South of Lisbon, on the coast, we find Sines: a small fishing village. Characterized by its fishing town roots, it retains the colors, culture and charm of a village with this lifestyle.
Sines is a Portuguese city of Setúbal district. It is the seat of a municipality with an area of 203.30 km² and 14 238 inhabitants, subdivided into 2 parishes (Sines e Porto Covo). The municipality is bordered to the north and east by the municipality of Santiago do Cacém, to the south by Odemira and to the west has coastline in the Atlantic Ocean. The coast of the municipality, to the south of São Torpes, is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park.
Only 1h45min 1h of road from Lisbon, Capital of Portugal, and 53min from Comporta, it’s a very special place to visit and discover.
Sines will allow you have different experience at various levels, both gastronomic and cultural as well as fun and relaxation on the beach. Sines is a good place to visit with your family or friends, you have a lot in one place, you have beach, history (cultural heritage), you have good food, and also you are visiting a wonderful place.
Sines in Portugal, a city in Alentejo that has had a visible growth in recent years, being an important port-industrial complex, increasingly invites and attracts tourists, especially in summer.
Its long history is marked on the cliff, where the castle and the Fort of Revelim meet: both were originally built as a protection but today are both two of the most beautiful viewpoints of Portugal.
It was the connections to the sea and its resources that developed the economy and culture of this small town. Formerly a fishing-oriented city, which is still a local activity today, it becomes a place of visit for tourists.
Some traditions and legends claim that here was born the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, who discovered the maritime road to India, and is one of the most present emblems of this city. But they don’t know the exactly place where he was born.
Sines is the scene of different celebrations: Feast of Our Lady of Rooms, Feast of Our Lady of Solitude and Carnival of Sines. But it is also known for its traditions in gastronomy and crafts.
This is a very culturally rich city, with a great offer of monuments and archaeological remains that can be visited.
What to do at Sines in Portugal?
If you are visiting Sines in Portugal and want to know what to do in this small fishing town, here you can find some ideas:
This is a city with plenty of Roman influences. For this reason, besides the beauty of the beaches and the cliff, also get to know the most charismatic streets and spaces in the area, such as:
– Rua direita;
– Rua da Praça;
– Praça Tomás Ribeiro;
– Largo do Muro da Praia;
– Largo do Poeta do Bocage;
– Largo dos Penedos.
Museu de Sines – The Sines Museum was opened in 2008 and contains a dynamic exhibition about the XX century in Sines in historical, ethnographic and developmental terms. In this modern museum you will also find an exhibition of the most significant pieces of archaeological heritage belonging to this region such as the well-known Gaio Treasure and also Visigothic stones. To visit the Museum and the House of Vasco da Gama:
Days: Tuesday to Sunday, including holidays (except Christmas, New Year and Easter), Periods: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. / 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (In summer, the afternoon time is 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Casa de Vasco da Gama – The Vasco da Gama House, which is part of the museum, has a set of multimedia equipment where you can learn about the biography of the famous Vasco da Gama, the places where he lived in this castle, its boats and the importance of his achievements for the History of Humanity.
Tesouro de Nossa Senhora das Salas – A must visit is the “Treasury of Our Lady of Salas”, a museum space in the Church itself, where there are exposed jewels and implements offered over the centuries to the image of the Virgin. You can also appreciate pieces from other religious monuments of the municipality of Sines, some of which are already missing, such as the Convent of St. Anthony and the Chapel of Santa Catarina.
Open from Wednesday to Sunday (except Christmas, Easter and January 1st) from 10h00-12h30 and 14h00-17h00 (in summer, the afternoon is 14h30-18h00). Admission: 1,5 euros
Castelo de Sines – Sines Castle is a medieval fortress built on a cliff point with successive occupations since the Palaeolithic, of great defensive utility and today one of the best viewpoints for the bay. The castle is built during the first half of the fifteenth century.
You can visit Sines Castle – Days: Monday to Sunday, including holidays (except Christmas, New Year and Easter), Period: 09h00-18h00.
Forte do Revelim – The Fort of Revelim (or Nossa Senhora das Salas) was built in the 17th century, designed by Eng. João Rodrigues Mouro, to defend, together with the castle, the inhabitants and boats of Sines. The fort has no opening hours to the public. For guided tour, contact the Museum of Sines.
Forte do Pessegueiro – Built by Dom Pedro II in the 17th century to defend the coast from pirates and privateers. It is located on the cliff in front of Peach Island, Porto Covo. It was used in conjunction with the fort built on the island, ruined by the 1755 earthquake. It has been a Monument of Public Interest since 1957 (Decree No. 41191 of 18 July). The fort has no opening hours to the public. For guided tour, contact the Sines Museum.
