Nazaré is one of the most touristic and best holiday destinations of the Silver Coast in Portugal, located between Porto and Lisbon. Previously it was a small town who was known within locals for its delicious food and giant waves that are super dangerous. Till one day it became world-famous for the same waves, but not because those are dangerous, but because a famous surfer, Garrett McNamara showed to the World how to enjoy those as never before. From that moment this town became world-famous within surfers and spectators who come to see surfers enjoying themselves.
We were keen to see these famous waves, but in summer time, the ocean is super quiet and the more you can enjoy is the beach and splashing into the water. The giant waves hit the coast only in winter time from October to February. So, surfers, family of surfers come to see those in the season time.
As I already mentioned earlier we had a 10-day trip in Portugal, and Nazaré was our stop in between other cities. Here we stayed 2 nights, 3 days and fell in love with this fascinating seaside town. We traveled in July, when it is considered peak season, but I haven’t felt that it was overwhelmed by tourism as other beach places. I would even say that it was a quiet place where we enjoyed our stay a lot.
We stayed 3 days, but it can also be a wonderful day trip or a stop to break the long drive between Porto and Lisbon.
How to get to Nazaré?
- By bus: This is the way we got to Nazaré from Aveiro. You have to take bus companies that go from Aveiro to Nazaré and have different schedules, so you can choose which one works better for you. (FlixBUS and Rede-Expressos). We chose Rede-Expressos as we came by 6pm in Nazaré, and it worked for us to make the check-in on time.
- By train: There is a train station but in the village closeby, around 8-10 km away. Travelling by train it is the most comfortable way to get around if you do not drive your car.
- By car: The most comfortable way to travel and here in Nazaré we really miss it, as we could park perfectly in the camping area where we stayed.
Where to stay in Nazaré?
We booked our 2 nights in Camping Orbitur Valado. It was a wonderful experience, because the kids enjoyed it a lot. This terraced camp site and camp site with sloping grounds has pitches with shade, pitches without shade and pitches with some shade. It is possible to rent mobile homes and bungalows. We booked a bungalow with a kitchen and bathroom. We didn’t cook, we ate there in the camping’s restaurant, but anyway it was great to have the kitchen to have some snacks there and so on.
The camp has a lot of facilities, like a kids area to play and enjoy, swimming pool and facilities.
I even did our laundry here, as it was on the half-way of our trip and we needed more clean clothes.
Camping is always a great idea when traveling with kids, I even think that our kids enjoyed this place the most during our travels. As there were so many things to do for them, these 3 days passed super quickly.
Top 5 places to visit in Nazaré, Portugal
- Nazaré Beach
When we arrived by bus, it left us only 50m from Nazaré Beach – Praia de Nazaré. As we arrived already in the evening we had to go to the camping area for check-in. It was a longer way to get to camping then to the beach. This is why we decided to call the reception and ask our latest hour when we can do it, and we were happy to hear that it was 9pm.We ended up spending the whole evening at the Nazaré Beach and when the sunset started we went to the camping.
After enjoying the warm time by the beach we walked on a nice seaside promenade. We saw wooden boats, dried fish, ice cream places and little shops selling souvenirs by the beach. It was that moment when we understood that Nazaré is a perfect place where traditional and modern life co-exist in the most beautiful way.
Nazaré beach itself is scenic and dried fish on strange wooden constructions create this place really unique.
We also saw women with traditional Nazaré clothing. Ladies wear balck shirts and short colourful skirts with seven petticoats in combination with a woollen cape, an apron, and house slippers.
To Nazaré Beach we came back the next day too and enjoyed our time there. Kids were bathing in the water too, I skipped this part as the water for me was too cold.
- O Sitio
After having a good splash in the swimming pool of the camping and enjoying some kids activities we went to the upper part of town Nazaré, O Sitio. This part of the town is located high above the sea and can be reached by funicular or by stairs. We went walking by the road as the camping was at the same height as the upper part.
Make sure to walk further along the cliff – you will catch some fabulous views to the coast.
Here we saw lots of souvenir shops and local street food. You can also visit the chapel of Ermida da Memoria, the church of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré.
- Giant Waves of Nazaré
This main attraction is where every tourist who comes to Nazaré wants to come. To have a better view of the sea we walked further in the direction of Farol lighthouse. This is the place where people from all over the world come to watch and surf the big waves every winter.
- Farol de Nazaré
For 3 EUR we went inside the Farol de Nazaré. On the main floor there is information on the Nazaré Canyon and surfing. Then on the rooftop of Farol de Nazaré we got a great view of the coast and just imagined that we could see the waves as well.
- Baloico de Ladeira (swing) overlooking Nazaré.
On our way back, we went to Nazaré beach again, but this time we decided to walk the stairs down, where the funicular trail goes too. We stopped at a panoramic swing overlooking the city and Praia da Nazaré. The swing is a perfect place to watch one of Nazaré’s famous sunsets. But, there is a queue to take pictures there.
On our way back we enjoyed Nazaré beach and the marvellous sunset.
Is Nazaré worth visiting?
For everyone who loves beaches, waves, summer time then Nazaré is totally worth visiting.Almost everyone who comes and visits Nazaré instantly falls in love with its charm and beauty.
How much time do you need in Nazaré?
As I mentioned earlier we spent 3 days there, I would say that we split this time in 2 enjoying the city and enjoying the camping. If you want to come for less time, then of course, you can enjoy it in 1 or 2 days. And if you plan to have some beach time, then obviously you will want to spend more days there.
We personally enjoyed this town so much that kids still ask when we come back to visit it again. If you want to have a trip around Portugal, check this place for a stop over.
If you have any questions about Nazaré, leave a comment below and we will try to help you.