The current harbour of Nazare was inaugurated in 1986 and it is one of the best sheltered harbours on Portugal's west coast.
It is divided into a part for fishing boats (Porto de Pesca) and a marina for yachts and leisure boats (Clube Naval).
The harbour of Nazare is situated at the southern end of the town. It takes about 30 minutes on foot to get to the harbour.
The main reason why tourists visit Nazare is its about 1,5 km long sandy city beach (Praia da Nazare).
In some parts of the beach fishermen still dry their catch and maintain their colourful boats.
A wide beach promenade next to the streets Av. da Republica and Av. Manuel Remigio invites for a stroll along the seafront from the cliffs of Sitio in the north to the harbour of Nazare in the south.
The other side of the streets is lined with many shops, cafes and restaurants.
While wandering in Nazaré one will notice the typical street Crab sellers, generally local ladies dressed with the original local costumes. (Those costumes are still nowadays their everyday way of dressing).
Crabs are already cooked and ready to be eaten.
Prices (for each Crab):
» 2 euro for the Bigger ones.
» 1.5 euro for the mid-size ones.
» 1 euro for the smaller ones.
Sitio da Nazaré is a great site for picture taken over Nazaré beach. Just for the privileged scenery sight, it's worthwhile a visit to this place.
To get there one can either drive a car or just take the Ascensor from downtown Nazaré.
To commemorate a miraculous intervention (1182) MEMORY CHAPEL was built. The Virgin Mary saved the life of 12th century Portuguese knight, Dom Fuas Roupinho, while he was hunting deer one foggy morning. All of a sudden he saw the deer falling down into the ocean. Realizing he was in mortal danger, he cried out Maria, help me. An invisible hand stopped the horse on the very edge of the cliff, thus saving Fuas.
He had a chapel CAPELA DA MEMORIA built over a small grotto, where his horse had stopped.
Located on the hilltop overlooking the village of Nazare', OUR LADY OF NAZARE' or SANTUARIO DE NOSSA SENHORA DA NAZARE', was founded in the 14th century. The first thing you notice are the semi circular steps which lead to a Barocque Portal.
When you walk in, you immediately are in awe of its beauty - so much gold. The Apse is absolutely stunning.
The blue tiled Azulejos were created by Willem Van Der Kloet.
We were allowed to climb up to the loft behind the altar.
Favorite thing: All along the BOULEVARD in Nazare' there are restaurants and bars with terraces. This is one aspect of coastal towns in Portugal, that I really admire and enjoy. I just love their wide boulevards - great for walking! The one in Nazare' is particularly nice, with the detailing in the tiles,
Located on the western Atlantic Ocean coast, in the Leiria district %NAZARE' is a picturesque Seaside village with its sandy beaches.
The village consists of three areas:
A Praia - along the beach
O Sitio - old town on top of a cliff
Pederneicr - old town on a hill top
The town's church, Our Lady of Nazare' was absolutely beautiful. I also loved the boulevard along the seashore, the narrow streets, the white houses and the open markets along the streets.
Nazare' was one of the stops our VT Group made. We also had lunch here at Restaurante Sao Miguel.
The traditional social organization of Nazaré reserves to women a fundamental role: while the men are at the sea, women rule life, taking care not only of the house - traditional women's role - but also of business.
The "peixeira" (fishing seeller) became not only a profession, but a status. And it's really funny to appreciate the peixeira's independence and strenght in everything, even in games.
Things are fading, but when holidays provide free time, the hapinesss of their meeting with the roots is a special show.
Fondest memory: Celestino Graça was a great man from Santarém. He launched a big event, that keeps celebrating his memory many years after his death - The National Agriculture Exhibition.
One of the highlights (for those who know nothing about agriculture as me) was the International Folklore Festival, gathering groups from all the world, sometimes with great disputes with the dictatorship controls. I had the opportunity to cooperate with his organization, and to know him from short distance.
One day, we were in Caldas da Rainha in a performance with some groups that we took there from Santarém, when the director of Nazaré's best group - Tá-mar - also performing, anounced the premiere of Nazaré's 9th dance.
(A parenthesis to explain that Nazaré had a very interesting folklore, absolutely different from any other in Portugal, but composed by only 8 dances - 7 "viras" and a "corridinho", what stops local groups from performing more than 15 minutes).
The dance started, and immediately, from the audience, a voice sounded, loud and clearly:
"Stop... no... this is outrageous... no... no... out!"
It was Mr Graça.
I approached him, trying to calm him down, and asking him what happened.
Still furious, he pointed the dancers and continued:
"Don't you see? He putted the women dancing backwards! This is an outrage! The woman of Nazaré is the only in Portugal that always dances forward. The woman of Nazaré never recedes before man! She puts the fish upon her head and runs to Alcobaça, Valado, Caldas da Rainha, anywhere, to sell it. "Peixeira's life is lived forward, the dance always respected it, and that must preserved."
Many years later I saw Tá-mar performing, curious to see if they kept that 9th dance or not.
Well... they did! But the women danced forward. Mr Afonso (the director) also respected Mr Graça, and also learned with him!
For many, many years I didn't go up to Pederneira. When I did recently, I was surprised by the excellent recovering work that has been done there.
Once the main population centre of Nazaré, this quarter keeps all the ambiance of the past, and it is a good walking trip to combine with the use of the beach.
* Tourism Office
Avenida da República, 2450 Nazaré
- Tel.: (+351) 26 256 11 94
- E. mail:: firstname.lastname@example.org
- www.cm-nazare.pt (City Hall)
Having Fun at "O Santo"
The "O Santo", is one of my favourite spots for mussels in Nazaré.
As picture, here I am, having fun with some friends (October/2007).
Click here to read my tip about this particular restaurant.
Favorite thing: While it might seem like a logical progression to go to the beach during the summer the crowds are stifling. It was still pretty packed in the town while we visited in the fall, but the beaches were empty. The air is still warm so it's just as enjoyable as the summertime with a significantly less number of people.
Favorite thing: Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Nazare, is located on the hill high above the town of Nazare. There is a funicular that does go up and can be found near the waterfront. We did not go in since the church was closed when we visited.
The original settlements were in O SITIO above the beach.
Wonderful panoramic views over Nazare" and its beaches, can be seen from here.