Top 10 Things to Do and See in Nazare | One Day Tours Portugal
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Top 10 Things to Do and See in Nazare

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Publication

July 9, 2024

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Reading time

10 minutes

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Author

Galyna Rogovska

Explore Nazare in one day by visiting its stunning beaches, which offer breathtaking views, famous surfing waves, and historical heritage. The small fishing village of Nazare, with a population of 10,000, is located between Lisbon and beautiful Porto and is easily accessible from both points.

Interesting information

By the legend, here Our Lady miraculously rescued the monarch, which is why the Leiria region is famous among pilgrims. But this small town is also an exciting destination for non-religious visitors. It gives an incredible feeling of unity with nature and allows you to enjoy beautiful landscapes. The list of the main must-visit attractions of Nazare is below.

Nazare Beach & The Lighthouse

Praia do Nazare, a broad strip of sand about 1.7 km long, is the region’s main beach. The place is popular among families and lively youth surfers, being the world-famous vacation spot.

Image for Nazare

On the rock is the San Miguel Arcanjo Fort, built in the 17th century, a lighthouse and an observation deck where tourists come to see the city from a bird's-eye view.

 

Even though the beach is world famous, thanks to viral photos of breaking waves, it remains a pretty wild and peaceful place year-round. It’s a great alternative to Praia da Nazare for sunbathers in summer and a mecca for surfers and sports fans in autumn.

 

Insider tip: Visit the fishing market nearby, where locals bring their fresh catch of the day.

 

Location: Nazaré Beach, Nazaré, Portugal

O Sitio District

The historic district of Nazare is on a hill with breathtaking panoramas over the city. It is atmospheric and filled with authentic goods in the souvenir shops.

Image for Nazare O Sitio

In the evening, both locals and guests of the city come here to relax and sit in a cozy cafe. If you want to get some adrenalin, walk along the path right over the cliff to the lighthouse. 

 

Another attraction of Nazare is the funicular, which was built in 1889. It is 318 m long and takes 3 minutes to travel. This convenient means of transport allows you to move from the lower to the upper part of the city. Nowadays, it’s electrified, and imagining life in Nazare without a funicular is impossible.

 

Insider tip: Visit the 16th-century Fishermen Museum to learn about the fishing traditions in the region.

 

Location: Sitio de Nazaré, Nazare, Portugal

Miradouro do Suberco Viewpoint

The observation deck is 110 meters above sea level, opening a panorama of Nazare, the beach, and the ocean with its big waves in good weather.

Image for Nazare Viewportin do Suberco

A beautiful legend is associated with this place, where the Madonna appeared here to the residents of Nazare. The saint saved the knight Fuas Rupinho from death.

 

The observation deck is pretty crowded, but you still should come here to see the beach like a giant anthill, with people running around and colorful awnings beneath. Just behind the beach, you can see a port with boats of local fishermen.

 

Insider tip: Come here during sunrise or sunset to take great photos with fewer tourists.

 

Location: Sitìo do Promontório, Largo do Elevador, 2450-065 Nazaré, Portugal

San Miguel Arcanjo Fort and Lighthouse

A 16th-century fort that protected the coast and guided ships with a lighthouse on the roof stands on a rock that separates Praia do Norte and Praia da Nazare. From the top of this rock, there is a stunning coastal view. 

Image for Nazare Lighthouse and Waves

Inside the fort is a small museum dedicated to record-breaking surfers who conquered waves higher than 30 meters. There are photos of these fearless people and the remains of the surfboards of those who died in Nazare on the waves. 

 

The fort is an excellent destination to watch the professionals riding record-breaking waves. Every winter, you may witness this event, to which only the best are admitted.

 

Insider tip: A staircase leads from the lighthouse to the ocean. You can go straight down to the water and feel the salty splashes on your face.

 

Location: Estr. do Farol 2450, Nazaré, Portugal

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare

Nazare is not only about the natural attractions. One of the most bright gems among architectural treasures is the large Church of Our Lady of Nazare.

Image for Sanctuary of Lady of Nazare

The legend of the Madonna is associated with it. The visitors can see a small sculpture of the Black Madonna, the sculpture of which traveled around the world and came here. The sanctuary was built at the end of the 14th century by order of King Ferdinand XIV when the city chapel could no longer accommodate everyone.

 

A monk brought the Black Madonna to Portugal. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and believers worldwide come to touch it.

 

To the right of the main entrance is the Museum of Religious Arts, which is free to enter. The exhibits include ancient church vestments, sculptures, paintings on biblical themes, and priests' household items.

 

Insider tip: There is a souvenir shop near the exit. Visit it to get a great reminder of your trip.

