Forming part of the Costa Alentejana, Sines is a historic fishing town and the birthplace of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. It’s now a thriving container port with a natural underwater trench that allows large cargo ships to dock near the shore.
Things to do in Sines
Rising above the city is the Castelo de Sines, a medieval fortress with magnificent views across the bay. It is surprisingly compact for a castle due to the fact that the settlement was already established when the fortifications were built in the 15th century. Adjacent to the west tower is a statue depicting Sines’ most famous son, Vasco de Gama, who played an influential role in expanding the Portuguese Empire.
Occupying the castle keep is the Museu de Sines, which houses exhibits that bring the city’s past to life. Get up close to Visigothic stones discovered during excavations and see the Treasure of Gaio, a Phoenician-made necklace and earrings uncovered at a nearby burial mound. The museum also features a multimedia exhibition about the life of Vasco da Gama and the importance of his achievements to Portugal today.
Stretching along the front of Sines is Praia Vasco da Gama, a golden crescent of sand that offers a front-row seat to watch the comings and goings at the port. It's connected to the old town by a newly installed elevator and is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months. Backing the beach is a promenade that connects to O Bejinha, where you can dine on locally caught seafood with a view.
Getting around Sines
Sines is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Lisbon and Humberto Delgado Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Buses connect to Sines and travel throughout the city. The historic heart of Sines is best explored on foot.