A wonderful day in Sesimbra ☀️
Sesimbra is a Portuguese municipality in the district of Setúbal, in the Lisbon region and the sub-region of the Setúbal Peninsula, with approximately 24,000 inhabitants.
It was previously a very active fishing port, and this influence is still evident in its dishes and streets.
In this article, we share with you the itinerary for an ideal day in Sesimbra, including visits, walks, activities, and gastronomic discoveries.
How to Get to Sesimbra? 🚘
The village of Sesimbra is less than an hour’s drive from Lisbon (48 km) and 1 hour and 20 minutes by bus from Sete RIOS.
For the latter, we recommend using the Citymapper application, which allows for impeccable organization by providing information on all public transportation options (train, bus, ferry, etc.) and possible stops, allowing you to choose the most convenient route.
Note: Always conduct your city-to-city research to explore all possibilities rather than from your current location to a specific address. In our case, Lisbon/Sesimbra will suffice.
It is also possible to take day trips departing from Lisbon. See our article.
Visit Sesimbra Castle 🏰
If you want to start your day with a visit to Sesimbra Castle, we recommend stopping at Barquinha. You’ll be less than a kilometer from the entrance and will save 20 minutes of ascent from the city center.
Sesimbra Castle is 280m above sea level. Its ramparts offer an incredible view of the bay and the surrounding region. It is the last well-preserved Portuguese Moorish medieval building and was declared a National Monument in June 1910. Inside, you’ll find two permanent exhibitions on its history, a heritage interpretation center, a church, and a disused cemetery.
Allow approximately 1.5 hours for the entire discovery. There is a cafeteria in the castle, but for a meal, it’s better to opt for a restaurant in the city center.
Where to Have Lunch or Dinner in Sesimbra? 🥘
Tasca Do Isaías 🐡
If we had to recommend a single place to enjoy delicious grilled fresh fish and seafood, it would undoubtedly be the small Tasca Do Isaías. It has everything we love:
- Tucked away in small alleys
- Typical and picturesque decoration
- Managed by members of the same Portuguese family for decades
- With prices that defy all competition!
It’s not uncommon to wait several minutes for a table. Take advantage of this time to check the menu and choose your meal before even sitting down because once you’re settled, it’s safe to say “it’s worth it”! Our favorites are:
- Grilled swordfish (espadarte grelhado) or the excellent grilled turbot (pregado grelhado)
- For starters, share the clams (amêijoas) that we particularly love or the razor clams (lingueirão)
- Accompanied by a good vinho verde, we promise you’ll leave satisfied!
Between €15 and €25 per person (cash only)
🕒 Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:45 pm to 10:30 pm
📍741, R. Cel. Barreto 2, Sesimbra
“O Velho e o Mar” (The Old Man and the Sea) 👴🏼
If you’re looking for something more “sophisticated” with a view, “O Velho e o Mar” is the place to go. Beyond its bay window overlooking the beach, the dam, and their dishes of fresh fish and regional meats, what we appreciate is the surprise of discovering a giant swordfish created by the artist BORDALO II, whom we particularly admire (see our article).
Between €25 and €35 per person
🕒 Every day, 11:30 am to 10:30 pm
📍R. Joaquim Brandão 30, 2970-764 Sesimbra
Your Afternoon in Sesimbra: 🏖️
Now, a digestive break is in order to continue this day in Sesimbra. Here, several possibilities present themselves, to be carried out in the order of your choice:
- Wander through the shopping streets, discovering small shops of local artisans and the street art project implemented throughout the city since 2014 by the municipality itself.
- Walk along “a marginal” (dam) of just under 2 km, where you will come across Forte de Santiago de Sesimbra.
- Enjoy sunbathing on the beautiful white sandy beach and swimming in its calm and transparent waters.
- Or try one of the many water-based activities such as kayaking, diving or rollercoaster rides:
How to End This Wonderful Day in Sesimbra?
Adega Dos Navegantes (ADN) 🍷⚓
With an aperitif by the sea, of course! And for that, we have the perfect place for you: Adega Dos Navegantes, a wine bar and “pestiscos” (snacks) located by “Praia California.”
You will be welcomed by Paolo, Virginie, and their team, who have a certain taste for hospitality, which is directly reflected in the quality of their service.
Their selection of over 200 wines will literally make your head spin, not to mention the carefully selected national products that they are eager to showcase in ever more refined tapas or dishes.
And as they are not the type to skimp on ambiance, you will have the pleasure of discovering their decoration on the theme of “navegantes” (navigators) and being lulled by the rhythm of their subtly chosen music.
Going to ADN is not just going for a drink and a bite to eat. Going to ADN is living an immersive experience to set sail.
If you stop by, give them our regards; they will have a special treat for you!
And if after this wonderful moment, you decide to enjoy the city for more than a day, Sesimbra also has some very comfortable hotels.
Important Events in Sesimbra to Note in Your Agenda
February – Carnival 🎭
Sesimbra has built a nice reputation around Carnival. The city boasts no less than 9 Samba groups! These groups prepare choreographies and make costumes throughout the year, which will be presented to the public during Carnival, which takes place over several days.
In general, the parades, which take place along the seaside on Avenida do 25 de abril, start the weekend before Carnival Tuesday, which falls on February 21 this year. It’s a great opportunity to go to Sesimbra to dance to the hot rhythms of samba all night long!
Here, they say “no carnaval, ninguém leva a mal!” (at Carnival, no one takes offense).
July – “CARNAVAL DO VERAO” (Summer Carnival) 🎭
The surprise we didn’t expect is that they also organize “CARNAVAL DO VERAO” (summer carnival) in the last week of July. Needless to say, it must be hot! Hot! Hot!
Since costumes are already short in February, in summer, it must be downright indecent! That’s everything we love!
October – “Travessia da Baia” (Bay Crossing) 🏊
Every year, the first week of October sees the crossing of the bay of Sesimbra by swimming. It is one of the most prestigious sea events held in Portugal. Swimmers come from all over the country. This 1500-meter competition, with over 90 years of history, is open to all and brings together just over 400 participants.
Our article ends here. We hope you will enjoy getting to know the charming fishing town of Sesimbra as much as we do.
If you choose to spend more than a day in Sesimbra, we invite you to check out: