Nazaré Canyon

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The Nazaré Canyon in Portugal coast.
Praia do Norte, Nazaré (North Beach) was listed on the Guinness World Records for the biggest waves ever surfed (formed under the influence of the Nazaré Canyon).

The Nazaré Canyon is an undersea canyon just off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. It is said to be the largest canyon in Europe having the maximum depth of at least 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) and about 230 kilometres (140 mi) long.[1]

The canyon is being studied as part of the EU HERMES project using a remotely operated vehicle. The project is investigating the specialised canyon ecosystems, sediment transport and deposition, and the way in which the canyon influences and is affected by local ocean circulation.[2]


The Nazare Canyon causes very high breaking waves.[3] This makes Nazare a hotspot for big wave surfing.

In November 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a record breaking giant wave: 78 feet (24 m) from trough to crest, at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal.[4] In January 2013 it was reported that he successfully rode a wave measuring a maximum estimate of 100 feet (30 m) at the same location and possibly exceeding the size of his previous record-breaking wave.[5]

In January 2018, Hugo Vau could have smashed a world record amid claims he surfed one of the biggest waves ever seen at Nazare, Portugal. The wave — nicknamed ‘Big Mama’ — was reported to be up to 35-metres-high, which, if confirmed, would beat current Guinness Book of Records holder Garrett McNamara.[6][7]

Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa has officially broken the world record for the world’s biggest wave ever to have been surfed, with his incredible run at Nazare beach in Portugal being recognized as a Guinness World Record.[8]

Last May 2018, the World Surf League confirmed this achievement at its Big Wave Awards in Santa Monica, California, with the official height of the wave registered at 80 feet [24.38 metres].[9]


  1. ^ "NAZARÉ CANYON". Portuguese Hydrographic Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  2. ^ "Submarine canyons". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  3. ^ "The Mechanics of the Nazaré Canyon wave".
  4. ^ "McNamara Claims Record For Biggest Wave Ever Surfed". 8 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Surfer rides 'highest ever' wave". 30 April 2018 – via
  6. ^ "Biggest wave surfed: has Hugo Vau set a new world record in Portugal?". euronews. 2018-01-19. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  7. ^ portugal-press (2018-01-19). "Portuguese surfer conquers 35-metre "wave of all waves" in Nazaré". Portugal Resident. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  8. ^
  9. ^

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Coordinates: 39°31′N 9°55′W / 39.51°N 9.92°W / 39.51; -9.92