This fishing village is renowned worldwide for its giant waves, but Nazare Portugal is so much more! From delicious food to the vibrant culture of the locals…
Between October and March, the road that leads to the Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo (St. Michael the Archangel Fort) joins dozens of people looking for a glimpse of the giant waves of Nazare Portugal. The best place to see this natural wonder is on the north side of the lighthouse or on the golden sands of Praia do Norte beach, and both places offer an impressive view of the massive waves that surprise visitors and surfers from all over the world.
As with everything in life, the unpredictable nature of Nazare’s biggest waves is what makes it even more special! Natural elements such as the big Atlantic Ocean swells, colliding wave directions, as well as the wind, tides, and sea currents, all come together in Europe’s largest submarine canyon: the North Canyon. With 227 km and a maximum depth of 5000 m, the Nazare canyon is responsible for the giant waves that made it possible to register two Guinness World Records for the Largest Wave Ever Surfed:
But regardless of whether you are lucky enough to witness this unforgettable spectacle, a visit to beautiful Nazare during the autumn or winter is always a wonderful idea as there is plenty to see and do!
Being one of Portugal’s oldest fishing villages, there are some things that never change and delicious fish and seafood are one of them! Nazare is famous for its seafront restaurants, where you can choose from traditional “tascas” with simple dishes such as grilled sardines, to more high-end options where old-time favourites such as “caldeirada” (fish stew) are reinvented.
Sun-dried fish is also a favourite in Nazare, where you’ll find several racks of horse mackerel and octopus drying on the beach. Try “carapau seco” drizzled with Portuguese olive oil, fresh garlic, and oven-baked corn-bread… we promise you won’t regret it!
Nazare is also well-known for its rich history, filled with folk-tales and beautiful monuments that have survived through the centuries.
Must-visit monuments include the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Nazare, built in 1377 with the purpose of honouring the image of Nossa Senhora da Nazare, which is believed to be carved by Saint Joseph himself. This image is also associated with the miracle of D. Fuas Roupinho, a legend that goes back to the 12th century and is depicted in the Chapel of Memory atop the lookout point in Sitio. Many believe that D. Fuas Roupinho horse’s paw is still engraved on the rock of Bico da Memoria.
The people of Nazare are very proud of their traditions, especially those that are unique to this fishing village. Such as the typical feminine costume that includes seven skirts, an embroidered satin apron, a blouse with lace sleeves, a colourful “cachené” (headscarf), a black hat and varnish slippers.
The number of skirts that make this costume so original is linked to the mysticism of the number seven: the seven virtues, the seven days of the week, the seven colours of the rainbow, or the seven waves of the sea. Legend has it that the seven skirts helped the women to count the waves of the sea, when, in vigil, they waited for their husbands and sons to return to land. At the seventh wave, the sea was shallow and the boat ran aground. In those moments of waiting, some skirts were used to wrap their shoulders and necks and the rest to protect their legs from the cold.
To this day you can find several local women dressed traditionally while riding the “ascensor” (funicular) that connects the upper part of the village known as Sitio to the beach, walking the cobblestone streets or greeting you with a smile at the local farmers and fish market.
In the midst of the growing reputation for its giant waves and fame as a popular holiday destination, Nazare still preserves its genuine identity. And the expats who have a property in Nazare for full time living or as a second home in Silver Coast Portugal enjoy the village even more for that reason!
For all those who are considering beautiful Nazare to buy property in Portugal, know that you will be greeted with open arms and a wonderful lifestyle… not to mention the attractive cost of living!
Welcome to Nazare! Welcome to the simple life!
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