It is hard to describe Seixal. It is one of my favorite corners of the estuary. Some say Seixales as a funny reference to the Seychelles archipelago, but unlike the latter, Seixal is no beach destination.
A city of 31,600 inhabitants situated along the Judeu river, just a bit over 1 hour sailing across the Tagus river estuary from Lisbon, the municipality of Seixal evolved over the centuries, always with the connection to the river.
A land of fisherman, it was across the river that the region’s products were carried on sailing boats to Lisbon and various dockyards and shipbuilders began constructing river boats and ocean going sailing ships. Due to the great effects of the tide in the river, several tidal mills were built along the intertidal muddy shores.
It was here that Paulo da Gama was based in his manor house supervising the construction of the fleet of vessels that would take him and his brother Vasco da Gama on their voyage to India in the 16th century.
By the 18th century, the municipality became an aristocratic retreat for the nobility in nearby Lisbon, resulting in the construction several vacation properties or villas which rich architectural heritage endured until nowadays.
A booming oyster industry established here in late 19th century and early 20th exported them mainly to France where they were much appreciated.
Nowadays there is a nautical station on the bay in front of Seixal equipped with a quay and anchorage area besides other support services to the sailing community. While taking a stroll along the river side it is possible to see traditional sailing wooden boats, appreciate the fish cousine, the historic center of Seixal, the natural landscape just opposite where lots of birds migrate to.