SETÚBAL

BETWEEN THE HIGHLANDS

AND THE SEA

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With a unique setting by the sea, surrounded by two protected natural areas – the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve and the Arrábida Natural Park, which includes the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park –, the municipality of Setúbal has a lot to offer.


The beaches, landscapes, people and traditions, wines and gastronomy, with emphasis on fish, the noble side of Azeitão and the historic buildings that live side by side with contemporaneity. All in a city where there is always time to experience unique moments.


Member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World since 2002, Setúbal has won several national and international awards that have distinguished bathing areas and facilities, such as Galapinhos Beach, elected the best beach in Europe in 2017 by the Europe's Best Destinations website, and the Mercado do Livramento, considered in 2016 as one of the best fish markets in the world by the newspaper USA Today.

ARRÁBIDA
NATURAL PARK

The Arrábida mountain range, to which the natural park is named, is a very significant area of ​​Mediterranean influence. Along its elevations, there are beautiful landscapes, where the mountain is an orographic barrier between the coast and the interior, with exuberant vegetation.

The orientation of the mountain range is ENE-WNW, with a length of about 35 km and an average width of 6 km. The maximum altitude is 501 m, in the Formosinho anticline.


The territory of Parque Natural da Arrábida (Arrábida Natural Park), which occupies an area of ​​approximately 17,000 ha, of which more than 5,000 is marine, has been the object of human occupation since prehistoric times, resulting in a cultural and religious heritage – of which the Arrábida Convent is the highlight –, as well as traditional activities that still carry a heavy weight in the territory, such as fishing and the production of cheese, wine – in particular the Moscatel variety– and honey, due to the abundance of aromatic flowers such as rosemary, myrtle, rock rose, lavandula, thyme and gorse.


The privileged location at the western end of the European continent, combined with the climatic and geological characteristics, allowed for the development of unique natural processes in this place throughout the history of the flora.

 

The vegetation, despite many similarities with that of other limestone mountains located further north, has unique aspects, such as the arboreal kermes ore and the gorse.

The limestone regions of the country are also one of the richest places in orchids and the Arrábida Natural Park is no exception, with about 30 species of the Orchidaceae family referred to the area.

Also in terms of fauna, the territory of Arrábida has many specificities, with evidence for the birds that see this location as privileged for their migratory routes. Bonelli's eagle, the buzzard and the common kestrel are all endangered prey that nest on the cliffs. These habitats are also the place for the occurrence of a wide range of other birds, such as the
Osprey, Eagle Owl, Crested Cormorant and Rock Pigeon.


The Arrábida Natural Park is a privileged place for bird watching and for studying the interactions between migratory birds and Mediterranean plants. These interactions are of the mutualist type and seem to be associated with a co-evolution process.


In addition to birds, bats and mammals such as the fox, genet, mongoose, wild boar, hares and rabbits are common inhabitants of this territory.

 

It should also be noted that the pinkish emerald weevil Cneorhinus serranoi and the snail Candidula setubalensis occur exclusively in the Serra da Arrábida, the latter being on the IUCN Red List.

How to get

Setúbal is located between Lisbon and Alentejo, with several transport infrastructures. It is served by Lisbon airport, which is about a 30 minute drive away. Coming from Lisbon, access can be done by freeway (A2/Ponte 25 de Abril and A12/Ponte Vasco da Gama), by train or by bus. For connection to the Alentejo, in addition to the A2 and A4 freeways (this one connecting to Spain) and the Sado river connection (Setúbal-Troia), there is the southern railway. There are also bus options from various locations, such as Évora, Beja, Sines, Albufeira and Faro.

Climate

The climate of the region has Mediterranean characteristics, with a clear Atlantic influence, being marked by a sub-humid and temperate climate, with a hot and dry summer and a little cold and rainy winter. Throughout the year, the temperature generally varies from 7°C to 30°C and is rarely below 3°C or above 36°C.

Arrábida Walking Trails | Mapa de acessibilidade de Setúbal