"Sesimbra -a traditional Portuguese fishing village" Sesimbra by a2lopes

Sesimbra Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 120 photos

A traditional Portuguese fishing village

The village lies nestled in the hollow of a small valley facing south and the sea and also protected from the northern winds by its surrounding hills. It became a notable location the middle 1950s when this village attracting the world famous enthusiasts of deep-sea fishing. The Tuna and Swordfish has now become more rare as a catch but they can still often be served as a specialty dish of the area. Small narrow steep streets lead down to its sandy beach guarded by its 17th Century Fort. Although right now the local catch of every morning it’s not laid on the sand (in rows for the public auction) anymore this daily fresh fish still gives the local restaurants a solid reputation that draws crowds from Lisbon at most weekends. The village still has many families relying on the fishing industry. Their involvement with the sea is reflected by their faithful attendance of the number of small churches to be found in the village.

And now a new industry is developing -sea diving, deep-sea fishing and glass-bottom boat tours.

Nearby you have

The The Natural Reserves
-Arrabida Natural Park
Arrábida is a spectacular landscape. The Hills, the Natural Park, the beaches and the historical buildings show how the best of nature can lead to best of Mankind, if people are able to integrate natural elements into their daily leisure life, without ever failing to preserve and protect them. The Parque Natural da Arrábida extends from the Morro de Palmela to Cabo Espichel, and includes three full botanical and landscape reserves. It also has a zoological reserve on the islet Ilhéu da Pedra da Anixa, which includes the Parque Marinho da Arrábida, with fully protected species.

-Natural Reserve of Sado Estuary
Further south, the Sado Estuary has another important Nature Reserve. This vast estuary communicates with the Atlantic Ocean. The notably diverse landscape of the 25,000 hectare Reserve includes dunes with rare vegetation cover, sandbanks, reed beds and thickets. But the main attraction of the reserve is the dozens of dolphins that live in the estuary, unique in Portugal and very easily observed. Other endangered species in the zone include the Barbastelle bat and the otter. Herons, white swans and flamingos are the symbol of the area.

-Tejo Estuary
Closer to the city of Lisbon, South of the fantastic Vasco da Gama Bridge, is the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo, a protected area of more than 45 thousand hectares, considered the largest wetland in Portugal and one of the most important in Europe. Mouchão do Lombo do Tejo and Pancas are the two restricted nature reserve areas.
An important passage for migratory birds and for fish, one of the main attractions of the reserve is its colony of flamingos, which has over six thousand birds.
Outside the reserve, you can also visit the salt pans of Alcochete, and the pleasant town itself.
Other interesting sites include the beautiful tidal water mills, particularly in Seixal and Montijo, and the windmills in Alcochete and Barreiro.

-Costa da Caparica
Still in the Setùbal Peninsula, in addition to the coastline with its townships, beaches, marshes and mountains, is the protected Arriba Fossil area of the Costa da Caparica which is situated between Trafaria and the Lagoa de Albufeira. This area occupies an area of 1,570 hectares and was so defined in 1984 because of its geological importance of sedimentary rocks which form the river bank, some of which go back 15 million years in time. The river bank dates from when the coastal line was further inland. Nowadays, due to the accumulation of sediment along the coast, the bank is in a fossilized state.

You will find interesting examples of significant human presence in Arrábida. Near the small Creiro bay are some interesting Roman ruins.
In the heart of the Natural Park, on a secluded hillside, is the Convento da Arrábida, originally founded by Arrabidino Franciscan friars who built cells, a church and other outbuildings in 1542.
Another important site is the 17th century Forte da Arrábida, the mission of which was to defend the coast. Today, it houses the Oceanographic Museum of Arrábida.

Whilst in Sesimbra, do not miss the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora in Cabo Espichel (which was constructed at the turn of the 17th Century as a sanctuary and has often been used as a location for filming due to its singular architectural design).

In Caparica you can also find the Convento dos Capuchos%, a 16th century Franciscan convent that has several interesting and admirable details, and is an excellent spot for a walk.

Beaches can often be a decisive factor in a holiday and this region of Portugal offers a wide range of different beaches.
-The Lagoa de Albufeira, a coastal lagoon separated from the sea by a line of dunes is both a fresh water lagoon and a lagoon area of brackish water, depending on the tides.
-Meco is a well known naturist beach.
-In the Serra da Arrábida, we can also find several beaches, such as Galapos and Creiro.
-But the main beach is Portinho da Arrábida, between the highest part of the Hills and the sea. This is a large beach of hot, white sand and is an absolute delight for be ach lovers.
-In Sesimbra, discover its beaches around the village

-Very close to Sesimbra, the beautiful Lagoa de Albufeira is a favourite spot for windsurfers and kitesurfers.
-Departing from Sesimbra you can take a boat and go sea diving, and deep-sea fishing along the Natural Park
-Challenges like the swordfish catching in Sesimbra, nowadays less frequent but still alive in the memory of those land livers who have given their hearts to, the sea.
-Fishing lines are thrown from beaches and riverbanks, providing unequalled conditions for the catching of bass and sea bream. In the estuaries where the river meets the sea, red mullet, sole and cuttlefish abound. Fishing is also practised in excellent conditions in the lagoons of the Costa Azul. Barbell, carp and perch are plentiful in Campilhas, Vale do Gaio and Pego do Altar, all worth a visit.

If you like good food and diving (not necessarily in this order)
definitely you have to come to Sesimbra

  • Intro Updated Dec 28, 2007
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Comments (5)

  • annase's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Ola Antonio, nice page. I'll be going to Sesimbra for a few days and this is great. Sanni

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Hi Antonio, nice page, hope to see you in Krakow. Karl

  • margaretvn's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2009 at 3:56 AM

    good page and info!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2008 at 1:59 AM

    interesting info here, I like fish too - hope it stays clean, healthy (no mercury probs etc!) and in abundance! and hope Im back in Portugal before too long!

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2008 at 7:11 AM

    The quality fish port is nice. I like fish very much and hope that we can continue to eat our fish no more but as we can now. Nice phto.

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