Setúbal

Setúbal

Often overlooked as a tourist destination in its own right, Setúbal makes an ideal base camp for exploring the surrounding areas and the Costa Azul. Positioned west of the Natural Reserve of the Sado Estuary and overlooked by the Arrábida mountains and national park Portugal's fourth-largest city is surrounded by nature. The estuary's abundant resources have attracted settlers since Phoenician and Greek traders. During the Roman period, Setúbal was an important fish-salting region. The original Roman settlement was at Cetobriga on the Tróia peninsula across the bay.

Old Town

Praça do Bocage
Ignore the industrial outskirts and head straight for the picturesque old town. Here you'll find charming narrow pedestrianised streets, quaint squares (praças) full of shops, cafés and old churches.

Praça do Bocage

Praça do Bocage is named after one of Setubal's most famous citizens, the 18th-century satirical poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage (1765–1805). His effigy stands on a twelve-metre high column in the centre of the square designed by Pedro Carlos dos Reis in 1871. On the east side, you'll find the 16th-century church Igreja de Sao Julião. The church stands on the foundations of a 13th-century church. It was built on the order of King Manuel I between 1513 and 1520. When it was extensively restored following the 1755 earthquake, its Manueline characteristics acquired a Baroque style.

Convent of (Convento de) Jesus

Located in the west of the Old Town, the Convent of Jesus is Portugal's first church built in the Manueline style. Construction began in 1490 under the direction of the architect Diogo de Boitaca, who later created the convents at Batalha and Belém. Facing Jesus' Square is the main façade of the building and its double portal. Viewed from this angle, the church combines two distinct volumes: a rectangular nave and a polygonal apse.

Inside the recently restored stark exterior, one enters the narrow nave and two side aisles of the same height, unifying inner space as in a hall church, a characteristic that would be later found in Manueline spaces, like the nave of the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon. Each pillar of the nave supports a pointed arch and is composed of three distinctive intertwined sub-columns in "Brecha da Arrábida", a local stone. These spiralling columns would also be a typical theme in later Manueline buildings, like the Guarda Cathedral. The side aisles are supported by semi-barrel vaults. The main chapel of the church has a square construction. It is covered by an exuberant late Gothic star-ribbed vaulting with decorative bosses. Some of the ribs of the vault take a typical mainline form of twisted rope. The inner walls of the apse are adorned with 17th-century azulejo tiles, one side depicts scenes from the life of Mary, bordered by colourful frames.

Adjoining the Igreja de Jesus and 17th Century Arrábida marble cloister of the Convento de Jesus can be found in an art museum, the Museu de Jesus , with pictures by 15th and 16th century Portuguese, Flemish and Catalan artists. The rest of the collection consists of local archaeological finds, historical coins, old documents and books. Another part of the museum is dedicated to Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, the famous 18th-century poet from Setúbal.
Adult: €2.00, Concessionary: €1.00
June to September Tusesday - Saturday 10h00 – 18h00, Sunday: 14h00 - 18h00
September to May Tusesday - Saturday 10h00 – 18h00, Sunday: 15h00 - 19h00
2 Rua Acácio Barradas, 2909-883 Setubal, Portugal. | 38º 31" 33.1' N | 08º 53" 43.1' W
+351 265 520 964

Convento de (Convent of) Jesus

Avenida Luísa Todi

Avenida Luísa Todi
Named after the celebrated opera singer (1754-1833), born in Setúbal, Avenida Luísa Todi is the city's main strip. Here's you'll find many restaurants offering the best in local cuisine, especially fish. The aromas are intoxicating. Choco Frito is the main local dish to be found here. Battered and fried cuttlefish served in large portions, helped down with a local white DOC Pennísula do Setúbal wine or a Vinho Verde.

Another draw for the senses is the large pink-coloured building containing the city's main market. The Mercado do Livramento is a hubbub of activity where you can buy a whole range of fresh local food as well as being a great insight into local customs.

Mercado do Livramento
Tusesday - Sunday 07h00 – 14h00, Monday: CLOSED
Av. Luísa Todi 163, 2900-276 Setúbal, Portugal. | 38º 31" 22.6' N | 08º 53" 39.0' W

TOP TOURS

Setúbal Peninsula Private Wine Tour: Sesimbra, Azeitão and Arrábida

Setúbal Peninsula Private Wine Tour

Feast your senses on the fine wines and natural splendour of Portugal on a private full-day tour from Lisbon. With a knowledgeable private guide, travel through beautiful countryside to idyllic beaches and quaint fishing villages like Sesimbra, Azeitão and Palmela. Descend to Portugal’s oldest wine cellar to sample fine Portuguese wines in Azeitão and capture arresting views from a viewpoint in Arrábida. Receive undivided attention from your expert guide on this enriching tour. Hotel pick-up from Lisbon.

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Arrabida, Sesimbra and Azeitao and Setubal

Arrabida: Sesimbra, Azeitao & Setubal

If you want something different during your days in Lisbon this is an excellent option, in one of the most beautiful nature parks in Portugal, this is your best option. This Sesimbra Azeitão and Setúbal tour offers so many places to visitand experience, from wineries to Serra da Arrábida Natural Park. Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Stops at the Cristo Rei statue before heading south to Arrábida.


