Sines
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SINES

Sines started as a traditional fishing village, famed for being the birthplace of Vasco da Gama in the 15th century and possibly dates back to Roman times. However, during the 1970s Sines underwent major redevelopment with the construction of Portugal's largest port along with an oil refinery and the petrochemical industry that accompanies it. That said some vestiges of the fishing village remain and are worth a visit when in the area, such as the recently restored 13th-century castle and its small museum and some old churches. The human occupation goes far back to Roman times when it was called Sinus and was an important trading outpost.

Sines is located 150km (93miles) south of the capital in the Setúbal District and the surrounding coastline forms the northern edge of the Vicentine Coast Natural Park. What Sines lacks in looks is made up by its practicability. If you're planning to discover the area by car, Sines will make a great base.

ABOUT TOWN

Sines Old Town

|  Sines Old Town


Vasco da Gama Monument

|  Vasco da Gama Monument

Albeit the industrialisation that took place in Sines during the 1970s the Old Town (Centro Histórico) retains much of its original charm. Hiding within the narrow cobbled streets behind the castle, one can find a quaint small square and interesting eateries.


Vasco da Gama Monument

Sines' most famous celebrity was born in the castle in the 1460s although the actual date remains open to conjecture. Vasco da Gama became famous following his voyage to India between 1497 and 1499. His voyages expanded Portugal's global trading empire. The monument in his likeness faces the sea next to the west tower of the castle. It was created in 1970 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his epic journey.
37° 57' 17.0" N | 08° 52' 01.6" W


Sines Castle

The deep waters around Sines made the town an ideal location for a harbour since the middle ages. The castle was built in the 15th-Century to protect Sines from Viking raiders and pirates. It occupies the spot where an iron age settlement once stood. The walls of the castle had to squeeze into an area defined by existing buildings giving it an irregular shape and small size. The walls are strengthened by three turrets, the tallest has three floors and great views out to sea through a mullioned window at the top. The castle was home to Estêvão da Gama, father of Vasco da Gama. Restoration work was completed in 2008 and the castle has been a Public Interest Monument since 1933. Inside the keep is the small Museu de Sines outlining the history of Sines and the Age of Discovery. Tuesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 17h00, Monday: CLOSED | FREE
Largo Poeta Bocage, 7520 Sines, Portugal. | 37° 57' 19.3" N | 08° 52' 01.4" W
+351 269 860 095 | museu@mun-sines.pt


Capela de Nossa Senhora das Salvas

This 16th-century whitewashed large chapel is classified as a national monument that overlooks the ocean. The architectural style is typical of Southern Portugal and is similar to Igreja de São Bartolomeu, also found in Sines. The main portal is Manueline in style and has inscriptions inlaid in its stone.
Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 12h30/14h30 – 18h00, Monday – Tuesday: CLOSED


Praia Vasco da Gama Beach

The castle of Sines looms over the stretch of sand that is the Praia Vasco da Gama Beach. Located within the marina resulting in calm, if not a little oily, waters. The promenade is popular with strolling lovers and anglers alike. Nocturnal activities such as concerts happen here frequently. | 37º 57' 10.7" N | 08º 51' 54.5" W

COSTA DOURADA

The coast south of Sines has an undeniably rugged beauty, which albeit a few coastal villages, is mostly undeveloped. One hundred-kilometre stretch of this coastline is sometimes marketed as the Costa Dourada. Running south of Sines all the way down to the Cabo de São Vicente in the western Algarve. Much of this area falls within the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano & Costa Vicentina nature reserve and is protected by law. The remainder of our guide to the Alentejo Coast falls within the Costa Dourada.

