Santuário da Peninha is a hidden gem in the Pena mountains where few tourists come. Which makes this a very nice and quiet place. Especially for an attraction in the middle of the Pena.
Actually, Santuário da Peninha is not completely hidden, the shrine of Peninha is next to Palácio de Pena, one of the highest points of Serra de Sintra and very visible from the road from Praia do Guincho to Colares (the beautiful route along the coast the N247).
Santuário da Peninha – construction in three phases
THe whole complex of Santuário da Peninha consists of stables, a chapel and a palace with stables which are closed to the public, unfortunately. But you can walk around it, which is definitely worth the drive up.
The construction of all buildings went down in three phases.
Phase I: the stables
First there was a stables for shepherds and their sheep. In the 16th century this place was worshiped religiously when the Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd who had lost all his sheep.
Phase 2: the chapel
The chapel was built a century later and was completed in 1710. From then on, the chapel also became a place of pilgrimage for families of sailors.
They spent a lot of time praying in the chapel for a safe return of their loved ones. In addition to that, in good weather you can see at least 50 km out over the ocean. This was a great opportunity to spot a returning ship.
Phase 3: The palace
The palace was built in the early 20th century by Carvalho Monteiro, the guy who was also responsible for the construction of Quinta da Regaleira The palace was never inhabited because Carvalho Monteiro died before the construction was completed.
With Santuário da Peninha he wanted to build a smaller version of Palacio de Pena. Hence the name Peninha (small Pena). In Portuguese, words are reduced by adding -inha behind them.
Accessibility of Santuário da Peninha
To get to Santuário da Peninha you can make a short climb from the parking lot. If you’re having trouble walking or if you’re with kids and a stroller, it’s best to not come to Peninha! It’s a steep climb on a poorly paved path.
Secure your stuff!
Because it is one of the highest viewpoints of Serra de Sintra, unprotected and near the sea, it can be very windy on top of the mountain near Santuário da Peninha. Keep your belongings save, because it might blow away.
How to get to Santuário da Peninha
Forget about Google Map, because it might send you in a completely different direction.
Santuário da Peninha is easily found via the N247. Coming from Cascais, just after the exit to Cabo da Roca, take the exit on the right to Santuário da Peninha.
From here it’s a 10 minute drive up, Santuário da Peninha is indicated on the road signs as Convento da Peninha
Addresse: EN 247, Peninha, Serra de Sintra
Opening Hours: freely available