Where the Arrábida Natural park meets the sea, one can find a series of unspoiled beaches, most of which have Blue Flag status. Often marketed as Portugal's Dream Coast or Costa Azul, this dramatic and beautiful coastline offers white sands, clear waters and stunning views. The Costa Azul south of Lisbon is becoming one of the most talked-about tourist regions in Portugal. The Costa Azul attracts visitors who not only seek a slower pace of life but also draws those searching for an authentic Portuguese experience.
Founded in 1971 and covering 42 square miles (108 square kilometres) between Setúbal and Sesimbra, Palmela to the north and terminating at the Tejo estuary. Arrábida has a varied landscape from valleys surrounded by limestone mountain ridges, dramatic coastlines and the Arrábida mountain - Alto do Formosinho (499m) that stands guard over most of the park. This Nature Park contains vast amounts of Mediterranean shrubland biome and a large number of microhabitats. Perched on the slopes overlooking the sea is a whitewashed 16th-century Franciscan monastery. Alongside are five circular chapels which once were used for solitary meditation.
Where the park meets the sea, one finds the crystal-clear waters of the beaches of the Costa Azul. These warm waters are popular with divers and bathers alike. It was along this stretch of coastline where Tracy Bond (played by Diana Rigg) was shot dead by Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat) in a drive-by shooting at the end of the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969.
To the west of Setúbal, where the Arrábida Natural park meets the sea, one can find a series of beaches, most of which have Blue Flag status. Often marketed as Portugal's Dream Coast or Costa Azul this dramatic and beautiful coastline offers white sands, warm clear waters and stunning views. Take the coastal road off the N10-4 marked Praias and pass the cement works. There are buses from central Setúbal to most of these beaches:-
With the Arrábida Hills as the backdrop Figueirinha Beach extends over a great expanse of sand, at low tide a sandbank is exposed. Due to it's easy access, it's proximity to Setúbal (only five miles west), calm waters, size and amenities this Blue Flag beach can be quite popular, especially with those who have young families. 723
Approached via a staircase, the sheltered cove of the Galápos beach has crystal clear waters that are favoured by divers and bathers alike. With a calm swell, it's ideal for children and popular with windsurfers. Good ample parking and has a restaurant with facilities, who hire marquees, and serve good coffee. There's a lifeguard at hand. The architectural record of the area indicates the richness of marine life here that have been harvested since Neolithic times.
Separated from Praia de Galápos by a few rocks is Praia Dos Galapinhos and offers the visitor a more tranquil and secluded spot to bathe. A little further along still is Praia dos Coelhos (Arrábida) . Coelho's beach is a small cove surrounded by forest at the foot of the Arrábida Natural Park. It consists of soft white sand, with clear and calm waters. The beach is small and quiet. It has a bar that can be accessed via Galapos beach or by boat.
Fourteen miles East of Sesimbra, in the direction of the Convento da Arrábida and down a meandering road is the tranquil little beach of Praia Portinho da Arrabida which is on the turn off after the road leading to the village of the same name. The water here is warm and crystal clear. It is a great spot both for divers and bathers. There's a 17th-century fort close to the village. It is now an oceanographic museum (Museo Oceanografico). It houses live and preserved local marine animals. There's a small restaurant on the beach and more further along the coast in Portinho da Arrabida village.
The hotel is ideally located in the heart of Sesimbra and only steps away from the sandy beach. This four-star hotel features a rooftop hot tub and an outdoor covered swimming pool. Most rooms have balconies that boast a picturesque view overlooking the beach. The spacious accommodation of SANA Sesimbra Hotel is decorated in soft colours and chic furniture with a modern touch.
A buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. The Espadarte Restaurant serves tasty Portuguese-style meals, with an emphasis on fresh fish and seafood specialities. With a panoramic view over the bay and a relaxing ambience, the rooftop Caravela Bar allows guests to unwind with a drink whilst enjoying the sunset. The seafront promenade outside features several cafés and quaint little shops.
Avenida 25 de Abril, 11, 2970-634 Sesimbra, Portugal.
38º 26' 33.12" N | 09º 05' 54.8" W | +351 212 289 000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
This excellent accommodation is barely 200 metres from Sesimbra's renowned beach area. The apartments are bright, modern and well equipped. Each unit comes with a satellite TV, sofas, a DVD player and a dining area.
