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Top 14 Things to Do in Nazaré, Portugal

Ishaan Govardhan Aug 22, 2019
Looking out over the expanse of the great Atlantic Ocean, Nazaré has plenty to offer. What began as a humble fishing village has now grown into one of the most popular European summer surfing destinations.

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Behold the Fort of São Miguel Arcanjo and the huge waves that crash onto Praia do Norte's rocky shore. These waves swell to a giant size due to the underwater Nazaré canyon. Feel the light spray of the ocean on your skin, with every deafening wave.

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See if you can surf some of the smaller waves to begin with. It's easy to just marvel at the giant waves of Nazaré, but it takes a lot of guts and even more skill to go surfing on them. After all, the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed (80 ft high!) was set here in 2017.

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If you're just looking to slow things down a bit, rent a SUP (Standup Paddleboard) and paddle onto some of the calmer stretches of open water. Try not to lose your balance!

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For an unforgettable brush with local marine wildlife, book yourself a seat on a wild dolphin safari. Out on open water, you're sure to spot a whole pod of these playful creatures in their natural habitat.

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Back ashore, you'll be greeted by the soft, sparkling golden sand of Nazare's Praia da Nazaré beach. It's a good place to laze around, basking in the sun.
From the beach, you should ascend to the city's Sítio de Nazaré section (an old village overlooking the lower level of Nazaré). Just hop aboard the historic Nazaré Funicular train for a slow, scenic ride up the hill.
Once you've made it up there, just prepare yourself for the dramatic cliff-side views of the ocean. It's a tailor-made photo op.

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Get acquainted with Nazaré at Miradouro do Suberco - a lofty viewpoint that offers a stunning look at the scenic seaside village. Have some coffee at a rooftop belvedere, or turn to the ocean to check out a surfing competition on its waves.
Before descending the hill, you'll be drawn to the spiritual center of the city: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré church. This old baroque-style church has an even more impressive interior, known for its golden altarpiece and stunning paintings.
Back in the city's heart, set off to explore the cobblestone streets on your own, without tour guides. Wander the narrow alleys between rows of quaint buildings, to get a sense of the local lifestyle and culture.
If you wish to truly immerse yourself in the culture, you should be willing to try something different: a plateful of octopus (Polvo à Lagareiro). This iconic dish is a delicious achievement of Portuguese seafood cuisine, and it has been perfected right here in Nazaré.

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Rent a bicycle and go for a relaxing ride on one of the many cycling routes throughout Nazaré. There's nothing as refreshing as the feeling of the ocean breeze in one's hair!

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Can't keep away from the huge crashing waves of Nazaré? There's another way for you to conquer them: try kitesurfing.

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Go on an epic roadtrip without roads: rent a 4x4 buggy and set off on an offroading adventure spanning the beaches, villages, and nature trails in and around Nazaré.