Section 8 - Lisbon Region

Setúbal / Lisboa

The city of Setúbal, surrounded by the blue of the Sado River and the green of the Arrábida, is rich in landscape, natural and cultural heritage.

The beginning of this journey is guided by the color of the boats anchored along the riverfront. To visit in downtown there is the Bocage Square, the Santa Maria da Graça Cathedral, the Jesus Convent and the Livramento Market. Away from the city center and a good starting point to know the Natural Reserve of Sado Estuary is the Mourisca Tide Mill, an area of saltmarsh and saline, and where bird watching is possible. In this Natural Reserve lives a colony of dolphins, locally know as roazes-corvineiros (Tursiops truncatus).

Following the route the first stop will be in the Albarquel Urban Park, in the foothills of the mountain, with a great view over the estuary and Tróia. Then begins the Arrábida Mountain classified as Natural Park which has an enormous natural, scenic and cultural value. Along the Arrábida road there are several beaches, convents, forts and valleys.

The São Filipe Fort is the first and from its walls you can see a panoramic view of the city, the bay and Tróia. Then you will find the Santiago de Outão Fort which was transformed into a hospital.

Among the beaches and existing small enclaves highlights to Figueirinha; to Galapagos and Galapinhos; to Creiro where you can see the Anicha known for being a refuge to many marine species and where lies the archaeological site of Creiro; and to Portinho da Arrábida where you can visit the Fortress of Santa Maria da Arrábida, where operates the Oceanographic Museum.

On the path to Portinho is located the Lapa de Santa Margarida, a cave with stalactites and stalagmites and the remains of a religious altar, beyond the view of the mountain and the sea.

On the road at the top of the mountain are the Arrábida Convent and viewpoints such as Santa and Antenas where you can enjoy the sights.

In the city surrounding area is the village of Palmela. At the top you can see the Castle where you can watch the landscape over the S. Luís, Louro and Arrábida Mountains and the Sado River. A large part of the history of this village is linked to its importance as a wine region.

Also in the outskirts of Setúbal is Azeitão, a historic village with great tradition in wines, where are large areas of vineyards and wine production facilities in which it is produced the Moscatel de Setúbal. In Azeitão you can also enjoy the pies (“tortas de Azeitão”) and the typical cheeses.

Returning the route the path leads to Sesimbra. Sesimbra is a village located in a valley in the foothills of the Arrábida Mountain and its Natural Reserve and the sea. The coastline provides to its visitors a variety of landscapes from beaches to high and rugged cliffs. In the village it is recommended to visit the Castle and the Fortress of Santiago located between the beaches of California and the Ouro and the Pedreira do Avelino, where can be seen dinosaur footprints. In the western part of Sesimbra you can visit the Ribeiro do Cavalo beach which owes its name to the existing rock formation.

Continuing the journey you arrive at Cabo Espichel where the landscape is dominated by cliffs and the ocean. Here is located the Santuary of Cabo Espichel and the lighthouse. You can also visit the footprints of dinosaurs in Pedra da Mua and Lagosteiros.

Going north there is a diversity of beaches, like Bicas known site for surfing; Rio da Prata and Meco, naturist beaches; Moinho de Baixo next to Aldeia do Meco and Lagoa de Albufeira.

The route goes to Coina, away from the coastline where is located the Fossil Cliff of Costa da Caparica, a protected area, and several beaches, or you take the train that crosses the 25 de Abril Bridge and arrive in Lisbon.

The path goes from Coina to Almada, located on the south bank of the Tejo River. To visit in Alamada highlights include the Castle, the Boca do Vento panoramic lift and the Cristo Rei.

Getting to Cacilhas a riverside area which serves as public transport interface and before boarding the cacilheiro to Lisbon it is recommended to visit the historical and cultural heritage: Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso Church, archaeological site of Quinta do Almaraz and Roman Salt Factory of Cacilhas.

Município de Setúbal

Points of Interest

Heritage: 38
  • Church from the 16th c., modified in the 18th c. in baroque style.

