Nazare, Portugal: Surfing, Beaches, Fishing and Paste
Somewhere halfway between the capital of Portugal, Lisbon and the beautiful Porto, a small fishing village, Nazare, sheltered. And perhaps this place would have gone unnoticed if it were not for two circumstances that set Nazare apart from other Portuguese outskirts: firstly, the Virgin Mary herself is considered the patron saint of the village, and secondly, the highest surfing waves in the world are seen here !
Top view of Nazare, Portugal
And here, as in all of Portugal, there is simply no winter, which makes Nazare ideal for visiting all year round.
Nazare is located in Leiria County on the Atlantic coast, an hour and a half drive from Lisbon and two from Porto. Bus lines in Portugal are fairly well developed, and the cheapest way to get to Nazar is by bus. A ticket from Lisbon costs about 12 euros. A little trick: if you are still asked for documents when buying alcohol or cigarettes, feel free to say at the box office that you are a student. Documents do not need to be presented, and a discount on travel is given to people under 29 years of age. Thus, the ticket price from Lisbon will be 9 euros. The bus arrives at Nazare Station, which is located a minute’s walk from the great and growling Atlantic Ocean and the city’s main promenade.
Nazare … How many times does all the advanced surfers of the planet pronounce this word in the hope of conquering its waves at least once. Athletes are literally ready to offer prayers to this village, because it is here that high waves are annually recorded, which only the most desperate surfers are able to conquer. It’s all about the underwater canyon Nazar, reaching five kilometers in depth and several hundred kilometers long, generating some of the highest waves in the world. 30 meters of raging elements, escaping from the depths of the Atlantic, can easily swallow a person – in case of the slightest mistake.
Surfing in Nazar
Gustavo Miguel Fernandes
But is it really able to stop the hot hearts of surfers in pursuit of a big wave? The answer is obvious: no. Hundreds of extreme sportsmen come here every year. But one of them is especially famous. Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara became famous in 2011 when he conquered a wave with a height of 24 meters. And then, in 2013, he surpassed himself and set a new world record by cutting a wave with a height of over 30 meters (this is, for a minute, the height of a ten-story building). For this, he was awarded the Billabong XXL Global BigWave Award.
The rest of Nazare (by the way, named after Nazareth) is a fairly typical Portuguese village. It is exceptionally cozy, colorful, with good-natured residents and lovely restaurants on the beach. Its ancient and impossibly narrow streets invite for a walk along the dazzlingly beautiful beach on the shores of the Atlantic.
Nazare, Portugal – White Houses
In fact, the city is divided into upper and lower. The lower part is replete with restaurants and hotels and will offer any visitor its own luxurious beach several kilometers long with stunning views of the ocean. It is most convenient to stay overnight, have a bite or just walk along the winding alleys. Of the sights of the lower city, only ancient fishing and rescue boats built in the early 19th century, exhibited right on the beach. They also offer souvenirs, which are slightly cheaper than in the upper part of the city.
Take a walk along the promenade, take the funicular (the only public transport in the city) and climb to the top of the rocky cliff of Sítio – the oldest part of the city. Rising and leaving the funicular, first turn right and walk literally a few meters. And you will see something that makes your heart jump out of your chest, and especially impressionable natures make you cry with happiness. And this is understandable, given the unimaginable beauty of the panorama that opens before you! From a cliff height of 318 meters offers the most famous view in all of Portugal. You will see the whole lower city, framed by a wide crescent-shaped beach edge and washed by the endless waters of the Atlantic. Ah, this view can be enjoyed for hours.
Blooming Nazare, Portugal
Church of Our Lady
Enjoying the views of the city and completing the contemplation of the landscape, you can head deep into the old city. Everything is literally around the corner, the village is very small. The first thing that catches your eye is the large Church of Our Lady (Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré). It was built at the end of the XIV century by order of King Ferdinand XIV, when the city chapel ceased to accommodate everyone. But to our time, there was no trace of that building, because the church was rebuilt several times, the last of them – in the XVII century – fundamentally changed the face of the church.