There’s no doubt in our minds that Portugal is one of the top European hotspots for travelers. The weather, the food, the people, the culture, and the scenery just make it a spectacular place to visit. All of these factors are exemplified by Peniche, a rocky peninsula with a proud fishing history. These days, it’s an up-and-coming tourist destination popular with surfers. But is Peniche worth visiting?
Whether you’re a surfer or not, we really think it is. There’s so much beauty and history to explore, packed into a tiny area. If you’re looking to get away from it all, then Peniche might be the paradise you’re craving. It’s an idyllic seaside Portuguese town.
The entire country of Portugal is worth visiting. However, there’s something special about Peniche. Below, you’ll find seven reasons why we think this is a particular destination worth considering. Keep reading to find out the answer to the question: is Peniche worth visiting?
Table of Contents
1) Surfing Paradise
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The most popular reason that travelers give for visiting Peniche is its unbeatable surf breaks. The huge waves make for epic rides out on the ocean. If you’re not a big surfer, though, then this is still a spot worth visiting. In fact, Peniche is probably the ideal place for beginner surfers to improve their technique.
First of all, there’s the fact that the waves break over sand. This means that you’ve got a soft surface to land on if you’re prone to falling off. For anyone looking to improve their surfing technique without the risk of being cut up by jagged rocks, Peniche is the ideal location.
Second, the waves in Peniche aren’t as big as they are in other locations. This is especially true in the summer. You can use this as a location to practice your techniques on the smaller waves before graduating to something more hardcore.
Maybe you’re not interested in surfing at all. If so, is Peniche worth visiting? Well, yes. You’ll still get to enjoy the laid-back, welcoming, and international attitude that comes with being among a surfing community.
2) Unrivaled Beaches
If you have no interest in watersports, you’ll still want to visit the beautiful town of Peniche. These soft sandy beaches are good for more than just dragging a surfboard through. Whether you want to ride a horse along the waterfront or sunbathe with a good book in hand, Peniche is for you.
The peninsula is home to countless idyllic beaches. Find one that matches your vibe, whether you’re looking for a tranquil retreat or a lively Portuguese party. The most highly-rated beach spots include Praia dos Supertubos, Baleal Beach, and Praia de Peniche de Cima. Wherever you stay, you’re bound to be just a stone’s throw from an epic beach.
There are few things that are as calming as being by the ocean. Feel the joy of the sand between your toes as you listen to the crashing of the waves. Portugal does this better than almost any other country and Peniche is perhaps the best destination for beach-lovers.
While parts of Portugal can hit truly scorching temperatures, the coastal location of Peniche keeps it cool. If you want a summer that rarely tops 70°F, then find accommodation near a beach in Peniche.
3) Famous Forts
Are you worried about a beach vacation becoming boring? Maybe you’re more into history and culture. In this case, is Peniche worth visiting? Well, yes – Peniche has you covered there as well. Due to its coastal location, the town was historically used to build marine fortifications. While these are no longer used, they welcome tourists looking to discover history.
The most famous tourist attraction is the Fort of Peniche. This is built on the remains of a 16th Century castle so it simply oozes history. The fort has a dark past, however, serving as a political prison under the repressive Estado Novo regime. It can be a little bit creepy but that’s just part of the fun.
Explore these old buildings among some of Europe’s most spectacular natural scenery. This makes for a wonderful hike to get some exercise and enjoy the exploration that comes with travel. So if you’re ever bored of lounging around on a beach, remember that Peniche offers so much more.
Other historical sites worth visiting include the Fortress São João Baptista and the Cabo Carvoeiro Lighthouse. Even if you have a few weeks booked in this part of the world, you’re unlikely to run out of things to do.
4) Escape the Crowds
These days, tourists are increasingly looking to escape mass tourism. Are you bored of crowded streets, tourist traps, and overpriced restaurants? You can avoid all of this by visiting Peniche. It’s a chance to retreat into nature and enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace of life. This is the perfect opportunity to lower your cortisol levels.
Many visitors to Portugal visit more lively cities like Lisbon and Porto. While these are definitely worth traveling to, they won’t suit someone who prefers peace and quiet. Lisbon, for instance, has a population of half a million. Peniche’s population? Just 15,000. This offers a completely different scene.