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Arrabida and Azeitao Private Tour with Wine and Cheese

Arrabida & Azeitao Private Wine & Cheese Tour

Tour the beautiful gardens, vineyards and art collection of Quinta da Bacalhoa before tasting their fine wines of the Setúbal wine region. This private day trip to the historical town of Azeitão includes a drive-through Arrábida. Marvel at the cliffside scenery along this stretch of coastline in southern Portugal. Wine and cheese tasting with private hotel transport are included in the full-day itinerary from Lisbon. Hotel pickup and drop-off.


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Castle of (Castelo de) São Filipe

Castelo (Castle) de São Filipe
The origins of the Castelo de São Filipe go back as far as the reigns of Dom Afonso IV and Dom Pedro I. Its commanding position to the west of the city and over looking the estuary gave protection to the city and the fishermen from North African pirate attacks. Re-built in the late 16th century by the Italian military engineer Filippo Terzi on the orders of Filipe II in 1582 to repel English attacks on the infamous Armada. The ramparts take on an irregular six-pointed star formation for artillery advantages.

Today the same views make the 500m trek to the top a rewarding experience, the view from here over the city, the Sado estuary, the Tróia peninsula and Arrábida mountain is breathtaking. Part of the structure was converted into a pousada in the sixties yet still retains many original features and visitors are welcome free of charge, also its restaurant offers fine dining to non-guests. 38º 31" 3.8' N | 08º 54" 33.8' W

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Arrábida Natural Park

Founded in 1971 and covering 42 square miles (108 square kilometres) between Setúbal and Sesimbra, Palmela to the north and terminating at the Tejo estuary. Arrábida has a varied landscape from valleys surrounded by limestone mountain ridges, dramatic coastlines and the Arrábida mountain, Alto do Formosinho (499m) which stands guard over most of the park. This Nature Park contains vast amounts of Mediterranean shrubland biome and a large number of microhabitats. Perched on the slopes overlooking the sea is a whitewashed 16th-century Franciscan monastery and alongside are five circular chapels which once were used for solitary meditation. Where the park meets the sea one finds the crystal-clear waters of the beaches of the Costa Azul which, warm waters are popular with divers and bathers alike. It was along this stretch of coastline where Tracy Bond (played by Diana Rigg) was shot dead by Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat) in a drive-by shooting at the end of the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969. | See More [ ► ]

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Arrábida Natural Park

Beaches of the Costa Azul

Costa Azul
To the west of Setúbal, where the Arrábida Natural park meets the sea, one can find a series of beaches, most of which have Blue Flag status. Often marketed as Portugal's Dream Coast or Costa Azul this dramatic and beautiful coastline offers white sands, warm clear waters and stunning views. Take the coastal road off the N10-4 marked Praias and pass the cement works. There are buses from central Setúbal to most of these beaches:-

Praia Figueirinha, Outão

With the Arrábida Hills as the backdrop Figueirinha Beach extends over a great expanse of sand, at low tide a sandbank is exposed. Due to it's easy access, it's proximity to Setúbal (only five miles west), calm waters, size and amenities this Blue Flag beach can be quite popular, especially with those who have young families. 723

Praia de Galápos

Approached via a staircase, the sheltered cove of the Galápos beach has crystal clear waters which are favoured by divers and bathers alike. With a calm swell, it's ideal for children and popular with windsurfers. Good ample parking and has a restaurant with facilities, who hire marquees as well as serve good coffee. There's a lifeguard at hand. The architectural record of the area indicates the richness of marine life here that have been harvested since Neolithic times.
Separated from Praia de Galápos by a few rocks is Praia Dos Galapinhos and offers the visitor a more tranquil and secluded spot to bathe. A little further along still is Praia dos Coelhos (Arrábida) . Coelho's beach is a small cove surrounded by forest at the foot of the Arrábida Natural Park and consists of soft white sand, with clear and calm waters. Small and quiet, it has a bar which can be accessed via Galapos beach or by boat.

Portinho da Arrábida

Approached via a staircase to a sheltered cove which is blessed by crystal clear waters favoured by divers and bathers alike. With a calm swell, it's ideal for children and popular with windsurfers. Good ample parking and has a restaurant with facilities, who hire marquees as well as serve good coffee. There's a lifeguard at hand. The architectural record of the area indicates the richness of marine life here that have been harvested since Neolithic times.

Praia Figueirinha

Tróia Peninsula

Tróia Peninsula
The opposite bank of the Sado estuary lies the long narrow sand bar of Tróia. 19 miles (30km) of unbroken beach, dunes and woodland are a great attraction for sunbathers and walkers. The flat topography makes it also ideal for cycling. The northern tip is where you'll find most development. Here too there is an exceptional 18-hole golf course. Halfway down are the remains of a Roman town, Cetobriga, destroyed by a tidal wave in 412 AD was an important fishing and trading post.

