Things to do in Sesimbra

Our most recommended things to do in Sesimbra

Sesimbra: Coasteering Adventure in Arrábida Natural Park

1. Sesimbra: Coasteering Adventure in Arrábida Natural Park

Explore the coast of Portugal’s picturesque Sesimbra on a unique coasteering activity, and experience the latest adventure sport craze to hit Portugal and Arrábida. Coasteering is a mix of rock climbing, rappelling, swimming and walking, and Sesimbra is one of the best spots for the sport. Thanks to its combination of a natural protected area with the blue green translucent waters of the sea, coasteering in Sesimbra is a special adventure guaranteed to be a thrill whatever time of year. Meet your guide at the Porto de Abrigo to collect your coasteering equipment. As you’d expect, this activity requires several security measures, and you will be assisted and monitored by experienced professionals all the time. You’ll be provided with a helmet, buoyancy aid wet suit, and trainers. Some routes require rappelling and the use of a harness. Ropes and rescue kits are available in case of an emergency, but typically the activity is a cool and calm experience. Marvel at the breathtaking landscapes as you swim, walk, climb, and jump. Clamber over magnificent rocky escarpments that plunge over bays and coves.

Lisbon: Sesimbra Kayak Discovery Experience

2. Lisbon: Sesimbra Kayak Discovery Experience

This discovery tour by kayak is 3-hour guided tour which begins from the Bork outdoor center in Sesimbra Harbour. The tour travels through the Bay of Sesimbra, before also traveling along the beautiful coast of Arrabida Nature Park and Luiz de Saldanha Maritime Reserve. Your guide/instructor will help you find your way, as you explore the cliffs, caves, and other geological wonders during the tour. You’ll also have time to rest and enjoy a snack on Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo, one of Portugal’s areas which contains crystal clear waters. You will then paddle back toward Sesimbra Harbour, where your tour began. This tour by kayak is the best way to have fun with family and friends while admiring unique landscapes and taking amazing souvenir photos.

Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

3. Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

Spend a full day exploring the Setubal region of Portugal on a tour that takes you through the countryside to see castles and taste wine. Begin your trip by crossing the Tagus River on your way to the impressive Cabo Espiche on the westernmost point of the Sesimbra coastline. Then, it is time to go to the fishing town of Sesimbra and visit a Moorish castle. This seaport town also boasts plenty of beaches and restaurants serving fresh seafood. Nearby is Arrábida Natural Park, located on the shore of the Sado River estuary. Visit the famous beaches of Portinho da Arrábida and Figueirinha, before heading to Setubal for a fish lunch! After lunch you will make your way to the astonishing Arrabida Mountain. This is a protected (Arrabida Natural Park) area. Here you will visit a a small local family owned cellar in the middle of the peaceful Arrabida Mountain to learn more about how this precious nectar is made. You will see the vineyards, see how the process is completed and of course, taste the results. All this is done in the company of a local, in an informal and funny way.

Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

4. Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

Experience the flavors and natural beauty of Portugal on this lovely full-day tour. Heading towards Portugal's Extremadura region, you will travel out of Lisbon over the longest bridge in Europe, the Vasco da Gama Bridge. In Palmela, you will find a Moorish castle offering fantastic photo opportunities. Visit a family estate where you can try homemade wine. Then continue through the mountains of the Arrábida National Park - up to 500 meters or 1,640 feet above sea level- and marvel at the spectacular views of one of Portugal's most beautiful landscapes. The park is also home to many plant and animal species found exclusively in this region. Much of the park is subject to strong protective measures and certain locations can only be accessed with special permission. Time for a short break. Take a relaxed stroll on the beach of Portinho Arrábida and enjoy the cool sea breeze and crisp air. Then, head to the charming fishing village of Sesimbra to have lunch at one of the village's friendly local restaurants with delicious dishes featuring the day's fresh catch. In the summer, cool off with a swim in the Atlantic, or simply go for another walk along the village's inviting beaches. Don't miss your chance to visit the village's beautifully restored church dating back to 1725, or take a walk to explore the Sesimbra Castle. Of course, the perfect follow-up to a delicious meal is great wine. Take part in a guided tour of the José Maria da Fonseca winery, one of the oldest in Portugal. It is still family-owned. Discover the region's outstanding wines at a wine tasting that includes 2 local varieties. As a perfect finale, take in the view over Lisbon from the platform of the Christ the King statue before crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge and heading back to Lisbon.

Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

5. Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

Enjoy a boat tour in Arrábida Natural Park, starting at Sesimbra and heading towards Cabo Espichel. Wild beaches, stunning bays, caves and cliffs are some of the highlights of this magnificent tour. Set out on an adventure to discover all the splendour of this unique ecosystem. The tour will start at the sheltered port of Sesimbra. Firstly, visit the famous Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy the surrounding landscape as you dive and swim in the crystal clear waters. The tour will then proceed to the west where you will visit the mythical beaches of Mijona and Inferno.  Continue along the Arrábida Natural Park and see the famous whaling bay, taking the opportunity to learn a little about the history of the fishermen who used to hunt whales in this same area. Dive and swim in the crystal clear waters of this same beach. Typical liquor from the Setubal region will also be served. After this stop, sail towards Cabo Espichel where you will visit more caves and landscapes of incredible wonder. After all this adventure, return to the harbor of Sesimbra where this experience ends.

Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

6. Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

Depart from the Sesimbra Harbor and search for dolphins in their natural habitat with your marine biologist guide. See Bottlenose Dolphins as well as Short Beaked Common Dolphins in the clear blue waters of the park.  Learn about their food habits, group behaviors and family relations. Observe various forms of other wildlife, including birds, as well. At the end of the dolphin watching activity, take the opportunity to swim and sunbathe in one of the Portugal's most beautiful beaches, only accessible by sea. Also, visit some caves and rock formations along the coastline of the park.

Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

7. Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

This boat tour goes along the coastline in search of dolphins that is possible to find again on the Marine Reserve of Arrábida. The tour will take you to the most known sighting, with a 95% success rate in dolphin sightings. The boats used are powerful semi-inflatable boats with seats and all the comfort and safety for a 3-hour journey. It's always a good experience, that combines the dolphins with a wonderful boat tour on a cost line of calm and pristine waters, that is protected from the north winds by the Arrábida mountain.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

8. From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Look for bottlenose dolphins in the Sado Estuary on a scenic cruise from Sesimbra. Board the boat at Sesimbra Recreational Port, and then cruise along the Sado River towards Arrábida National Park. Look for the resident bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, along with common dolphins and dwarf whales. Interact with the delightful creatures as they feed, socialize and frolic in the water. Benefit from the services of an expert guide who will enlighten you about the marine environment and biodiversity of the shore. Learn about the geology and get information about local points of archaeological importance. If the weather conditions allow, and there is interest among the participants, stop in a strategic and sheltered place to swim in the calm and crystal-clear waters.

Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

9. Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

Discover the stunning beauty of the Arrábida Natural Park on the Sado River estuary on a full-day sightseeing tour from Lisbon. Following a pick-up from your hotel or apartment, transfer by air-conditioned minivan across the 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), which spans the Tagus River and sets you on course for the coastal town of Cascais. Relax on the 30-minute journey to Arrábida Natural Park, and then marvel at the abundance of trees and beautiful flora. The 108-acre park is one of 30 nationally protected regions and is home to the famous Convento de Nossa Senhora da Arrábida, a former monastery built in the 16th century. Continue through the park, catching glimpses of the golden sand beaches surrounding the Albufeira Lagoon (Lagoa de Albufeira). Go to Cabo Espichel and hop out to explore the Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Cabo Espichel, a pilgrim site since the early 18th century. Stroll to the nearby cliffs for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to the Setubal Peninsula to explore the quiet fishing town of Sesimbra. Head to the Moorish Castle high above the town, before a break for lunch (own expense), either in Sesimbra or in the nearby bay of Portinho da Arrábida. Your guide will be happy to provide recommendations. If you selected the optional 3-hour dolphin cruise, rendezvous with your guide and transfer to a luxury catamaran. Cruise the serene waters listening to live onboard narration and keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins. Alternatively, bask in the sun at one of Arrábida’s hidden beaches, or taste traditional food and wine at a local cellar. Transfer back to Lisbon for the end of the tour services, enjoying the splendid views along the way.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak and Caves Tour

10. From Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak and Caves Tour

Depart from Sesimbra and discover the beauty of Arrábida's Natural Park. Go into the protected area of Arrábida and explore the different types of habitats, from mountains to the sea. Venture along the coast on a kayak to discover sacred caves that are only accessible by the sea. Find a secret beach on your way towards the remarkable karst formation of Frade's cave. Enjoy the coastal landscape and get up close to the impressive rock formations with your guide's help. On our way back to Sesimbra, stop on the peaceful beach of Ribeira do Cavalo. Enjoy a snack and swim in the transparent and calm waters, surrounded by dramatic rock formations. Taste some typical sweets from the region to cap off this amazing experience.

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What people are saying about Sesimbra

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,837 reviews

Wow! This is a must do activity for everyone. There was swimming, little climbing, and jumping off cliffs. The water was refreshingly cold but wet suits helped (Sept/Oct). The Vertente Natural guides were friendly and knowledgeable about the area and keeping us safe. There are difficulty routes and high jumps but there is always an easy way out if needed. I wish I could remember the guides name but he particular did a fantastic job with our youngest son encouraging him to be adventurous but keeping him safe as well. Family of 4 from USA (ages 12-47). We will do this again when we return to Portugal. The only recommendation would be if guides could take pictures during. Next time I will bring a disposable water camera in small dry bag that could clip to belt: the views of rocks, cliffs, caves and water were fabulous; worth catching of film. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We had an amazing morning on our trip. Everyone was really friendly and the staff on the catamaran were very knowledgeable. The views of the coastline are stunning and even though it took us a while to find the group of dolphins they were not in any rush and reassured us that we would find them and it was definitely worth the wait when we did! I would highly recommend this excursion for anyone in the area!

What a great tour. Even though the weather was grey we still managed to have a great day of wine tasting and touring the Setubel region. Our tour guide was amazing and full of stories of Portugal’s tumultuous history. It was great to have a small group of 6 people which meant we could take our time at the wine tastings and ask lots of questions. I would recommend this tour to everyone. Thank you.

Jorge, our guide, was very nice. He was new doing this tour so could have explained a little more as we were driving to locations. Wineries were very different and the wine was very good. Van was new and nice to ride in.

Beautiful morning on the water following dolphins and meandering along the rocky shore, including stopping for a swim.