Tips for your holidays in Setúbal
Setúbal, a brilliant holiday destination for its nature and gastronomy. The stunning coastline, beautiful beaches and natural reserves, make Setúbal the ultimate destination for beach and nature lovers. And the best sardines and fried cuttlefish you will find in Setúbal. There are many typical fish restaurants spread around the city.
There are many boat tours in Setúbal. From BBQ cruises, fishing tours, sunset boat tours to dolphin watching tours. The dolphin watching tours in Setúbal
visit the bottlenose dolphins that are a resident community in the Sado Estuary. In Portugal, the official language is Portuguese. You’ll see that most people in Setúbal speak English, no worries. The local currency in Portugal is the Euro.
- Our favorite beach: Praia do Portinho da Arrábida
- Our favorite restaurant: Taska da Avenida
- Our favorite boat tours in Setúbal: Dolphin watching in Setubal
- Our favorite watersport in Setúbal: Snorkeling
Getting around in Setúbal
The best way to discover Setúbal during your holiday is definitely with a rental car
! With a car, you can visit all the attractions, monuments and beaches in and near Setúbal. However, if you are not renting a car, you can jump on one of the local buses or catch a transfer. The best way to discover the coastline of Setúbal is definitely by boat. To go from Lisbon
to Setúbal for a day trip, you can go by train, bus or taxi, Uber or rental car as you can read here
Best things to do during your holidays in Setúbal
Setúbal is known for the amazing Arrábida Natural Park and the natural reserve of the Sado Estuary. This city still relies on the fishing industry holding one of the most famous fish markets in the world. On the Setúbal peninsula, we can find the beautiful Natural Park of Arrábida. Some of the main interest points of this area are the “Serra da Arrábida”, the Arrábida mountains are great for hiking and trail running. From “Miradouro Portinhos da Arrábida” and “Pico do Formosinho”, you will have an amazing view over the beautiful beach and nature of Setúbal. In the Arrábida mountains, you can find an underground cave, called “Lapa de Santa Margarida”.
In direction of the Tróia Peninsula
, you will find the natural reserve of the Sado estuary. In the “Reserva natural do estuário do Sado”, you can find wild resident dolphins
, thus worth a visit on a dolphin watching tour from Setúbal or Tróia
should visit Quinta de Alcube and “Casa Museu José Maria da Fonseca”. The delicious locally produced wine can be tasted and bought. Located in the center of Setúbal, you can find a 4Ha garden, the“Jardim do Bonfim”. In this garden, you can find over 40 species of different trees
. It’s definitely worth a visit for those who like to discover some unique flora species.
Setúbal and the surrounding area has many interesting landmarks worth a visit, including “Palácio do Rei do Lixo”, “Forte de Santa Maria da Arrábida”, “Forte de São Filipe”, “Ruínas Romanas de Tróia”, “Palácio e Quinta da Bacalhoa”, “Convento de Nossa Senhora da Arrábida” and many more. There are beautiful churches in Setúbal, such as Igreja de São Julião de Setúbal, Igreja de Santa Maria da Graça, and Igreja do antigo Mosteiro de Jesus.
The best boat tours in Setúbal
The impressive coastline of Setúbal, makes it a must to do a boat tour
. There is no better way to discover the coastline and resident dolphins
, than on a boat tour. There are several ways to enjoy Setúbal to its fullest. You can, for example, enjoy a full-day boat tour, including a BBQ
. And how about going fishing in Setúbal, for some quality time with friends and family?
If you love dolphins
, you should not miss out on the popular dolphin watching tours from Setúbal. In the Sado estuary, there is a resident community of bottlenose dolphins
which can be visited by boat. For the most romantic ones, how about a sunset cruise
, to relax and enjoy the amazing sunset over the beautiful natural park of Arrábida?
The best watersports in Setúbal
Due to the impressive coastline, we recommend some coasteering
for the most adventurous among us. Coasteering is a combination of hiking, cliff jumping, climbing and swimming
. The coasteering
in the Nature Park starts and ends in Sesimbra
. The coasteering adventure is a great way to explore all cliffs, caves and small beaches along the coastline of Arrábida mountains.
We recommend the diving and snorkeling tours
for everybody who wants to discover the underwater world of Setúbal. Did you know that the area around Setúbal is one of the best diving spots in Europe?
What and where to eat in Setúbal
For a local experience, visit the “Mercado do Livramento”. This market is one of the most famous fish markets in the world. On the Livramento market, you can find fresh products and beautiful typical decoration with “Azulejos de Azeitao”. The Livramento market is well known for its fresh sardines. To eat some fresh fish, we recommend going to one of the nearby restaurants.
Setúbal is recognized for the fried cuttlefish (Choco Frito), we recommend “Taska da Avenida
”, to try this typical delicacy. Some other typical restaurants we recommend are “Taberna do Largo” and “ De Pedra e Sal”.
Enjoy the beautiful beaches around Setúbal
Setúbal is known for its amazing nature. The contrast of the green forest, white beaches and turquoise waters are impressive. Hereby are some of the beaches near or in Setúbal you should visit. Most of them require a car.
Praia da Saúde and Praia de Albarquel are the city-beaches of Setúbal. The last one is located right next to Parque Urbano de Albarquel. Then, heading in a Western direction, we reach Praia da Comenda, Praia da Rasca, Praia do Outão and Praia da Figueirinha. This last one is very nice. Its white sand hosts a nice beach bar too. If we continue Westwards, we’ll reach the epic Praia dos Galapos, Praia da Galapa and Praia dos Galapinhos with soft sand, crystal waters and not too many people. Then, we reach Praia dos Coelhos and Praia da Anicha. The last one has a few nice beach bars too but is not too crowded. Next, is the paradisiacal Praia do Monte Branco. Praia do Creiro is a dreamy must-see beach but as it’s rather easy to reach, it’s a bit busier.
Praia do Portinho da Arrábida
is one of the highlights among the beaches around Setúbal. The best way to reach it is on a boat tour from Setúbal or Sesimbra, as it’s hard to reach by car. The local fish restaurant, “O Farol” is highly recommended! After Portinho da Arrábida, we reach Praia dos Pilotos
and then the enchanting Praia de Alpertuche
, “a little piece of heaven”, before reaching Sesimbra’s Praia da Califórnia
Praia Bico das Lulas is one of the most famous beaches of Tróia, on the other side of the Sado River. Be aware that most days of the year the waters around the Arrábida Mountains are rather cold! Also, there may be some rocks, so some people prefer wearing water shoes.
Whatever you decide to do during your holiday in Setúbal, we promise you will love the watersports and boat tours! Sunshine and a lot of fun are guaranteed! For any further tips or requests, feel free to contact us anytime.