This coastal town sits on the edge of a hill overlooking wide orangish sand beaches which extend up and down the coastline. This quaint European city is full of restaurants and places to stay and makes for a good base for exploring this coastal part of Portugal. It is only about 1 hour 15 minutes drive north of Lisbon so is a popular weekend getaway for tourists and locals a like. This part of Portugal can be very crowded from May to about September when the weather is warm.
Nazare is also home to some of the world’s biggest waves – these waves can happen any time throughout the year depending on seasonal storms. An extremely deep canyon lies off shore and when the conditions are right – massive waves break near a rocky outpoint above and just north of Nazare. In fact a surfer, Garrett McNamara from the USA has surfed a 78 foot wave and in 2013 a 100 foot plus wave! There are several lookout points above Nazare including Point de vue and further down the road, the very popular Forte de Sao Miguel. The end of the road reaches Forte de Sao Miguel and both this part of the road and the building are scarily perched above cliffs on both sides. You can actually walk around the old building – down very steep steps hanging from the side of the cliffs for additional views of the ocean and rocky outcrops far below.
A beautiful orangish wide beach extends for a long ways just north of this point – and is a great place for sunning in the summer. A dirt road, somewhat passable for 2wd vehicles leads down to this beach.
There are also many beaches to the north of Nazare including some next to small towns like San Pedro de Moel (home to many vacation homes, restaurants and an oddly located bar, Bambi Bar next to a childrens playground in a park). While the bar is not anywhere close to the beach, its worth visiting for its good drinks and odd location!