Sesimbra

Sesimbra has always been a close connection to the sea. Firstly through fishery that during generations it was the principal activity of the community and actually also has a big importance in the city. The maritime tourism activities like diving have also great importance.

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Sesimbra

From Arrábida to Cape Espichel, the green
combines perfectly with the blue of the sea.

With more than half of the territory in protected area, Sesimbra is a privileged place for those who like to enjoy nature. From Arrábida to Cabo Espichel, the green of the mountain blends perfectly with the blue of the sea, creating unique landscapes.

Located along the south coast of the Setúbal Peninsula, between the Serra da Arrábida and Cape Espichel, in 1998 the Marine Park Professor Luiz Saldanha was created, with an area of 52 km2. Being an integral part of the Arrábida Natural Park, it is a protected area of the national system, its entire area is also integrated into the European conservation network - Natura 2000.

The Marine Park includes the rocky coastline between the beaches of Figueirinha and Foz. It is a part of the Portuguese coast with particular characteristics, especially with rocky bottom, of a very specific nature it results, essentially, from the fragmentation of the own rock, emphasizing. To the north of Cabo de Sines, is mostly sandy. Particularly notable for their most striking features are the presence of a system of sierras and highlands, which give the sea range a very significant protection of the north quadrant winds, dominant in continental Portugal; to the east is estuary of the river Sado, and in the ocean a configuration of the bottoms with great abyssal cannons, the Cannon of Setúbal to the south and the one of Lisbon to the west.

The protection of prevailing winds is responsible for the reduced rippling prevalent on this coast, which favors the development of many species and their reproduction as well as juveniles. This unique character in a calm way can still be responsible for the existence, in the Arrábida, of rare species in Portugal, due to the characteristic agitation of the rest coast.

It is an area with a lot of vegetal and animal diversity being registered more than 1400 species, many with important economic value. It is an area with high primary production and is used as a place of refuge and growth of juveniles of many species, namely fish, in addition to the rich flora and fauna resident, the area is still important in the renovation of resources that use it in the critical phases of their life cycles, having a nursery role, often only attributed to the estuaries.

The municipally of Sesimbra belongs to Setúbal’ district in Lisbon region (NUTII). It occupies one area of 195,7 km2 and includes 3 villages: Santiago, Castelo e Quinta do Conde.

The municipally had, in 2005, 42 076 habitants. Is limited to the north by the municipalities of Almada and Seixal, at west by Setubal and South by Atlantic Ocean.

It has a Mediterranean climate with a dry period around 80 to 100 days during Summer which average temperature ranges from 23ºC and 29ºC. In winter, temperat

The morphology of Sesimbra is marked by Serra de Arrábida with 501m of altitude and Serra dos Pinheirinhos.

In these lands, we highlight the protected area of Arriba Fóssil Costa da Caparica and it extends almost to the lagoon in Albufeira. It has a fauna and flora very important.

We also highlight the Natural Park of Arrábida that includes areas of integral and partial reserve.

In the lands of Sesimbra were found several fossil remains of dinosaurs, namely in the cliffs of Cape Espichel.

The lands of this county were conquered, at the end of century XII, to the Moors by D. Sancho I, aided by Frankish crusaders. In 1201, he was granted a charter by D. Sancho I, and in 1260, they were donated to the Knights of the Order of Sant'Iago.

In 1323, D. Dinis elevated it to Vila, being an important port of fishing, namely big fishing.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Sesimbra began to gain a fancy and development linked to the summer, resulting in a whole set of hostels for lodging the tourists and also the pilgrims who demanded the shrine of Our Lady of the Cape.

At the level of the architectural heritage, the castle of Sesimbra stands out, in which it is important to highlight the tower, the lines of the walls and its interior, where you can observe, among other structures, the silo sets excavated in the ground with chronologies Between the Muslim period and the Modern Age, in addition to a mill.

Also worthy of note is the Fort of Santiago, in whose patio you can still see a large painting on wood, from the mid-seventeenth century, which represents Saint Iago on a steed, investing, sword in hand, over a group of Castilians.

The Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, dated 1160, was rebuilt in the Mannerist style in the 18th century, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Cape Espichel, whose earliest reference dates back to the 12th century and, more surely, to the beginning of the XV century. They are an example of Portuguese popular architecture with the Church of Nossa Senhora do Cabo and Casa dos Círios. The two bodies that flank the church are traversed by arcaria that give monumentality to the whole. The facade of the church has three doors with pediment in half - shell, flanked by two bell towers. There are religious traditions in the place, known by the cape of Santa Esperança. It is assumed that the cult is of Islamic origin, having been later Christianized.

The Arrábida protected area has become the habitat for a wide variety of fauna species, including about 650 invertebrates and 200 vertebrates that include 12 amphibians, 17 reptiles, 34 mammals and 136 birds.

There are birds of prey that nest on the cliffs as the Bonelli's eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus, the buteo Buteo buteo and the common kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Cabo Espichel is part of the preferred routes for migrating birds.

Bats use the cliffs caves as shelter for reproduction and hibernation. Some bats species are in extinction danger as the bat of plush Miniopterus scheibersii.
It is also important to mentioning the presence of the fox Vulpes vulpes, the weasel Mustela nivalis and the genet Genetta genetta.

The privileged geographic location associated with the geological and climatic conditions in this hillside allowed the development of a vegetation with unique characteristics which represent an important role in national and international conservation.

