supports Ukraine 🇺🇦
Best time to travel to Portugal

Nazare Waves

A performance your eyes will refuse to believe


Last updated:
reason default image
See all

Photographers, surfers and tourists from around the world come to Nazaré in hope to shoot, surf or watch the incredible strength of the Atlantic ocean.

Giant wave-watching is both unique and uncertain as the big waves are not always there. Frequently appearing between October to March, they are presignified by the big swells which only storms on the high seas can bring. In the months mentioned above, there’s usually between one and six large big swells. September and April are also possible months to experience big waves, but December's severe sea storms are more likely to generate more massive swells.

If you long for witnessing this natural performance, you'd better book a stay of at least two weeks in the area, but a three-week stay increases the chances of catching giant waves days.

A good option is to travel to Nazaré as soon as there is a reasonable forecast. It should indicate a wave size higher than 3 m, a wave period greater than 13 sec and a bit north and offshore wind. The longer the forecast range is, the less precise it is.

Praia do Norte in Nazaré is the place where huge waves happen. The best place for observation is on the north side next to the red lighthouse on sítio da Nazaré. You can also go down to the sandy beach from another perspective. Just mind that the sea can be perilous and unpredictable.

As long as there are waves, the more likely you will see a lot of surfers from all over the world trying to catch them. Tourists are on velvet to as it is a better idea to realize size the waves.

Nazaré Big Waves half-day and full-day tours run from the capital city of Lisbon, which is an hour and a half drive by car.

Practical info

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Nazare Waves (Map)