Things to do in
Sesimbra

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Our most recommended things to do in Sesimbra

Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

1. Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Depart from Setubal or Tróia onboard a 22-meter long catamaran and go in search of the community of dolphins that inhabit the Sado estuary. Be accompanied by a knowledgeable crew who will use their expertise to locate these playful dolphins in their natural habitat. Learn more about this unique dolphin community, the only one of its kind in Portugal, with your expert guides. Sail through the estuary and admire the beautiful landscapes of the coastline of the Arrábida Natural Park. Keep an eye out for the playful dolphins which have inhabited this part of the coast for generations. Watch the dolphins frolic and play as they swim through the calm waters. Hear more about their feeding habits, breeding and their relationship to humans on an informative and relaxing boat trip.

From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

2. From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

Discover the wonders of the Sesimbra in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park on this guided trip. Explore the water by kayak and stop at the Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach for a picnic and some relaxation in the sun. Choose between pickup from Lisbon or meeting directly in the ancient village of Sesimbra (about a 45-minute drive from Lisbon). Once in Sesimbra, hop in a kayak to go into the ocean. Sesimbra is located in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park and has the most beautiful landscape in the region, filled with limestone cliffs, grouts, passages in between rock formations, and a beach to enjoy a break and soak in the sun. The first leg on the Kayak from the starting point is about 1.5-hours of paddling until you reach Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy a picnic break where you can admire the landscape in a relaxed way. Options are available if you have food allergies or other restrictions (a message will be sent with extra info about the food and with extra info before the start of the trip). The second leg on the kayaks will bring you back to the starting point. The journey in general is a bit faster as you'll have some wind helping you on the return route. If you chose pickup, get driven back to Lisbon for drop-off.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak and Caves Tour

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

Depart from Sesimbra and discover the beauty of Arrábida Natural Park. Enter the protected area to explore the different types of habitats, from the mountains to the sea. Venture along the coast by kayak to locate sacred caves that are only accessible by boat. Encounter secret beaches as you make your way towards the remarkable karst formation of the Gruta do Frade. Soak up the coastal scenery and get up close to the impressive rock formations with the help of your guide. Then, make your way back towards Sesimbra and stop at the tranquil beach of Ribeiro do Cavalo. Enjoy a snack and go for a swim in the transparent waters, surrounded by dramatic rock formations. Taste some typical sweets from the region to end your amazing experience.

Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

4. Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

Depart from the Marina and search for dolphins in their natural habitat. See bottlenoses dolphins as well as common dolphins in the clear blue waters of the park, without disturbing their natural behaviour.  Observe various forms of wildlife and birds in the park. Swim and sunbathe on some of Portugal's most beautiful beaches, only accessible by sea. Visit caves and rock formations along the entire coastline of the park and hear of the mysterious history during the XVIII century from your local guide.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

5. 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

6. 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.

Sesimbra and Arrabida Natural Park Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

7. Sesimbra and Arrabida Natural Park Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

The 8-hour excursion begins with a drive to Palmela, a town known for its natural beauty. Visit the castle and enjoy magnificent views over the plain between the Tagus and Sado rivers. You’ll see the hills of São Francisco and Arrábida and also the Cristo Rei. Next stop is at the gates of the park, on the grounds of Azeitão. Inside Arrábida Natural Park you’ll learn about the protected area and its native plants and wildlife. You’ll also have an opportunity to relax in Portinho Arrábida. In the afternoon you’ll head to Sesimbra, a fishing village, where you’ll enjoy a walk along the coastal way that extends through the village. Visit the castle, now a National Monument. Continue on to Cabo Espichel for stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean and stop for a wine tasting.

Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

8. 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.

Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

9. 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: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

10. Arrábida: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

Take in a unique experience designed for those who want adventure and nature activities. The region of the Arrábida Natural Park and the Marine Park Luiz Saldanha offers the ideal conditions for Kayaking: good weather, clear and transparent waters, and a vast sea coast to explore.  Enjoy 2 hours of kayaking along the coast where you can admire one of the most scenic views of Portugal. Enjoy the quiet and narrow beaches between rocks and secret caves along the Serra da Arrábida.  Stop at Pedra da Anicha, a small island of clear and transparent waters. Take your time to snorkel and explore the great biological diversity, cracks, and underwater cavities that provide an excellent diving experience.

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What people are saying about Sesimbra

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 999 reviews

I did the kayaking experience with 6 other friends. The guide Rui was very helpful. One of our friends knew she would get tired while kayaking and Rui paired up with her. He didn't mind doing all the work. We went through rock formations and a cave, and stopped by a beach to eat. Rui also does other custom hike + kayaking tours which we would have loved to do. He was fluent in English and happy to answer all our questions on Arrabida and Portugal as a whole.

Luciano was an amazing guide to us. He made the experience really fun and exiting. We kayaded our way to a small island where we stopped later to snorkel. He was very helpful and made our snorkelling experience worthwhile. Amaaaazing, amazing experience. He was also being a good teacher and helped me find happiness in the ocean. Highly recommended experience

Wonderful boat tour, views and atmosphere. Both tour guides were amazing, friendly and shared interesting stories. Seeing the dolphins was the highlight of the tour and the boat tour in general was extraordinary.

It was a wonderful day, the trip was excellently organized and the tour guide was flexible in responding to all requests.

Very good activity - spent almost an hour next to the dolphins. Great tour guides Definitely recommend.