You won’t struggle to find some alone time. Whether hiking over the cliffs or strolling down the beach at sunset, don’t let other humans ruin your day. Come to a small town like Peniche, support the local economy, and actually use your vacation time to properly relax.
The town of Peniche is large enough to have all the amenities you need to live comfortably. At the same time, it feels quite rural and remote. It’s a chance to enjoy the best of both worlds, giving you instant access to nature and human contact, depending on what you’re craving.
5) Enjoy the Dramatic Scenery
Portugal’s cities, with all their culture and lively atmosphere, are well worth the trip. However, you should never neglect the natural beauty of this Mediterranean country. By visiting Peniche, you’ll be at the heart of this spectacular scenery. From the moment you leave your accommodation, you’ll be surrounded by dramatic natural beauty.
It’s particularly known for its jagged cliff faces upon which the waves crash. Hikers in these areas should be cautious. If you love the majesty and drama of nature, then Peniche is for you. It’s not a tropical paradise with gentle turquoise water and perfectly white sandy beaches. It’s something altogether more exciting than that.
Hike a coastal path to take in the sheer beauty that this part of Portugal has to offer. Along the way, you can take shelter in cafes and bars, run by friendly locals cooking up hearty meals. The perfectly diagonal stripes that line the cliffs are a sight to behold and not something you’ll easily find elsewhere.
There’s something special about the ocean. It connects you to Portugal’s seafaring history and puts you in the shoes of ancient explorers. It’s also just incredibly calming, yet simultaneously awe-inspiring.
6) Learn About Portugal’s Fishing History
Portugal has a long coastline and, therefore, has been heavily dependent on the sea. This is where locals found food to feed the people and the starting point for navigating the world. That’s why the Portuguese Empire was comparable of that of Spain or Great Britain. That’s also why Portuguese culture is known around the globe.
When visiting Peniche, you can’t help but be aware of the importance of fishing in this small town’s history. For many years, it was the main source of wealth and the largest employer. Is Peniche worth visiting for this reason alone? Absolutely. It’s important to explore this proud and prominent past.
During your travels to Peniche, you’ll find islands with decaying fishermen’s huts, museums dedicated to the vocation, and lighthouses that once guided ships to safety. By exploring the fortresses, you’ll also get to learn more about the marine history of the area. Even if you’re not into fishing yourself, these stories are worth discovering.
7) Visit a Nearby Archipelago
Being a peninsula, Peniche feels a bit like being on an island. You’re completely surrounded by sea after all. However, maybe you want to actually go to an island and enjoy the feeling of being somewhere even more remote. From Peniche, this is entirely possible. Many people visiting the town will head to the Berlengas Archipelago.
Located a short 10 km boat ride away, the Berlengas Archipelago is easy to reach. Nobody lives there permanently, meaning it really does feel like you’re escaping civilization. It’s a great day trip to explore the untamed Portuguese wilderness. These islands are no paradise so expect to be battered by the high winds.
However, they are truly beautiful and spectacular. They’re also the location of some forts and a lighthouse, which are open to be explored by the public. You’ll also spot some traditional fishermen’s huts, which are an important relic of Portuguese history. Anyone who loves the combination of nature and culture has to come to Peniche for its nearby archipelago.
