Introducing Setúbal

Dramatic mountains. Peaceful beaches. The freshest fish and world-famous wines. As European escapes go, Setúbal seems to have it all wrapped up. Just a short trip from Lisbon, the region encompasses Arrábida National Park, an expanse of scenery criss-crossed by trails ripe for hiking, biking and horseriding. Along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, hidden coves and quiet beaches beckon. And in the region famed for Moscatel wine and frutos do mar, your picnics will always be top-notch.

Things to do

Sheltered from the fierce Atlantic winds and fringed by forests, Setúbal’s beaches are slices of sandy heaven. Hire a car and road trip along the coast to explore cliff-backed Praia de Figueirinha, and the powder-soft stretch of Praia do Creiro. Or ferry hop from the port to discover the Trois peninsula, lapped by transparent seas and sheltered by dunes.

Strap on a pair of hiking boots and Setúbal is your playground. Walk the pine-scented coastline of the Arrábida National Park, and watch for dolphins playing offshore. Show-stopping views await once you’ve climbed to the 16th-century Convento da Arrabida, its white walls contrasting with the lush greenery of the forest. Take a bike to trace the Rota Moinhos, named for the traditional windmills dotting the route. 

Lovers of gastronomy, look no further. You’ll have your appetite sated at Setúbal’s Mercado do Livramento, piled high with fresh produce and renowned across Portugal. As you’d expect from a harbour town, seafood reigns supreme: grilled sardines are a speciality, but everything from fried cuttlefish to butter mackerel are on the menu. Don’t leave Sebútal without visiting a vineyard to sample the local Moscatel wine in all its honeyed, golden sweetness.


Top Tip from SLH

Close to Portinho and 200 steps down from the clifftop, discover the secret chapel of Santa Margarida hidden within a sea cave.