Atlantic Ferries
The peninsular is well serviced by two regular ferries from terminals around Doca do Comércio in Setúbal.
Atlantic Ferries - Tráfego Local, Fluvial e Marítimo, S.A. Doca do Comércio 2900, Setúbal, Portugal.
38° 31' 18.1" N | 08° 53' 07.2" W
Timetable & Fares
Booking.com

Suggested Hotels

Hotel Solaris

Hotel Solaris ★ ★ ★

Each room at Hotel Solaris enjoys air conditioning and has a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Some units feature seating areas to relax in after a busy days exploration. All rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a bath and shower. For your comfort, you will find bath robes, free toiletries and a hair dryer. Hotel Solaris features free WiFi throughout the property. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property and guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Museu de Setúbal is 650 yards from Hotel Solaris, whilst Albarquel Urban Park is 0.9 miles away.

Praça Marquês de Pombal 12, 2900-562 Setúbal, Portugal.
38º 31" 25.1' N | 08º 53" 55.7' W

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Hotel Solaris

Quinta de Sao Filipe (Villa)

Surrounded by the Arrabida mountain range, Quinta de São Filipe offers modern villas with balconies overlooking the Bay of Sado and Atlantic Ocean. Free Wi-Fi is available. The spacious villas contain a living area, with flat-screen satellite TV, sofa bed and dining area with a fully equipped kitchen. Each has a bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. A washing machine is also provided. Breakfast is served upon request. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the city of Setubal, São Filipe’s Castle and the Tróia Peninsula on their private fully furnished patio.

Rua António Inacio Marques da Costa, 2900-300 Setúbal, Portugal.
38º 31" 04.9' N | 08º 54" 44.7' W

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Troia Design Hotel

Tróia Design Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Located in Troia, this 5-star hotel has a unique design and faces the Sado River Estuary. It features a casino, a spa and two outdoor swimming pools. The spa at the Tróia Design spans 1200 square metres and offers over 70 different relaxation treatments. There is also an outdoor infinity pool as well as a children’s pool. The luxurious rooms at the Tróia Design Hotel are spacious and have a modern design. Each room has a balcony, a flat-screen TV and a seating area. Some rooms have a kitchenette. Guests can enjoy delicious local and international cuisine at the restaurant. There is also a bar serving refreshing drinks and light snacks. The Design Hotel has a kids’ club as well as babysitting services. Other convenient facilities include an airport shuttle and car rental services..

Tróia - Carvalhal, 7570-789 Troia, Portugal.
38º 29" 14.5' N | 08º 53" 54.8' W

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O Convés

Translated as "The Deck", O Convés is a great traditional fish restaurant just off the Avenida Luisa Todi. Famed for it's home-styled cooking especially it's house Paella, fish stew, grouper and of cause the local delicacy Choco Frito. With an extensive wine list of local wines and from the Alentejo.

Daily: 12h00 - 15h30/19:00 - 23:00
Rua da Cordoaria, Placa central 2900-333 Setúbal, Portugal.
38º 31'12.4" N | 08º 54' 8.5" W | +351 265 239 261
convesgourmet@gmail.com


Bengal Tandoori

A nice little curry house with an Italian twist. The decor is of a warm orange colour. The friendly staff are happy to advise you on the extensive menu and wine list.

Daily: 11h30 - 15h00/18h00 - 00h00
Avenida Luisa Todi 273, Setúbal 2900-562, Portugal.
38º 31'22" N | 08º 53' 47.7" W | +351 920 018 654
info@belgaltandoori.com


Taberna Grande

Located in one of the oldest parts of the city on the spot of an old fishermans tavern the Taberna Grande carries on the ancient tradition of serving high quality local flavours from the sea and land.

Daily: 11h30 - 15h00/18h00 - 00h00
Rua das Fontainhas 30, 2900 Setúbal, Portugal.
38º 31'19" N | 08º 53' 1.1" W | +351 309 847 226

30 miles (48km) south of Lisbon Portela Airport. Website

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From Lisbon take the A12 across the Vasco da Gama bridge and head south.

Latitude - 38º 31' 33.1" | Longitude - 08º 53' 43.1"

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Urban train services (comboios urbanos) from Barreiro train station, south bank of the Tejo river (reached by ferry from Lisbon Timetable

• Linha do Sado line Timetable

Trains of Portugal Website

Sul do Tejo buses service Setúbal and the surrounding area: Website

• 561: Lisbon (Praça Espanha) - Setúbal Rapid service (via 25 Abril bridge
• 562: Lisbon (Gare do Oriente) - Setúbal Rapid service (via Vasco da Gama bridge
• 563: Lisbon (Praça Espanha) - Setúbal Rapid service (via Vasco da Gama bridge & Pinhal Novo)
• 230: Sesimbra – Setúba

Rodoviária do Alentejo buses offers services between Setúbal and the Alentejo: Website

• 8551: Sines - Setúbal (via Alcácer do Sal): Timetable

• 8902: Évora - Setúbal: Timetable