Peniche is known as the capital of waves and is probably the place with the most surf camps per square meter in the country. It hosts one of the most important stages of the world surfing championship. Despite being a fishing town by the sea, Peniche still manages to provide a countryside calmness all year round.
The beaches are its greatest wealth, some of them famous, such as Baleal Beach, which is divided into two bays: one calmer and perfect for swimming without a board, and the other more suitable for those who enjoy more agitation. From the center of Peniche to Baleal, it’s about three kilometers, which can be walked or enjoyed by the cycle path that runs alongside the sea. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one. For surf lovers, Supertubos Beach, also known as Medão Beach, is the right choice. The name says it all: tubular waves are highly sought after by surfers and bodyboarders from all over the world. Next to it, there is the quieter Molhe Leste Beach.
While you’re here, don’t forget to get in the spirit and grab a board. If there is one place where you can forget your fear and learn from those who know, it’s here. Peniche has many schools where you can learn to master the waves like a professional, first on land and then in the sea. There are private and group lessons for all ages and levels of knowledge, with the rental of wetsuits and boards included.
Kilometers from the center to Praia do Baleal
Centuries of construction of Peniche Fortress
Square kilometers of area in Peniche
Did you know that Peniche has one of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal, supplying much of the fish that arrives at restaurants? It’s no wonder that Peniche is often sought after for its rich gastronomy, from fish to seafood. On the menus, you will often find fish stew, cataplana, and seafood rice. On Avenida do Mar and Largo da Ribeira, for example, there are plenty of options.
Take the opportunity to explore the historic center, where you will find the churches of São Pedro and Misericórdia, as well as the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. A must-see, even to learn a bit about the history of our country, is the visit to Peniche Fortress, built in the 16th/17th century for the defense of the coast. Today, it is the National Resistance and Freedom Museum, whose mission is to “investigate, preserve, and communicate the national memory relating to resistance to the Portuguese fascist regime, based on the memories and experiences of those who fought for freedom and democracy,” as stated in the museum’s mission statement. During that time, it was a political prison.
But Peniche is also the gateway to Berlengas Island. Those who go there say they never forget it, perhaps due to the sometimes tumultuous boat trip, but nothing unbearable, or the idyllic landscape and crystal-clear sea. The archipelago is one of the richest fauna locations in the country, but access is limited. A paradise can only be maintained if it is protected. A curiosity: the airo, the most emblematic bird of Berlengas, a symbol of the Nature Reserve, is very similar to a penguin. It is best to book the trip in advance. There are several operators in Largo da Ribeira Velha where you can plan your trip.
Have an exciting experience.