What I should see in Peniche is an article that will make you better acquainted about the city of Peniche and its “hot spots”. In this first approach we will guide you through a trip that will have at least one day of visit. Intense? Maybe, but certainly deserves the effort, of that we have no doubts.
From the shore to the pier
Fresh in the morning, enjoy the first breezes and walk along the seashore, which accompanies part of the urban line, passing through the area animated by cafes and restaurants.
Walk along the pier and take the opportunity to see the various boats that are anchored there, which allows you to feel the life of the local and brave fishermen.
Among the various colors of the boats, you will find nets, cables and other utensils used by fishrmen, which always provides a good photo.
It is here, at the pier, that you can also buy your ticket to the island of Berlengas, be aware that the visit to the island can only be made between May 22 and September 15, as required by the weather conditions.
Next step, visit the Fort of Peniche
The Fort of Peniche, ordered to built by D. João IV in the seventeenth century, was along with the Fort of Consolação Beach and the Fort of S. João Baptista situated in Berlenga Island, a fundamental military complex, with defensive aims of the citadel and its populations, against invasions from the sea.
It was at the Fort or Peniche, that the British troops, in an attempt to restore Portuguese independence (1589), during the period of the Spanish occupation, disembarked and marched in direction to Lisbon, in an action that would be crowned with disillusionment (disappointment).
Other conflicts had place in the Fort of Peniche, during the Napoleonic invasions, having fallen in the hands of the French in that period.
The Fort of Peniche became famous in the recent history of Portugal for turning into a political prison during the dictatorship of Salazar. In 1960, the Fort was the scene of one of the most extraordinary escapes of the twentieth century in Portugal – a group of political prisoners escaped from the Fort and among them was Álvaro Cunhal, the communist leader.
Nowadays visiting the Fort consists on a true ethnographic testimony of Peniche, where we can see the interesting town museum that contains various thematic areas relating to the region, like the fishing or bobbin lace, and also recreates the prison environment.
All aboard to Cape Carvoeiro
Leaving the Fort of Peniche, it’s time for lunch. Since you are near the Avenida do Mar (Sea Boulevard), the main restaurant area of the city, you have to taste the caldeirada (fish casserole), sopa de lagosta à moda de Peniche (Peniche-style lobster soup), arroz de marisco (shellfish risotto), and the fresh fish from the sea is the specialty you must taste.
After lunch, take the car and head towards Cabo Carvoeiro (Carvoeiro Cape), located at the end of Peniche Peninsula, the second westernmost point of Continental Portugal (after Cabo da Roca, near Sintra). From here you’re able to observe the Berlengas Natural Reserve.
Here you are in a unique place, full of geological heritage and scenic value. By feet or car you can whatch the extremely beautiful carsic landscape with rocks of several shapes, as example the Nau dos Corvos (Crows Ship), a geological formation known to resemble a boat and to be full of crows and other seabirds.
In Cape Carvoeiro you will notice the existence of a 25m high lighthouse, built by the fact that there are countless shipwrecks in the area.
You can’t miss the Chapel Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, in the interior see the tiles by the master António de Oliveira Bernardes. Other attraction is the Furninha Cave, a natural beauty, with vestiges of the Middle Palaeolithic period.
The Peninsula of Peniche represents a unique systematic register of 20 million years of Portuguese geological history, through a geological succession of sedimentary carbonate rocks strata of the Jurassic Age. You can see it all near by the Cape Carvoeiro.
Papôa, an unforgettable landscape
After Cape Carvoeiro, continue to Papôa, by car is only 5 minutes away. In the north of Peniche, you will find a small limestone peninsula and a volcanic gap known as Papôa.
Here you will enjoy a unique view and notice the action of the sea against the rocks and its enigmatic forms.
The rock formation at Papôa, presents a carsic model and it is a very famous fishing spot, offering spectacular views over the sea and excellent spots for birdwatching.
After Papôa, begans the Becah of Baleal, a paradise for surfers when the wind blows from the south-east.
Curious facts about Papôa: the Spanish galleon San Pedro de Alcantara in 1786, set sail from Peru to Cadiz (Spain), completely loaded with treasures and precious metals shipwrecked in Pâpoa coast.
The recovery of precious metals involved more than 40 divers from all over Europe and was one of the most expensive operations ever.
Baleal and Island a kind of 2 in 1 that you can not fail
Most say´s that Baleal is the best beach in Peniche. Its fine sand and usual calm waters, transform it in a perfect place to spend a beautiful beach day.
In addition, the unique conditions that Peniche offers to sport lovers, specially surfers, make it one of the most frequented beaches.
Then, of course, the safety conditions ensured by lifeguards, the quality validated by the Blue Flag, make this beach a destination more than desirable.
As if that is not enough, the beach is full of bars, restaurants, surf camps, which transform the day and night into a kind of international pilgrimage.
When you pass the Baleal, you will find Baleal Island, a sandbar with connection to the continental shore, where the night turns into fun events for everyone.
Supertubos, the world surf mecca
To conclude, we must recommend Supertubos, yes, a beach famous for surf lovers who want to have some pretty waves, and are the best for … yes, the best ones to get some “tubes”.
This beach gained such a worldwide relevance, that in 2011 entered in the circuit of the World Surf League. Because of that, the great surf stars, come to Peniche to get the best waves in October, year after year.
The beach Supertubos is at the entrance of the city of Peniche to those who come from the IP6.