Useful info for tourists

Want to see the BIG waves of Nazaré live?

Tourists watching giant waves in Nazare
Tourists watching giant waves in Nazare Portugal
Nazare lighthouse

The latest attraction of Nazare - the giant waves - is both unique and uncertain. Well, the big waves are not always there, they depend on the storms on the high seas that bring the big swells.

The Nazaré big waves frequency it's very different from the Niagara Falls (ex.), another spectacular place to observe Nature but where it can be observed daily for much of the year.

When to go? For how long?

The Big Waves season in Nazare - Portugal, is between October and March (winter season in Portugal, but April works too in some years).

- For those who need to book the trip in advance, a stay of at least 2 weeks in the region is recommended to ensure that you catch at least one day of giant waves; a three week stay increases the chances of catching big waves days.
In the months described, there’s usually between 1 and 6 large big swells. For more statistics see previous years news history . Even so, there is no guarantee that you will get a good day, but the probability is good.

- Another option for those who have more availability is to travel as soon as there is a good forecast. The forecasts only anticipate at most one week, and the longer the forecast range is the less certain it is. You can check the forecasts here
For big wave the forecast should indicate a wave size higher than 3 meters, a wave period greater than 13 seconds and a bit offshore and north wind.

Usually, the Nazare North Canyon - big waves generator greatly amplifies the predicted size of the waves, generating waves up to 100 feet (30 meters) high!

This website notifies you when there are good forecasts. Follow it often and subscribe to notifications using Chrome or Firefox browser to receive alerts. Click on the bell icon and follow the instructions:

website onesignal notifications alerts
Sample image, shows where to subscribe notifications on the site

For those who are closer to the zone you can check the state of the sea in real time via webcams footage and forecast - because the forecasts are not 100% reliable, there are many variables such as wind and wave direction (ex.), which influence and can vary on the hour and spoil a day with a perfect forecast. Nazare is a magical place with a lot of surprises...

There may also be large waves in September and April but the peak of winter is closest to December, with more severe sea storms that can generate larger swells. View the publication history since 2015 to see when more large waves occurred.

The Place to Watch the Giant Waves

The giant waves take place on Praia do Norte in Nazare. The best place to observe is on sítio da Nazaré, next to the lighthouse (Fort of São Miguel Arcanjo), on the north side. You can also go down to the sand on the beach for another perspective, via a dirt road, but be very careful by the sea as it is dangerous.

Usually there are always surfers present, and more and more, coming from all over the world. Many already spend the season of great waves in Nazare, so if there are waves they will surf, which is also good for tourists because it gives a better idea of the size of the waves.

Annual big wave surfing event
WSL Nazare Challenge - World Surf League - Big Wave Tour

This competition joins the best big wave surfers from all World, it lasts only one day and has no fixed date, depends on the predictions of the state of the sea. The waiting period is from 15 October to 28 February of the following year (includes winter in Portugal). The competition belongs to big wave world championship WSL Big Wave Tour.
wsl nazare challenge - big wave tour 2018-2019

The day of the competition is confirmed 3 days in advance (72 hours), it is the best that can be achieved with the current technology of forecasting sea conditions, wind, etc., to ensure that the competition will have the best conditions possible, with the biggest waves. At that time surfers, journalists and tourists from all over the world will come. This competition was first performed in 2016 with amazing results. The 2nd edition (2017/18) was held in 02/11/2018. The 3rd EPIC edition (2018/19) was held in 11/16/2018. The championship event is held at Praia do Norte - Nazaré, Portugal. It is expected that this competition will continue in the coming years, as it is attracting more and more interest worldwide.

More information

Nazare is increasingly sought after by surfers, photographers and tourists from around the world. As for tourists, whether to see the surf or just to see the incredible strength of the sea, it is always an incredible experience, especially for nature/sea lovers or surfers. This is where the Atlantic Ocean shows all its strength! A unique site, due to the giant Nazare North Canyon - big waves generator , one of the biggest in the world (and there are few). It seems to be the best spot in the world to watch the giant waves from just a few feet away. You're sure to love watching the giant waves of Nazare live.
If you have any questions, please ask the locals or us through Contact.

In this website we focused more on information for tourists who want to see the giant waves on the place, but there is also the most traditional tourism, which has been around for many years in Nazare. In summer there is always a flood of tourists coming to the beach, on the southern side, on the main beach of Nazare, the village beach. It is a nice place with great traditions and good food.

beach summer at Nazare
Nazare Portugal traditions
dry fish in Nazare

Praia do Norte beach is very versatile, has giant waves in the winter and "normal" waves during the rest of the year, sometimes with waves of world-class surfing and bodyboarding!

- For pro surfers who want to surf the giant waves and need a support team with jet skis contact us for more information.
- We also offer photographer service for surf sessions, contact us for more information.

Also follow our Facebook page for other updates. See more information on and weekly forecasts. We wish you good luck on your trip and you can catch a day of giant waves in Nazare.

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Watch these Nazare promotional videos with the whole scenario:

Nazaré - Entre a Terra e o Mar from Município da Nazaré on Vimeo.

NAZARÉ - SABOR A TERRA, SABOR A MAR from Município da Nazaré on Vimeo.

Check the NEW video gallery.

Check also the Nazare North Canyon - big waves generator.

Check also the Brief history of Nazaré waves.