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New Frontier: Peniche, Portugal

Where the end of a world and the most western point of Europe tell the story of fishing, controversial industrial whaling, Portugal's peaceful resistance to fascism, and today’s new myth: becoming a Supertubos surfer!



Areal view of Baleal Island on the Peninsula of Peniche | All rights reserved


End of a world


Somewhere high up in snow-capped peaks, elsewhere at the end of a straight road bordered by the ocean, anywhere at the edge of a cliff, there is a ponto final [an end point].


The sense of finitude, the sense of eternity trigger human fascination for the world’s extremes on its extremities: Montauk, NY, Big Sur, CA, Key West, FL, Ushuaia in Argentina or even the lately trendy Margate in England, are places with breaking points of dramatic geography that inspires poets, writers, filmmakers, hipsters, trickers, and bravados.


Human imagination paired with slight discomfort when meeting human limitations at the edge of Earth, sparks illuminations and human records. Welcome to the Peninsula of Peniche.



Peniche is a seaside municipality and a city in the Oeste Region of Portugal. It is first and foremost the most western point of Europe.


With its fortresses, sharp rocks, stormy history of European defense and tragic shipwrecks, the region is mythic. It was bitterly hosting the Salazar regime’s political prisoners and peacefully fomented its resistance against fascism.


Peniche was once an island and always interlaced with the sea. For centuries, fishing was its main activity –including industrial whaling that became controversial in the 20th century when the hunted cetaceans were declared close to extinction. [The commercial practice of whaling was banned internationally in 1986 under the IWC’s moratorium.]


The name Baleal [Balea means whale in Portuguese] is the island near Peniche, which still carries the name of this practice, although it is impossible to see any traces of it in this pristine white and silent island alluring the Greek Cyclades.



Areal view of Baleal Island on the Peninsula of Peniche | All rights reserved


Peniche: fortress. More on Peniche via Baleal Surf Camp's website | Courtesy of balealsurfcamp.com




Supertubos Surfing


In the recent decades, Peniche once more reverted to the sea, looping in a perfect 360 degrees towards professional surfing and increasingly since 2010 towards mainstream surfing tourism, with in the past five years a frantic real estate development.


Momondo.com wrote in 2016, “Portugal is definitely one of Europe's finest surfing countries” with 10 unmissable spots that make Portugal a surfer’s paradise:


“Peniche’s beaches helped build Portugal’s reputation as the surf capital of Europe. The most mythical contributor is perhaps Supertubos Beach, world famous for its powerful waves, which many surfers call “The European Pipeline”. The ASP World Tour hosts competitions in this otherwise inconspicuous fishing village once a year, bringing crowds from all over the world…”


Supertubos [Portuguese for super tubes] is a rolling wave and a beach located in Peniche. The wave did not come into international spotlight until the Rip Curl Pro Search Event in 2009. This is now one of the rare European competitions held every season.


Along with the recent shift in the workplace, match remote working with surfing and the peninsula of Peniche or for that matter, any town at less than two hours from Lisbon, will be the places to be.


With ‘a climate very similar to that of San Francisco, CA, only with warmer nights mainly due to the effects of the Portugal Current,’ this part of the world is now a magnet for the millennial generation aspiring to work, leisure, well-being, and good mental health.

Supertubos wave | All rights reserved


Paradise for Geologists


If the city of Peniche is coined a ‘paradise’ for surfers, it is also declared ‘paradise’ for geologists on the site of Center of Portugal.


The city was built on a rocky peninsula which is considered by geologists ‘a unique example of the Toarcian turnover during the worldwide Early Jurassic extinction. It presents a geological succession of sedimentary carbonate rocks strata of the Jurassic Age, a unique systematic register of 20 million years of Portuguese geological history.’



Peniche from the fortress | dandyvagabonds.com



Peniche: Population Growth


In 1527, the census commissioned by King João III counted a total of about 800 residents in Peniche. In 2021, the peninsula has 26,431 inhabitants in an area of 77.55 km2; and the city itself has a population of about 15,600 inhabitants.


A sleepy fishing village where women practiced the art of bobbin lace in the 19th century, to compensate the low wages from fishing, in times of closed seasons, the peninsula is now in full swing with cranes, modern buildings, suites and shared dormitories, surf-&-yoga packages and a buoying short-rental market.


In 2022, the sqm for apartments was €2,400 and €1,800 for houses and villas. According to Tagus Property: ‘the municipality has launched a rehabilitation program for the city that should contribute to the restoration, modernization and improvement of its buildings and their environment, including infrastructure, green spaces, and public facilities.’


In March 2023, US magazine travelandleisure.com ranks Praia Baleal n. 06 in its “11 of the Best Beaches in Portugal for surfing, sunning and more.”



Peniche from the fortress | dandyvagabonds.com

Ponto de Encontro, Beach Bar | dandyvagabonds.com



Peniche: Future perfect


From hunting the largest aquatic cetacean and escaping the monster of fascism to pushing the limits of pleasure and pain when rolling on a super tube wave, humankind will always be driven by freedom, the unknown, prowess and mind and body performances, and eventually by profits.


In the microcosm of the peninsula of Peniche, all representations of these parts are at play. There is a golden rush feeling to it, and a reminder:


In practice and in metaphors shifting the borders of inner and outer spaces will always be the Holy Grail.


Between Peniche and Baleal, Ponto de Encontro, Beach Bar | dandyvagabonds.com



Big Sur is the California that men dreamed of years ago, this is the Pacific that Balboa looked at from the Peak of Darien, this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look …/… It isn't the oceans which cut us off from the world - it's the American way of looking at things.” Henry Miller, American writer.




Less than 1 hour and a half from Lisbon






This series of blogs focus on Portugal destinations less than 1:30 from Lisbon. Peniche is the highest point of our series. On the Peninsula of Peniche, we will also write about Baleal island at about 5 km north of Peniche, and behind Baleal, the village of Ferrel that has a scent of Vila do Bispo in the Algarve.


Peniche is located at 94 km from Lisbon, at 1 hour 20 via the motorway by car. It can also be reached in the comfortable Flixbus & Rede Expressos for less than €10.


Peniche is at: 25 km from Obidos [on our list]

1 h 15 from Lisbon airport by car

4 h 2 min. by car to Sagres via the A2

49 minutes from Nazaré

1 h 4 min. from Ericeira


Cities near Lisbon within less 1 hour 30

1 hr 21 min Peniche

1 hr 6 min Obidos

57 minutes Foz do Arelho

55 minutes Alentejo

54 minutes Sesimbra

54 minutes Torres Vedras

45 minutes Ericeira 45 minutes Mafra

40 minutes Cascais

38 minutes Estoril

37 minutes Sintra 29 minutes Cacilhas 29 minutes Almada 27 minutes Costa da Caparica 18 minutes Carcavelos


Getting Closer | Portugal from the US


"Portugal is also getting closer to the USA. There are direct flights from 7 cities and 8 airports in the US, including major hubs like Chicago, JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Houston, San Francisco, Miami, and Philadelphia. These are operated by major US carriers, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Airlines and two major Portuguese airlines, TAP Air Portugal and Azores Airlines.


US visitors often tour around the country. They generally stay longer in Lisbon, then usually visit Porto, the Douro and other northern regions. The Alentejo and the Algarve are increasingly on their tourist trail too.” Read more on our Instagram page



Between Estoril and Cascais, surfer ready to jump in the Atlantic Ocean | dandyvagabonds.com


If you wish to invest in Portugal and particularly in Lisbon and the Alentenjo Region, as well as in historical towns and cities less than 1 hour and a half from Lisbon such as Evora, Sintra, Obidos, Alcácer do Sal and more reach out to us with your questions. We hand-pick properties that are the best investment for you. Our trademark is in scouting bespoke properties as well as fast and impeccable renovations. As a reference, check out our current properties for sale.


Text or call our WhatsApp number: +351.962.621259 For any questions you may have








1 Comment


Tiago Piedade
Tiago Piedade
5 days ago

Hope you guys stay there on the Trump side. Remember! Come you're all welcome but don't forget to go back to your country!

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