The municipality is situated on the coast of the Oeste (West) Region. It has an area of 146 square km, and a population of about 25,000, distributed among 8 parishes. Nowadays it has excellent transport links with Lisbon, 63 km away, and the other main Portuguese towns.
According to some accounts, the name Lourinhã is associated with a Roman settlement. In the twelfth century, at the height of the Christian Reconquest, D. Afonso Henriques granted the land now known as Lourinhã to D. Jordan, a French nobleman, for his gallant services in helping to recapture Lisbon from the Moors.
We do not know the exact date of Lourinhã’s first charter, granted by D. Jordan, although some historians put it at 1160. This charter was later confirmed by D. Sancho I, in Santarém, in 1218, and by D.Afonso III, in 1251. A newcharter was granted by D. Manuel I, in 1512.
The municipality’s 12 kilometres of coastline, with its combination of beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs and tranquil bays on a route that enjoys bright sunshine all year round, make up a uniquely rich landscape.
These natural conditions are ideal for various nautical sports and activities such as sports fishing, underwater fishing and photography, surfing and jet skiing.
The inland part of the municipality, characterised by a rurallandscape and harmonious colours, offers excellent opportunities for a peaceful, relaxing holiday. There are several rural tourism establishments where you can be in direct contact with nature and life on the farm, and take part in lots of outdoor activities, such as horse-riding, tennis, mountain biking, game shooting, mini-golf and go-karting, or you can just relax.
The most important historical sites are the church of NossaSenhora da Anunciação (also known as the church of SantaMaria do Castelo), the church of the Misericórdia, the convent and church of Santo António, Paimogo Fort, FonteLima Park, the Lourinhã Museum and the monument commemorating the Battle of Vimeiro (at which the Anglo-Portuguese army defeated Napoleon’s forces, commanded by General Junot, on 21 August 1808, during the first French invasion).