Until now 1450 species and subspecies of plants have been found in the Arrábida natural park, most of them with Mediterranean distribution, but also Macaronesian and some Eurosiberian species.

Here we highlight the oak Quercus faginea and the gorse Ulex densus, an endemism of the Portuguese west-central limestone, which is very common on the Cape Espichel that makes an intense yellow landscape in April.

The high botanical value is due to the presence of unique floristic associations with species such as rosemary, thyme, heather, fennel, myrtle, as well as the extraordinary beauty of most flowers: the yellow-flowered daffodil, the orchid, the rosebush, some of them essential for beekeeping.

Sesimbra is located in a huge bay facing south, the weather being predominantly north, it is very sheltered throughout the year allowing unique conditions for diving.

​The water temperature varies between 14ºC in the winter and 20ºC in the summer, so it is ideal to use a semi-dry suit in the summer and dry suit in the winter.The visibility varies between 5 meters and 15 meters, however, all dives have a great amount of life due to more than 1400 species in the area.

Dives are done in semi-rigid boats and the trips are usually short and it's usual to return to the boarding pier after each dive.

Facilities

Customed for the efficiency and comfort of divers, we have male and female spas with a capacity for 60 people, hot water shower with towel, two classrooms, technical zone with all equipment to rent, shop with the best brands and a place where you can relax before and after dives. We are an Aqualung center with about 50 equipments available for use by our customers.

Diving Center

Dive Center Sesimbra

In our center you will find a shop specialized in diving equipment, two classrooms, male and female spas, filling station, space to wash and dry your equipment as well as a terrace area where you can relax after your dive.

Outdoor Store

Outdoor Store - Sesimbra

Inside Store

Inside Store - Sesimbra

Male Changing Rooms

Male Changing Rooms - Sesimbra

Female Changing Rooms

Female Changing Rooms - Sesimbra

Large Classroom

Large Classroom - Sesimbra

Small Classroom

Small Classroom - Sesimbra

Boats

Know the characteristics.

Homarus

Embarcação Homarus
Our semi-rigid 12-meter, two-horsepower 225-horsepower is the best and the largest dive boat operating in Sesimbra. It is equipped with probe, d-gps, radar, oxygen kit and first aid; In short, everything for the safety of divers. In terms of comfort, the "Homarus" is equipped with chairs and access ladder. There is no excuse for the discomfort that causes so many people to stop diving in Portugal.

Four Children


​Anthias Anthias


History of the center

Know our roots.


Sesimbra is most likely the most sought dive spot in Portugal mainland. Derived from its privileged south orientation, it allows diving practically throughout the year. As such Haliotis has created the Sesimbra Diving Center project, where you can find Haliotis the largest diving center in Sesimbra, with male and female changing rooms, classroom, shop and filling station, you will also find the largest boat operating in Sesimbra, your known Lioti with 15 meters.

This pleasant fishing village is located only 30km from Lisbon and its coast is protected by the Arrábida Natural Park and its wonderful waters are part of the largest Portuguese Marine Reserve (38km long, covering an area of ​​52km2 ), Professor Luís Saldanha's Marine Park, becoming in recent years a highly sought after National and International tourist destination, as it has a unique socio-cultural, gastronomic and environmental richness, making this Vila the "Mecca" of diving in Portugal.

The dives realized in this place are characterized by magnificent views of the Arrábida mountain range with its great cliffs, numerous bays and several cables. Here we can enjoy dives at different depths, between 5 and 10 meters for beginners and below 30 meters for more experienced divers and / or technicians. The great diversity and complexity of the seabed allows the observation of numerous species and more than 1,100 species of marine macro-organisms are known today. During almost all the year it´s also possible to perform fascinating night dives in complete safety.

Seahorse Pipe Fish

The fish adopted as the mascot of the Haliotis Sesimbra is the Navy, also known as Agulhina (Syngnathus acus). The Navy is often found in the waters of Sesimbra from the surface to depths of 15m, in the coastal zones of rocks and algae, but also in vasous zones. This species has a sharp snout and a long, narrow body with a variable color, usually brownish or greenish with dark spots and clear vertical bands.

Marinha

Team

Meet the members of our team, who work daily to provide the best underwater experiences.

Paulo Freitas

Base Leader paulo.freitas@haliotis.pt


Diving certifications PADI OWSI
PADI EFR Instructor

Nautical certifications Local skipper

Sofia Leão

Jorge Silva

Comercial Manager jorge.silva@haliotis.pt


Diving certifications PADI Course Director
PADI EFR Instructor Trainer
PADI DSAT Trimix Instructor Trainer
PADI DSAT Trimix Blender Instructor Trainer

Nautical certifications Coastal skipper

Contacts

Porto de Abrigo de Sesimbra
2970-152 Sesimbra

Tel. +351 910 586 132   
Tel. +351 218 006 356  
Fax. +351 210 996 386   
e-mail:
 sesimbra@haliotis.pt

How to get here

Informação Legal

Licenced by Instituto de Desporto de Portugal

Licenced by Instituto de Desporto de Portugal

All insurance by Mútua dos Pescadores

All insurance by Mútua dos Pescadores

Operator Maritimo Turistico with licence Nº17 by Capitania do Porto de Peniche

Operator Maritimo Turistico with licence Nº17 by Capitania do Porto de Peniche

Tourism licence 9/2009

Tourism licence 9/2009

Licened by Instituto da conservação da Natureza

Licened by Instituto da conservação da Natureza

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism