Lovely towns

Seaside resort at shellshaped bay

São Martinho do Porto is a friendly village overlooking a famous shell shaped bay with a very narrow entrance from the sea. Because of this the water in the bay is very calm, which makes it ideal for a day at the beach with young children.

Although the number of fishermen is decreasing, they still catch fish and shellfish on a daily basis, which is often sold directly to the restaurants at the bay.

Every year many tourists from Portugal as well as from abroad visit the bay to swim, surf, sail or canoe, or to enjoy the sun on the beach. At night they go for a stroll on the promenade before they have dinner in one of the many restaurants.

Across the bay is Salir do Porto. It has a beach with a famous sand dune of almost 49 meters high. The beach is located near the river Tornada that flows into the São Martinho bay.

It is very nice to walk along the bay. Starting at the port you can walk either on the street or on the beach. From restaurant O Farol there is a boardwalk that takes you through the dunes, and gives you a good view on the variety of flora in the dunes. The boardwalk takes you across the river into Salir do Porto.

From the viewpoint Miradouro do Cruzeiro you have a great view over the bay, São Martinho do Porto, and the area. On a clear day you can even see Peniche and Nazaré.

The market is open every Tuesday to Sunday, offering you a wide range of vegetables, fruit and fish.

www.visit-sao-martinho-do-porto.com

Village with rich history

In 1385 the battle of Aljubarrota was fought between the Castilians and Portuguese aristocrats. Lead by João, the Portugese won the battle. This victory became symbol for the Portuguese independence of Spain. Out of gratitude for the victory, João commanded the construction of the monastry of Batalha, dedicated to Santa Maria da Vitória. After they died, João and his wife were buried in the monastry.

Every year in August the village of Aljubarotta organises a medieval festival.

At the tourist office you can get a map of Aljubarrota, with a nice walking route which takes you to all places of interest in the village.

 

Peniche is full of history

The town of Peniche is located on a peninsula. In the Roman ages Peniche was still an island, but over the years coast and island grew together. In the 17th century Peniche was developed into one of the strongest Portuguese sea fortresses.

Near the harbour is the Fortaleza, a fort that was built in the 17th century to defend the harbour and the town. Through the ages the Fortaleza had many functions. During Salazar’s dictatorial regime the fort was an important state prison. Political opponents of the regime were locked up and tortured in the Fortaleza. Nowadays the town’s museum and the fishing museum are located in the building.

There is a lighthouse on the Cabo Carvoeiro, the most western point of the peninsula. On clear days you have a beautiful view on the Berlenga islands and the coast south of Peniche.

On the southcoast of the peninsula is the Gruta da Furninha, a cave that was inhabited since prehistory. It is therefore the most important prehistoric archeological site of Peniche. Many objects were found, today they are on display in several museums, like the town museum.

Churches

In Peniche you can visit a number of churches and chapels:
- Igreja de São Pedro, Peniches largest church, dates back to the 16th century
- Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, an early 16th century church
- Capela de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, a pilgrimage church, there is a procession every 3rd Sunday of October
- Igreja da Misericórdia, an early 17th century church
- Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Conceição, a 17th century church

Every year, in the first weekend of August, Peniche celebrates the Festa de Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem, the feast of our lady of the good voyage.

From the harbour of Peniche you can take the boat to the Berlenga islands.

Surfing/beaches

There are many beaches to the north and south of Peniche. Most of these beaches are very popular with surfers because of the superb waves.

On this website you can see all beaches. Just click on the names for more information.

One of Portugal's major seaside resorts

Figueira da Foz is a lively and cosmopolitan seaside resort at the mouth of the Mondego River, it’s main asset is its wide and extensive sandy beach.

The beach is many kilometers long, and hundreds of meters wide. It stretches from the mouth of the Mondego to the fishing village Buarcos. Next to Buarcos is the Cabo Mondego, a limestone rock with lighthouse, quarries and browncoal mines.

Northwest of Cabo Mondego is the Serra da Boa Viagem. From the highest point, the Alto da Bandeira (258 meters) you have a fantastic view.

Every year, in the night 23 to 24 June, there is street party in the honor of São João, with parades, fireworks and folk dances.

In the Bairro Novo (new district) there are many hotels, restaurants, discos and a casino. Every year in September there is a film festival in Bairro Novo.

Some of the attractions in Figueira da Foz:
Igreja do Antigo Convento de Santo António (church of the old Santo António convent)
Capela de Santa Catarina (saint Catarina chapel)
Museu Municipal Santos Rocha (municipal museum Santos Rocha). On exhibition are findings from the stone age and the roman period, colonial art, ceramics, carpets, and contemporary art
Igreja Matriz de São Julião (mother church of São Julião)
Mercado Municipal Engenheiro Silva (municipal market halls)