At Atlantic Surf Route, your website for a surftrip with a campervan in Portugal and Spain, today we bring you one of the destinations most demanded by surfers: Nazaré.
The Canyon of Nazaré is an underwater canyon on the coast of Nazaré in the Western Atlantic Ocean. It has a maximum depth of at least 5,000 meters and an extension of about 230 km.
The Canyon of Nazaré
The Nazaré Canyon causes very big waves, making Nazaré a very important point on the world surfing route. On November 1, 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a gigantic wave, breaking the world record, with 23.77 meters in Nazaré. In January 2013, it was confirmed that he had surfed a larger wave still 30 meters high in Nazaré too, probably beating his own previous record.
Although Praia do Norte has captivated the attention of the world, Nazaré has not only giant and powerful waves, but also corners and waves accessible to all athletes.
How to get to Nazaré, Portugal
This natural phenomenon causes the energy of the waves to remain intact until reaching the coast. The giant waves do not lose even an ounce of their power because of the progressive friction with the continental shelf in its approach to the coast, since this zone lacks it.
But the effect does not end there. The shape of the Nazaré Canyon is similar to a funnel. The width in the oceanic part is of about 7.5 kms of wide, whereas in the zone of exit in the coast is of only about 100 mts.
Big Wave Tour
Nazaré is the capital of the big waves and the kickoff of the Big Wave Tour, the surfing competition for the brave who climb on a board and look down from a fourth floor high in a wall of water. But it was not always like this. Surfers have long denied Nazaré, some said that the oceanographic phenomenon that occurs in Nazareth was not a true wave, that it had no channel, that its slope was very smooth.
But professional surfers of great waves, including the Brazilian Maya Gabeira, who almost died surfing one of these monstrous waves a few years ago, knew how to appreciate this marvel of marine nature that occurs in late autumn or early winter. Today there is unanimity of opinion: Nazaré is the world capital of the great waves.
Nazaré has been stopped for the celebration of the first test of the world competition of great waves. Surfers could enjoy waves of more than ten meters produced by the submarine canyon that extends in Praia do Norte, Nazaré, and surfed by the best athletes of this sport. A whole crowd gathered around the lighthouse to watch the impressive waves and no less impressive surfer rides.
Nic von Rupp surfs a giant wave in Nazaré on the Big Wave Tour (BWT) Nazaré Challenge, celebrated on December 20, 2016 Masurel WSL:
When the waves have a size like this, it is necessary to use the jet skis and this is because the bigger waves also travel faster and must surf on smaller boards, it is almost impossible to take them paddling.
Also returning to the break zone would be a very complicated task and another reason, perhaps the most important, is that in case of fall it also becomes the only possible means of rescue. Some of these breaks end up at the foot of huge cliffs, so if the surfer fails to leave the side of the wave rises stamped against the rocks.
For most of us to think only surfing this type of waves is more a nightmare than a dream, but those who have witnessed the monster roar we can assure that it is a spectacle to witness and that is never forgotten. We have in Europe one of the biggest waves in the world and if you want to enjoy this experience we propose to do it aboard some of our camper vans.
You can find all the necessary information in our section “Destinations“:Related posts: