Praia do Norte in Nazaré is known for its giant, perfect and incredible waves generated under the influence of the Nazaré Cannon.
This "Cannon" is a rare geographical accident, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world and its origin remains a mystery since it belongs to a complex geographical area. This consists of a fault in the continental plate with about 170 kilometers in length and 5 of depth. But the birth of these monstrous waves does not depend solely on the cannon. In order to form these waves, it is important to add some more conditions to this "recipe".
These conditions include the wave period (which should be greater than or equal to 14 seconds), the wind (which should be weak) and the direction of the wave (ideally W / NW). The Nazaré Cannon channels the rippling of the Atlantic Ocean to Praia do Norte generating waves that sometimes reach 30 meters in height, waves that are completely disproportionate when compared to those that can be observed in the rest of the Portuguese coast.
The Cannon thus creates the perfect environment for true lovers of wave sports. It is not, however, recommended that less experienced ones venture into this sea since, in addition to beautiful, this phenomenon is also quite dangerous.
In 2016, Praia do Norte was the scene of the first European big wave surfing event, Nazaré Challenge joining the most competitive surfers in the world, as well as bodyboarding with the Nazaré Pro championship. It was on these waves in 2011 that Garrett McNamara set the world record for the longest surfing wave of the Guinness World Record, 23.77 meters high
. It was also here that, 4 years later, Benjamin Sanchis beat McNamara's cliff by surfing a 33-meter-high wave.
Nazaré is also one of the crossing points of the Atlantic Coast
(Porto - Lisboa) cycling tour
, where it is possible, following the right routes, to observe the most breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, always with the support and support of a guide. This small and calm village thus meets the necessary requirements so that the sportsmen of both modalities can practice their sport at the most competitive level possible.