings and, of course, leave your place tidy/
Camping Vale Paraíso Natur Park
If you prefer not to go wild camping, but you are with a camper or caravan, then Camping Vale Paraíso Natur Park is a great option. During the low season, you can camp here very inexpensively with your ACSI discount card. The campground is a little farther from the beach, but in a beautiful wooded area.
You won’t be short of nice hotels and cozy airbnb’s in Nazaré either. We have made a selection of our favorites:
How to get to Nazare?
There are daily buses from Lisbon that take about 2 hours. A ticket costs about 12 euros. We visited Nazare from Peniche and took about 30 minutes to reach the fishing village.
The village is near Alcobaça, Batalha, Fátima, Peniche e Óbidos and is a 2-hour drive from Porto.