Sesimbra Portugal Tourism Guide

Sesimbra is one of central Portugal’s best beach towns, and is a great destination for either a short stay or as a longer holiday. Sesimbra is blessed with a beautiful coastline of glorious beaches and massive cliffs, while inland is the stunning scenery of the Arrábida National Park. This website will provide a comprehensive tourism guide to Sesimbra and the surrounding region.

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Sesimbra is set along a beautiful coastline

Why Visit Sesimbra?

Sesimbra has three main points that make it distinct from many of Portugal’s other beach towns:
• Setting – Sesimbra is in an area of amazing and diverse natural beauty. To the east forest covered hills lead down to pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. To the west are towering cliffs and exposed headlands that are battered by raging seas and powerful winds.
• Sesimbra is a favourite holiday destination with the Portuguese - As Sesimbra is designed for Portuguese tourists, you can expect the town to offer great food, late social nights and exceptional value for money..
• Accessibility – Lisbon airport is less than a 30-minute drive away (or a 45-minute bus ride away) so a visit to Lisbon could be easily combined with a short stay at a traditional beach resort as delightful as Sesimbra.

Are there good beaches in Sesimbra?

Sesimbra is situated on a wide sandy bay, with steep cliffs to the west of the town and the small fishing harbour to the east. The beach extends along the front of the town and is divided into two by the small Sesimbra fort.

Sesimbra fort castle

Sesimbra fort and the main beach of the town

The beaches of the Arrábida National Park are considered as some of Portugal’s finest beaches. The Praia da Figueirinha has crystal clear waters and the soft sandy beaches that are backed by the tree covered hills of the national park. For a guide to Sesimbra's beaches please click here.

Arrábida National Park

The beautiful beaches of Arrábida

What’s the best Activity in Sesimbra?

The best activity of Sesimbra is exploring the Arrábida National Park. There are numerous enjoyable hiking trails and challenging cycling tracks that cross the steep hills of the national park. For the less energetic, take a drive through the centre of the park and admire the wonderful views of hills beaches and ocean. For a guide to the sights and activities of Sesimbra please click here. Sado Estuary

The views of the Sado Estuary from the Arrábida National Park

What’s the best excursion from Sesimbra?

The Cabo Espichel is the windswept headland, to the west of Sesimbra that makes for an interesting half day excursion from Sesimbra. Perched on the edge of the cliffs is one of Portugal’s most powerful lighthouses and a large, unique styled monastery complex detonates the once religious importance of the region. From the high vantage point (and on a clear day) there are wonderful views all along the Costa Caprica coastline to Lisbon. For a guide to the Cabo Espichel please click here. Cabo Espichel portugal

Cabo Espichel

What’s the locals secret of Sesimbra?

Sesimbra is famed for its fresh fish and seafood dishes which is served in the small seafood restaurants (Marisqueiras) hidden along the back streets of the town. The most popular is Arroz de Marisco, a delicious dish of shellfish, crabs and rice that is served in large clay pot and is designed to be shared. There is no better accompaniment to the meal than a bottle of a locally produced wine.

Can Sesimbra be seen as a day trip from Lisbon?

To get the most from a day trip to Sesimbra either a rental car is required or join an organised tour of the region. Sesimbra does have great beaches but the Cascais coastline is much more accessible from Lisbon as a day trip. A typical day trip, with a rental car would visit the Cabo Espichel (1 hour), Sesimbra town (3 hours) and a drive through the Arrábida National Park (2 hours).

The Sado Estuary Natural Reserve

The Sado Estuary Natural Reserve

When best to visit Sesimbra?

The Portuguese flock to Sesimbra during their short summer holiday season of July and August. During the Portuguese holiday season hotels will be sold out months in-advance but the town has buzz and great atmosphere. Outside of the short peak season Sesimbra is much more calm and relaxed. Beach weather in this region of Portugal lasts from May to mid-October.

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The Santuario de Nossa Senhora at Cabo Espichel

Can I get to Sesimbra by Public Transport?

There is a regular bus service from Lisbon to Sesimbra that departs from the Praça de Espanha bus station in Lisbon. The journey takes 45 minutes and is operated by TST buses, a single bus ticket costs €4.05. For a full guide to traveling by bus from Lisbon to Sesimbra please click here. Regional public transport is not great and a rental car is recommended to fully explore the region.

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The best guide to Sesimbra