Peniche is a peninsula with sea on three sides and is known for its long sandy beaches (praias), popular for recreational activities and sports such as surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding and kite surfing. The large beach at Supertubos to the south of Peniche is a continuation of the sands at Praia da Consolacao by The Silver Seahorse and is host to the annual Rip Curl Surfing World Championships. The sandy beach of Baleal approximately 3km north from the town centre is also very popular with surfers and families alike. A man-made road of 100 metres of sand connects the Island of Baleal to the mainland. Peniche Museum is found in the Fortaleza (fortress) of Peniche and houses collections of archaeology. The Fortress is a former political prison and the small museum has a part dedicated to the anti-Fascist resistance movement, as well as sections of art, on boat making and local bobbin lace making. Along from the fortress is the scenic harbour and old harbour walls, and here you will find an array of restaurants and bars, leading down to a small town square where people gather outside cafes day and night. To the very west of the peninsula is the Cabo Carvoeiro and the famous rock formation of Nau dos Corvos that is one of Peniche’s landmarks. The Berlengas Islands, form a nature reserve about 10 kilometres from the peninsula and can be visited on a day trip by taking a ferryboat from Peniche harbour.
Set in 35 hectares of grounds the beautiful, peaceful Asian gardens at Quinta dos Loridos is the largest oriental garden in Europe. Created by wealthy Portuguese art patron José Berardo as a homage to great spiritual monuments following the Taliban’s malicious destruction of the giant statues in Afghanistan. With lakes, manicured botanical gardens, sculptures, giant Buddhas & seven hundred terracotta soldiers – each one a unique copy of those that were buried 2,200 years ago – be sure to take your camera! Its central lake houses Japanese Koi carp and sculpted dragons rise out of the water.
The walled town of Óbidos is a popular year-round tourist destination. Located on a hilltop it is a fine example of Medieval architecture with its castle, churches, a maze of quaint cobbled streets and squares. There are a variety of shops, restaurants and very old stone-walled bars. The local liqueur drink ‘Ginja’ (a type of cherry brandy) is sold everywhere, often to passersby as a shot in small a chocolate cup. A number of annual events take place inside the castle walls of Óbidos including a four-week long Chocolate Festival, open-air concerts of classical music and opera, and a Christmas market and wonderland with an ice rink. In July each year, the castle and town are home to a Medieval Market with stalls selling traditional handicrafts, local restaurants and taverns offering medieval type meals and street entertainment such as jesters, jugglers and jousting knights. Nearby is one of Europe’s top golf courses and resorts, the famous Praia D’el Rey complex and Royal Óbidos – Spa & Golf Resort where golfers can enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Caldas Da Rainha is the main town with the local beach of Foz do Arelho, which links the Óbidos Lagoon to the sea being a popular spot for fresh fish and seafood direct from the Lagoon.
Dino Park (Dino Parque)
The Dinosaur Park at Lourinha is Portugal’s and Europe’s largest open-air museum and theme park dedicated to dinosaurs with over 120 full-sized models in a natural setting. The park is based on the theme ‘Science is Fun’ and is aimed at all age groups, designed to educate and entertain. Original fossils are exhibited here and the park also has a laboratory where visitors can observe their formation.