Yes, you read it right! In this article I’m going to show you one of the most beautiful villages in the Portuguese coastline. In the centre of Portugal and located 19 km from the tourist region of Nazaré, São Pedro de Moel is a 389-inhabitant village surrounded by Leiria’s Pine Forest and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is a village with an elitist reputation since 1463, when D. Afonso V gave São Pedro de Moel to nobility.
Since then, this village welcomes people from the outskirts of Lisbon that come here to relax for the weekend or even some weeks in the summer.
Before I show you the beauty of this village, I want to thank the person that made me discover this beautiful area of Portugal.
Victor is a reader of my blog and a passionate person when it comes to São Pedro de Moel. He showed everything there is to see in this place in a way only those who live there know.
Victor’s passion for this village is so contagious that I was delighted with this “almost secret” place.
It is time to show you the charm of this village!
What is there to see in São Pedro de Moel and in its surroundings?
First of all, you can discover the picturesque streets next to the beach of São Pedro de Moel (see photos above). Afterwards, walk 1 km along the Atlantic Ocean until you find the beautiful Penedo da Saudade lighthouse, located in the upper part of the village.
The lighthouse is located on top of a rock, where, according to local folklore, Caminha Duchess came to mourn her husband. This lighthouse was named after this supposed event: Penedo da Saudade.
- The lighthouse is opened to public every Wednesday from 14h to 17h
Check this video about São Pedro de Moel made by Helder Afonso:
After visiting the heart of this beautiful village, discover “Volta dos Sete“, a beautiful 7 km long route (that starts and ends in São Pedro de Moel), where you can admire the ocean, the pine forest of Leiria, fountains and streams.
You can do the “Volta dos 7” on foot, in a walking route (PR3), by bicycle or by car. My suggestion is that you discover this route on foot or bicycle so that you can enjoy the beauty of this place.
If you like to stroll through walking routes, then know that São Pedro de Moel has 3 available routes (PR1, PR2, PR3) that will make you discover the most gorgeous oceanic landscapes, the amazing pine forest of Leiria, where you can find some serpent pine trees and the old rail track of Lata train (PR1).
In 1923, to get the wood out of the forest, a Decauville-type railway was built (60 cm width), where 3 steam locomotives with 2 railcars for passengers and some more for the transportation of various materials.
In 1965, when the construction of new roads concluded, the railway was deactivated and sold to private companies in 1967 (along with the 3 locomotives and railcars).
You can also discover the beauty of this village and the surrounding area using the 14 km of bike paths (from São Pedro de Moel to Vieira beach). These 14 km are part of a bike path network (the biggest in the country) connecting Osso da Baleia beach to Foz do Arelho (74 km) along the Atlantic Road.
One of the places you can’t miss near São Pedro de Moel is Vale Furado beach, a beach of unique beauty located just 11 km from the village.
- GPS: 39°41’05.9″N 9°03’25.1″W
Before you leave this picturesque village, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the glass museum (the only one in Portugal), located in Marinha Grande, 10 km from São Pedro de Moel.
Here you’ll discover the history of the glass industry in Portugal and you’ll have the opportunity to admire the beautiful glass pieces. The high point of this visit is the chance for you to see in real time how workers make this glass pieces.
I am one of those people who don’t see nothing special in these glass pieces, however, after I saw the work behind the creation of these pieces, I’ve changed my mind.
Sometimes we just don’t get the work behind each object that we have, especially from the handmade ones.
If you’re like me, visit the glass museum and admire the work from these artisans – surely, you’ll change your way of thinking.
Creating a fish:
Creating a beautiful swan:
If you want, you can even buy the pieces made in front of you. I couldn’t resist and I bought a souvenir from the museum – I bought a little fish and a beautiful swan.
Suggestion: you should begin your visit in the manufacturing studio and afterwards go to the museum. Your visit will be more interesting.
- Site: www.cm-mgrande.pt/pages
- Address: Praça Guilherme Stephens, Marinha Grande
Where to eat in São Pedro de Moel?
You can’t leave São Pedro de Moel without visiting “O Pai dos Frangos“, a restaurant located 500 metres from Penedo da Saudade lighthouse.
Located in “Praia Velha”, “O Pai dos Frangos” offers to its clients a superb view over the sea and a warm welcome while eating a delicious fish dish.
I ate a delicious grilled codfish, so delicious that I can still feel its taste in my mouth as I write these lines.
Information: the average price per person in this restaurant is 20 euros.
- Address: Praia Velha, São Pedro de Moel (after the lighthouse)
Where to sleep in São Pedro de Moel?
During my stay in São Pedro de Moel, I spent the night in Hotel Mar & Sol, a family hotel that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.
Facing the sea, this 4-star hotel is the perfect place to relax after visiting this picturesque village and its surroundings – Nazaré, Alcobaça, Batalha, Fátima and Leiria.
The hotel Mar & Sol has 57 rooms with an amazing view over the sea, the lighthouse and the village,
a spa, where you can relax and have a massage or enjoy the jacuzzi, sauna or Turkish bath.
It also has a restaurant where you can eat the local specialty, monkfish rice, and enjoy the superb view over the sea.
On the fourth floor you can enjoy an amazing cocktail while admiring the view.
For those who like to have fun, the hotel offers a sunset party (every Sunday, in the summer) where you can drink a cocktail and listen to some music while enjoying the beautiful view over the sea, the beach and the village.
Do you want to spend some amazing and relaxing days while discovering one of the most beautiful villages in the Portuguese coastline?
Important information 2: I want to be clear and say that I wasn’t paid to promote this hotel. I have decided to promote it because I had a great time and a warm welcome; furthermore, the hotel has a great location!
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