The main resort on the Bay of Setúbal, SESIMBRA is largely a day-trip destination for Lisbon residents who come here for the long sandy strip of beach, Praia da California, facing relatively still waters. Apartment buildings mushroom across the low, bare hills beyond the narrow streets of the attractive old centre, whose endless rows of café-restaurants are all filled to the gills in summer. The crowds, however, are largely Portuguese and out of season it’s an atmospheric place, with elderly fishermen gathering in groups on the seafront promenade to chat. It also makes a good base to explore the coast to the west, including the wild Cabo Espichel and the southern stretches of the Costa da Caparica.


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