Peniche on the west coast of Portugal is 100Km North west of Lisbon. It is a peninsula of roughly 5km diameter set on high cliffs and rocky formations that plunge their way in the wild Atlantic ocean below. Originally a fishing village, fishing still plays a large part in the life of the inhabitants but in current times it is more famous for its offer to surfers and the port which gives access to the nature reserve of the Berlengas Islands, 5 KM from the coast.
It has some of the best surfing waves of Portugal and some of longest beaches on the Silver coast of Portugal.
Surfing in Peniche
To the north of Peniche you will find 5KM of beach and to the south 6KM. The most impressive beach for surfers has to be the beach called Supertubos on the southern beach stretch as this is where the waves are highest and can reach up to 4 meters. Notibly these waves are the queen waves best suited to experienced surfers. A more common surfing area are the beaches that lead up to the Baleal island to the north of Peniche and this is also were you will find the biggest concentration of surf schools, equipment shops, hostels and beach bars. Here you will waves up to 3 meters in rough seas but mostly lower waves perfect for beginning and intermediate surfers.
Visiting the Berlengas islands
The Berlengas are are group of small islands of the coast of Peniche that are a nature reserve and listed as part of to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2011. Inhabited since ancient times by different cultures including the Romans, Moorish and vikings it is currently uninhabited. It is a reserve for birds but has little vegetation. Its water a rich in fish and its a favorite spot for divers.
Interesting points on the Island are a 16th century monastery founded to aid victims of the frequent shipwrecks in the area, no longer a monastery as it was demolished and its building material reused to build a fort, the lighthouse, some of the beaches and various grotto’s found on the main island.
The town and its monuments
Peniche was a small and modest fishing community and you will not find many grand monuments. However this white-washed old fishing town with its intertwining streets, fisherman houses, local restaurants and small shops is a nice refreshing place to stroll. Most impressive is the ocean route which travels up and down the cliffs on the coast.
Some points of interest are the large forte which has free entry. The Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios a chapel build into the rock on the coastline, and the museum of Peniche lace. A unique lace made by hand using ancient methods unique to Peniche.
Peniche and tourism
Not yet overrun by tourism, in Peniche you will meet more than the average amount of surfers, boating people and beach lovers, the beaches are large enough to guarantee anybody plenty of space for a private event. Beach parties with picnics and guitars are not an uncommon site. Neither is fresh fish and a score of good restaurants serving it. It is a great place for coastline hikes, birdwatching and observing the sometimes awe inspiring waves as they crash into the shores!
Soon we will be back in Peniche to Go Discover peoples favorite surf spots!
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