Section 13 - Lisbon Region

Setúbal / Cabo Espichel


Setúbal, nestled between the calm River Sado and the beautiful Serra da Arrábida mountains, is a place of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Starting this journey, you’ll see lots of boats along the riverbank. In the city center, don’t miss Bocage Square, the Church of Santa Maria da Graça, the Convent of Jesus, and the Livramento Market. A bit farther, but worth the trip, is the Mourisca Tidal Mill.

As you continue on this path, Albarquel Urban Park, at the mountain’s base, offers a place to rest and enjoy panoramic views of the estuary and Troia. Then, you’ll enter the Serra da Arrábida, a Natural Park recognized for its natural beauty and cultural significance. The route through Arrábida features a mix of beaches, monasteries, fortresses, and valleys.

The São Filipe Fortress is the first landmark, offering panoramic views of the city, bay, and Troia from its walls. Moving forward, you’ll come across the Santiago do Outão Fort, which has been transformed into a hospital.

Among the charming beaches and spots to visit, highlights include Figueirinha; Galápagos and Galapinhos; Creiro, home to the Creiro Archaeological Station and the Pedra da Anixa refuge; and Portinho da Arrábida, where you can find the Fort of Santa Maria da Arrábida, housing the Oceanographic Museum.

On the way to Portinho, you’ll discover Lapa de Santa Margarida, a cave with stalactites, stalagmites, and remnants of a religious altar, surrounded by breathtaking mountain and sea views.

Beyond the trail, on top of the mountain road, you’ll find the Convent of Arrábida and viewpoints like Santa and Antenas, inviting you to pause and soak in the scenery.

Just outside Setúbal, Palmela village welcomes you, with its castel offering panoramic views that include the peaks of S. Luís, Louro, Arrábida, and the River Sado. The village has a rich history tied to its role as a significant wine-producing region.

Next is Azeitão, a historic village known for its vineyards and the production of Setúbal muscat wine. You can also savor the region’s typical pies and cheeses in Azeitão.

Continuing along the route, you’ll reach Sesimbra, nestled in a valley at the base of the Serra da Arrábida, right by the sea and its nature reserve. Sesimbra’s coastline offers diverse views, from beaches to steep cliffs with charming coves.

In the village itself, explore the Castle of Sesimbra and the Fortress of Santiago, located between California and Ouro beaches. You’ll also find intriguing dinosaur footprints at Pedreira do Avelino. To the west is Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach, named after a distinct rock formation.

After this long journey, you can rest in the peaceful Aldeia Nova da Azóia, where this section comes to an end.

Associação de Municípios da Região de Setúbal

Points of Interest

Heritage: 34
  • 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.

  • 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...

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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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  • 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...

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  • 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...

  • 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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  • 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...

  • 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.

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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Nature: 7 Beach: 45 Information: 4 Bike Shops: 7 Accommodation - Campsite: 7 Transport - Boat: 2 Transport - Train: 3

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Comments: Section 13

Section 13

Setúbal / Cabo Espichel: 39

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Information
  • Bike Shops
  • Accommodation - Campsite
  • Transport - Boat
  • Transport - Train