Section 12 - Centro Portugal

Peniche / Foz do Arelho

Peniche has numerous beaches along its coast and has a vast cultural heritage including the forts and religious monuments.

A few miles from the Carvoeiro Cape is the Berlengas Archipelago, classified as Natural Reserve. Due to the biological value of the surrounding marine area this is a popular destination for divers. It also has high interest botanical and bird life and the airo (Uria aalge) is the most emblematic bird of Berlengas. On the island of Berlenga is recommended to visit the S. João Baptista Fortress, the Duque de Bragança Lighthouse and the beach of Carreiro do Mosteiro. Visits can also be made to the caves through small boats.

In the north of Peniche the coast extends over several kilometres and the Lagido, Baleal and Almagreira beaches of are places to visit. The Lagido and Supertubos beaches together host the Rip Curl Pro Portugal competiton.

Following the route the landscape is still dominated by beaches – d’El Rei, Covões, King Cortiço and Bom Sucesso – until you reach the Óbidos Lagoon. This lagoon is the longer coastal lagoon system in the Portuguese coast, where the birdlife and bivalve molluscs are the ecological groups with greater relevance. Here you see the bateiras, typical boats of this ecosystem.

The route goes around the lagoon near the town of Óbidos, a place that deserves a visit. Within the walls of this picturesque village lie the Castle and a labyrinth of streets with white houses and numerous examples of religious architecture – Santa Maria Church, Misericórdia Church, S. Pedro Church and the Pelourinho. Outside the walls are the Aqueduct and the Sanctuary of Jesus Stone. The visit should not end without appreciating the Ginjinha de Óbidos, available in several shops.

Further north you can also visit the Caldas da Rainha. The caricaturist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro was born in this town and he founded the Stoneware Factories of Portugal where it started producing the popular dishes of Caldas. To walk in this area the D. Carlos I Park and the Rainha D. Leonor Forest are recommended. It is also suggested a visit to the Ceramic Museum and the Hospital and Caldas Museum.

The route ends in Foz do Arelho, in the confluence of the Óbidos Lagoon where there are two types of beach: on one side the quietest conditions of the lagoon and on the other the sea.


Points of Interest

Heritage: 24
  • 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...

  • Óbidos is a mediaeval walled town, where the many churches and intricate network of narrow streets bordered by beautiful white houses give visitors the feeling that they have been taken back in time.

    The museum has a collection of sacred...

  • This church was built in 1186 at the orders of Dom Sancho I. It was a collegiate church serving the castle.

    After being completely razed to the ground by the earthquake in 1755, the church's reconstruction work ended in 1778, resulting in a...

  • Founded by the Queen Dona Leonor in the 15th century, this church has an important set of artistic treasures. One of the most significant images is the old blue porcelain statue of the Virgin Mary, which can be seen in the entrance...

  • Built in the late 13th/early 14th century, this was the Collegiate Church of St. Peter.

    It was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, and all that remained from the original building was the carved and gilded wooden high altar with its throne...

  • This is a lovely fourteenth-century chapel, of very simple architecture, with a fine portal in the façade. Inside there are some medieval tombs.

  • The Convento de São Miguel das Gaeiras, a Franciscan monastery, was founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, the son of Dom Manuel I, in 1569, and transferred to its current site in 1602.

    Today, it displays signs of having been harmoniously...

  • The Rua Direita leads to the Praça de Santa Maria, dominated by the church with its white bell tower and a lovely Renaissance portal. At the time when the Moors were the lords of the region, this was the site on which they built their mosque. When...

  • Everywhere throughout the town, its mediaeval flavour is always evident. The whole town is surrounded by high walls and the urban structure is clearly defined by the castle, the entrances to the town and the parade ground.

  • This originally Gothic chapel was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century. It has been the home of the Third Order of St. Francis since 1730.

    Amongst the notable features on the inside of the chapel are the Spanish-Moorish tiles of the high...

  • Also known as the Capela de São João de Moxarro, this chapel was once a temple dedicated to Jupiter.

    Rebuilt in the 14-15th century, it has a majestic west-facing Gothic portal. Attention is drawn to the double-arched ribbed vaulting...

  • Outside the walls of Óbidos, be sure to visit this sanctuary, with its external hexagonal shape and pyramidal green glazed roof. It was built between 1740-47, at the height of the Baroque period, but the details were never finished, which may be why...

  • Officially created in 1983, the Ceramics Museum is housed in the Quinta Visconde de Sacavém, acquired for this purpose by the state in 1981.

    Having begun as a small group of pieces acquired by the Portuguese state, together with pieces from...

  • This chapel, which has been classified as a Building of Public Interest, was built in the first years of the town's life, being intended for the use of the rural population who were gradually moving into Caldas.

    It was remodelled in the...

  • Dating back to the end of the 15th century, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo was the chapel of the spa hospital founded by the queen, Dona Leonor.

    Architecturally, it belongs to the early Manueline cycle, its bell-tower being most...

  • The António Duarte (1912-1998) Atelier and Museum was inaugurated in 1985, after the donation made by sculptor António Duarte of his art collection to his hometown, the city of Caldas da Rainha. The initial idea was to provide the building with a...

  • The museum, dedicated to the work of José Malhoa, was created in 1933, a few months before the painter’s death, and housed temporarily in the Casa dos Barcos, in the Parque Dom Carlos I, graciously provided and improved by the Spa Hospital. The...

  • 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...

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: 24 Information: 2 Bike Shops: 3 Accommodation - Campsite: 3 Accommodation - Hotel: 1 Safety: 3 Hospital/Health Center: 3 Pharmacy: 12

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Section 12

Peniche / Foz do Arelho: 54

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Information
  • Bike Shops
  • Accommodation - Campsite
  • Accommodation - Hotel
  • Safety
  • Hospital/Health Center
  • Pharmacy