Igreja Matriz de São Salvador – The early construction of the Mother Church dates back to the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the church was deeply remodeled, with the authorization of the Order of Santiago, gaining the current look, typical of Joanino baroque. The 1755 earthquake forced several restoration works. The Mother Church is not prepared for autonomous visit by tourists. The best way to visit it is to arrange a guided tour with the Sines Museum.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Salas – Considered a National Monument, the Church of Our Lady of Salas is a very popular center of Marian devotion, especially among seafarers. The chapel was built by Vasco da Gama. The early temple dates from the XV century, having undergone alterations during the XVI century. Every year on 15 August, a festival takes place with processions on land and sea. Open from Wednesday to Sunday (except Christmas, Easter and January 1st) from 10h00-12h30 and 14h00-17h00 (in summer, the afternoon is 14h30-18h00). Admission: 1,5 euros
Capela da Misericórdia – The Church of Mercy (or Holy Spirit), commonly called Chapel of Mercy, was built at the end of the century. XVI, by permission of King Philip I of Portugal. The church is currently closed to the public, being used, sporadically, for the realization of events, being dedicated to the performance of small shows (for what presents excellent acoustics), fairs, exhibitions, colloquia, lectures, debates, meetings. The chapel has no opening hours to the public. For guided tour, contact the Sines Museum.
Igreja de Porto Covo – Currently used as a parish church, the Church of Porto Covo (also popularly known as Church of Our Lady of Soledade, because it houses the image of the patron saint of the locality), was built in the century. XVIII, based on a project by Joaquim Guilherme d’Oliveira. It is located in Largo Marquês de Pombal and is annually the center of the feasts of Nossa Senhora da Soledade. The church is not prepared for autonomous visit by tourists.
Ermida de São Sebastião – Ordered by good men of Sines on an undetermined date before the sixteenth century. It is currently used as a place of worship for the Evangelical Church.
Ermida de São Bartolomeu –
Built by the Friars of the Order of Santiago, fulfilling, it is admitted, orders of Dom Pedro I (14th century). It becomes pilgrimage destination.
Buildings to visit
Antiga Estação dos caminhos de Ferro – The Sines train station (a project by architect Ernesto Korrodi) was used for rail transport between 1936 and the mid-1990s. The beautiful tile panels depicting scenes from Sines’ history and fisherman’s life give it a beauty that makes it stand out in the city’s urban fabric. At this time only an independent visit to the outside of the station (tile panels) is possible because this train station was transformed into a restaurant.
Centro de Arte de Sines – Winner of the 2005 AICA / MC Award and finalist of the 2007 Mies van der Rohe Prize, the Sines Arts Center is a landmark building of contemporary Portuguese architecture and the main cultural and arts and education support equipment in Sines.
Vasco da Gama Statue – It was not until 1970, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the anniversary of his birth, that Sines had the desired statue (inaugurated on December 19, by the Minister of Public Works), next to the west tower of the city. Sines Castle.
Statue of Fireman – Statue of fireman’s tribute located in a landscaped spot of General Humberto Delgado Avenue, in front of the Sines Volunteer Fire Station. Inaugurated on December 1, 1993.
The beaches of Sines
Sines in Portugal, offers you 30km of coast with beaches for all tastes. The large sands in the north and the small beaches intersected by the cliffs in the south give a wide variety of environments and landscapes to the 30 kilometers of Sines coast. The dunes, which occur predominantly north of Ribeira dos Moinhos and south of Ribeira da Junqueira, are very sensitive ecosystems.
Vasco da Gama Beach
Integrated in the urban fabric of the city of Sines and witnessing the main events of its history, Vasco da Gama Beach is the heart of Sines in Portugal. Adjacent to Fishing Harbor, it is a charming urban beach that deserves to be visited, both in summer and winter. Its marginal is widely used for walks and jogging. Under the jurisdiction of the Port of Sines Administration, the beach line has a length of 360m. The protection of two jetties makes her very calm.
S. Torpes Beach
The most crowded beach in the county is linked to the legend of São Torpes. A beach with the warmest water, which makes this beach a favorite with tourists. It has good conditions for surfing. It has a paved road access on municipal road and parking for 696 seats. It is an extensive beach, with 2000m of line.
Non-urban beach with easy access, good parking and several restaurants in the surrounding area. The length of the beach line is 350m. It has good conditions for surfing.
Vale Figueiros Beach – Vieirinha
Beach associated with dunes, with access on municipal road and paved parking for 226 places. It has good conditions for surfing and restaurants.
