The traditional fishing port of Peniche on Portugal's west coast is just an hour's drive north of Lisbon, making it perfect for a day excursion or a road trip around the country. A charming historic centre draws sightseeing enthusiasts, while the town's lovely beaches and huge ocean waves are a haven for avid surfers. Even if you don't come for the surfing, Peniche is worth visiting for plenty of other reasons, not least of which is the amazing fresh seafood you can get here. (Keep your eye out for Caldeirada, a Portuguese fish stew). If you're planning a trip to Portugal, definitely consider putting Peniche on the itinerary!
Surfing in Peniche
One of the main reasons visitors come to Peniche is for the stellar surfing. There are more than 30 popular surfing spots in and around the city that are considered some of the best in Europe, attracting thousands of surfers every year. The waves tend to be biggest in Autumn, but you can enjoy the surf in any season. Windsurfing, bodyboarding and kite surfing are also popular activities here!
Peniche has been a bustling port since ancient times. To sample a sense of its history, visit the Peniche Fortress (Fortaleza de Peniche), built by King John III in 1557, which now houses the Museu Municipal. The pristine white and blue Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is a beautiful spot on the coast, with intricate tilework inside. And just west of Peniche is the magnificent Berlengas Archipelago, a group of islands that you can visit from Peniche by boat (don't forget to check out the stunning Fort of Sao Joao Baptista while you're there).