Contributor Review – Sofia Ferreira
Local Expert. Visited 2023
When I visited Praia do Norte, I was immediately struck by its vast expanse and wild beauty. Even though it’s not an official Portuguese nude beach, it’s easy to see why it’s a tolerated spot for naturists. The sprawling sandy area, coupled with the dunes and untouched vegetation, gives it a raw, untamed feel. This wildness translates into numerous hideaways for those seeking a more private sunbathing experience. The vibe is relaxed and respectful, with a mix of solo travelers, couples, and groups. While it’s frequented by visitors throughout the year, there are moments, especially outside the peak season, when you can find a quiet spot just for yourself.
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Praia do Norte stretches impressively, offering ample space for everyone. The best spots, in my opinion, are closer to the dunes, where the vegetation provides a natural screen, perfect for those seeking a bit more privacy. While the beach itself is quite uncommercialized, there’s a food truck named Big Wave Food North located about 0.3 miles from the sand, offering refreshments and quick bites. If you’re up for a short trip, the local village, Sítio da Nazaré, is just a 30-minute walk or a 6-minute drive away. This picturesque village is a treasure trove of historical buildings, local cuisine, fish, and seafood restaurants, making it a delightful detour after a day at the beach.
For first-timers, especially those new to the naturist scene, Praia do Norte is welcoming. The respect and tolerance are palpable, making it easier for newcomers to embrace the experience. While the beach is a haven for relaxation, it’s also a hub for big wave surfing, attracting photographers and nature enthusiasts. The majority of nude sunbathers are locals, and there’s a genuine indifference to whether one chooses to go naked or not. Everyone is simply there to enjoy the beach in their own way.
While Praia do Norte is a dream for sunbathers and nature lovers, it’s essential to note the beach’s rough seas. The waters can be quite aggressive, making it crucial for visitors to exercise caution. Swimming is best enjoyed during the calmer summer days, but always be aware of the ocean’s mood. For those keen on a safer swim, nearby beaches offer more tranquil waters. Lastly, while nudity is tolerated and respected here, there might be times when you’re among the few embracing the naturist spirit, given that it’s not one of the official nude beaches of Portugal. So, come with an open mind and let Praia do Norte’s wild beauty enchant you.
Generally speaking, if I were you, I’d get naked for sunbathing at Praia do Norte but I’d go in the water at Praia da Nazaré, which, at least, has lifeguards. Enjoy!
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Praia do Norte is a vast expanse of beauty, located just a short drive from Lisbon. While it's renowned for its wild ambiance and opportunities for sunbathing au naturale, it's also a hub for big wave surfing. The beach's proximity to the charming villages of Sítio and Nazaré adds to its allure, making it a must-visit for both beach lovers and history enthusiasts.
Easily accessible by car, it's about a 1.5-hour drive from Lisbon and roughly 2 hours from Oporto. Navigation apps like Waze or Google can guide you seamlessly. Starting from Lisbon, head north and you'll reach Praia do Norte in around one hour and thirty minutes. If you're driving from Oporto, it's approximately a two-hour journey.
Public Transport: For those not driving, buses from Lisbon to Nazaré are an option. Websites like Rede Expressos or FlixBus are good places to check schedules and book tickets. The fare is typically around 14€ for a one-way journey. Do note that the bus will drop you at Nazaré. From there, local attractions like the Funicular da Nazaré can offer both transport and a unique experience, taking you up to Sítio and providing breathtaking views along the way. It's this cool elevator thing that takes you up a 318-meter cliff to Sítio. The views are insane! It leaves every 15 minutes, and both tourists and locals use it. A one-way ticket is 2.50€, or you can grab a round trip for 4.00€. Trust me, it's a ride you won't forget.