From Sines, there is a minor road that hugs the coves and high dunes as far as Porto Corvo. The coastal road meanders past quaint coves and secluded beaches. Each beach is serviced by good parking there isn't very much else and amenities are non-existent for the most part. At Praia de Morgavel and Praia da Navalheira there are a few eateries thanks mainly to the nearby campsite.
37º 54' 26.3" N | 08º 47' 57.9" W

The beach widens at the Praia de Vale Figueiros and Praia da Oliveirinha beaches which have their own access roads. Surfers here take advantage of the wilder swell here. There's a beach café and surf school at Praia de Vale Figueiros. 37º 53' 42.4" N | 08º 47' 49.8" W

The coastal road continues snaking its way through grassy dunes past secluded beaches and beautiful landscapes. The waters of the Atlantic with shades of turquoise and blues lap up over extraordinary rock formations without a soul in sight. It's not until you get close to Porto Covo you'll see any number of fellow visitors. Several small coves offer some shade during the hottest days of summer.

Praia de Morgavel

|  Praia de Morgavel

TOP TOURS

Private Tour to Alentejo coast, Comporta beach, Alcacer do Sal and Setubal

Private Tour to Alentejo coast, Comporta beach, Alcácer do Sal and Setúbal

Enjoy visits Sines on the beautiful Alentejo Coast, 160 km south of Lisbon, a rewarding nine hours tour experience. The Alentejo Coast is a beautiful part of Portugal. Discover the impressing Alcácer do Sal and Santiago de Cacém castles and enjoy some memorable views. Then visit Sines, an old fishing town, famous as the birthplace of the explorer Vasco da Gama. See Vasco da Gama’s statue, with its square-like silhouette, faces the sea just a next Sines castle. After lunch, drive through the Alentejo Coast in the direction of Tróia Peninsula, take the ferry across the Sado estuary to Setúbal, with luck see the dolphins. Then cross the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the longest bridge in Lisbon and Europe. Your tour also includes a free and flexible pick-up (8AM) and drop-off (6PM) from your accommodation, private driver/guide, ferry tickets and lunch.

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Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park with a Local

Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park with a Local

Visit some of the most important places of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast of Portugal Natural Park. Learn some of the history behind those places. Spend the day contemplating amazing views of the coast of Portugal. You'll have the chance to enjoy lunch with a sea view, eat fresh seafood from the area, or try one of the traditional dishes from this area of Alentejo, also known for its gastronomy.

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Full Day Private Tour - Portugal's SouthWest Atlantic Coast (Costa Vicentina)

Full Day Private Tour - Portugal's SouthWest Atlantic Coast (Costa Vicentina)

Experience an unforgettable day during this private full-day tour of Portugal’s remote coastal region. Avoid the hassle of travelling with a group on this private tour, which can be customised to suit your preferences. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and head towards the picturesque Tróia region. From there, you’ll explore gorgeous Melides, Santo André, Sines, Porto Covo and Milfontes. Feast on a delicious lunch of seafood in Zambujeira do Mar and head down the coast to Odeceixe. After stopping through some small Portuguese villages on the way home, the guide will return you to your hotel in the evening.
• A private full-day tour of Portugal’s southern coast
• Wander the small-town villages of Teotónio and Odemira
• Tread in the footsteps of Vasco da Gama in Sines
• Feast on fresh seafood in Zambujeira do Mar
• Learn about the history and culture of the region

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PORTO COVO

Porto Covo

|  Porto Covo

Once a fishing village Porto Covo's main source of income now is tourism. There are enough vestiges of the town's heritage to make Porto Covo an attractive destination. In the centre, amongst the cobbled, whitewashed streets, is the pretty main square, Praça Marquês de Pombal. It has been tastefully restored and is a hub of activity. There are several quality restaurants in the square that specialise in locally caught seafood. The pedestrianised Rua da Vasco da Gama runs from here directly to the seafront and paths that provide access to the coves and beaches.

