Complete guide to visiting Sesimbra

With a “unique geographic framework”, Sesimbra continues to delight the different visitors.


Sesimbra is a peculiar space that unites the sea, beaches and mountains with Portuguese history, culture and gastronomy. Known for the “beaches with Golden Quality”, the municipality also has several spaces that highlight the essence and local memories. If you want to know Sesimbra, explore the tips that Excelente leaves you. And don't forget to be prepared to eat good fish and seafood and to spend some time enjoying the beaches.

Sesimbra belongs to the district of Setúbal and the view that surrounds the municipality is shaped by the mouth of the river Sado, the Serra da Arrábida, the lagoon of Albufeira, the Cape Espichel and the Meco beach. The roots of the county are strongly linked to the sea, fishing and fish. It is, for this reason, that both cultural spaces such as gastronomy and accommodation are very associated with maritime culture.

If you decide to visit the municipality, be sure to venture through the streets of the parishes and admire the urban art and be attentive to the schedules of the Municipal Market. What you mustn’t miss are the visits to the museum and museum centres of Sesimbra, and the appreciation of the typical sweets of the area.

What to visit?

Sesimbra Castle

Sesimbra Castle is the last castle that lies on the sea and that maintains its integrity. Through the walls of the Castle, visitors have a view of the city and the sea. The cultural space permanently presents two exhibitions depicting the history of Sesimbra Castle. People should visit the Church of Our Lady of the Consolation, the Medieval Ruins: Council House and the Corpo Santo Old Hospital, the Alcáçova and the Keep, the Gate of the Sun, the Bulwark and the New Tower.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Sesimbra Castle, Portugal

Augusto Pólvora Park

Augusto Pólvora Park is located in  Avenida D. Manuel da Silva Martins, in Maçã, and is four kilometres from the village of Sesimbra, with 5.5 hectares and offers resting and contemplation areas and is connected to a pedestrian route. The Park also features Skate Park, EcoTrilhos (outdoor activities support centre), a children's playground and the fitness station. If visitors want to have a picnic, the Park has two picnic areas with tables, water points and grills.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Augusto Pólvora Park

Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Seafarers

The history of the village of Sesimbra is based on the maritime vocation of the population. Due to the strong presence of sailors and fishermen and the strong seafaring devotion, in 1488, Sesimbra began to present several places of worship. One of the places is the Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Seafarers. In 2000, the municipality restored the Chapel and, in 2004, it became one of the nuclei of the Municipal Museum of the village. At the top of the Chapel, visitors find the Sacred Art collection and, on the lower floor, people can access testimonies of the village's maritime lives.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Seafarers

Fortress of Santiago de Sesimbra

Fort Santiago was built to defend the village from the dangers of the sea. In 2006, the citizens of Sesimbra were able to access the interior of the fortress and, in 2014, finished the renovation of the wall. According to the City Council, the Santiago Fortress is a “symbol” of the land, which keeps the history of the village alive.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Fortress of Santiago de Sesimbra

Church of St. James - mother Church of Sesimbra

The Church began to be built in 1533. The development of the church evolved through the growth of Sesimbra and has always been dependent on donations made by sailors and seafarers. In addition to being a place of worship, the Church was used as a refuge when the population was assaulted by pirates. Currently, it is the Church from which every year the procession of the patron saint of Sesimbra (Senhor Jesus das Chagas) departs.

Sesimbra Maritime Museum

The Sesimbra Maritime Museum displays the “connection of Sesimbra to the sea and fishing”. The cultural space is divided into two floors and presents different themes: The Journey, From the Beginning, Memory and Devotion, Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, Carlos de Bragança, The Fisher King, Old Sea, Community Room and The Art.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Sesimbra Maritime Museum

Sesimbra Panoramic Swing

The Swing is located in Facho de Santana, in the parish of Castelo. The Panoramic Swing offers a view over the sea, the mountains and Sesimbra. The space is free to access and is open at any time. It is recommended you take enough water, some snacks and comfortable clothes to be able to spend the necessary time in the Swing to watch the sunrise.

