Óbidos and Peniche are our destinations of choice for June 2020. Even though travelling entails extra care, these two towns remain a safe bet and combined they make up a delightful mix of what Portugal has to offer: traditional architecture, water sports, fresh fish and natural scenery.
They're located only half an hour driving from each other and there's plenty to do around the area, so spending your holidays targeting Óbidos and Peniche is a fantastic idea. We'll tell you why below.
Visit the Historical Heritage and Architecture
Óbidos is a picturesque town with a very long history. It was firstly a celt settlement and later on it was occupied by the romans and then the moors. There are traces left behind by these civilisations, which are still noticeable when walking around town. The cobble stone streets, the whitewashed houses adorned with flower pots, arts and crafts shops, churches and book stores give it a magical vibe, which makes Óbidos a joy to discover on foot.
The castle, the fortified walls and the aqueduct are great architecture examples, but there are many other in the surrounding area, such as Mosteiro de Alcobaça, which is UNESCO World Heritage. If you want to read more about great architecture examples across the country read this journal post.
Read and Relax
Despite being a touristic destination, Óbidos becomes a very quiet and peaceful place towards the end of the afternoon, when most visitors head back to the city. This means spending the night is always a safe (and silent) plan. Apart from being a nice place to relax, Óbidos is known as the "Literary Village" and there are many curious spaces dedicated to books, from grocery shops to old chapels.
Peniche also has a very laid back vibe and the constant sea breeze adds to its charm. Exploring the typical fishermen neighbourhoods and venturing to the beach are a great plan before heading to Óbidos.
Try surfing and scuba diving
In Peniche most tourists wear board shorts. This is easily understandable due to the great swell which attracts surfers from all over the world.
Surfing is in fact the most famous sport in this little town, which booming at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. This is a stage of the Men's World Championship, during which the top surfers showcase their skills at Medão Grande beach, most commonly addressed as Supertubos due to the tubular waves like Pipeline. This year it will take place between the 14th and the 25th of October.
Another great activity is scuba diving, particularly near Berlengas, a protected archipelago 20-30 min. from the coast. The clear turquoise waters create perfect conditions for biodiversity to thrive and are a joy to discover even with snorkeling gear only. Read more about Peniche and Berlengas here.
Water sports are also a highlight in the lagoon near Óbidos. Kitesurfing, kayaking and SUP are great options to enjoy the calm waters and stay active.
Indulge on the local food
Being near the coast, fish and seafood are obviously the first choices in Peniche. For the picky ones charcoal grilled fish is always a safe bet, but there are many other typical dishes that highlight the local proteins. The most famous one is caldeirada de peixe, a delicious and aromatic fish stew. As for desserts you have to try the almond biscuits, known locally as esses because of the S-shape.
When it comes to gastronomy Óbidos doesn't fall behind. In the lagoon fishermen catch fish, molluscs and eels, which are a local delicacy. Here is also produced great quality wine and the famous ginginha, a liquor made with wild fruits.
Ginginha is often served in a little chocolate cup, another hero in this medieval town. Actually, every year there is a festival dedicated to chocolate and sweet pastries. Sweet, isn't it?
Portuguese are foodies and this coastal part of the country is no exception. Find why we believe this here.
If you think Óbidos and Peniche are a good idea for an escape in the country get in touch and we'll sort everything out with you, from the ideal accommodation to the coolest activities and experiences in the area.
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