In the small harbour fishing boats still bob up and down but now are used for ferrying people to the Ilha do Pessegueiro (Peach Tree Island). Albeit the vast amount of visitors Porto Covo receives during the holiday season, the town does well to maintain a very laid-back atmosphere. Porto Covo is the destination of choice for those who want to avoid noisy bars and the party scene. The great number of holiday homes that have sprung up on the outskirts indicate are a reflection of the family-orientated holidaymakers who frequent here. Bus services connect Porto Covo with Santiago do Cacém, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Almograve and Zambujeira do Mar. | 37º 51' 25.7" N | 08º 47' 37.4" W | Find a hotel deal in Porto Covo ►

Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro
This extensive sandy stretch is situated a few kilometres to the south of Porto Covo. It has a backdrop of sand dunes and coastal grasslands which is an ecosystem for rare fauna and flora. The view out to sea is dominated by the Ilha do Pessegueiro. On high ground close by a 16th-century fort (Forte de Nossa Senhora da Queimada) overlooks the beach. The feels secluded and offers a quiet hideaway from the busier beaches closer to Porto Covo. A few basic facilities are located here, including a car park and a café, but the beach is not patrolled by lifeguards.

From the beach, you can take a boat ride to Ilha do Pessegueiro (peachtree island), although you won't find any peach trees there. Instead, there are remains of the Forte do Santo Alberto. Here too there are Roman ruins. It is believed that the name of the island is derived from the Latin word "piscatorius" which means a fish salting factory. | 37° 49' 47.6" N | 08° 47' 31.3" W

Praia do Queimado – Praia da Angra da Barrela
Further south the beaches become even more remote and isolated. Long stretches of narrow sands, backed by grassy dunes, run eight kilometres (5mi) continuously from Praia do Queimado and Praia da Angra da Barrela. Here access roads tumble over bumpy terrain and a network of coastal paths is a great choice for hiking. Accommodation in the area is rural yet prices are surprisingly modest.

Praia da Samoqueira

|  Praia da Samoqueira

ROMAN RUINS OF MIRÓBRIGA

Ruínas Romanas de Miróbriga

|  Ruínas Romanas de Miróbriga

Dating from 3,000 years ago in the Iron Age, Miróbriga are the remains of a Roman city that was occupied up to the fourth century AD. It is a large archaeological network that has several nuclei: a commercial area, well-preserved thermal baths, a hippodrome for chariot racing, a sanctuary and an urban area. The forum was located in the town's highest elevation and once contained temples dedicated to the imperial cult and the goddess Venus. The southern area contains the ruins of shops and a tavern. The first floors of certain houses and temples have been excavated. There is a new interpretation centre that offers a deeper understanding of the site. The whole site is classified as IIP - Imóvel de Interesse Público (Estate of Public Interest).

Tuesday – Sunday: 09h00 – 12h00/14h00 – 17h30, Monday: CLOSED
Herdade dos Chãos Salgados Santiago do Cacém, Portugal. | 38° 00' 07.1" N | 08° 40' 45.9" W
+351 269 818 460 | mirobriga@ippar.pt

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BADOCA SAFARI PARK

A memorable day out for the whole family. Badoca Safari Park is a little piece of Africa in the Alentejo. During the safari bus tour, you will encounter numerous animals in their natural habitats, such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, ostriches, buffalos – to name but a few. You'll also meet birds of prey, families of chimpanzees and baboons.

The remainder of the park is explored on foot and an island with lemurs where you can pay an extra fee can hand-feed the animals. There are also enclosures with tigers, meerkats, kangaroos, aviaries and a children's farm with donkeys and goats.

170, 7501-909 Vila Nova de Stº André, Portugal. | 38º 02´ 29.3" N | 08º 44´ 40.0" W
+351 269 708 850 | badoca@badoca.com | Website

Badoca Safari Park

|  Badoca Safari Park

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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Beach & Castle - Sines Apartment

Beach & Castle - Apartment

This apartment is equipped with a single bedroom, a kitchenette with a dishwasher and a microwave, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and a bathroom equipped with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided in this accommodation.

