About Nazaré

While surfed sporadically earlier, the world's biggest, baddest, most oversized wedge, Nazaré took center stage in the big wave world after Garrett MacNamara was invited there to "surf the world's biggest wave" in 2011. Since then, Nazaré has become a household name, one of Portugal's main coastal tourist attractions, a (former) stop on the Big Wave World Tour, and ground zero for big wave tow surfing. On the days when the offshore canyon isn't focusing huge swells into 80-foot peaks, Nazaré's inside sand bar produces heavy, hollow tubes in sizes that mortals can appreciate (as long as those mortals are barrel-riding experts).

Source: Nazaré Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv

Inside beach break is for experienced barrel hounds and pros. XXL Nazaré is for the world's best big wave surfers only.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Nazaré has become one of Portugal's favorite spectacles, and the local population tends to love surfing (and especially the surfers who brave Nazaré). That being said, the lineup can get a bit hectic on the biggest days.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Small local crowd on inside days, tow circus on big days.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

The world's biggest wave, and an A+ beach break barrel on small days.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Possibly the most difficult big wave spot in the world to paddle due to a complete lack of channel or safe zone.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Although the wave breaks a short distance from a moderate sized coastal town, the water remains pretty clean.

Additional Information


Death by drowning.


Drive from Lisbon to the town of Nazaré, arrange a jet ski, and access the wave via the harbor. On smaller days, paddle out at Praia do Norte.

Bring Your

Shortboard, bodyboard, gun, tow


Sand bar, ranging from shallow near the shore break to quite deep on big days.

Best Season

Swell season extends from October through March, although it tends to get colder and stormier the further into winter you go.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos