Califórnia beach

A long stretch of sand, set in a sheltered bay, with clear and calm waters, right in the heart of Sesimbra, a picturesque fishing village an hour south of Lisbon.


It’s near Lisbon, but they call it California for some reason. There are several explanations, but the truth is that after that first dip in its smooth waters and we’re talking about the Atlantic), the water is just fresh enough to lay out a beach towel, enjoy the hot sun and work on your tan – or perhaps start one.

Right in the heart of Sesimbra, this Blue Flag beach is one of the most sought after of this village, now also a tourist spot. In the hot days, it attracts tourists and locals alike, but those looking for a quieter spot just need to walk a few hundred metres towards the eastern edge.

After leaving the beach, there’s plenty to explore in the village. You find excellent seafood restaurants and during the summer is worth a visit when the sun goes down. If you’re heading back to Lisbon, maybe you should stay till 9pm to avoid the rush hour.


There are plenty beach facilities available and it’s patrolled during the summer.

How to get to Sesimbra

From Lisbon, the easiest way is by car. Drive along the A2 highway, via the 25 Abril suspension bridge, and after 10km exit onto N378, which leads directly to Sesimbra.

By bus, services between Sesimbra and Lisbon are inexpensive, with several services during the day, and the journey takes around 40 minutes. Buses 207 and 260 by T.S.T. (Transportes Sul do Tejo) leave from Praça de Espanha, in Lisbon. You can get to Praça de Espanha on the blue metro line. In Sesimbra, the station is 300m from the beach.

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