Source - Freguesia Castelo - Sesimbra Panoramic Swing

Sampaio Grinding Museum Nucleus

The Sampaio Museological Center of Grinding displays the processes, history and instruments of grinding cereals. The cultural space is located near the old agricultural production centres.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Sampaio Grinding Museum Nucleus

Interpretative Nucleus of the Natural Monument of Avelino’s Quarry

At Avelino’s Quarry, visitors can find the deposit and visit the dinosaur footprints. The deposit can be visited on any day. People can learn a little more about the space through the information boards that are on site.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Interpretative Nucleus of the Natural Monument of Avelino’s Quarry

California Beach

The beach is located in Sesimbra Bay and has a peaceful sea and a little sloping sand. California Beach displays the Blue Flag. Visitors have access to bathrooms, beach library, catering services, vitality and fitness station and pedestrian corridor. People can park their car for free at Rua Navegador Rodrigues Soromenho.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - California Beach

Gold Beach

The beach is also located in Sesimbra Bay and displays the Blue Flag. Visitors can access bathrooms, beach library, children's playground, vitality and fitness station, catering services and pedestrian corridor. If you visit Gold Beach, you can park for free at Rua 4 de Maio.

Source - City Council (Sesimbra) - Gold Beach

Cape Espichel

Cape Espichel is a 32-minute drive from Sesimbra. If you have the opportunity to take a trip to Cape Espichel, you should also seize the opportunity to visit the Cape Espichel Lighthouse, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Cape Espichel, the Hermitage of Memory and the Water House.

Cape Espichel, Portugal

Where to eat?

Sesimbra gastronomy is marked mainly by fish and seafood. Octopus rice, squid stew, swordfish steaks and seafood açorda are some of the typical dishes of the village. With regards to sweets, the Alfarim bread, the Catarinas, the Almirantes, the Zimbros and the Brisas do Castelo are some of the sweets that should be enjoyed in Sesimbra. Discover where you can indulge in the flavours of the village.

O Zagaia

Seafood cream, Croutons and Coriander, Cuttlefish Croquettes and Black Garlic Mayonnaise, Octopus and White Bean Salad, Algarve and Flor de Sal prawns, Clams à Bulhão Pato are some of the delicacies that stand out in the restaurant menu. Salted Caramel and Peanut is one of the most appreciated desserts in O Zagaia.

Source - Tripadvisor - O Zagaia

O Batel

The restaurant provides what is considered “a true gastronomic experience”. O Batel bets on Octopus Rice, Duck Rice and Matured Entrecôte dishes. The Veal Croquettes, the Tuna Steak and the Veal Tartar Steak are other options that characterise the menu of O Batel.

Source - Facebook - O Batel


The Prego no Prato, the Shrimp Salad, the rump Steak, the Sirloin Steak, the breaded Codfish and the Octopus Salad are some of the most outstanding dishes by the restaurant's customers. The restaurant is on the seafront and guests can have lunch or dinner al fresco.

Tasca das 3 Marias

The Tasca das 3 Marias presents dishes such as Swordfish prepared with Lime and Orange, Açorda de Opossums, Cod Rice, Monkfish and Swordfish Skewers, Octopus bean stew, Fish Stew, Fried Cuttlefish, among others. The restaurant combines the atmosphere of a traditional tavern and the flavours of Portuguese food.

Source - Facebook - Tasca das 3 Marias

Casa Mateus

According to Casa Mateus, the restaurant menu “changes according to the season” and “the dishes are all of Portuguese roots, but transformed through inspirations into a more modern and sophisticated cuisine”. Octopus, beef tenderloin, cod stew, cuttlefish roe and lobster are some of the foods to be enjoyed at the restaurant.

Source - Facebook - Casa Mateus

The Tap House

The restaurant, overlooking the beach, favours meat, salmon and seafood dishes, and lets consumers cook these ingredients on the table. Craft beer is also one of the elements of the menu that is most appreciated.

Source - Facebook - The Tap House

Aloha Cafe Vegan

Considered a grocery store, cafeteria and vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Aloha Café Vegan serves breakfast, lunch and brunches. The restaurant also offers natural juices, fruit shakes and different coffees. People can try vegan Croissant, Oatmeal with fresh fruit and chia seeds, and Carob pancakes with fruit and rice jelly for breakfast. For lunch, the bean and millet croquettes, and the toasted bread trio, paté, hummus and guacamole are some of the dishes that can be chosen.

