Nazaré where the Big Waves come to visit!

 Nazare lighthouse top
We had heard about Nazaré from a friend of ours, Bob, whose son is Tom Butler a professional big wave surfer. In fact, just a few days ago on the 18th of December, he surfed the biggest wave ever at 30.8m (100 ft). I mean like the biggest wave ever surfed in the world!! And we know his Dad! I think this is called glowing in someone else’s shine or something like that!
 Nazare small wave!
Yes, those dots are surfers and jetskis!!
 Surfers Nazare
Nazaré is a really super place even if you aren’t interested in surfing. The town consists of 3 neighbourhoods, Sitio (the old town on the hill) and Praia below with a long and beautiful beach. (Third is called Pedemeira but no idea where it is!) The two are connected with a funicular railway. No, I didn’t know what the word meant either, and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with fun (although it was fun riding it!).
 Looking down to Praia from Sitio, Nazare
A funicular is one of the modes of transportation which uses a cable traction for movement on steep inclined slopes. So basically a tram that gets pulled uphill. Thank goodness it exists here as the hill is damn steep and it happened to be raining on the day we ventured in to Praia and I had no desire to walk 2 miles up hill. And it was really fun! It doesn’t take much to amuse me!
 Tram tracks down to Praia
 Inside tram station
There is a lovely covered market in Praia and we had a lovely coffee and Pasteis de Nata there. If you haven’t had a Pasteis de Nata, you haven’t lived I’m afraid to say. They are like mini South African milk tarts, only better (sorry SA!). If you haven’t had one, get out there and try one! Here’s a link to a great recipe for making them yourself:
 covered market praia Nazare
Sitio is the old part on the hill and really lovely. There was a Sunday morning market there which was small but authentic. From there you have views across the Atlantic and down into Praia. There is also a beautiful church, The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré from about 1377 and has beautiful tiles inside.
 Church Nazare
The highlight of the area though is the Big Wave Place. There is a little museum that costs €1 and it is well worth it just for the views. They explain the Nazaré Big Wave Phenomena very well and have lots of interesting photos of the big waves and surfers. On the day that we were there, there were bigish waves and surfers with jetskis on the water, but no Mega Big Waves. We’ll just have to go back and see it another time. Big waves only happen when certain conditions come together. There have to have been storms offshore and other factors too, and also the place it “hits” ground is important, so this is why Nazaré is so good.
 Headland on which Sitio sits Nazare
 Inside the museum complex Nazare
The Nazaré Canyon is an undersea canyon just off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. It is said to be the largest canyon in Europe having the maximum depth of at least 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) and about 230 kilometres (140 mi) long. Big wave surfing is a discipline within surfing in which experienced surfers paddle into or are towed onto waves which are at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high, on surf boards known as "guns" or towboards. Sizes of the board needed to successfully surf these waves vary by the size of the wave as well as the technique the surfer uses to reach the wave. A larger, longer board allows a rider to paddle fast enough to catch the wave and has the advantage of being more stable, but it also limits manoeuvrability and surfing speed. Thanks Wikipedia for this info!
 The “crack” Nazare
Took this photo of a photo of a Big Wave in the town of Praia.
 Photo of a photo of a big wave, Nazare

Share this
Post new comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <div>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may use [inline:xx] tags to display uploaded files or images inline.

More information about formatting options