Peniche, Portugal

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Peniche, Portugal: Everything You Need To Know

Reviewed by Lief Simon

Lief Simon is the managing editor of Global Property Advisor, Simon Letter, and Offshore Living Letter. He has purchased more than 45 properties, investing in 23 different countries around the world.

Sunset view of Peniche, Portugal
AdobeStock/art_of_sun

Peniche is a city located in Portugal’s Oeste region in the country’s western central coast. With an estimated population of about 15,600, it’s a small city that offers a lot at a very low cost of living.

Its long beaches draw sports enthusiasts who come for the surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, and bodyboarding.

Surfers may have heard of the place as it has great surf breaks withSupertubos, which are waves that form fast and create powerful tubes, considered among the best in Europe.

As well as its famous surf break, Peniche is rich in history and culture.

The Peniche Fortress (Fortaleza de Peniche)—a splendid example of Portuguese coastal defenses, is a notable landmark in the town.

During the 20th-century period of authoritarian rule known as the Estado Novo, or Second Republic, it was a prison for communists and other opponents of the regime.

The Berlengas islands, located six miles from the peninsula, are also part of the municipality. They form one of the world’s first nature reserves.

It is best to visit the islands during the summer months. And getting there is easy since a ferry runs from the mainland in Peniche.

Peniche is a pretty town with a scenic harbor, white windmills, and chapels. The long sandy beaches have inspired famous artists like the French painter Maurice Boitel.

Retirement In Peniche

A small place with a small population, the community in Peniche, Portugal, is close-knit. Though expats are warmly welcomed here.

The town has local shops and markets. However, compared to larger cities, Peniche’s shopping and entertainment are limited.

Volunteers are always welcomed for projects at the Peniche Community Center, so there are plenty of opportunities for expats to get involved and be part of the community.

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Cost Of Living In Peniche, Portugal

The cost of living is low in Peniche. In general, Portugal is an affordable place to live, but compared to the larger cities of Porto and Lisbon, living in Peniche is far cheaper.

Eating out in a mid-range restaurant will cost about 15 euros and you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for about $400 to $600 euros a month.

Two-bedroom apartments cost from $500 to $800 a month, depending on where you choose to live.

Your utilities, groceries, and transportation costs will also be far more affordable than back home, too.

Real Estate In Portugal

While many countries overseas do not require credentials for real estate agents, Portugal does. You’ll find agents in the city with licenses issued by the government.

Most property is sold freehold. Portugal’s property registry system is centralized and very reliable.

Let’s take a closer look at the cost of living in Peniche, Portugal.

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

ExpenseMonthly CostsNotes
TotalUS$1,650 
RentUS$600Two-bedroom apartment in the city center.
TransportationUS$40Monthly pass for a couple.
UtilitiesUS$150Electricity, including heating and cooling, and water. Internet and Cable TV.
Cell PhoneUS$40Monthly plan with calls and 10GB+ data.
EntertainmentUS$300Eating out twice a week at a local restaurant. Beers twice a week at a local pub. Movie theatre trip twice a month.
GroceriesUS$400Monthly grocery haul.
Household HelpUS$120Twice per week.

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Fort of St John the Baptist in Berlenga. Peniche Portugal

Things To Do In Peniche, Portugal

Surfers, Peniche is the place for you… It is one of the best surfing locations in Europe. Beaches and breaks facing three distinctly different directions, making it a consistent destination for surfers.

Home to many surf camps/schools, it annually hosts the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal from the World Championship tour of the World Surf League (WSL) at the Supertubos beach.

Yearly, on the third weekend in July, the International Bobbin Lace Showtakes place. The event represents a tribute to lacemakers and the art of weaving bobbin lace.

Dedicated bobbin lace weavers come from all over the world every year to attend the festival.

Locals and expats join in the fun too since they get to see the lace makers at work, weaving clothes, jewelry, and footwear.

There is even a museum in town—Museu da Renda de Bilros—where you can see the work of those dedicated to the craft.

