Peniche, Portugal

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Flag of Peniche
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 geologists[3][4] a unique example of the Toarcian turnover during the worldwide Early Jurassic extinction.[5][6][7]

Peniche is known for its long beaches, which are popular for recreational activities and sports such as surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding and kite surfing. These beaches are consistently windy and have good surf breaks with supertubos, i.e., waves forming fast and powerful tubes, considered among the best in Europe. The area has been called the "European Pipeline", after the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii.

The Berlengas islands, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) offshore from the peninsula, are part of the municipality. They form one of the world's first nature reserves. In summer, the islands can be visited by taking a ferryboat from Peniche.

Peniche, with its scenic harbour, white windmills, chapels and long sandy beaches has inspired famous artists like Maurice Boitel.


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


Besides schools for primary, secondary and vocational education, Peniche is home to 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):[8]

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 WSL (World championship tour of the World Surf League) in time for the autumn swells.


External links[edit]