Favorite thing: The rugged cliffs bordering Sesimbra to the east are part of the Serra da Arrábida (Arrabida mountains). From this mountain range are magnificent views of the Costa Azul. The range also is host to a beautiful park (Parque Natural da Arrábida) for all the nature lovers like me out there.
protect yourself from the sun/rain
Favorite thing: An entire section of the beach (the east side) is lined with poles. If you are wondering why there are so many poles here, it is because this area is designated for canopies and tarps and other things of that sort. Bring a canopy to the beach, set it up on the poles, and protect yourself from the sun (or rain in my case).
Favorite thing: Like I've already mentioned, Sesimbra is not as touristy as other beach resort towns, but there is still a barrage of hotels stretching along the beach. It seems as if there are hardly any hotels aside from along the beach.
Also, the tourists here seem to mainly be Lisbonites and other Portuguese, keeping the area still feel rather local. There's not the swarms of Germans and British as found in Cascais and the Algarve.
getting lost in Sesimbra
Favorite thing: I got completely lost when trying to walk back uphill to the bus station from the beach. At this point, my portuguese was rather decent, but every person I ran into was a tourist such as myself who had no idea where the bus station was because they drove.
I was a bit frenzied because I had only 30 minutes until the very last bus of the day back to Lisbon departed, and I didn't have enough money on me to stay the night.
I did find the bus station on time, just 5 minutes before the bus took off, but as a result of getting lost I was able to view the city from on top of the hills. It's quite the beautiful sight.
Favorite thing: The town of Sesimbra is not as touristy towards the west. The east side of the beach is home to most of the hotels. It is amazing how walking a few hundred meters makes such a difference.
Take the chance to walk thru here, rather than just spend all your time on the beach.
walk on the fortress
Favorite thing: Walk around the Fortaleza de São Tiago for free. You can even sit in this turret if you can fit! I sat in the fortress and ate my lunch while observing the few beachgoers that remained after the storm hit.
red rusting lamp holder?
Favorite thing: Also at the Fortaleza de São Tiago is this lamp mounted onto this red rusty apparatus. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of this is, because the bulb doesn't seem strong enough to function as lighting.
Favorite thing: Along the narrow, steeply inclined streets of Sesimbra are outside seating for cafes. This is typical of any Portuguese city of course, but here in Sesimbra I felt the tilt (from the steep incline) working against me!
Favorite thing: Even amidst the rain storm, a few brave souls decided to stick around the newly deserted beach to which they had all to themselves. I can't imagine wanting to swim in the cold rain, but these young kids had the guts to.
Cabo de Especial, go west to lands end
Favorite thing: Cabo de Especial is not in the VT database under any spelling that I tried in the Portugese, Spanish, English, or American maps that I used.
But it IS there and the area is beautiful, "lands end" with its lighthouse and monastary.
It was totally surprising to find a small souvenier shop in the monastary, the whole area has the feel of being totally deserted. But if you have the time, walk along the cliffsides between the monastary and lighthouse, or even better have a picnic.
Fondest memory: To find the place just keep going westward from Sesimbra. A few of the roadsigns are confusing, but you will find it and for us it was worth the extra effort.
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
- Religious Travel
Fortaleza de São Tiago
Favorite thing: The Fortress of St. Tiago is on the beach in Sesimbra. It was built on the coast in the 17th century to protect the town from invaders. The fortress makes such a beautiful addition to the beach.
more street cafes
Favorite thing: This restaurant was tucked amongst some tiny streets, rather difficult to find. You get a great workout climbing the hills of Sesimbra.
more freezing kids
Favorite thing: ....whereas these kids couldn't take the ice cold water anymore and were smart enough to get out and throw a towel on.
rent fun boats
Favorite thing: You can rent these paddle-boats with slides attached to them. It seems like a strange novelty, yet they are extremely popular and on a sunny day everyone will be lounging about on them.
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