Praia do Norte - Nazaré
Located to the north of the imposing Nazaré Promontory [Promontório da Nazaré], better known as “Sítio”, Praia do Norte is not a supervised beach and its feel is a little wild, with dunes that preserve the original vegetation.
The rough sea is dangerous for swimming but is much appreciated by surfers who find spectacular waves here. One such wave, 30m high, was ridden by the Hawaiian Garrett McNamara, in November 2011, and was nominated “Biggest wave” in 2011 by the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
The formation of such big waves here is explained by the location of the Nazaré canyon, the biggest underwater ravine in Europe, 200km long and a depth that can reach 5,000m. Its headwall, less than 1km off the coast, affects the characteristics of the swell, as it presents itself from the west, creating the giant waves.