If you are a surfing enthusiast or want to learn how to ride the waves, there is no better place to visit than Peniche. This charming town on the Atlantic coast of Portugal is known as the country’s surfing capital and one of the best surf spots in Europe.
Peniche is located on a peninsula and offers consistent swell and surf conditions all year round. The most famous beach in Peniche is Supertubos, where you can find powerful waves that form perfect tubes for surfers to ride. Supertubos is also home to one of the stages of the World Surf League Championship Tour, attracting some of the best surfers in the world every year. This is the place to go if you are looking for a challenge.
But Peniche is not only about Supertubos. There are many other spots to choose from, depending on your level and preference. You can always find a wave that suits your style and mood. You can also find many surf schools, camps, shops and rentals in Peniche, where you can learn from experienced instructors, rent or buy equipment, or join other surfers for a fun and memorable experience.
But what if surfing is not your thing? Don’t worry; Peniche has much more to offer than just surfing. You will find a lively and friendly vibe here, with many restaurants, bars and shops. The local cuisine, especially the seafood and grilled fish dishes, accompanied by the region’s wines, are worth the trip alone. You can also join in the festivities and events throughout the year, such as the Carnival, the Seafood Festival or the World Surf Championship.
Here are some of the best things to do in Peniche besides surfing:
Go west to Cabo Carvoeiro
Cabo Carvoeiro is a scenic cape on the western tip of the Peniche peninsula. The main attraction of Cabo Carvoeiro is its geological and landscape diversity, resulting from centuries of erosion by the sea and the wind. You can admire the impressive rock formations such as the Nau dos Corvos, a rock that resembles a ship’s bow. Another attraction of Cabo Carvoeiro is the Lighthouse of Cabo Carvoeiro, which was built in 1796 and still operates today.
Explore Fortaleza de Peniche
Fortaleza de Peniche is a historic fortress from the 17th century used as a prison during the dictatorship. You can learn about the history and culture of Peniche through its exhibitions and museums, such as the Museum of Resistance and Freedom, which tells the stories of political prisoners who fought for democracy in Portugal.
Visit Berlengas Island
Take a boat trip to Berlengas Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. These islands are a paradise for nature lovers, with their crystal-clear water, rocky cliffs and diverse wildlife. You can visit Berlenga Grande, which has a lighthouse and a fortress dating back to the 16th century, or Estelas and Farilhões-Forcado, which are home to many seabirds such as Cory’s shearwater and Band-rumped Storm-petrel.
Try the local seafood.
Peniche is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood, especially the sardines and the caldeirada, a fish stew. You can find many restaurants and markets that serve these specialities, as well as other dishes such as grilled octopus, lobster rice or seafood cataplana. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of local wine or beer.
Obidos is a charming medieval village less than 20 kilometres away from Peniche. You can walk along its cobblestone streets and admire its whitewashed houses adorned with flowers. Obidos is also known for its chocolate festival and ginjinha, a cherry liqueur served in chocolate cups.
How to get here
Peniche is easy to reach from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. You can take a bus from Lisbon Campo Grande to Peniche Tribunal, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can also take a taxi or drive from Lisbon to Peniche, which takes about 1 hour.
When to visit
The best time to visit Peniche is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny, and the water temperature is pleasant.