84 Rua Luís de Camōes, 7520-220 Sines, Portugal.
37° 57' 22.6" N | 08° 52' 01.1" W

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Hotel Dom Vasco

Hotel Dom Vasco

Set beside a green area in a tranquil residential area of Sines, this charming whitewashed hotel features an outdoor pool and a garden with a gym. The entire property has free Wi-Fi. Each individually styled room comes with luxury touches such as a video games console, satellite TV and DVD player. All are fitted with a private balcony and the bathrooms have heated towel rails.

Guests at the Dom Vasco can soak up the sun on the garden lawn before cooling off in the outdoor swimming pool. There is a separate shallow pool for guests’ relaxation. The Vasco serves a daily buffet breakfast and a complimentary drink is offered to guests. Guests can enjoy a drink in the San Rafael Bar before heading to the San Gabriel Restaurant for traditional fare from the Portuguese coastal region.

Parque 13, 7520-202 Sines, Portugal. | 37° 57' 27.6" N | 08° 52' 30.4" W

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Hotel Veleiro

Hotel Veleiro ★ ★ ★

In a prime location, overlooking the bay of Sines, Hotel Veleiro offers double or twin rooms with private bathrooms and free WiFi in all areas. The Vasco da Gama Beach is a two-minute walk. Most rooms feature a balcony with a view of the bay of Sines, where guests can relax and have a meal or enjoy some wine. Each room is equipped with satellite TV, telephone and heating.

Hotel Veleiro offers a breakfast buffet and features a bar overlooking the sea. It has a wine store where guests can taste Alentejo wine. Guests are also invited to visit the restaurants within 200 yards and taste some of the local dishes. With a 24-hour front desk, Hotel Veleiro provides laundry and daily maid services.

19A Rua Sacadura Cabral, 7520-239 Sines, Portugal. | 37° 57' 17.8" N | 08° 52' 06.9" W

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OUR CHOICE

Adega de Sines

Adega de Sines

Truly friendly and welcoming establishment that serves excellent Portuguese food in large portions yet small prices. Good hearty fare with no thrills, just the pleasure of eating excellent seasonal ingredients. Choice of dishes changes daily, check the black board at the entrance. Don't be surprised if you're given a tour of their kitchen and the daily special shown to you.

Monday – Saturday: 12h00 – 21h00, Sunday: CLOSED
Rua Gago Coutinho 40, Sines 7520-213, Portugal.| 37° 57' 20.8" N | 08° 51' 58.5" W
+351 269 632 595


Cais de Estação

Cais de Estação

This very popular restaurant in Sines is located inside a former railway warehouse. The interior is stylish yet welcoming. Cais de Estação is the only Michelin restaurant for miles around. Quality is always excellent and prices reflects the standard of food and service.

Tuesday - Sunday: 12h30 - 15h00/19h00 - 22h30. Monday: CLOSED
Avenida General Humberto Delgado 16, Sines 7520-104, Portugal.
37° 57' 28.9" N | 08° 51' 58.1" W
+351 269 636 271 | geral@caisdaestacao.com | Website


Arte e Sal

Arte e Sal

If you like fresh fish then this is the place for you. The restaurant is located south of Sines in Praia de Morgavel. The atmosphere is jovial and warm. The daily catch is perfectly grilled and there's a good selection of wines to accompany your meal.

Sunday – Tuesday: 12h30 – 15h00, Wednesday – Saturday: 12h30 – 15h00/19h30 – 22h30
Caminho Municipal 1109, Sines 7520-089, Portugal.
37° 54' 28.9" N | 08° 47' 55.3" W
+351 269 869 125

157km (97 miles) south of Lisbon Portela Airport Website

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Sines is a one hour 45min drive from Lisbon via the A2 and IP8.
Latitude - 37° 57' 28.9" | Longitude - 08° 51' 58.1"

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Sines doesn't have it's own train station, the nearest is in Setúbal:
Urban train services (comboios urbanos) from Barreiro train station, south bank of the Tejo river (reached by ferry from Lisbon Timetable

• Linha do Sado line Timetable

• Rodoviária do Alentejo buses offers services between Setúbal and the Alentejo: Website
• Rede Expressos operates countrywide services: Website