Top - Nazaré
Nazaré is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages of Portugal. Its beauty and uniqueness has been captured by several artists: writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers.
More recently, Nazaré has been all over world media, thanks to extreme surfers like Garrett McNamara - who challenged the giant waves of Praia do Norte, to the point of being awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed on 1 November 2011, about 24 meters (78 feet). Praia do Norte has thus become one of the main attractions of Nazaré today: we recommend it be visited especially in autumn and winter, when its waves reach impressive dimensions.
But before Praia do Norte made global headlines, Nazaré was already quite known. In the post World War II, Nazaré was visited by some of the greatest photojournalists of all time, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edouard Boubat and Jean Dieuzaide. Interestingly, the young photographer Stanley Kubrick also passed through here in 1947, in what would be his only photographic job outside the United States, for Look magazine.
Also, one of the first Portuguese documentaries - Nazaré, Praia de Pescadores - was filmed in Nazaré, by Leitão de Barros in 1929. In 1930, Leitão de Barros would direct again in Nazaré what is one of the masterpieces of Portuguese silent movies - Maria do Mar. This fiction film is similarly regarded as one of the most important cinematographic works of European silent movie era.
Returning to the present, let's take a walk to some of the most important things to visit and things to do at Nazaré. The main beach of Nazaré is one of the best urban beaches in Portugal, combining natural beauty, clean waters and clean sands, as well as the convenience of being around a small town with all kind of stores and services. Nazaré beach’s quality has been distinguished with the international Blue Flag eco-label award.
The beach promenade of Nazaré is one of its major points of attraction, offering good walks for visitors and locals. However, the narrow streets of the historic center also deserve also be covered: an experience not to be missed.
Back to the promenade, near the old fish auction - today a cultural center and tourist office - the fishwives of Nazaré continue to make the traditional dry fish in the sun. Nowadays, this activity turns out to be the last vestige of the intense labour that had place on the beach, before the opening of the fish harbour in 1983. The fish harbour – an old aspiration of the people of Nazaré - has improved the working conditions of fishermen and other fish industry workers. In particular, the harbour conditions brought new security to fishermen - significantly this port is known as "port saint".