Section 11 - Centro Portugal

Santa Cruz / Peniche

In Santa Cruz there is a beach with the same name with a long sandy, light-colored and rock formations that make it a very popular seaside resort. To the far south the Ponta da Vigia cliffs form a series of rocky outcrops among which the Penedo do Guincho.

Then the route leads to the parish of A-dos-Cunhados and Maceira in which besides the beaches it is recommended to visit the ruins of Penafirme Convent near the Santa Rita Beach , the New Monastery, the prehistoric caves and Porto Novo Fort.

The route continues a little away from the coast until Vimeiro where is located the Interpretation Centre of the Battle of Vimeiro, which allows the visitor to have a vision of the battle that happened here.

Further north is Santa Bárbara, a town of strong sense of religiosity in which you can visit the Fonte Lima Park in addition to the religious heritage.

From here the route returns the coast, crossing the region of Lourinhã. This place combines the beauty of the beaches – especially the Areia Branca, Vale Frades, Caniçal and Paimogo beaches – with the productivity of fertile land. The points of historical and architectural interest include: the Santo António Convent, the Misericórdia Church, the Castelo Church and the Paimogo Fort.

A long time ago dinosaurs lived in this place and to better know their history it is recommended to visit the Lourinhã Museum.

The end of this section is in Peniche near to the Carvoeiro Cape. Peniche is located on a peninsula and is characterized by its beaches, including the Consolation, Medão Grande, Supertubos which is known for its tubular waves perfect for surfing and bodyboarding and Molhe Leste; for its cultural heritage – Peniche Fort – and its religious monuments – Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church, S. Pedro Church, Misericórdia Church and Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Chapel; and for the crafts – the “rendas de Bilros”.

Photos:;; N. V. Azevedo;; (2)

Points of Interest

Heritage: 17
  • The fortifications have an irregular shape because of the rocks at the base of the walls, which consist of four defensive ramparts. The fortress rises up from the rock to the south of the peninsula of Peniche, which was once an island.

  • Cabo Carvoeiro is located on the far western corner of the peninsular of Peniche, in a zone of great beauty due to the curious geological formations that have been sculpted by the sea over time, such as the Nau dos Corvos, a large boulder which...

  • The Igreja de São Pedro is located in the heart of Peniche's historic centre and is the largest church in the district.

    Dating from the end of the 16th century, the church is divided into a central nave and two side aisles. In each of the...

  • Situated inside the western jetty of the port of Peniche, the Marina da Ribeira has 140 berths for boats up to 15 metres in length and with draughts of less than 4 metres, 20 of which are reserved for transient moorages. Besides the usual facilities...

  • Dating from the end of the 17th century, the church of Our Lady of the Conception in Atouguia da Baleia is a baroque church, attributed to the architect João Antunes, built thanks to the donations that were made by the local population and some...

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  • The fort is located next to the beach of the same name. The gate is crowned by the royal coat of arms. The bridge over the moat is supported by two vaulted galleries.

  • Lourinhã Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary and also known as Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo, is a Gothic monument from the second half of the 14th century. There were two separate phases in its building: the first phase has been attributed to...

  • The Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Peniche Museum Centre is composed of the Igreja da Irmandade (Church of the Brethren) and its outbuildings.

    The walls of the main section of the church are lined with 55 paintings that, together with others...

  • Dated 1626, the architectural value of this church lies in its extremely interesting stone doorway, carved in the characteristic Manueline style.

  • Classified as a national monument, the Convento de Santo António belonged to the Franciscan order and was founded in 1598.

    The monastery originally consisted of a small church and a small number of houses used for retreat purposes. On 17...

  • This church dating from the beginning of the 17th century belongs to the charitable institution known as Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Peniche.

    Annexed to the former hospital of this institution, the inside of the church boasts an...

  • Situated close to the coast, in the far west of the peninsula of Peniche, this chapel forms the basis for a shrine devoted to the cult of the Virgin Mary. The date when this church was founded is not known, although it is believed to have been built...

Nature: 2
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  • At a distance of around 10 km from Peniche, the Berlengas Archipelago is a natural haven maintained in a virtually unspoilt state. Constituted by three groups of small islands - Estelas, Farilhões and Berlenga - the zone maintains extensive...

Beach: 36 Information: 1 Bike Shops: 2 Accommodation - Campsite: 4 Accommodation - Youth Hostels: 2

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Comments: Section 11

Section 11

Santa Cruz / Peniche: 49

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Information
  • Bike Shops
  • Accommodation - Campsite
  • Accommodation - Youth Hostels