When, back in 2011, the American surfer Garrett McNamara set a world record on Praia do Norte, Nazaré went from a little known coastal town to a world famous surfing spot.
Nazaré is about 120 kilometres / 75 miles north of Lisbon on the Silver Coast. It is an increasingly popular destination among surfers and tourists.
Besides admiring big waves on Praia do Norte, there’s many other things to do in Nazaré: relax on the golden sand of the main beach, Praia da Nazaré, explore the narrow streets and picturesque buildings, take the funicular from the beach up the cliff, and enjoy fresh fish and seafood at the various beachfront restaurants.
A quick note on Nazaré and its waves: If you’re visiting during summer, you’ll probably see calm waters rather than giant waves. Conditions are perfect only at certain times of year – during the winter and particularly with stormy weather.
The trip to Nazaré is easily doable as a day trip or a long weekend from Lisbon; here are a few ways to get from Lisbon to Nazaré.
Take the Bus
This is unarguably the cheapest way to get to Nazaré. There are regular buses that run between Lisbon and Nazaré throughout the day. Operated by Rede Expressos / Renex, buses depart from Sete Rios bus terminal (metro’s blue line). The trip takes about one hour and 50 minutes. Tickets start at €10 one way, and all trips can be booked on Rede Expressos’ website up to 30 days in advance.
Tickets and timetables: www.rede-expressos.pt
Driving is the most flexible option to explore Nazaré, and to make stops along the way. The trip from Lisbon to Nazaré takes about one hour and 30 minutes on the A8 which is a toll road. From Lisbon to Nazaré, expect to pay about €7 in toll fares.
If you decide to explore more of the Silver Coast, we recommend taking exit 14 on the A8 and visiting Peniche, a fishing town with several beaches and the protected Berlengas Islands. From Peniche, make two more stops to admire beautiful beaches – Foz do Arelho and São Martinho do Porto – before getting to Nazaré. Check also our guide to planning a day trip to Nazaré.
If you want to hire a car, check out our page on car rental in Lisbon, which includes advice on where to hire a car in the city, some car rental companies to compare prices from, and things to know when hiring a car in Portugal – for instance, why you should get a Via Verde toll transponder from your rental car company.
Hire a Tour
The popularity of Nazaré has brought an abundance of tour groups and guides who will take care of all the logistics for you, including hotel pick-up and drop-off, designing an itinerary and choosing a restaurant to enjoy fresh fish and seafood. Tours usually include a visit to Óbidos, Fátima, and Alcobaça or Batalha.