Photo by Sergei Gussev  –  Link

Nazare

Portugal

If you're looking for a perfect sandy beaches and a festive cultural scene, look no further than Nazaré, Portugal. The fact that it's just an hour and a half by car from Lisbon is an added bonus, making it the perfect place to escape to the seaside for a day trip.

Nazare, an old fishing town, is one of the top coastal getaways in the country - and for good reason. It's packed with top-notch seafood restaurants, scenic vista points and popular surfing spots (thanks to the underwater Nazare Canyon, which creates huge swell waves). In fact, the tallest wave ever recorded being surfed was in Nazare by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa in November 2017. The wave was a jaw-dropping 80 feet tall!

After a bit of culture? Nazare is home to several museums and cultural centres including the Doctor Joaquim Manso Folk and Archeological Museum and the Fisherman House-Museum, both of which shed some light on the town's history and traditions. Visit Nazare in September to witness the Nossa Senhora da Nazare religious procession, come in May for the Festa do Mar, or plan your Portugal trip in February to experience Carnaval, an exuberant Mardi Gras celebration that culminates in a massive parade.

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