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  • This museum, which is housed in the Convento de Jesus, displays a 16C Art Gallery, exhibiting a collection of sacred gold and silver plate and 16C Portuguese and Flemish painting.

    Particularly impressive are the 14 panels of the altarpiece...

  • Housed in an old fish canning factory, this museum - which received an honourable mention from the Council of Europe in its 1998 award of the European Prize for Museum of the Year - has an exhibition of industrial machinery connected with the fish...

  • The Baroque Museum is housed in the Casa do Corpo Santo, a 17/18th-century palace, which was the headquarters of the former Confraria dos Navegantes, the brotherhood of seafarers, shipowners and fishermen from Setúbal. It is situated in the city’s...

  • The Cathedral of Setúbal is dedicated to Santa Maria da Graça (Saint Mary of Grace). The current church was built in the 16th century and replaced a small roman-gothic construction of the 13th century. The project was designed by architect António...

  • This museum illustrates traditional fishing and salt-making activities and also exhibits farming tools and implements and other objects related with agricultural activities (cork extraction, cattle farming, etc.).

    The ethnographic...

  • Setubal aqueduct
    Built on the orders of King John II, the aqueduct consists of two storeys of arcades. Dates from the sixteenth century.

    Also known as the Aqueduto da Estrada dos Arcos or the Aqueduto dos Arcos.

  • It was the Order of Santiago that founded the church of São Simão (Saint Simon), in the 12th century when made responsible for settling the region.

    The current building dates from the 16th century and its attraction lies on the inside...

  • The Church of São Lourenço dates back to the 16th century. Its exterior is extremely plain, characteristic of the sober style common to rural surroundings. Over the years, certain architectural and decorative changes have been made, particularly in...

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  • Near the hamlet of Casais de Azoia stands an octagonal water tower, with a panel of blue and white azulejos (tiles) above the doorway, depicting Our Lady of the Cape.

    An aqueduct 2 km long brings water to the area at times of pilgrimage.

  • Located within Sesimbra Castle, the church of Santa Maria (Saint Mary) was built in 1160 to commemorate Christian reconquest of the land. However, it underwent various modifications that altered its original structure. What can currently be seen is...

  • Cape Espichel stands out on even the Costa Azul for the beauty of its natural surroundings. Its original function was defence but in times of greater peace and security a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of the Cape was built. The church is flanked by...

  • The convento dos Capuchos (Franciscan/Capuchin convent) was built in the 16th century with structural and ornamental alterations made in the 18th century due to the damage caused by the 1755 earthquake. The convent was home to the hooded friars of...

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  • Located alongside the beach of Sesimbra, the Fort of Santiago formed part of the Sado estuary´s line of defence in the 17th century. In addition, defence was ensured by the Portinho da Arrábida, the São Teodósio, the Baralha and the Cabo Espichel...

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  • Gothic church from the 13th c., modified in the 16th c. in manueline style

  • In the Largo de Jesus, in the heart of Setúbal's historic centre, there is the Convent after which the square was named. It was built on the initiative of Justa Rodrigues Pereira, lover of king Manuel I, by collecting a group of Franciscan nuns from...

  • Around 1 km from the city of Setúbal, there is the imposing Fort of São Filipe (Saint Philip) guarding access to the Sado river. It is named after the king who ordered its construction, Filipe I of Portugal and the II of Spain, in 1590. Italian...

  • Stamping its presence on the town of Sesimbra, the Castle is surrounded by the lofty peaks of the Arrábida hill range. Although there had been previous settlement on this site, it was during the Moorish period that a fort was...

  • The Palmela castle is located on one of the highest points in the Serra da Arrábida. It is difficult to get to and was hence ideal for its role in defending the surrounding lands.

    During the Christian Reconquest led by the first king of...

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Nature: 10 Beach: 67 Information: 8 Bike Shops: 19 Accommodation - Campsite: 10 Accommodation - Youth Hostels: 1 Accommodation - Hotel: 1

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Comments: Section 8

Section 8

Setúbal / Lisboa: 84

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Information
  • Bike Shops
  • Accommodation - Campsite
  • Accommodation - Youth Hostels
  • Accommodation - Hotel