Portugal – 191010 Nazare


Today was supposed to be an easy day, but we still walked >15,000 steps. It was chores day:

  • Wash clothes
  • Pay bills
  • Backup photos
  • ATM for more Euros

We took a meandering, walking tour of Nazare and Sitio:

  • Walk beach
    • No one swimming, waves too large
    • Life guards on ATV & wearing high visibility keeping people away from the water
    • The beach board walk being removed for the season
  • ATM for Euros (€1 => USA $1.22; not a good rate) 🙁
  • Visited the Tourist Information office; map; things to see
  • Found historic wooden boats on the beach
  • Found ladies drying fish on the beach
  • Sitio (on cliffs above Nazare)
    •  Funicular from Nazare
      • €1.80 roundtrip
      • Every 15 minutes
      • Operator sells tickets, no ticket both active in the off-season(?)
    • View Nazare from cliff edge
    • Walk to Lighthouse/fort/surfing museum
    • Slight down hill walk from the top of the cliff to the Surf museum/display in Lighthouse/fort
      • Nazare has the Guinness record for largest wave surfed by a man and by a woman
      • Tuk-tuk (€2.5/person) from the museum to the top of the cliff and the square; last trip of the day 🙂
      •  Visited the church
        • €Euro 1 to tour the tiles & Statue of the Black Madonna
    • Funicular back to Nazare & returned to apartment to restaurant

Dinner at – Taberna Da Praia

  • Pretty sunset with sun showing through the mist/haze
  • Marty: cod fish
  • Stephen: T-Bone steak & shrimp bread soup


Farol (Lonely Planet)

This amazing lighthouse (famous for its backdrop when Garrett McNamara and surfers are in the high seas) is a lovely place to visit, especially as the sun  is setting. It has a small explanation of the geological reasons for the ocean’s high seas.

Ascensor (Funicular) (Lonely Planet)

Departs to Promontório do Sítio every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes after 8.30pm.

Promontório do Sítio (Lonely Planet)

Until the 18th century the sea covered the present-day site of Nazaré; locals lived at this cliff-top area 110m above the beach. Today this tourist-filled promontory is popular for its tremendous views, the lighthouse and its religious associations. From Rua do Elevador, north of the turismo, an ascensor climbs up the hill to Promontório do Sítio; it’s nice to walk back down, escaping the crowds of trinket-sellers. There are plenty of places to stay and eat up on the cliff-top too.

On a foggy day in 1182, local nobleman Dom Fuas Roupinho was in pursuit of a deer when the animal disappeared off the edge of the Sítio precipice. Dom Fuas cried out to the Virgin, whose sculpture was venerated in a nearby cave, for help, and his horse miraculously stopped right at the cliff’s edge; the mark of one of its horseshoes is still visible. In what is a much-repeated story in the Iberian peninsula, Dom Fuas built the small Hermida da Memória chapel on the edge of the drop-off to commemorate the event and house the sculpture. It was later visited by a number of VIP pilgrims, including Vasco da Gama. The statue is now housed in the grander church across the square.

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré (Lonely Planet) 

The 17th-century, baroque Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, decorated with attractive Dutch azulejos, is on the Promontório do Sítio and holds the much-venerated sculpture of the Virgin, said to have been made by Joseph himself in Nazareth when Jesus was a baby: hence the name of the town. For €1, you can get up close and personal with the statue itself – it’s not too often that you get the chance to appear in the middle of an altarpiece.

Look out for paintings of a deer in mid-air that refer to the legend of the Virgin’s appearance here. Though the fall was tragic for the animal itself, its look of surprise is difficult not to be bemused by.


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