The waves are dotted with surfers trying their luck here. Azure skies meet turquoise water, water that dips low before stretching up, taller than skyscrapers: the tallest waves in the world. It’s a surfer’s dream. From the soft sands of the shoreline, onlookers watch the spectacle with bated breath. White foam surges up the beach and hugs the feet of those brave enough to come closer. On calmer days, when the waves are still and the signs say it is safe to swim, children can be seen playing futebol among sunbathers on the sand, and vibrant fabric tents pop up to cover those who prefer the shade.
This is the Costa de Prata, on the shoreline of the charming town of Nazaré. In many ways, it is still a traditional Portuguese fishing village. Lines of fishmongers dry their catches in the sun, the older women still arrayed in layered petticoats and vibrant head scarves, selling fish or fruit from wooden stands. From tall white cliffs, just north of the city, the views of red-tiled roofs, long golden beaches, and colorful rowboats on the expansive harbor are breathtaking. On this same cliff stands a Baroque chapel, a striking edifice which houses the legendary Shrine of Our Lady of Nazaré.
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