Source - Facebook - Aloha Café Vegan

O Velho e o Mar

The restaurant has two floors, views of the sea and highlights above all the Sesimbra flavours. Fish, seafood, octopus are the most typical elements of the dishes of O Velho e o Mar. Meat dishes and desserts are not out of place and are also highly appreciated.

Source - Facebook - O Velho e o Mar

Oltre Hamburgueria

The artisanal burger restaurant has more than fifteen assorted burgers. Burgers can be beef, pork, chicken or vegetarian. Overlooking the sea, the restaurant bets on a new burger every month.

Source - Facebook - Oltre Hamburgueria

Where to sleep?

Four Points by Sheraton Sesimbra

The hotel features a fitness centre, bar, restaurant and outdoor pool. Rooms here will provide you with air conditioning, a kettle, a desk, a wardrobe and a private bathroom. Guests can try the continental or buffet breakfast and can sample Portuguese and Italian food at the restaurant. Guests can travel to Gold Beach, which is 500 metres from the hotel, or to California Beach, which is 700 metres away. The hotel accepts pets.

Check prices and availability
Source - Booking - Four Points by Sheraton Sesimbra

Casa Palames

The apartment has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a patio and a dining area. The house offers bed linen, towels, free bikes, parking and access to an outdoor pool. The guest house is situated 250 metres from Gold Beach and 700 metres from California Beach.

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Situated on the beachfront, the apartment features a bedroom, a bathroom, a dining area, a balcony and a kitchen. The accommodation offers free parking and pets are allowed.

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Source - Booking - Sezimbra

Refúgio da Falésia

California Beach is 50 metres from the apartment, while Gold Beach is 800 metres away. Refúgio da Falésia has a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette and a patio with sea views.

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Source - Booking - Refúgio da Falésia

Blue Bay Beach Apartment

Blue Bay Beach Apartment is an apartment that can accommodate from two to eight people. The accommodation features two bedrooms, a bathroom, a sofa bed, a kitchen, a dining area and a patio. The apartment also has a barbecue area and a terrace. California Beach is 150 metres from the apartment and Gold Beach is 200 metres away.

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Source - Booking - Blue Bay Beach Apartment

Hotel dos Zimbros

Featuring a swimming pool, free parking and a spa, Hotel dos Zimbros offers rooms with sea or pool views. Rooms also feature private balconies. The hotel also offers family rooms.

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Source - Booking - Hotel dos Zimbros

Paradise House Over the Sea

The house is about 700 metres from Gold Beach. The property is located on the seafront and has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a dining area, a kitchen and a patio facing the lake. Paradise House Over the Sea is a recommended accommodation for four people.

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Courtyard House - Sun, Barbecue, Beach

The accommodation has two bedrooms, a kitchenette, a terrace and a barbecue area. The apartment is a five-minute walk from the beach and close to the Santiago Fortress and Sesimbra Castle.

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Source - Booking - Courtyard House - Sun, Barbecue, Beach

Cali Holidays - Luxury Bed & Breakfast

The property features a suite and three double bedrooms. Guests can access the shared kitchen, shared living room and private balcony. Some of the rooms have city, sea or mountain views. All rooms feature tea and/or coffee making facilities.

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Source - Booking - Cali Holidays - Luxury Bed & Breakfast

Sesimbra Hotel & Spa

The seafront hotel features an infinity pool, spa, private parking and restaurant. Rooms are modern and feature a minibar, TV and a private balcony. In addition to breakfast, guests can choose to try traditional Portuguese dishes in the hotel restaurant.

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Source - Booking - Sesimbra Hotel & Spa

SANA Sesimbra Hotel

The hotel is situated close to the beach and most of the rooms overlook the sandy beach. Guests can make use of the hot tub, indoor pool and bar overlooking the sea and mountains. SANA Sesimbra Hotel offers buffet breakfast and Portuguese meals at Espadarte Restaurant.

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Source - Booking - SANA Sesimbra Hotel
Complete guide to visiting Sesimbra
Complete guide to visiting Sesimbra