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Why does Nazare Portugal have big waves?

4 min read

Asked by: Amber Solomon

The Nazare NorthNazare NorthPraia do Norte (‘North Beach‘) is a beach located in Nazaré, Portugal, which due to its giant white breaking waves is famed for its surfing conditions.

Why waves are so big in Nazaré?

The size and unpredictability of the waves at Nazaré are caused by a submarine canyon that is 200km long and 5km deep. The difference in depth between the bottom of the canyon and the continental shelf splits waves into two.

Does Nazaré Portugal have the biggest waves?

The Nazaré Canyon is the reason why the waves are so big and so high breaking. This makes Nazaré a hotspot for big wave surfing. Although Praia do Norte catches the world attention, Nazaré has not only giant and powerful waves, but also spots and waves accessible to all athletes.

Does Nazaré have the biggest waves in the world?

According to the Guinness Book Of Records, that record was broken later: The biggest wave ever surfed was an 80-foot wave by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa. The biggest wave surfed by a woman was a 73.5-foot wave by Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira.

Can you swim in Nazaré Portugal?

Swimming is possible in Nazaré, but look for a more protected spot (in the direction of the cliffs) and keep an eye on the warning flags – the waves by the beach looked quite big even in spring.

How are waves formed in Nazaré?

When shallow bathymetry slows down a part of a wave, this causes the waves to refract. Similar to the way a magnifying glass can bend light to focus it into one bright spot, reefs, sand banks and canyons can focus wave energy toward a single point of the coast. This is what happens at Nazaré to create giant waves.

What is the biggest wave ever recorded?

During the night of July 9, 1958, the largest recorded wave in history occurred in Lituya Bay, Alaska. It reached an astonishing height of 1,720 feet. As a frame of reference, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall.

What happens when you wipe out on a huge wave?


Do a wipeout on a big wave is never a good thing. You might skip off the face of the surface of the wave several times before you penetrate because you're moving so fast.

Has anyone rode a 100 foot wave?

100 Feet: The Never-Ending Quest



On October 29, 2020, Portuguese surfer António Laureano claimed to have ridden the biggest wave ever at the infamous European beach break. The first measurement made by the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Human Kinetics (FMHUL) led to a 101.4-foot (30.9 meters) wave.

Is Nazaré Portugal safe?

Lifeguards watch over swimmers on this beach, and the ocean is perfectly safe to go in. It’ll be hard to even imagine that such huge waves are just around the headland! Praia da Nazare is hardly one of the best beaches in Portugal, but if you want to spend a while lounging on the sand it certainly does the job.

Is Nazaré worth visiting?

At that time, the American lost the record to the Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa. But it’s not only Nazaré that is worth visiting. Discover its surroundings and wonders like Alcobaça Monastery or the amazing location of São Martinho do Porto, a touristy place, especially in the summer.

What’s the water temperature in Nazaré Portugal?

Today’s Nazare sea temperature is 65 °F.

What is it like to live in Nazaré Portugal?

Quality of life



Being a small town, Nazaré has a calm lifestyle which helps you easily forget about the bustle of the bigger cities. Here time moves more slowly and everything happens naturally, with a closer connection to nature, and healthier as well.

Is Nazare Portugal expensive?

Cost of Living in Nazaré



Despite Nazaré’s desirability as both a tourist and expat destination, it’s surprisingly affordable to live here.

Where do the rich live in Portugal?

the Algarve

Where the rich live in the Algarve. Of all Portuguese regions, the Algarve is a recurring choice of wealthy foreigners looking for sun and luxury homes. It is the southern region of Portugal, famous for its stunning beaches and large English-speaking expat community.