Nazaré Lighthouse, Nazaré, Portugal (with Map & Photos)

Nazaré is a surfer's paradise, the capital of giant waves. If I travel through the center of Portugal I never stop visiting this town, the lighthouse and Praia do Norte. For those of us who like the sea, it is a true benchmark.

Nazare Lighthouse Portugal
Nazare Lighthouse Portugal

The Nazare Lighthouse (Farol da Nazaré) dates back to 1903 and is located on a cliff in the upper or northern city. It was inaugurated after a long process in which the fort of San Miguel, where it stands, was expropriated, to be reconverted as the home of the lighthouse keeper. It is about 2 kilometers from the town of Nazaré.

Nazare Lighthouse Portugal
Nazare Lighthouse Portugal

The views are very beautiful, with the rough sea they are something incredible, brutal. The waves are huge. In Praia do Norte, to the right of the Nazare Lighthouse, the Guinness record for surfing was recently broken. On November 1, 2011, a gigantic wave, almost 24 meters high, that emerged at Playa do Norte, was surfed by the Hawaiian Garret McNamara. This town is one of the meccas of extreme surfing. It was the Portuguese surfer Hugo Vau, who entered the Guinness Book of Records with the largest wave ever surfed, after the feat of surfing a giant wave of 35 meters in early 2018.

The visit to the lighthouse, which is open, is well worth it. You can see Nazare Bay on one side and Praia do Norte on the other. If you wish, the road reaches the door, but taking a walk up that slope to the lighthouse also makes you enjoy the surroundings.

Nazare Lighthouse Portugal
Nazare Lighthouse Portugal

Inside the fort where the lighthouse is located there is a small surfing museum and also a lot of information on the geography of the place, the explanation of the waves (it is worth watching the video explaining the cause of its great height) and other very interesting sea topics.

The phenomenon of giant waves is due to the Nazaré Canyon, an underwater valley with a depth of about 5,000 meters and an extension of 230 km. Its funnel shape, narrowing at Playa do Norte, is what causes the enormous waves that have reached heights of 30 meters, as we said, unique for the most extreme surfing.

Nazare Lighthouse Portugal
Nazare Lighthouse Portugal

From the Suberco viewpoint, in the Sítio neighbourhood, you have spectacular views of Nazaré and the lower city. Nor can you miss the small Hermitage of Memory and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, which seems to be the origin of the town that dates back to 1182.

The Nazare Lighthouse is equipped with several viewing platforms, they are installed at different heights. A shaky, unsecured staircase leads to one of them, so getting there is quite difficult, and it will take some courage. Not only tourists, but also local fishermen gather at the sites.

The lighthouse offers a picturesque view - the new district of Nazare and the city beach. A staircase leads from the lighthouse to the ocean, you can go down directly to the water and feel the salt spray on your face.

Nazare Lighthouse Map