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Five ideas for a weekend in Sesimbra!

Five ideas for a weekend in Sesimbra!

Five ideas for a weekend in Sesimbra!

  • Sesimbra municipal market
  • Fortress of Santiago
  • Street art
  • Restaurants and snacks
  • Boat ride

Located just 30 km from Lisbon the city of Sesimbra is a destination often associated with summer. Its beaches and sands on the north coast stretch for endless kilometers being Praia das Bicas and Praia do Moinho de Baixo or Praia do Meco as it is best known by the most well known beaches in this coast.

In the south coast and protected by the Serra da Arrábida we find the beach of the town of Sesimbra with calm waters with the fortress in its center which divides it into its 2 smaller beaches, west of Fortaleza, towards the marina the Praia do Ouro beach (Gold Beach) and aqt the east of the fortress towards de Arrábida Mountains we find the California Beach.

In addition to the fantastic and bugdget prices you can get for an apartment, hotel or villa in the city centre or in the countryside in the low season you will also have the opportunity to discover the highlights of sesimbra in a very relaxed and cool mood and its best kept secrets which also makes it a all year round destination of choice for a weekend getaway alone or with family.

Our proposal:


Day 1

After checking in at the hotel, take a stroll along the seaside promenade listening to the sound of the waves admiring this south-facing bay and head towards Sesimbra´s main plaza to explore the municipal fish market of Sesimbra.

It is by the morning and especially on Saturdays that you can discover the bustle of this market and get to know its fish, considered by many to be the best fish in the world like the black-scabbard, snapper, sea bass and many other seasonal and fresh species that you can find here for sale as well as other regional products such as local made cheeses, fruits and vegetables produced locally in the countryside.

Much of the fish displayed in the stalls are caught by small local boats that practice selective fishing through the use of long lines for scabattfish or rods and reels for sea breams or seabass, thus enhancing these artisanal fishing techniques.

After visiting the market, we recommend a visit to the fortress of Sesimbra which is only 50 meters from the market by the sea line and discover this old defensive structure which strongly defended the village from pirate and enemy forces throghout the ages.

This fortress named The fortress of Santiago protected the village of Sesimbra for more than 3 centuries and was built by the Portuguese king Dom João IV (1640-1656)
It was completed in 1648 as part of a line of bastions and other defensive structures protecting the coast of Arrábida.

Ceasing to have a military use as an defensive outpost or as a military adminstrative centre in the XXI century, the city carried out the conservation and adaptation works for its new predominantly cultural use.

Here you can find the tourism office of Sesimbra where you can get recommendations for several activities to do once in Sesimbra, a bar and it´s terrace with a magnificent view over the sea and the new maritime museum of Sesimbra (2016) with a permanent exhibition on Sesimbra's maritime history, traditions and artifacts surely a visit not to be missed.

During the year there are also several cultural activities in the fortress such as music festivals, traveling exhibitions and events that make the fortress nowadays one of the main cultural hub of the village.

For lunch, treat yourself to one of the many restaurants in the city where you can eat Sesimbra´s fish stew, grilled fish, fish soup with pasta and also be sure to try at least once one of the last typical Sesimbra taverns the "Isaías" tavern in the old part of town, - only serves grill fish for lunch.
We recommended to go early to get a seat!

In the afternoon, take a relaxed stroll along the beach and visit in the old quarter the paintings which decorate the doors and walls of these streets and which are part of the street art project "Art in the street'.

These works, made since 2014, were created by guest artists by municipality invitation to express through urban painting the fishing traditions of Sesimbra.

This paintings and graffitis are today an ex-libris of the village and many paintings have international recognition such as the painting "We Love Fish" by the author Salomé Afonso, a door painting that can be seen on Rua Jorge Nunes next to Bombaldes square.

Watch then the magnificent sunset while snacking in one of the many seafood restaurants in Sesimbra such as Casa Modesto or Rodinhas; try the mussels, clams, shrimps and many more kinds of seafood from Sesimbra´s sea like sea barnacles or crab. It will be an unforgettable afternoon.




Day 2

The coast of Sesimbra is protected by the Arrábida Mountains and the sea is calm throughout the year, allowing daily tours and boat trips to discover this beautiful coast, venture into one of these activities and visit Ribeiro beach by boat or discover the monk's bay and its stories, it will be another great experience to have!

By the morning walk heading west along the seaside and discover this western side of Sesimbra`s bay where you will find after leaving the city centre the shipyards, the fishing docks - where the boats carry out daily discharges of fish and at the end of the promonade the Sesimbra´s Marina area and here you will find the companies that conduct outdoor activities such as diving centres, boat trips or dolphin watching tours companys.

Once you return from your boat trip delight yourself in one of the famous restaurants of this western area and taste the fresh fish caught a few hours ago from the depths of Sesimbra´s sea.

Finish your meal with the tasting of the "fisherman's liquor", an alcoholic drink that warmed the fishermen while at sea and will certainly warm your soul for this weekend in Sesimbra, so close to Lisbon and so unique in what it has to offer all year round.

See you soon!

Useful information for this program:

Sesimbra municipal market

Business hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Closing days: January 1, April 25, May 1, May 4 and December 25

Fortress of Santiago

  • Business hours
  • October to March: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • April to June 14: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • June 15 to September: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
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