Activities in Penela
Penela, on the surface is a sleepy little market town in central Portugal.
Every day you can see people stopping their cars on the IC3 road to take a photograph of the white-painted buildings. Famous for its hill-top castle in the center of the small town, more like a British village.
I am sure that you will be surprised at the number and variety of recreational events held in an around Penela. You may also be surprised to learn that foreigners and foreign residents are actively encouraged to take part in these activities in Penela.
I will break down the events into Cultural, Entertainment and Active
Cultural – To commemorate the attacks by the Moors on this area a “Moorish Dinner is held each year open air in the square in the center of Penela where North African food is served with traditional dancing and music.
The Medieval Fair of Sao Miguel also held each year based in and around the castle has jousting, sword fights, acrobatic troupes, falconry and medieval food and drink. Penela castle is at the heart of Penela, here are few facts about the castle which is well worth a visit and walk around the walls as the views are amazing.
The castle survived where many nearby did not during successive Muslim offensives in 1116 and 1117 and of course those regular uninvited visitors the Spanish Conquistadors.
The castle was constructed on a stone hill dominating the area and used to be a stronghold protecting Coimbra in times of invasion from the south.
Entertainment – The fair is a four-day festival with everything from displays of agricultural machinery, food stalls, displays of folk dancing and musical entertainment including the regions top bands. The start of the overnight 4×4 rally is not to be missed as the vehicle climb over obstacles in the middle of the village.
The fair has grown considerably since it was given permission to go ahead by Pedro duke of Coimbra in 1433. Some 577 years of festivities!
Coming late in the summer the nights are still warm and ideal for walking around the displays or watching the various folk events.
To learn more about what’s going on in Penela visit the councils website
Active Down hill mountain bike races through the center of Penela. Nearby we have Golf http://www.1golf.eu/en/golf-courses/portugal/cities/coimbra/
Curia Golf Club Largo da Estaçao
Golf Montebelo Farminhao
Phone: +351 232 856 464
Fax: +351 232 856 401
Fishing Lake fishing for carp and perch ideal for children 6 minutes away
River fishing near Penela 7 minutes
Sea fishing from the beach for sea bass and bream or boat fishing from Figuirea da Foz
Walking – With hundreds of kilometers of tracks everyone can have a favorite walk.
Butterflies – Can be seen for 9 months of the year
Hunting – Wild boar and Deer
Potholing Caving – close to Penela is a 2km long cavern
Climbing – Rock climbing at Large cave entrances and rock walls
Sailing Coimbra has a large sailing school and boats for hire
Canoeing – River Modego
Mountain biking – Serra do Espinhal
Open air Antique Fairs, Figuirea da Foz or Coimbra
Wild Swimming and Waterfalls – Loucinia 15 minutes, Sao Simao 15 minutes
Religious tourism and Pilgrimage. – Fatima is a small town north of Lisbon with a population of fewer than 8000 people. Once a sleepy backwater in Portugal that depended upon the production of olive oil, today Fatima derives the bulk of its wealth from religious tourism and pilgrimage.
Unlike most pilgrimage destinations, Fatima’s holy claims derive not from Medieval events (Pilgrimage was very popular in the 11th and 12th centuries), but rather from 20th century apparitions. On the 13th of May in 1917, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in a flash of light to three shepherd children near Fatima in a field called the Cova de Iria, exhorting them to return to the same spot on the 13th of each month. Calling herself “The Lady of the Rosary, in October she revealed the three “Secrets of Fatima” to one of the children, relating to peace and world events.
Fatima is most popular on the May anniversary, but smaller pilgrimages are held on the 12th and 13th of every month.