Portugal’s Famous Fishing Town:
With its natural beauty and stretches of long sandy beaches, Nazaré is a popular Portuguese beach resort and each year thousands of local and overseas tourists come to enjoy this lovely beach-side town.
Walking along the seafront, it is quite obvious that tourism is the main contributor to Nazaré ‘s income. Yet, up until the 20th century, fishing, fish processing and sale of fish were the main source of livelihood for the people of Nazaré.
Change in Fishing Tradition
The harshness and danger of sea life have led many fishermen to seek a better life elsewhere. Added to this, things started changing in the 1960s, when tourism discovered the charm of Nazaré and this village became known internationally as a travel destination. Tourism quickly overtook fishing as the main earner for the residents of the town.
If not for the construction of the Fishing Port and Recreation Services in the early 1980’s fishing may well have been a lost tradition. The Fishing Port and Recreation Services helped to change and improve the working conditions for fishermen, thus starting a new phase in the life of the village.
Nazaré wasn’t always a lovely beach resort
Nazaré began to be known and popular as a bathing beach only in the middle of the nineteenth century. In the past, the area currently occupied by shops and houses were coastal dunes. Local fishermen lived mostly on the upper reaches of the town in Site and Flint as constant attacks by Algerian pirates and the Dutch made the beach unsafe.
Nazaré today is a modern and lively town, although fishing is still an important source of income for local people. Stroll along the beach to the fishing harbour and if you’re lucky, you can watch the ships unload the catch of the day and see the old tradition of fishermen putting their mackerel and sardines on wire racks to dry.
We were up in Sitio checking out the old town, but luckily our fellow traveller, Gordon Rolleston, got a great photo of this.
Thanks Gordon for sharing your graphic shot.