Peniche, Portugal

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Flag of Peniche
Coat of arms of Peniche
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 39°21′N 9°22′W / 39.350°N 9.367°W / 39.350; -9.367Coordinates: 39°21′N 9°22′W / 39.350°N 9.367°W / 39.350; -9.367
Country  Portugal
Region Centro
Subregion Oeste
Intermunic. comm. Oeste
District Leiria
Parishes 4
 • President António Santos (CDU)
 • Total 77.55 km2 (29.94 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 27,753
 • Density 360/km2 (930/sq mi)
Time zone WET/WEST (UTC+0/+1)

Peniche (Portuguese pronunciation: [pˈniʃ]) is a seaside municipality and a city in Portugal. It is located in Oeste Subregion in formerly Estremadura Province. The population in 2011 was 27,753,[1] in an area of 77.55 km².[2] The city proper has about 15,600 inhabitants.

The present mayor is António Correia Santos, elected by the Unitarian Democratic Coalition.

History and landmarks[edit]

The city was built on a rocky peninsula which is considered by scientists [3] as a unique worldwide example of the Toarcian turnover during the Early Jurassic extinction.[4]

Peniche is also known for its long windy beaches, sought for recreational activities and sports such as surf, windsurf, Bodyboarding or kite surf. These beaches have very good waves. Supertubos, waves formed with very fast and powerful tubular movements, are very popular in the region and are considered of the best in Europe. Some call a supertubo the "European Pipeline".

The Berlengas islands, about six miles offshore from the peninsula, are part of the municipality. They are one of the world's first protected areas as nature reserve. In summer, the islands can be visited by taking a ferryboat from Peniche.

Peniche, with its typical harbour, its white windmills, chapels and large sand beaches has inspired famous artists like Maurice Boitel.


Since ancient times Peniche has been an important fishing harbour. Besides fisheries, the economy of Peniche municipality relies on agriculture, services and tourism.


Besides primary, secondary and vocational education, Peniche is home of a state-run polytechnic school of the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, which through its Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar de Peniche, awards academic degrees in marine technologies and tourism.


Administratively, the municipality is divided into 4 civil parishes (freguesias):[5]


Surfing in Peniche[edit]

Peniche is one of the best surfing locations in Europe. It has beaches and breaks facing in 3 distinctly different directions making it a very variable and consistent destination for surfers. Home to many surf camps/schools and recently the destination for the WCT of the ASP (World championship tour of Association of surfing professionals) in time for the autumn swells.


  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. ^ Direção-Geral do Território
  3. ^ Paper (pt) with English abstract
  4. ^ The Evolution of the Coastline at Peniche and Berlengas Islands – article by Teresa Azevedo and Elisabete Nunes
  5. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 93" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 July 2014. 

External links[edit]