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.
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+00:00)
- Country Code
- 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
Cities in Portugal
Other Sightseeing Options in Nazaré
Want to discover all there is to do in Nazaré? Click here for a full list.
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!
This was one of the very best tours we have been on after traveling extensively in Europe and other parts of the world over the past 10 years. Daniel was very informative yet did not overwhelm, keeping everything organized and moving along. He personalized all aspects of the tour, making it extremely enjoyable for the 8 people on the tour. The stops were all beautiful and very interesting and fell in place one with the other. I would highly recommend this tour!!
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
Our guide David couldn’t have been kinder, more knowledgeable or more accommodating. Thank you soo much David. We had an awesome day thanks to you. Great sights. All a must see. From ocean to castle to religious Art and experiences. Great tour
Our guide, Ricardo was one of the best we ever met, he is kind, well prepared and high-skilled. Although the program was long, but comfortable, enough time for sightseeing and have a break also. Thanks.