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From Nazaré to Batalha | A Taste of Central Portugal

From Nazaré to Batalha | A Taste of Central Portugal
As ever our itching feet were just waiting to see what else the region of Estremadura & Ribatejo has to offer.. so with time to spare and the winter sunshine on our faces, we headed out of the Natur Parc campsite to first explore Nazaré and then onto the truly impressive Batalha.
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Thankfully, we’ve found a great campsite (ValeParaiso) here in Nazaré that is proving to be perfect for both girls! We’ve seen huge smiles on their faces yet again today as they’ve enjoyed the outdoor play parks, bike trails from the campsite and the padel tennis courts (after their recent efforts at La Marina in Spain) if only it was summer and we could enjoy all the things this place offers!!! (see their campsite video here)
Nazaré enjoys a truly breath-taking sweeping bay that seems to be endless at first glance…It still retains some of it’s old fishing village atmosphere with the folk of the village mending nets on the side of the beach but each steep cliff is lined with gleaming new villas that must have ‘views to die for’! The name Nazaréapparently bears links to Nazareth (very apt as we write this in the lead up to Christmas!) as a monk hauled a statue of the Virgin Mary to these very shores in the 4th century… But is perhaps best known now for it’s truly extraordinary waves.. with surfers being pulled out by jet ski… it reminded us of the San Sebastian surfers from earlier in our adventure
In fact this whole region has a similar feel to ‘Ile de Re‘ on the western coast of France… maybe it’s the crashing waves, the authentic seaside life that still seems to exist or maybe it was just those endless beaches…. so spare some time if you do visit.. there’s not just the North Beach of Nazaré! In fact there’s 65km of some of the best coastline/beaches you could imagine… running north from Nazare… these include our recommendations of Paredes de Vitoria – São Pedro de Moel – Samouco – Vieira – Pedrogão – Ervideira Lake and Osso da Baleia… 

Every region should have Something special

Heading North East, we enjoyed the drive to Batalha which also enjoys a well located aire but as the drive from Nazaré is less than an hour away… we’d opt again to stay in Nazaré at the ValeParaiso… the kids just love it when we can park up.. even if it’s for a short time, it just seems to keep everything on an even keel!

The UNESCO site is something to behold though… full of Gothic architecture to rival anything we’ve seen in places like Chartres yet it is also famous for its Manueline elements (much like the ones we’d seen in Tomar) It’s walls take many shades of colour from pale limestone to golden sandstone.. yet its master builder (Alfonso Domingues) certainly built something to last! Started in 1386 it took over 200 years to complete and perhaps you could still say it lies unfinished in the year 2016 due to it’s famous ‘Unfinished Chapels’… when funding was cut to finish Belem’s Jerónimos monastery


so where did we park the bus for the night?

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Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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