With a warren of narrow, cobbled lanes running down to a wide, cliff-backed beach, Nazaré is Estremadura’s most picturesque coastal resort. The sands are packed wall-to-wall with multicoloured umbrellas in July and August, but the party atmosphere isn’t limited to the summer beach scene – Nazaré is one of Portugal’s top draws for New Year’s Eve and Carnaval celebrations as well.
The town centre is jammed with seafood restaurants, bars and local women in traditional dress (in summer, they're hawking rooms for rent, especially near seafront Avenida da República). To get a different perspective, take the funicular up to Promontório do Sítio, where picture-postcard coastal views unfold from the cliffs.
Nazaré often hits the headlines for the record-breaking feats of gutsy surfers who ride monster winter waves that roll in north of town at Praia do Norte.