The beautiful coastal town of Nazare on the Silver Coast of Portugal has something for everyone. Great restaurants, bars, and shopping on cobbled streets.
Nazare has a large beach with water sports and surfing on offer too. In fact Garrett McNamara may have set a new world record for the largest wave ever surfed in Nazare in Jan 2013 (100-feet high).
Nazare used to be an old fishing town and you will still see rows and rows of fish drying on racks on the beach. It has a stunning beach and is surrounded by mountains and Sitio on the cliff top.
There is a good diverse range of food available in the many restaurants of Nazaré. The restaurants on the sea front tend to be more expensive but they do enjoy an excellent view.
The majority of the traditional restaurants will serve dishes known as Cataplanas. These dishes vary considerably depending on the restaurant but they are really delicious – they include a variety of seafood cooked with onions and tomatoes to make an extremely tasty casserole. Another traditional dish to look out for is pork with clams. At lunchtime most restaurants serve a Prato do dia, this is the ‘dish of the day’ but it may be up to three courses. These dishes are typically very good value and well worth trying.
The two restaurants that I would recommend most highly in Nazare are Mar Bravo and Sao Miguel. There is also a reasonably good Italian restaurant next door to Mar Bravo.
Alternative restaurants available include a Chinese restaurant along the sea front and various Italian / pizza restaurants dotted about the town.
With regards to a car it really depends what kind of holiday you want. You can get to most of the attractions outside Nazaré by public transport - you just need to check with the tourist office for current timetables. Buses tend to run no later than 6.30-7pm.
Given the location of Nazaré it suits those wanting to relax on a beach as well as those wanting to soak up some of the wide-ranging cultural heritage of the Silver Coast. There is a vast wealth of history and culture in the area and there are many beautiful and picturesque towns too. Below are just some of the many suggestions for a day out on the Silver Coast:
The neighbouring town Sao Martinho do Porto. A beautiful town built around a natural shell-shaped bay.
The picturesque medieval town Óbidos (30 km),
Foz D'Arelho with the beautiful Obidos Lagoon is 20km.
The historic town Alcobaca with the famous monastery is 15km.
Peniche, famous for surfing, the Praia do Baleal and the renowned 'supertubos' wave (50km). From here you can catch a boat to the Berlengas Islands - a nature reserve.
Lisbon is 110km.
The UNESCO world heritage site Sintra with 2 palaces is 100km.
The Gothic city Santarém and the museum house of Alpiarça is 70 km
The palace, the church and the convent of Mafra is 100 km.
Also visit the basilica and the convent of Batalha from the 14th century. The pilgrimage destination Fátima (40 km), the castles of Leiria and Porto do Mos. The University City Coïmbra (90 km), the convent of the tempeliers in Tomar, etc.