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Around And About Peniche

Peniche in west Portugal is a quaint, historic fishing town with its own port. The town has so much to offer: beaches, which can be totally deserted, spring and autumn scenic walks, culture, fishing, surfing, boat trips, snorkeling, outdoor water park and skate park. It has mainly been a busy fishing port since ancient times, it was an island until the 16th century with water completely surrounding the town.

Peniche still has its fort walls surrounding the town. Standing prominent along these walls is the 16th century Fortaleza. This fortress has experienced numerous incarnations and was still used by the military in the 70s and as a temporary home for refugees from african colonies. The fort now stands as a popular museum. It contains artifacts from the 1950s when the fort was used by the dictator Salazar as a prison for political dissidents. There is also an amazing church in Peniche, the Baroque Misericordia Church in the main square which has a mural on its ceiling depicting scenes from the New Testament.

Peniche is surrounded by the ocean with a beautiful working harbour with a marina, where there are daily boat trips to the beautiful Berlengas Islands, haven to thousands of sea birds. A few fisherman are allowed to live on the Island. Berlenga Grande [the larger island] is home to the 17th century São João Baptista Fort, now converted into a hotel. It is surrounded by beautiful picturesque rock formations and grottoes which can be explored by small boats that can pass through the sea tunnel called Furado Grande.

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