I love Nazare. That's why I'm always available to forgive everything. But sometimes it's too much, even for me. In May 1st, Fernanda and I went to have lunch in Nazare.
She wished to eat "cataplana", so we checked "A Taberna da Adelia" where we once saw a beautiful cataplana. Very popular (see my other tips) the line of people waiting was enormous. We tried Sao Miguel (reserved for a big group), Bartidor (no cataplana and big line), Casalinho (the most popular, but where once I caught an intoxication with a grilled shrimp, and since then stopped being one of my choices) and "A Lota" (where, once, a waiter tried to sell me twice the same oxidated bottle of wine). All full. The shortest line was in "Mar Bravo", a well located restaurant with medium service at top price. Now the scene:
After staring 15 minutes facing three empty tables in the esplanade, we sat inside and ordered a fish soup, a lobster cataplana, one 7 UP and BSE wine.
Ten minutes later the waiter asked us to confirm the drinks: water, and Murganheira wine.
We corrected him, and some minutes later he came, with the 7 UP and... the Murganheira.
New correction, and the right drinks came, to join us in a long wait (almost one hour) for the food.
The cataplana, at last (the soup was... forgotten), was OK.
Time for the bill - heavy, as expected. And... surprise, the forgotten fish soup was there. And cheese, probably delicious, but that we never saw or asked for.
A delicate and prompt correction, with excuses, and... it's done.
The three empty tables that we saw on entering continued empty... all the time. But the lines, in mid afternoon were shorter. My god! Is it so hard to be professional?
But... I told you. That´s Nazare, and I'm always available to forgive everything. Yes... be patient, and check your bills.
Decided to stop off and see the ocean one last time. Ended up finding a stretch of beach just outside of village (where horse stables are located). When we arrived to area only one car was parked with a mid-twenties gentlemen inside. We parked and decided to walk about 50 yards to ocean. We decided to leave our bags in front floor board (I know that was really stupid) since area was dead and we seemed to be that only soles in the area with the exception of that one car. We looked back and silver car parked right next to ours opened up all the doors and hatchback which we thought was weird. We stood there and watched then rob us!!!!
They took all the money (of course) and ids, travel documents, credit cards, phone and camera. We had nothing!!! Ended up going to police station in Nazare and were told they had a 100% return rate on all documents. As we were sitting and talking to officer and my boyfriends wallet shows up (kind of funny if you as me). After sitting in the police station for 5 hours all of our documents, ids, credit cards and bags showed up and returned to us. We lost $600 and had a rental car with a broken window and iphone gone.
Looking back I believe that gentlemen in the car was involved. He probably sat in his car all day looking for dumb tourists and made a call for his friends (who were probably parked 100 yards away) to come and make a quick buck. The police were very nice but they probably get a cut as well.
Regardless of this mishap we loved Portugal and had a great time. If this incident did not happen this would have been the best vacation I have been on.
Bathing, circulating or only staying under the sun is complicated in summer days.
The beach has always many resident dwellers from July to mid September, but in Sundays and holidays it may become a nightmare.
That would be the best time to try the nearby wild beaches (tricky parking) or to explore inland the wonders that surround Nazaré.
With the exception of a few things, don't expect to get any great deals on gifts. The same souvineirs are cheaper in other towns (even Lisbon!) and a lot of things are of poor quality. If you decide to shop, move past the first street to find better deals, but then you also lose the relative proximity of shops.