Small beaches of Porto Covo
There are no beaches like the beaches of Porto Covo, one of the most beautiful villages in the country and certainly one of the most beautiful coasts. The whole coastline of the parish is full of small beaches of fine sand and clear water, separated by large cliffs that seem to have been made to create a sense of intimacy and exclusivity. The beaches belong to everyone, but you want to say: choose yours! Samoqueira and Buizinhos are some of the names of these treasures as small as precious. Note that all these beaches are in good sanitary condition, but some of them are difficult to access and have no permanent surveillance.
Salto Beach (naturist)
One of the small beaches of Porto Covo is Salto beach. Located between Cerro da Águia and Cerca Nova, with an environment of privacy and tranquility, since 2002 has been part of the restricted group of naturist beaches officially recognized in Portugal.
Porto Covo Beach
The main urban beach of the village of Porto Covo. It has a beach front extension of about 200m. Good surfing conditions and good parking lots. Proximity to many other small beaches to the south and north.
Ilha do Pessegueiro Beach
Beach with extensive sandy beach in front of the island of Pessegueiro. On the island, there are traces of a Roman fish salting factory. In the eighteenth century, there were plans to use the island for a large seaport (the blocks that show the beginning of its construction are still visible). It has paved road access on municipal road and parking for 131 places. On the cliff by the beach is the Forte do Pessegueiro.
North Coast Beach
Cape Sines divides the Alentejo coast in half. To the south are the small rocky beaches. To the north are miles and miles of continuous sandy beach to the Troia peninsula. The North Coast is another way of being and living the beach. It is the domain of the great spaces, of the vigorous sea.
Ports Of Sines in Portugal
Another mandatory stopping point is the ports of Sines. Facing the ocean, this small fishing town has the only recreational port on the sea coast from Setúbal to Algarve.
Porto de Recreio de Sines
Next to Vasco da Gama Beach is the Sines Recreational Port, a mandatory stopping point for pleasure boats that travel the Portuguese coast on national or international routes. It is the only seaport recreation port between Setúbal and the Algarve, in an area where recreational sailing is intense all year round. It is a management equipment of the Port of Sines.
Porto de Pesca de Sines in Portugal
The fishing port of Sines can be reached from one of several cliff slopes. Stepping onto Vasco da Gama Avenue, you immediately enter the fishing port environment: you can hear the screams of the seagulls and the sirens of the arrival of the boats, you can see in the calm waters of the bay the colorful of the trawlers. Sines is an important port for Portuguese artisanal fishing, one of the most catching species such as sardines and octopuses. Fishermen who unload nets, pots and tars on the fishnet have the same sea-grooved faces that a visitor could find here many centuries ago. One of the best places to see fishing port movement is the newly designed pedestrian / bike path on the pontoon by the pier. A few meters from the fishing port is the Armazém da Ribeira Velha building, whose massive volume is one of the most emblematic of the fishing landscape of Sines.
What experiences does Sines offer tourists?
This is a territory full of large escarpments, dune complexes, small streams, heathlands, mountain ranges. On foot, by bike or on horseback, there are very interesting places to discover in the interior of the county, from the almost secret Lagoa da Sancha (with a pedestrian route opened in 2019), to the rural areas of Cabeça da Cabra, Provence and Sonega. The southern part of the county is part of the Rota Vicentina, a network of footpaths in southwest Portugal.
In this region you are very close to the «jungle in Alentejo soil». If you are traveling with your children a good option may also be to visit Badoca Safari Park which will guarantee you an unforgettable adventure.
The municipality of Sines in Portugal is the perfect place to enjoy the sea. Characterized by its good waves, sea-related activities are highlighted. So in this region you can do: surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, fishing, diving, boating …
São Torpes is the surfers paradise of the region. There are surf schools open all year round and with academic offer for all ages and experience levels. In Sines, one can also learn sailing and kayaking.
Where to eat in Sines?
If you are looking to delight in a good fresh fish and a good variety of seafood, be sure to visit Sines in Portugal and its restaurants, which are privileged to offer you the best ingredients to provide you with a wonderful meal and to ask for more!
Some of the restaurants you can’t miss:
– Cais da Estação (which won a premium certified for best lingueirrice);
– Arte e Sal;
– Bom petisco;
– Adega de Sines;
– Pedra da Casca;
– Magic Catus.
Where to stay?
Alma da Comporta
Due to the proximity of Sines to Comporta, you can always visit this beautiful historical city and enjoy your stay in holiday rentals in Comporta. Carefully decorated houses, designed to offer to our visitors the best experiences the place has to offer, combined with the comfort of being in a home. A project designed by a family that wants to share with their guests what Comporta has to offer, with magnificent views over the rice fields. Be sure to visit us and get to know the Alma da Comporta project.