Monday, June 7, 2010

Setúbal's Guide: Travel to Sesimbra

Sesimbra is an oceanfront, picturesque fishing village in a sheltered bay overlooked by a Moorish Castle that offers wonderful views from its ramparts.

Is about 40km due south of Lisbon and is situated nestled at the foot of the hills of the Arrábida mountain and inside a sparkling blue bay, protecting it from cold northerly winds.

In the old town is a 17th century fort overlooking the sea, a good starting point for a scenic walk before hitting the beach that, although crowded in the summer, has unpolluted waters ideal for swimming. Sesimbra is a pretty place to escape and a wonderful place to eat fantastic fish, stroll on the promenade or relax on the stunning beach with its enticing clean blue water.

Sesimbra retains much of its fishing village atmosphere. The many local churches are still regularly full of the faithful praying for a good catch and the safe return of their men.
In late afternoon the fishing boats return and there's a fish auction on the dockside. That same fresh fish can be sampled at one of the several restaurants along the shore. Tuna and Swordfish are stars in the local menu.

Fun things to do in Sesimbra:

  • Cabo Espichel: An impressive and mystical promontory with breathtakingly large cliffs which drop almost vertically several hundred feet into the Atlantic. The views of the coast and ocean are stunning.
  • Medieval Castle: At the top the hill behind the town, on the site of a Moorish fortressDom Sancho II, stands the restored medieval castle built in the 13th century which also encloses a 12th century church, Church of Santa Maria, and affords wonderful views from its ramparts.
  • Hills of Arrábida: Glorious views of the coast and the countryside abound as you drive along the knife-edge ridge in this nature reserve which hides in its abundant flora.
  • Beach: Hit one of the many beaches around Sesimbra. One of them, named Lagoa de Albufeira , is an excellent location to practice windsurf, kitesurf, surf, scuba diving, or simply relax on the white sand.
  • Shopping: Alongside the sea promenade there's several shops with local products,
  • Restaurants: Dine in one of the many beach-front fish restaurants after taking a relaxing evening stroll along the promenade.
  • Nightlife: In the Summer, people enjoy just going out. There is street animation, live music and some trendy bars.
The countryside of Sesimbra is covered with an abundance of rosemary, myrtle, cistus and thyme which give it that characteristic 'vacation' smell. You can travel by car or reach Sesimbra by buses that leave several times during the day from Setúbal.

There is also a construction plot in this location,
should you love Sesimbra to much that wish to build the perfect holiday home.

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