It’s possible to find hidden and interesting corners all around us, even close to home. Have you ever thought that there are probably places to discover right where you live? We enjoy getting to know other countries and cultures, but sometimes we end up missing out on what surrounds us. Because I am passionate about photography, I love to wander around.
I live in Seixal, about 20 km from Lisbon. This beautiful city has history, heritage, and activities for all tastes. Land of fishermen, the musicians’ nursery, Seixal, Aldeia de Paio Pires, Arrentela and Amora has the artistic quality of the best national philharmonic bands. In the historical core of Seixal, Praça Luís de Camões, Pátio do Genovês, Largo da Igreja, Praça dos Mártires da Liberdade and Rua Paiva Coelho stand out. At the riverside, you can watch the typical Tagus boats and glimpse the views over Lisbon. Today, I’d like to take you on a written tour of my town. Let’s go?
THE SEIXAL BAY
Seixal Bay is a favorite among fishing fanatics. In addition to the beautiful view to “the other side”, Amora, we can also contemplate Lisbon from its shores. It is also a place where you can practice water sports, such as canoeing and sailing, as well as sunbathing. Bathing in the river, however, is not recommended because of the polluted waters that result from the many fishing and transport vessels to Lisbon, as well as the sewer system. But what Portugal doesn’t lack are beaches, in 8km you can already access the whole ocean to bathe.
SEIXAL HISTORICAL CORE
When visiting the historic center of Seixal, you can walk through the narrow picturesque streets dressed in pastel colors, different window designs framing its walls. Smells waft out from the windows telling stories of bakeries and freshly done laundry. As a large part of Seixal’s population aged, several old houses were renovated to serve as housing or vacation homes/hostels. At the time of popular or religious festivals, the atmosphere is very lively and colorful, full of abundance, cotton candy, and carousels.
Mundet was Portugal’s largest company in the cork industry, recognized for its innovative social policy. However, the emergence of new materials, such as plastic, caused it to enter a process of decay until its closure in 1988, after a troubled period of social struggles and attempts to enable its maintenance. Due to its long history in the region, the cork industry is strongly linked to generations of the people from Seixal. One of the old Mundet buildings was renovated and became a restaurant/bar, run and restored by João Macedo, who has become very successful, not only in Seixal. Foodies can hop over and enjoy, as they also have vegetarian options, served in industrial settings.
QUINTA DA FIDALGA
Did you know this was the place where Vasco da Gama and Paulo da Gama built their maritime fleet to travel to India? Seixal has several stately farms, with a very rich heritage linking back to that time. One of these farms is Quinta da Fidalga. After having supported the local population, today it belongs to the city council that has explored it and is slowly restoring the space. Leaning over the river, it is an excellent space to relax, enjoy time with family, and get to know a historical landmark.
The area along the riverside (Zona Ribeirinha) has been improved, now stretching for 14 km. Along this route, it is possible to find several spaces to exercise, to watch the sunset on the river while having a drink or walking your “four-legged” friends. Slowly, Seixal has won the hearts of several Portuguese and tourists, which is why I recommend you visit some time!
This concludes today’s tour. If you ever visit Lisbon, you can take the Fertagus train or the boat and come and visit the lovely Seixal and discover other nooks and crannies I haven’t even mentioned (such as the only Gutenburg Printing Press replica in the country!).
‘Til next time!