Top attractions in Nazaré
Despite transitioning from a sleepy fishing village into a seaside resort town on the Costa Prata, Nazaré still retains its maritime heritage. A smattering of attractions reflect its old-world history, which began on the prominent bluff known as O Sítio.
This promontory rises 328 feet above the Atlantic and provides sweeping views of the coast. A column near the chapel marks Vasco da Gama's visit here before his journey to India.
King Sebastian built this fortress at the edge of O Sítio in 1577, in order to protect the beach from pirates. Its lighthouse from 1903 still guides ships up to 15 miles away.
Nobleman Fuas Roupinho built this chapel on O Sítio in honor of the Virgin Mary in 1182. He claimed that, while hunting, she stopped his horse from going over the cliff in the fog.
A glass case at the center of the ornate altarpiece holds the small statue of Our Lady of Nazaré. There's also a painting depicting the divine intervention Rupinho experienced.
Finished in 1861, local fisherman gave 1% of their profits to build this small chapel near the beach. The blue-and-white-tiled facade also has a small panel of the saint himself.
Located in the neighborhood of Pederneira, the church dates to the 17th century and houses canvas paintings plus an image of Our Lady of Mercy in tiles over the interior doorway.
Enjoy a lovely panorama of Nazaré's cityscape of white-washed houses with waves of terracotta rooftops below Mount Sítio. A postcard-perfect setting.
A swath of golden beach hugs Nazaré's coastline, making it a popular summer destination. To use a colorful beach tent, pay the little old ladies that run the cooperative.
Coupled with the geography of the ocean floor and prevailing winds, Praia do Norte is the beach for professional surfers to take on massive waves that have risen up to 100 feet.
This quaint fishing village eight miles south of Nazaré offers a nice beach along its wine-glass-shaped bay – a nice spot to enjoy a dip in the calm waters of this lagoon.
Though you can see Nazaré's main sites in a day, why not spend a couple days enjoying the sun, sea and sand for a proper beach holiday?
You just need your own two feet to get around Nazaré's beach area, but the convenient and inexpensive funicular to O Sítio runs every 15 minutes until 9:30PM, after which it's every 30 minutes until midnight.
You'll find accommodations not only in Nazaré's bustling beach area, but also in the old town of O Sítio.
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- Best time to visit
- For a proper beach vacation in Nazaré, visit during the summer months of June to early September.
Things to Do in Nazaré
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Other Sightseeing Options in Nazaré
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What people are saying about Nazaré
Our family of four adults (Dad, Mom, two young adults) had a wonderful day with Paula Brito from Lisbon Point driving us from Lisbon to Obidos and onto Nazare! She was friendly and knowledgable and so flexible in creating a perfect day for us. We started in the walled medieval town of Obidos where we had plenty of time to explore. Then we went to Nazare, where undersea canyons create rogue waves that attract daring surfers from all over the world. The waves on North Beach are tamer in summer but still bigger than they ones we are used to seeing on the East Coast of USA! Our millennial "kids" visited the Surfer Museum while my husband and I enjoyed lunch/shopping in town. Then, we regrouped to relax on beach and wade in the waters of Nazare's South Beach. We are so happy we did this day excursion from Lisbon with a private driver who let us go at our own pace and see what interested us most. Paula was perfect for us. So personable! A most memorable day!
Myself, my partner and my mum went on this amazing trip while staying in Portugal, it was a perfect day out. We were picked up by our tour guide Miguel, who was the highlight of the trip for us! He was so entertaining all the way with his stories and very knowledgable about the areas he was taking us to. He was very relaxed and focussed on making our trip a great one, which it really was. He was patient when we wanted to stop to pick up drinks or spent a little longer than we should have at one of the sites. The old medieval town was so quaint and had some lovely shops, and Miguel also took us to the factory where they make the porcelin birds as we wanted to get some as gifts. Nazere was so beautiful and it was it was much quieter than where we were staying (Cais Cais), I would go back there for longer on our next trip. Thanks so much Miguel we will definitely be seeing you again soon
Our tour guide made this trip brilliant. We were 2 groups with different nationalities he took time to explain everything to everybody. He was very enthusiastic and knew a lot about all the places we visited. Obidos was the most beautiful - Fatima was very peaceful and I also enjoyed visiting the houses where the 3 kids lived
Good day trip and we had a great guide but needed more time in Obidos which was cut short by time spend in Nazare. Our guide Victor was informative, professional and knew all the shortcuts to help make our Fatima stop outstanding. Recommend doing only 2-3 locations in one day.
Miguel L. Pereiro is a great asset to your company. He is courteous and very knowledgeable. We even told him he should be a history professor. He was awesome. He shows he enjoys his job and he loves people.