If you’re in the mood for a hike that combines the best of the raw beauty of the area as well as the local charm, we highly recommend the route circumnavigating the Peniche peninsula.

You’ll see the power the Atlantic has unleashed on the exposed coastline, carving out majestic cliffs and unusual vistas. A multitude of tiny secluded bays perfect for swimming (but beware of the tides!), as well as hidden cultural gems just off the track. There is a very special and old blue and white church still in use, which is worth a visit.

The old quarter of Peniche has you stepping back in time with neighbors chatting over drying laundry in the labyrinthine alleys, buffered by the old fort. There are plenty of stories to uncover about this seafaring region.

Be forewarned, it’s a serious walk, but for those less inclined to physical activity the beauty is that you can access the track at any point, thanks to the road around the island. The route is marked for most of the way but we suggest downloading it to be sure.

Photos & Text: Tamar Bottema