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Sailing Portugal - Exploring the Coast from Lisbon

Portugal's coastline is renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and favorable sailing conditions. Whereas in the 15th century, the Portuguese set sail in caravels and ships to venture into "uncharted waters", as Camões so well narrated, these days the sea offers exceptional conditions for this sport. Whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s, and now its central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon

A seven-day sailing route starting and finishing in the vibrant city of Lisbon, offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, taking you through picturesque coastal towns, charming towns, and tranquil beaches. This article will guide you through this journey, providing insights into the sailing conditions, cultural highlights, and culinary delights you can expect along the way.

Day 1: Lisbon to Oeiras

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon

Begin your voyage from Lisbon, a city rich in history and culture. Set sail from the Lisbon Marina and head towards Oeiras, a short sail of about 10 nautical miles. The waters here are generally calm, making for a pleasant start to your journey.

Food and Culture: Oeiras is known for its serene beaches and historical sites. Enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, such as grilled sardines and the famous "Bacalhau à Brás" (codfish). Explore the Palácio do Marquês de Pombal, a beautiful 18th-century palace, and stroll along the picturesque coastline.

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon - Cascais

Day 2: Oeiras to Cascais

Sail westward to Cascais, a charming coastal town located approximately 15 nautical miles from Oeiras. The sailing conditions are generally favorable, with moderate winds and calm seas.

Food and Culture: Cascais boasts a vibrant food scene, with many waterfront restaurants offering dishes like "Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato" (clams in garlic sauce) and fresh seafood platters. Visit the Cascais Marina, the historical town center, and the Boca do Inferno, a dramatic cliff formation. Don't miss the Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães for a dose of local history.

Day 3: Cascais to Sesimbra

Depart early for a longer sail to Sesimbra. This leg of the journey may present more challenging conditions, with stronger winds and larger swells, especially as you round Cape Espichel.

Food and Culture: Sesimbra is a fishing town with a rich maritime heritage. The Moorish castle atop the hill provides stunning panoramic views. Dive into local cuisine with "Caldeirada de Peixe" (fish stew) and sample the town's renowned seafood. The vibrant fish market is also worth a visit.

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon - Sines

Day 4: Sesimbra to Sines

Head south to Sesimbra. This leg offers smooth sailing with beautiful coastal views. Consider spending 2 nights in Sines, as there's quite a bit to see and experience.

Food and Culture: Sines is the birthplace of the renowned explorer Vasco da Gama. The town's cultural heritage is evident in its well-preserved medieval castle and the Church of Nossa Senhora das Salas. Indulge in local delicacies like "Arroz de Marisco" (seafood rice) and the famous Alentejo wine.

Day 5: Sines to Troia

Sail northeast to the Troia Peninsula, approximately 25 nautical miles from Sines. The waters here are generally calm, providing a relaxing journey.

Food and Culture: Troia is known for its pristine beaches and luxury resorts. The Roman ruins of Troia offer a glimpse into the area's ancient history. Enjoy a meal at one of the upscale restaurants, where you can savor dishes like "Choco Frito" (fried cuttlefish) and fresh oysters from the Sado River.

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon

Day 6: Troia to Lisbon

Begin your return journey to Lisbon, covering approximately 25 nautical miles. The route back offers a mix of calm and moderate sailing conditions.

Food and Culture: Upon returning to Lisbon, explore more of the city's cultural treasures. Visit the iconic Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the bustling Bairro Alto district. Lisbon's culinary scene is diverse, offering everything from traditional "Pastéis de Nata" (custard tarts) to innovative modern cuisine.

Sailing Conditions

Sailing along the Portuguese coast offers a variety of conditions, making it essential to be prepared for different scenarios. The waters near Lisbon, Oeiras, and Cascais are generally calm with moderate winds. As you head south towards Sines, you may encounter stronger winds and larger swells, particularly around the capes. The route from Sines to Sesimbra and Troia typically offers smoother sailing with favorable winds. Always check local weather forecasts and sea conditions before setting sail each day.


A 7-day sailing trip from Lisbon along the Portuguese coast promises a rich blend of cultural experiences, exquisite cuisine, and diverse sailing conditions. From the historical treasures of Lisbon and Sines to the luxury of Troia and the maritime charm of Sesimbra, each stop offers something unique. Enjoy the serene beaches, indulge in delicious local dishes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture that makes Portugal's coastline a sailor's paradise.

Ready to book your next charter in Portugal and get more tips and information?

Sailing Portugal - exploring the coast from Lisbon - Casais


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