Popular for its long, fabulous town beach, nearby surf strands and also as a jumping-off point for the beautiful Ilhas Berlengas nature reserve, Peniche is spectacularly set on a headland surrounded by sea. It remains a working port, giving it a slightly grittier, more ‘lived in’ feel than its resort neighbours. The seaside fort where Salazar’s regime detained political prisoners is a must-see for anyone interested in Portuguese history; artisan lovers will enjoy Peniche's speciality, handmade lace known as Renda de Bilros (bobbin lace), and you can watch the nimble fingers of women at work; and outdoors enthusiasts will love the beaches and the spectacular, heavily eroded limestone cliffs that jut out from the tip of the headland at Cabo Carvoeiro like a jagged jigsaw piece timelessly waiting for a never-to-come unification.
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