Is Peniche Portugal worth visiting? ›
Peniche is the perfect destination for your tour around Portugal. If you choose to stay in Lisbon you can visit this lovely coastal town on a one day tour around the neighbouring cities. Spend an amazing day visiting the Berlengas archipelago and exploring the UNESCO Biosphere World Heritage Site.Why visit Peniche Portugal? ›
Peniche is a hard-working fishing town, which has transformed into a popular tourist destination due to the regions outstanding beaches. These beaches are famed for their unique surfing waves, and a high portion of visitors to the Peniche region come here to either surf or to learn how to.Should I go to Peniche? ›
The huge waves make for epic rides out on the ocean. If you're not a big surfer, though, then this is still a spot worth visiting. In fact, Peniche is probably the ideal place for beginner surfers to improve their technique.What is Peniche Portugal known for? ›
Peniche is known for its long beaches, which are popular for recreational activities and sports such as surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding and kite surfing. These beaches are consistently windy and have good surf breaks with Supertubos, i.e., waves forming fast and powerful tubes, considered among the best in Europe.What is the number one tourist attraction in Portugal? ›
Saint George's Castle or Castelo de São Jorge in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon is the number one tourist attraction in Portugal. The castle receives over 2 million visitors every year.What is the most important thing about Portugal? ›
Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. It has had the same defined borders since 1139. It's no surprise that Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries with over 236 million people speaking it around the world.Why do people vacation in Portugal? ›
In Portugal you can find a unique cultural and religious heritage, where tradition and modernity combine in harmony, a mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year, 850 kms of splendid beaches, an amazing range of different landscapes just a short distance away, lots of leisure activities.Why do people love Portugal so much? ›
This country has delicious food, great vineyards, gorgeous beaches, and the fascinating history travelers crave. This 2022, according to My Dolce Casa's study, Portugal got first place as the favorite destination to move or retire for Americans.Is it worth going to Nazare? ›
The beautiful beach town of Nazaré, Portugal is absolutely worth visiting for any type of traveler. The town features several huge Atlantic beaches, excellent places to eat, and many different things to do. Nazare Portugal is a highly recommended destination for surfers because the beaches get hit with huge waves.Is Peniche Portugal a good place to live? ›
Peniche is a living region that is committed to the future. Real estate prices in Peniche are very low for a seaside town just over an hour from Lisbon. A seaside town close to Lisbon, the countryside or many beaches.
Is Peniche good for beginner surfers? ›
Peniche is a great place to learn how to surf. There are many surf schools located in and around town, so there is something for every level of surfer.Where is pretty in Portugal? ›
Lisbon. The capital city of Lisbon rightly tops just about every traveller's Portugal bucket list. One of the prettiest cities in Portugal and in the whole of Europe, Lisbon is a mosaic of winding streets, open plazas, stunning churches and miradouro lookouts waiting to be discovered.Where do the rich and famous live in Portugal? ›
This is where, in the most exclusive regions of Portugal. Where do the rich live in Portugal? Where do the rich live in Portugal? Lisbon, Oeiras, Cascais, Sintra, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are the municipalities with the highest concentration of population with the highest income in the country.What is the most luxurious city in Portugal? ›
By far, Lisbon is the most expensive city in Portugal. Not only in terms of real estate properties but also in the cost of living.What is the cleanest city in Portugal? ›
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the updated air quality barometer in European cities, which includes more than 340 cities, Umeå is the cleanest city in Europe in terms of air quality, followed by Faro and then Funchal.What is the most visited city in Portugal? ›
No 1) Lisbon
Lisbon is one of the world's greatest capital cities, and has to be the first place you visit in Portugal. It is a city which has it all for tourists: history, nightlife, culture and most importantly, fun.
- Fado music. Fado has a special place in every Portuguese person's heart. ...
- Cristiano Ronaldo's birthplace. ...
- Codfish obsession. ...
- Home to Port wine. ...
- 300+ days of sun. ...
- The largest cork producer in the world. ...
- The site of the Miracle of Fatima. ...
- The country of azulejo tiles.
|Rank||Destination||International tourist arrivals (2018)|
|3||United States||79.7 million|
United States - 79.3M. China - 65.7M. Italy - 64.5M. Turkey - 51.2M.What are 3 facts about Portugal? ›
- Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe. ...
- The oldest operating bookstore in the world is located in Lisbon. ...
- Portugal is one of the most peaceful countries. ...
- There are over 250 million Portuguese speakers around the globe.
