Garrett McNamara: the surfer who loves Nazaré. Portugal Travel Blog
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Garrett McNamara: the surfer who loves Nazaré

Garrett McNamara: the surfer who loves Nazaré

December 10, 2014

McNamara is back! From the furious waves to the friendliness of the people, discover why this surfing legend loves the fishing village of Nazaré.

Every winter, Garrett McNamara travels to Portugal. In the quiet fishing village named Nazaré, this legend of the surfing world made history, surfing the biggest wave in the world, in 2011. And these days, we can find him surfing again the giant and wild waves of the big canyon of Nazaré.

The addiction to these waves did McNamara return every year and, nowadays, this town is in his heart. To The Guardian newspaper, Garrett told how he fell in love with this town on Portugal’s Atlantic coast.

Garret McNamara is back: dicovering why this giant of Surf loves Nazaré 

Garrett McNamara made history in Nazaré. Therefore, it is not surprising that this American surfer, from Hawaii, travel to Portugal every year, wishing to face the limits of Nature.

In 2011, in this fishing village, McNamara set a new world record, surfing a 90ft wave. The photography of this moment was seen around the world. Later, in 2013, this surfer claimed a new personal record, catching a 100ft wave. In December, Garrett is back, aiming a new moment of glory.

As noted by The Guardian newspaper, Garrett McNamara "travels around the world chasing big waves. But there's one place that keeps drawing him back: Nazaré on Portugal's Atlantic Coast."

Therefore, Garrett knows very well these waves. He surfed them again and again and he put Nazaré on the top of the surfing world. Among all the beaches of this town, Praia do Norte (Northern Beach) is his favorite, but it is also the one that often defies the human limits.

However, in Nazaré, there are all kinds of waves, "if you want to surf small, friendly waves go to the beach in the village [...]. Praia do Sul (the south beach) is similar but a little more powerful and there's Praia do Norte, where you'll find the big waves. Here you'll discover an underwater canyon produces massive swells", he says.

In fact, the furious canyon of Nazaré attracts thousands of surf lovers. Last year, the Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle and the British surfer Andrew Cotton were also stood out, surfing two of the biggest waves ever.

But not only the waves make Garrett McNamara return. The friendliness of the people of Nazaré warmed his heart. This quiet town always welcomed him with open arms, from the restaurant owner, to the fisherman or the ladies of the town with their traditional costume with seven skirts. 

Furthermore, in the town, people created a special menu, the "McNamara menu", made with the delicacies that he likes, "his favorite salad with sesame seeds, grilled seabass with migas, and potatoes with garlic and olive oil." This menu can be tasted in one of the restaurants that Garrett loves, the Restaurant Celeste, in which he can’t avoid the famous arroz doce (rice pudding), a marvelous delicacy of Portugal.

And this town is so remarkable in his life that he didn’t hesitate and chose Nazaré as the perfect place for his wedding. He married in a chapel on the cliffs, called Sítio, overlooking the beach of the town with the fishing boats and the charming (and frightening) Praia do Norte, the Muse of the surf in Portugal.