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Sesimbra Beaches and Best Beach

Sesimbra is a popular holiday destination that is situated on a coastline of beautiful and varied beaches. Within walking distance of the town are glorious sandy beaches, which open out on to clean and calm sea waters. Surround Sesimbra is a region of stunning natural beauty, including the Serra da Arrabida nature park, the Cabo Espichel and the wild beaches of the southern Costa da Caparica coastline. Each of these regions have unique beaches, perfectly suited for different types of tourists, and this guide will provide an introduction to the beaches of Sesimbra.

The Praia da Califórnia Sesimbra

The Praia da Califórnia in Sesimbra

Quick Overview of Sesimbra’s Beaches

Best beach within walking distance of Sesimbra - Praia da Califórnia
Best beach for families - Praia da Califórnia or Praia do Ouro
Most beautiful beach – Praia do Creiro or Praia dos Galapinhos
Best surfing beach – The entire Costa da Caparica coastline
Where to escape summer time crowds - Praia das Bicas
Nudist beach - Praia do Meco
For a touch of paradise - Tróia Peninsula



Useful information for the beaches of Sesimbra

The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from May until the end of September, with July and August the busiest months. The sea waters are always cold as they are fed by the Atlantic Ocean, only reaching a chilly 20C in the height of the summer (when it could be +35C on the beach). On the surfing beaches there can be strong tides and currents, only surf where it is safe to. Parasols become and essential in the summer and can be hired for €15per day.

Introduction to Sesimbra’s Beaches

The beaches of Sesimbra can be grouped into three areas:
• The town beaches which are within walking distance of Sesimbra
• The beaches of the Serra da Arrabida (often referred to as the Portinho da Arrabida)
• The beaches of the Costa da Caparica (which includes the Lagoa de Albufeira)

The beaches closest to the town are the most accessible but tend to be the busiest during the summer months. The bay of Sesimbra is divided into two beaches with the Praia do Ouro closer to the fishing harbour and the Praia da Califórnia to the east. Both beaches are very similar and have calm sea waters which are suitable for families.

Praia do Ouro sesimbra

The Praia do Ouro overlooks the fishing harboura

The beaches of the Portinho da Arrabida are considered as some of Portugal’s finest beaches. They are in a stunning location, backed by the green hills or steep cliffs of the national park, while the calm waters of blues and turquoises overlook the Sado Estaury. These beaches can get busy during the summer and need a rental car to visit. The Portinho da Arrabida includes four different beaches and the largest is the Praia da Figueirinha

Arrábida National Park

The wonderful Portinho da Arrabida coastline

The Costa da Caparica is the 17km long beach that stretches the western side of the Setubal Peninsula. This coastline is very different from the other two as it is exposed to the powerful Atlantic Ocean and is the place to head to for surfing or body boarding. The southern edge of the Costa da Caparica is significantly quieter than the northern side and the area has a wild and rugged atmosphere.

Sesimbra beach

The Lagoa de Albufeira is a series of sandy lagoons that offer sheltered waters on the southern side of the Costa da Caparica. The lagoon’s beaches are surrounded by pine forests and it is hard to believe that this tranquil setting is less than a 30 minute drive from central Lisbon.

Where to go to avoid the summer crowds

During the short Portuguese summer holidays the Portuguese flock to the beaches and the beaches of Sesimbra are no exception. To avoid the crowds it is suggested to visit the southern edge of the Costa da Caparica as these are the largest beaches of the region. The beaches also tend to be the busiest at the weekends.

Praia da Figueirinha

The Costa da Caparica

Tourist information for Sesimbra’s beaches

The majority of the visitors to the beaches of the Sesimbra region will either be Portuguese holidaymakers or day-trippers, there will be few other foreign tourists. The beaches of Sesimbra attract a range of ages and are suitable for all visitors, the only exception is Meco Beach which is Portugal’s oldest and most famous nudist beach.

Sesimbra surf

It is possible surf close to Sesimbra but a rental car is needed

For families it is recommended to avoid the strong currents and tides of the Costa da Caparica beaches. During the summer all of the popular beaches are supervised by life guards. Parasols and sun loungers can be rented for E10-15 per day. It is advisable to bring sun tan lotion and sun blocks from your home country as they are very expensive in Portugal.

Travel to Sesimbra’s Beaches

A rental car is needed to visit the beaches of the Sesimbra region. The only beaches which are accessible from Lisbon by public transport are the beaches which are within walking distance of Sesimbra. During the day there are regular and inexpensive bus services between Lisbon and Sesimbra, for a guide please click here.

Tróia Peninsula

The paradise beaches of the Tróia Peninsula

Car parking can be difficult to find for the beaches of the Portinho da Arrabida but there is no public transport to them, even from Sesimbra.

The best guide to Sesimbra