Nazaré Lighthouse atop Forte de São, Nazaré, Portugal
© Richard A Lock/Getty Image
How do you say 'gnarly' in Nazaré?. Where are these epic waves?
The iconic surf beaches of the world sit predominantly on the Pacific, but we're in the dead of shredding season on the Atlantic. Stormy winters from October to March beckon surfers donning their thickest wetsuits to brave gargantuan breaks here in Nazaré, Portugal. Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa caught a 24.4-metre wave here in 2017, beating the previous Guinness World Record for surf wave height—also set here. Meanwhile, those less daredevilish among us are content to join this crowd standing in awe from the safety of Nazaré's Forte de São, a lighthouse-topped fortress on a shoreside cliff.