There is a full kitchen with a microwave and a refrigerator. The private bathroom is fully equipped with a shower, a bath, hairdryer and a bidet. Guests are free to cook their own meals in the kitchen or take advantage of the fantastic restaurants within close proximity.
55 Rua Cândido dos Reis, 2970-724 Sesimbra, Portugal.
38º 26' 40.2" N | 09º 06' 07.4" | +351 212 233 040
This wonderful beachfront hotel offers luxurious rooms with Atlantic Ocean views. Facilities include an outdoor infinity pool and a spa. The hotel was refurbished at the beginning of 2015. Now all rooms of Sesimbra Hotel & Spa enjoys comfortable and modern decor. They are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen cable TV, free WiFi, safe, minibar and a private balcony.
The spa offers a wide variety of health and beauty treatments, including hot stone massage. Other spa facilities include a small heated indoor swimming pool, a Turkish bath, sauna, tropical shower and a vertical hydromassage. Sesimbra Hotel's restaurant, Aquarius, specialises in traditional Portuguese fish and shellfish cuisine. Free private parking is provided.
Rua Navegador Rodrigues Soromenho, 2970-773, Sesimbra, Portugal.
38º 26' 34.72" N | 09º 05' 46.2" W | +351 212 289 800 | email@example.com
Translated as "People return here time after time to enjoy their masterful use of freshly caught ingredients. For the standard of cooking the Restaurante Filipe is excellent value for money. No extra charge is added for the fantastic sea views, especially magnificent at sunset. As is common in the area fish is grilled on a Brasa (over charcoal) along with a selection of house specialities including a number of Cataplanas. The staff are always friendly, welcoming and never rush you no matter how busy the restaurant is.
Daily: 12h00 - 22:00
15 Largo da Marinha, Sesimbra 2970-657, Portugal.
38º 26' 35.8" N | 09º 06' 08.3" W | +351 212 231 653
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It a homely family affair that is always welcoming and friendly, no matter how busy the restaurant is. Chancers are you'll be greeted by Mateus, the proprietor, personally who is always more than willing to make suggestions depending on the season and the day's catch. The chef is Mateus's wife, who is extremely gifted in the kitchen at both traditional Portuguese dishes and meals with their own personal flair. Their take on a green curry is infamous locally. Make sure you keep room for one of their amazing desserts. The wines on offer are locally sourced from small producers and are excellent. Although this small restaurant is tucked away in a street behind the main strip it is normally busy and booking is recommended, especially in high season.
Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 23:00
4 Largo Anselmo Braancamp, Sesimbra 2970-654, Portugal.
38º 26' 35.1" N | 09º 05' 58.8" W | +351 963 650 939
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O Velho e o Mar or "The old man and the sea" restaurant is ideally located on the promenade next to the Fortaleza de Santiago, affording great views out to sea. Somewhat a traditional restaurant. The fish is sold by the KG once chosen from the tank or as a fixed price per dose. The menu lists all dish options. You need to ask what is available on the day. There's plenty of staff at hand to offer you an efficient and friendly service, who are equally keen to advise and make recommendations. Choose a simple grilled fish or a stew, rice dish or cataplana for two to share – all options are equally fantastic.
Daily: 11h30 - 15h00/19h00 - 23:30
30-32 Rua Joaquim Brandao, Sesimbra 2970-764, Portugall.
38º 26' 34.2" N | 09º 06' 00.2" W | +351 210 879 995
|32 miles (46km) south of Lisbon Portela Airport.
GET A GREAT DEAL ON YOUR FLIGHT HERE:
|From Lisbon take the A2 South over the Ponte do 25 Abril bridge and take up the N378 after seven miles (10km) into Sesimbra.
Latitude - 38º 31' 33.1" | Longitude - 08º 53' 43.1"
GET A GREAT DEAL ON YOUR CAR HIRE HERE:
The closest train station is in neighbouring Setúbal.
Urban train services (comboios urbanos) from Barreiro train station, south bank of the Tejo river (reached by ferry from Lisbon Timetable
Sul do Tejo buses service Sesimbra and the surrounding area: Website
• 205: Cabo Espichel - Sesimbra (via Serra Azóia): Timetable
• 207: Lisboa (Pça Espanha) - Sesimbra (via AE): Timetable
• 230: Setúbal - Sesimbra: Timetable
• 260: Lisboa (Pça Espanha) - Sesimbra (via Laranjeiro): Timetable