During the trip planning, I had set myself the challenge to find sun, sea and seafood near Alentejo that matches our glorious Californian road trips. The municipality of Sesimbra in the district of Setubal had surpassed my expectations by ticking all the boxes and offered so much more than I could ever hoped for. Let me try to convince you.
Get some shades on and let’s visit Cabo Espichel, an hour and 25 minutes drive westwards from the L’and Vineyard Resort, Montemor-O-Novo. Nature-lovers will not be able to get enough of Cabo Espichel’s wild rugged landscape. This is your chance to witness breathtaking cliffs that are constantly pounded by the ferocious waves of the Atlantic ocean. Cabo Espichel’s coastline is a feast for all senses dominated by Cabo Espichel’s Lighthouse, undoubtedly the star of the show of the cape of the Setubal Peninsula. Set your hearts on a coastal walks where dinosaurs used to roam. Your dreams will surely be fulfilled by spending half a day at Cabo Espichel.
For lunch, we drove a good half an hour’s drive to visit the picturesque Sesimbra town centre. Sesimbra is frequented by Lisboetas and tourists who are in the know. Don’t trade your tastebuds for the touristy seafood restaurants lining the Sesimbra beachfront. Casa Mateus is located on a sidestreet near the waterfront. We asked to be seated at a table outside the Casa Mateus restaurant so that we can catch some sun and seafood. We ordered starters of mussels cooked in tomatoes and white wine, fish soup with nice chunks of fish and garlicky shrimps, followed by the main course of fish stew and a monkfish with bacon bits cooked in a white wine sauce. To accompany the meal, we shared a bottle of Duoro’s Pomares Moscatel Galego Branco 2015. We were so full that there was literally no space for desserts. Do not miss out on Casa Mateus’s fish stew if you get the chance, it’s quite unforgettable. Thumbs up to Casa Mateus for such yummylicious fare! Bravo to Tripadvisor for the recommended ranked No. 1 Sesimbra Casa Mateus restaurant had come up trumps!
We walked off our lunch by strolling along the Praia do Ouro, one of Sesimbra’s many beaches and admired its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. I recalled a gang of sun-bathing seagulls dotting the seashores. It was really relaxing to hear the waves gently crashing onto the seashores. We also had the opportunity to check out the streets of Sesimbra. There are some streets that have quite a steep incline, so be forewarned! I love this particular building who had pictures of fishes painted on its bluish doors and windows. I feel that this picture had encapsulated our sun and sea experience at Sesimbra. What do you think?
Having left the Sesimbra city, we rounded off our sun and sea escapade by doing an N379-1 loop drive which hugs the coastal lines of Parque Natural da Serra da Arrabida. The bends and curves of this loop drive will surely delight bikers. If you have time, do take a short detour and visit Portinho da Arrabida. Unfortunately, because the sun is ready to say goodbye to the day, I had missed out on paying homage to Portinho da Arrabida.
Do tell me about your adventures at Portinho da Arrabida. Wait for me Sesimbra for you have captured my heart. Tchau!
- Casa Mateus
Signature dish: Fish stew
Address:Largo Anselmo Braancamp N 4, Sesimbra 2970-654, Portugal