Get a sense of the history of Portugal’s close-knit fishing communities by spending a few days exploring the scenic town of Nazaré. With winding streets, traditional red-roofed buildings and waters filled with old-fashioned fishing boats, this town offers a nostalgic trip into the past. Wander its charming lanes, relax on its sandy beaches and see how many old customs still survive here. This is also a favorite destination with surfers and is a great place to take to the waves.
Visit the Casa Museu do Pescadorto learn about the town’s fishing history. This captivating little museum, housed within an authentic fishing cottage, is set up like the inside of a traditional fishing cottage from the early 20th century. Spot signs of the area’s earliest settlers, the Phoenicians, throughout the town. Painted symbols such as eyes featured heavily in Phoenician culture over 2,000 years ago.
Spot fisherwomen in traditional dress as you explore Nazaré’s waterfront Praia district. With seven colorful layers of skirts, this eye-catching costume is a delight to see. Encounter other nostalgic sights along the coast, including fish laid out to dry in the sun.
Relax on the golden sands of Nazaré Beach, which is a great place to surf or simply to soak up the sun. See the giant waves crashing against the rocks at North Beach, a rugged spot loved by pro surfers for its wild waters.
Enjoy panoramic views of the town and ocean by taking the funicular railway up the steep hill to the Sitio district. Make the time to visit the Ermida da Memóriawhile you are up here. This tiny, perfect chapel is dramatically situated on the very edge of a cliff.
Reach Nazaré in around 1.5 hours by car from Lisbon. Although it is close enough for a daytrip, you might want to spend much longer in this magical historic town.