MacNamara and the waves of Nazaré

     Thanks to Garrett MacNamara even those who couldn’t care less about surf have been hearing a lot about Portugal as a surf destination. I’m going to be honest: I’m not a great fan of surf myself, but the pictures leave anyone speechless and have been going around the world.

  Last year MacNamara was recognized by Guinness World Records for riding the largest-ever wave, a towering 78-foot wall of water. Now he claims he broke his own record, after surfing a 100 foot tall wave, also in North Beach, in Nazaré. Tó Mané, a local photographer, took the magical shot and this picture is now being published by world reference newspapers.

Photo by Tó Mané, originally published by Zon North Canyon

      Is our coast that rough? Incredibly, not at all. Nazaré Canyon is a rare phenomenon created by a gap in the Continental plate. It’s about 105 miles long and 3 miles deep and focuses the Atlantic energy right on the beach of Praia do Norte, creating huge waves.

      If you ask me, I’d give you other solid reasons to visit this area. In Nazaré you can still see women wearing seven skirts (the traditional costume) or dressing all black once they become widows; try incredibly fresh (and affordable) fish in local restaurants; see the fish sun-drying in the beach and relax watching the beautiful waves and beaches in the Atlantic Ocean.

      Any time is good for a visit, as Nazaré is an open door to an almost lost world of local traditions, centuries old and to a never ending variety of table delights. Sounds like a perfect destination for a family trip, doesn’t it?


The wonders of Cascais

If you are thinking of coming to Lisbon soon- and you probably are, or else why would you be reading this web blog in the first place?- you shouldn’t miss the chance to extend your tour- and get to know Cascais and Estoril, just 20 minutes away!

 Check on the weather first but I dare say that the first stop in Estoril is inevitably, the calm sandy beach with its terraces by the sea where you can sit and relax having a drink and looking at the waves coming and going.

 Crossing the road, I won’t let you miss out the famous Casino Estoril built in the early 20th century and from which Ian Fleming during the World War II got inspiration for his most famous character and novel the secret agent 007, James Bond in Casino Royale

 Just 5 minutes away in the famous N6- the ring road by the sea- is Cascais.  Once there, we will make our way to the lively town centre and from there to the old town where the fishermen’s houses still keep their original trace.

 If you feel brave enough to face the ride, we will grab a bicycle-they are let, for free by the municipality- and  take the road to Guincho Beach, about 3 km from the centre and enjoy the wild landscape of dunes and ocean, surrounded by the lavish green of the National Park of Sintra- Cascais.

 Coming back, if you’re feeling hungry, we will choose one of the several well known fish restaurants on the cliffs and try some of our best fish and shell fish specialties directly from the sea. And whichever time of the year you choose to come, Cascais always has a little something to offer you, whether you are a museum fan or more like the tanning in a wonderful beach kind!

This idea can easily be included in your “Sintra Cascais” tour.