You will enjoy other festivals throughout the year. For example, the Festa do Mar celebrating the town’s maritime heritage.

Few other destinations can offer its residents a clean, swimmable beach.

Safety In Peniche, Portugal

While Peniche is relatively safe, you still need to exercise caution. Petty crime like pickpocketing and car break-ins can occur, particularly in tourist areas.

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Health Care In Peniche, Portugal

The standard of health care in Portugal is excellent. The country ranks by WHO as the 12th (out of 190) best system among UN-member countries.

General rule of thumb for health care in Portugal: All procedures are free except for dental care and cosmetic surgery.

Expect to pay minor fees when it comes to visits to the emergency room, your family doctor, or requesting an ambulance (fees are affordable and range from US$6 to US$22).

Health care in Portugal is made for the people.

The health care systems and the medical staff are highly qualified, and the public hospitals in the larger urban cities have state-of-the-art facilities.

Once you are a resident in Portugal, register yourself with your local health center, yourcentro de saúde:You will be appointed a family doctor, or put on a waitlist for the next available doctor that will be assigned to you and your family.

For private facilities and primary care facilities, you will also be required to pay for a percentage of the diagnostic exams and the appointments.

While health care in Portugal is free and available to all, you are expected to pay some fees.

Depending on your needs and whether you mind waiting for your turn in public hospitals, it’s a good idea to also get private insurance to balance out the extra fees incurred.

On average, per year, private health insurance in Portugal will run you from US$440 (for a basic plan) to US$1,100 (for a fuller plan).

The public and private hospitals in Peniche are typically well-equipped and staffed with experienced medical professionals. Expats in Peniche choose to use private hospitals for specialized medical care and major surgeries.

Hospital de Peniche is a public hospital in town and Clínica de Peniche is the private hospital. Both are in the center of Peniche.

About 30 minutes by car, in the town of Leiria, you will find both a public and private hospital.

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Tiles in Remedios chapel, Peniche Portugal

Visa And Residency For Portugal

Getting a visa, and later a residence permit, to remain in Portugal for an extended period is a straightforward process, depending on where you’re from.

Portugal also offers a wide variety of interesting and appealing residency types.

For retirees, the Passive Income Visa (also known as the D7 Visa) is the most relevant. It’s not a retiree-specific visa, but it’s the option most retirees use to live in Portugal long-term.

These are the basic requirements:

  • Receive an income of about US$1,200 per month (this is the amount Live And Invest Overseas recommends; the official amount is even lower).
  • Supply proof of housing (rental contract or property deed).
  • Pre-pay for 12 months of EU-wide health insurance with about US$30,000 of coverage.
  • Spend at least 16 months in Portugal within the first two years.

Portugal D7 Visa allows you to enter Portugal and the Schengen area (26 EU countries) without a visa. It grants you travel rights like those of European Union citizens.

Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa is a recent development in Portugal. It is quite like the retirement visa.

However, instead of showing proof of passive income, to qualify you must verify your active income and an employment contract from a foreign employer. Your monthly earnings, in 2023, must be US$3,339.

Weather In Peniche, Portugal

Peniche has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild wet winters and cool dry summers. The temperature doesn’t vary that much from season to season which means it’s mild year-round.

Despite its latitude in central Portugal, Peniche has one of the mildest winter night-time temperatures in mainland Europe.

Portugal has your typical Mediterranean temperate climate, except you will not experience extreme weather like you would in other European countries.

Peniche, Portugal - FAQ’s

What’s The Banking System Like In Portugal?

In Portugal you can find over 150 banks including a range of private national retail banks, public and cooperative banks, international banks, and mobile banks.

Portugal’s banking system is modern and advanced. Many of their banks are linked up to its Multibanco system.

Is Tipping Custom In Portugal?

Tipping in Portugal differs from the States and other European destinations. Those who choose to spend time in Portugal should learn the local standards.

You have no obligation to tip in restaurants, hotels, bars, or personal service locations like salons and spas. However, a tip is appreciated by the service provider and tips are more common in tourist areas or places with a high expat population.

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