 

Location: Largo de Nossa Sra. da Nazaré, 2450-065 Nazaré, Portugal

Nazare Embankment and Sun-Dried Fish Museum

The embankment is a popular place for sunset walks. Both tourists and locals come here for a peaceful rest in street cafes overlooking the ocean.

Image for Nazare Beach and Sun-Dryed Fish

The significant feature of this place is drying fish in the sun. All the volunteers can see this centuries-old tradition. The open-air museum, namely on the beach of Praia da Nazare, features vivid examples of traditional fishing boats.

 

Additionally, there is a very interesting cobblestone with a characteristic Portuguese wave pattern. The exhibition includes some boats accompanied by exhibits explaining their history. An exciting part is the old photographs of them at sea.

 

Insider tip: Walk to the end of the embankment to Nazare Marina, where boats and yachts are stored under the protection of large piers and concrete structures. It is a pleasant and romantic location, and it even has a small lighthouse.

 

Location: Av. Manuel Remígio 2450, 2450-106 Nazaré, Portugal

Sao Martinho do Porto Beach

Nazare is mainly associated with big waves and the extreme power of the ocean. But hidden spots without the waves are suitable for swimming, even for beginners. 

The beach is just a few minutes outside town, completely wave-free. Its sheltered bay has some of the calmest waters in Portugal. Take advantage of this family-friendly spot while traveling with your kids. People of all ages will enjoy swimming here, with the beautiful scenery in the background.

 

Travel tip: Don’t limit your visit to the beach. Instead, explore the panoramic coastline views of the coastline.

 

Location: Marginal de Alcobaça, 2460-096 São Martinho do Porto, Portugal

Traditional Restaurants

Nazare is located on the ocean shore, and this fact significantly impacts its local cuisine. The most respected in this region are seafood delicacies, such as clams, shrimp, crabs, and a massive variety of local ocean fish. 

Image for Nazare Restaurant Food

While you are here, you should try caldeirada (fish casserole) and massa de peixe, a kind of fish soup with thin noodles made from rock bass or sea crucian carp. The menu in local restaurants will surprise even the most demanding gourmets.

 

Numerous restaurants in the city offer these dishes, and each interpretation has its peculiarities. One of the most recommended by travelers is Restaurante Sitiado. 

 

Insider tip: For the best first seafood experience here, get a grilled one, as it's the best way to cook and experience the original taste of the product.

 

Location: R. Amadeu Guadêncio 2, 2450-065 Nazaré, Portugal

Praia do Norte & The Norpark Aquatic Amusement

Praia do Norte (or North Beach) is known for its favorable surfing conditions. The waves of Praia do Norte, formed by the underwater Canyon Nazare, are listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Image for Praia Norte

Besides water sports in the open ocean, don't miss your chance to visit a fantastic water park where the entire family can enjoy the whole day. The adrenaline of water slides for all levels is guaranteed. Moreover, several other activities will keep everyone busy. 

 

The Norpark Aquatic Park offers visitors numerous slides, a jacuzzi, a semi-Olympic pool, a pool for kids and aerobics. 

 

Insider tip: to save time and avoid long waiting in the queue, ask for the fast pass at the reception. 

 

Location: R. Praia do Norte, 2450-065 Nazaré, Portugal

Miradouro da Pederneira

Nazare has numerous viewpoints, some of which are lesser known but still provide excellent views. On a clear day, this viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the coast up to the Pine Forest of Leiria. 

 

The city of Nazare is right below, and Sitio is visible on the hill above. Right in front of you lies Nazaré village. It's where you can witness the immensity of the Atlantic coastline up to the horizon without the crowds.

 

Insider tip: Come here for a photo session out of the crowds or for the sunset; from this viewpoint, it is absolutely stunning.

 

Location: R. do Mirante 5, 2450-060 Nazaré, Portugal

Summary

Today, Nazare is the main fishing village in Portugal, and it is incredibly authentic and picturesque. The residents live the same way they did centuries ago.

 

Many residents still wear traditional costumes. Fishermen wear shirts and trousers, and women wear several skirts. You may get great experiences of the lives of locals and become a part of it for deeper understanding.

 

In addition, Nazare is a modern resort with a beautiful beach, promenade, and many restaurants. It offers all the necessary conditions for tourists to relax: a magnificent beach, ocean waves, architectural monuments with museums, restaurants and cafes, and a complete list of seafood.

 

The main feature of Nazare, distinguishing it from other cities of Portugal, is that the most significant waves are born off its shores. Therefore, water sports, especially surfing, where world record-breaking surfers conquer the waves, is one of the main activities to try here.


Please don't forget to find out more about our tours from Lisbon to Nazare and join our happy clients.

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