What is the most popular food in Portugal? ›
What food is Portugal known for? The most popular Portuguese food is bacalhau or dried, salted cod, with more than 365 different ways to prepare it.Why do so many Americans go to Portugal? ›
Living in Portugal provides a wide array of advantages. The fantastic climate, great quality of life, and affordable cost of living are just some of the reasons many Americans choose to live in Portugal. Portugal has, in many ways, become the European country to move to.What attracts people to Portugal? ›
Portugal's natural beauty, warm weather, and welcoming culture have attracted visitors for many years and its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities continue to win hearts and minds.Are Portugal people friendly? ›
Portuguese people are known for being a very welcoming nation and receive other people with great joy. While first impressions in some cases may tell you otherwise, the majority of Portuguese people will make you feel right at home and will happily go out of their way to help, making them great hosts.Do people hug in Portugal? ›
It is common for friends to greet each other with a hug. Among men who are close to one another, they will often shake hands and engage in a light hug or a light pat on the back. Men greeting women usually wait for the woman to offer her hand before engaging in a handshake.Why is Portugal so peaceful? ›
There are many reasons why Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. One of the key reasons is down to the political climate in the country, which has been stable for years. In addition to this, Portugal has some of the lowest crime rates in Europe.Are people in Portugal happy? ›
In 2022, the country rose in the general ranking and now ranks 4th in the world (behind Mexico, Indonesia and Taiwan) and 1st in the European continent. According to the survey, 85% of the expatriates are happy with life in Portugal.Can you walk around Peniche? ›
On a trip to Central Portugal, Peniche should be at the top of your list of coastal towns to visit! It is a great destination for exploring and walking around the city, or for a delightful beach holiday.Is Portugal nicer than Spain? ›
Affordable living, residency, easy access to social activities, and a pleasant year-round climate make Portugal preferable to Spain. However, each person has their own experience and perspective on the two countries. It is impossible to say that one is better than the other, prettier, or richer in culture.Is Peniche expensive? ›
Past travelers have spent, on average, €33 ($35) on meals for one day and €43 ($46) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Peniche for a couple is €80 ($85). So, a trip to Peniche for two people for one week costs on average €1,366 ($1,464).
Is Lisbon or Porto more fun? ›
LISBON IS KNOWN FOR IT'S NIGHTLIFE
If you're looking for a party and a good nightlife scene, Lisbon should be your top pick when deciding between Lisbon or Porto. In fact, Lisbon has gained a reputation for being one of the best party capitals in the world.
Q: Can I drink tap water? A: Yes.Is it worth it to go to Nazaré? ›
The beautiful beach town of Nazaré, Portugal is absolutely worth visiting for any type of traveler. The town features several huge Atlantic beaches, excellent places to eat, and many different things to do. Nazare Portugal is a highly recommended destination for surfers because the beaches get hit with huge waves.Do I need a car in Peniche? ›
You don´t need a rental car in Peniche, but it will make your life easier and you can surf more. In Lisbon you will find all the usual car rental companies.Is Italy or Portugal cheaper? ›
Cost of Living
Portugal is cheaper than Italy, particularly when it comes to eating out. Overall, Portugal is a cheaper place to buy and rent property, however some parts of Portugal (like Lisbon) are above average in terms of cost.
When it comes to the cost of living, retirement in Portugal is even cheaper, but in the grand scheme of things, both countries offer affordable living compared to other countries in Europe. Spain is also known for living a healthy lifestyle thanks to the Mediterranean cuisine and outdoor lifestyle.Why retire to Portugal? ›
If you dream of retiring in Europe, Portugal should be on your list of possible new homes. It's one of the most affordable European countries and many people speak English, especially in the main cities and on the coast. There are sunny beaches in Algarve, wine in Porto and a historic metropolis in Lisbon.What is the most expensive part of Portugal? ›
It is important to note that Lisbon and Cascais are the most expensive cities in Portugal, followed by Porto. As opposed to the expensive cities, Braga, Viseu, and Coimbra are the most affordable places you can find in Portugal.What is the most expensive area in Portugal? ›
Topping the ranking in 2022 is Rua Alto do Duque, located in Belém (Lisbon) and it is here that you can find some of the most expensive houses in Portugal. Average property prices on the street stood at 4,440,000 euros in July.Are clothes cheaper in Portugal? ›
In the main chain stores, the prices are a bit cheaper when compared to other European cities – so that is a plus and you can find cheaper things regarding clothes, shoes, accessories and purses.
Which part of Portugal is the coolest? ›
The coldest area of Portugal is around Porto, in the north. Porto sees a lot of rain in the winter.Which is the best Portugal or Italy? ›
Firstly, the Global Peace Index 2021 ranks Portugal as the fourth-safest country to live in, while Italy is ranked at thirty-two. Of course, this doesn't mean Italy is completely unsafe, but an environment where you don't have to worry about your safety is an added benefit for older people.How many days in Portugal is enough? ›
Any Portugal travel itinerary should be a minimum of seven days long to ensure you can immerse yourself in the local culture, customs, and traditions. Those with more time can enjoy traveling further afield or staying longer in one destination to scratch beneath the surface.