The City and Culture
Setubal place of multiple possibilities:
Starting from the art of Portuguese tiles to the dance of the dolphins, Baroque Style Churches from the Sado Natural Reserve , the Bocage Heritage to the unique flora of Arrabida, nature and culture are part of a brave new world, waiting for you.
The City and the Mountain
Just off the busy and bustling city we get the unreal, peaceful scenery of Arrabida. In its mysteries and its silences, on its beaches and its absorbing scenarios, in its convents and fortresses, in the flora and fauna, lives much of the the fascination that makes the Setúbal Peninsula a very unique region in the World. And while the Arrábida Mountain welcomes you, a city asserts itself.
City facing the sea
The fishermen and their boats, the river and the sea are inseparable from the identity of Setúbal.
The colouring of the hundreds of boats anchored along the riverfront contrasts with the bronze tanned skin of men of toil.
People of the sea, accustomed to overcome all challenges, with peculiar wisdom and humour, able to paint pictures with words that make anyone mesmerized.
Commerce with tradition
It is in the downtown area that one can find much of the traditional trading.
Stores for every taste, with representations of some of the most recognized global brands, mingle with others from older times, where one can discover some rarities and less conventional products.
But the downtown does not live solely of commerce. culture peeks around every turn, some buildings are living testimonies of a city that grew, which is modernized, all without forgetting its historical centre.
Practically all the downtown streets converge to Praça do Bocage, one of the key meeting points of the people of Setúbal and those visiting the city.
The esplanades of the square - dedicated to one of the greatest figures of Portuguese poetry - invites to take a break. While enjoying a refreshing drink, let yourself be surprised by the street artists that animate the town's noble area. The statue of the poet Bocage, with his eyes fixed on the sea, is the landmark of the busiest square in the City.
Almost no one can resist taking a picture with the monument that honours "Elmano Sadino". Right up ahead, we highlight the main avenue of the city, dedicated to Luísa Todi, born in Setúbal in 1753 and recognized as one of the greatest names ever in lyric singing .
It is also in the Praça do Bocage that lays the building of the Town Hall, where the City Council operates.
Considered one of the most beautiful mountains due to is location near the sea and the richness of its biodiversity, Arrábida, shows peculiar features in terms of climate and vegetation, particularly Mediterranean characteristics .
The Mountain, stand out unique species and is endowed with moderate temperatures, the name comes from Arabic and means "place of prayer".
From 1976, Arrábida Natural Park ensures the protection of some 11 thousand hectares of area, most of them facing the sea and from which you can admire stunning views. A superb scenery of a mountain with little more 500 feet tall but impressive to look into an clear water ocean.
go through the mountain in a undulating road , invites you to slow down the pace, you can find the most idyllic places, from beaches to charming valleys.
Stand out from areas where vegetation retains features closest to the originals as "Mata do Solitário", "Mata do Vidal" and "Mata Coberta", classified as nature reserves. wild cat ( Felis silvestris), European mink (Mustela), weasel (Mustela nivalis), fox (vulpes vulpes), hare ( Lepus capensis), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata) and rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are among the more than two hundred registered species .
But not only is the land area that is protected. The richness of the underwater Arrabida region is such that this is the only existing marine park throughout the all continental Portugal.
Human mark in Arrabida Mountain
Besides the unique natural heritage, Arrabida is rich in heritage building.
The Fortress of "S.. Filipe", The Fort of "Santa Maria", and the Arrabida Convent are examples of a secular harmonious coexistence between human work and nature. Situated on the southern slope of the mountain, Arrabida Convent , was founded in 1542 by Franciscan friars, has an architecture that , due to its characteristics and volumes modesty , seems more like a work of nature than of man.
Occupied by monks until 1834, is currently used for cultural purposes by Fundação Oriente. Another pearl of Arrábida, a mandatory visit, is the fortress of " S.. Filipe".
Transformed into an inn in the twentieth century, the panorama from the sixteenth century fortification is superb. The views over the town, the Setubal Bay , Troia Peninsula, the Sado river and the ocean are indescribable.
Located in Portinho Arrábida, overlooking the sea, The "Santa Maria" Fort, built in 1670, by order of King . Pedro II, order to protect the coastal zone, Also worth a visit. Nowadays , converted into the Oceanographic Museum and a center for marine biology, property of the Arrabida Natural Park.
Beaches to suit everyone
Although with special features, the beaches of Setubal share a feature which makes them unique: are all inserted in the Arrabida Natural Park .
The Portinho Arrabida, chosen as one 7 Portugal's Seven Natural Wonders, has a inlet that serves as a mirror of the green of the mountain, which lies over sand.
Propitious to scuba diving, be captivated by the unique flora and fauna existing into the clear waters of Portinho.
The calm sea and the beauty of the surrounding countryside make Figueirinha one of the most famous beaches in the region, making it quite popular during the high season.
The low waving creates excellent conditions for swimming and the long sandy beach invites for a long walk. The beach of Figueirinha, awarded with the Blue Flag, has excellent conditions for the observation of marine species.
Species that abound, also, in Galapos beach. Very quiet and sheltered, has a calm sea and clear waters. Ideal for scuba diving and spearfishing.
Equally beautiful , but smaller, stands out "Praia da Maria Esguelha", located shortly after the exit of the city towards Arrabida.