If you think that Supertubos is the only cavern and/or attraction in Peniche and surrounds, well, you’re not alone. Surfing tends to take centre stage anytime anyone mentions or asks about Peniche, and for good reason. But, there are plenty of other interesting sights and activities to dip into.
Here’s our visitors’ guide to some of the best sightseeing and entertainment options in and around Peniche.
Things to do, for those who want to feel like they’re still surfing.
For those of you who can’t bear the thought of being out of the water and missing all those bombing barrels, there are a few great options that, along with a little imagination, will make you feel like you’re still surfing.
First up are a number of points of interest in Peniche or nearby, where the local builders and architects love of archways, tunnels and curvaceous spaces, makes the illusion of getting shacked on dry land a little more believable.
These include Fortaleza de Peniche – the historic fort at the heart of central Peniche, Obidos – the charming medieval village less than 20 kilometres away, São Martinho do Porto and just about any church you come across.
In almost all of them, the high walls and vaulted ceilings are awash with azulejos (Portugal’s famous blue tiles), giving you the sense that you might still be behind the crystal curtain.
And as most religions might advise you, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and when it comes to churches in Portugal, bigger is not always better. In fact, the most interesting and colourful church in Peniche is one of its smallest – Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Another great option to get those green room vibes without getting into the water is Parque Merendas Ferrel. This tranquil pine forest, just a few kilometres from all of the popular surf spots around Baleal is perfect for taking a short hike, escaping the summer heat or packing a picnic.
Other excellent places to sit back and connect with nature include the unique rock formations surrounding Peniche’s Cabo Carvoeiro Lighthouse, the cliff-top walkways along the Passadiços da Foz do Arelho and the peaceful and virtually private stretch of beach stretching from Almagreira to Praia D’El Rey. All of which offer stunning sunset views.
Things to do, for foodies and those who need their daily dose of salt.
If you’re like us, you’ll love exploring the local markets and supermarkets and picking up fresh local produce, cheeses and wines for that picnic. But no meal is complete without a pinch of salt and Salinas de Rio Maior, 45 kilometres due East of Peniche, provides a unique taste of this staple seasoning and how it’s made.
Atlantic saltwater is piped all the way inland to this sun-kissed valley and dried out in a series of manmade salt pans. It’s a unique sight to see and the entire village is built around salt production. It can come across as a bit touristy, but it’s a great place to pick up a variety of natural sea salt products and savour dishes that celebrate it.
Had too much salt? We’ve got a super suggestion for that too.
Especially for those who appreciate their artisanal products in liquid form.
Bar No.1 Peniche is Peniche’s only dedicated craft beer bar featuring 14 different beers on tap and many more in cans and bottles. They also offer tasting paddles, so you can try a few or all of them, and have a great menu of snacks and dishes that pair perfectly with the pints on offer.
It’s a seriously refreshing change from Super Bock and Sagres’ stranglehold on most of Portugal’s other bars.
Even more tasty things for foodies to do can be found in our guide to the best restaurants in Peniche.
Things to do, for those who can’t sit still, even on a lay day.
For those who like a little more action in any attraction, check out Lagoa de Obidos, go go-karting, find or flex your surfskating skills or book at the local tennis club.
Lagoa de Obidos
For some flat water fun and a way to get your feet wet even on a lay day, head to Lagoa de Obidos and try your hand at kayaking, kitesurfing, sailing or SUP-ing (stand up paddle boarding). This scenic lagoon is just 25 minutes drive from Peniche and connected to Foz do Arelho Beach, where you’ll also find a great selection of seaside bars and restaurants.
For those with a need for speed, adrenaline and friendly competition, there are two go-karting tracks nearby Peniche. Dinokart is just 12 kilometres away on the road to Lourinhã and a little further inland you’ll find Kiro-Karting in Bombarral.
Skating & Surfskating
Stretching from central Peniche, all the way to Ferrel, you’ll find almost 10 kilometres of pedestrian and bike paths, where you can flex or find your surfskating skills. There’s also a decent skatepark situated next to the fortified walls of downtown Peniche. And for the exhibitionists among you, there’s a fun little halfpipe that always draws a crowd, in front of the hip hotel and hostel, Selina Peniche.
Neighbouring the Peniche skatepark, you’ll also find everything you need to live out your fantasies of playing in the French Open. Clube de Ténis de Peniche has two clay courts available for rent in a great location just behind Peniche’s ancient walls.
Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in and around Peniche, and everything from Lisbon’s lively neighbourhoods to the Nazaré Lighthouse big wave surfing museum is less than an hour’s drive away, just let us know your interests and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful tips for making the most of your Peniche holiday or surf trip, with or without waves.
For all those days when there are waves though, at least 300 of them a year, be sure to check out our stash of surfboards to rent in Peniche and save the hassle of having to bring your own.